Are you interested in creating a vertical Aquaponics system? Vertical Aquaponics systems are ideal when you have a small growing space and need to utilize it as best you can.
This system was created by Foresta and Richard. They are both well educated and nearing retirement age. This system was created in an attempt to be more self sufficient and provide a hobby.
This system requires a wooden frame but the results are a lot of plants in a small foot print. Because it is raised off the ground, you can still place planter boxes under and around it in order to use your space even better. This can be built on a patio, in a narrow location, or even as part of your natural backyard. When filled out, the foliage creates a living wall that creates a nice backdrop.
1-2’ length of 1 inch PVC piping
6- 6’ lengths of 4 inch PVC piping
1- 6’ length of 6 inch PVC piping
5’ length of 1 inch plastic tube
5’ length of ¾ in plastic tube
12- 4 inch PVC caps
2-6 inch PVC caps
2-6 inch J hooks
2-1 inch elbow joints
1-¾ to 1 inch PVC converter
To build the frame you’ll need:
4- 6 foot 2x4s
4- 34inch 2x4s
3-4 foot 2x4s
2- 75inch 2x4s
For the tank:
Power screw driver
To build this system, you are going to create a frame out of the wood. The frame is going to be 6’tall by 4’wide by 34” deep. The two 75” boards will be the diagonal pieces which your PVC will sit on.
After building the frame, attach the J hooks to the diagonal beams.
Using the 2 inch hole saw drill bit, cut out 8 holes in the top of all 6- 4 inch PVC pipes and the 1-6 inch PVC pipe. This is where your net pots will sit and your plants will grow.
On each PVC pipe, using the 1 inch hole saw drill bit, cut one hole in line with the 8 others at one end of the pipe. This hole needs to be about 4 inches in from the top of the pipe. Flip the PVC pipes over and on the opposite end of the pipes drill another 1 inch hole on the bottom of each pipe.
Begin setting them up on your frame inside the Jhooks, placing the 6 inch PVC pipe on the top. As you place the PVC, make sure the 1 inch holes you created are staggered from side to side so that the hole on the bottom of one pipe sits directly on top of the 1 inch hole on the top of the next pipe.
Next, cut 3 inch sections out of your 1 inch PVC pipe. These should fit snugly inside the one inch holes you drilled in each PVC pipe. Measure the distance between each of your PVC tubes and cut corresponding lengths of 1inch plastic tubing. Slide one end of the plastic tubing over the end of the 1inch PVC section and the other end in the one inch hole in the bottom tube.
Place end caps on each of the PVC pipes, making it water tight.
On the very bottom pipe, fit the 1 inch PVC into the bottom hole, fit that with the elbow pipe, and then fit another 1 inch PVC pipe to the other end. From there, slide the remainder of your 1 inch PVC tubing onto the elbow pipe. This tubing will be your water return into your fish tank.
Inside your fish tank, place your pump and attach your ¾ inch tubing. This tubing should be long enough to reach the top of your frame work. Connect this tubing using the ¾ to 1 inch PVC converter and then use the same technique as earlier to connect this to the system, using the elbow pipe.
Once assembled, you can fill your system with water and watch for any major issues. There may be some leaks around the 1 inch PVC fittings and if you desire to, sealing these with a water proof caulking is fairly easy.
Another option is to add netting to the top square of the framing to allow your tall plants to grow above your system and into the netting as a support.
This vertical Aquaponics system is not going to be the easiest to assemble but it is beautiful and very sturdy. And being a vertical Aquaponic system instead of spread out, you will be able to plant a wide variety of amazing food in a much smaller square footage!
If you end up creating this amazing vertical Aquaponics system or modifying it, send me pictures! I’d love to see what you come up with!