Aquarium Filter Life Hack – Simplified Aquaponics

aquaponics aquarium filter life hack

My aquarium filters are having issues keeping up with the massive amounts of fish waste produced by the blue tilapia in my fish tank. I have 20 fish in a 75 gallon tank with 2 filters. You would think the filters I have would provide more than enough filtration as they are both rated for over 75 gallon tanks, however that is not the case.

I figured I could retrofit my current filter into a small aquaponics system. Basically this was a way to use the technology of aquaponics without having to buy any additional components for my system.
aquaponics aquarium filter life hack 2


(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

I created a screen piece out of 1/8” hardware cloth around the impeller then added hydroton to the filter. I selected a few strong plants with deep root systems from my garden, rinsed the roots, and then planted them directly into the hydroton. I then added about 20 redworms from my compost pile into the mix.

The system has been running for about 2 weeks now. The water appears to be clearing up and the plants have started blossoming. There are some signs of the leaves curling inward which is an indication of overwatering however I can’t set this to flood and drain as the filter doesn’t completely drain itself when it shuts off (otherwise I’d just put the filter on a timer).

If you haven’t seen my YouTube Channel yet you can check it out and subscribe below!

Advertisements

About SustainableCraig

I am a military veteran, urban farmer, and financial coach whose goal is to spread knowledge of financial literacy and sustainability throughout the Pacific Northwest. I enjoy spending time outdoors where I frequently test my wilderness survival skills.
This entry was posted in All Posts, Permaculture Farming. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Aquarium Filter Life Hack – Simplified Aquaponics

  1. Jasmine says:

    Do you have an update on this? Tried other plants? Seems like a good idea, lettuce would probably do well. 🙂 Could a canister filter be modified to do this as well? Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Jasmine,
      I definitely have an update. It worked great for the larger strawberry plants with established root systems however the smaller plants didn’t do well at all. I think lettuce would work well however I did not try it in this experiment.

      The main issue I ran into was that the clay media kept getting past the mesh screen I had made into the propeller system which made a sound comparable to Jim Carey’s “Most Annoying Sound in the World” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cVlTeIATBs

      In hindsight I would make the screen better and more permanent.

      As for canister filters I don’t think that would work because they require a seal to make the suction happen.

      There is a third option which is to have another tank in the loop that acts as a refugium for filtering the water. I opted out of this as my living room looked awkward enough with a aquarium full of edible fish.

      I have since removed that filter as I was also having an aphid issue… again, so I just replanted the surviving strawberry plants in the garden.

      I hope that helped. Thank you for your comment!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s