Aquaponics Build

A recap of the build process, and links to resources.
(I’ll make another topic for status updates and current upkeep info, this is just for the build)

I had built 3 other aquaponics systems in the past. 2 small systems a 10 gallon. And a 20 gallon system. The issue is that small systems can fluctuate quickly and can have minor issues become major die off events quickly.

Small tank with modified mini fridge as a tank chiller ->

After these 2 smaller systems failed I tried a 100 gallon system using a modified gaylord IBC totem where the top was cut off, and used as the frown bed, and the bottom used as the fish tank

IBC tote system ->


When I left the San Antonio makerspace back in 2017 I had to shut the system down.

In summer of 2018 I joined Austin makerspace and decided I wanted to make a new system. Where I could correct the issues I had with the old systems and make it easier to manage.

One of the main things I hated about the old IBC totems system was that you couldnt see the fish other than being right up against the tank and looking straight down. So I wanted a tank with a side window.

I wanted to make it out of plywood ever sense I saw that it could be done years before. You can make a larger tank for cheaper. And is an amazing conversation piece when you tell people it’s made of plywood.

To make the wood survive you have to prep and seal the wood using 2 part marine grade epoxy.

I decided to design the system in OnShape (cloud based free to use cad software) to design the system and plan how it will sit in the space.

Link to onshape model ->

This project was originally started with a request for the board to allow the construction of the project in the space.

Me and 3 others got together and wrote up a proposal to the board for what we wanted to do. What we needed from the space, and how long we planned for it to take.

Link to research materials ->

Link to the proposal ->

Once we were able to get the formalities out of the way construction was able to begin. Construction began July 14th of 2018 with the delivery of the first shipment of plywood and we went straight to cutting.

We had to store the materials under the workshop tables to start until the tables were built.

We planned to meet every saturday to put in a couple hours. Our goal was to make sure every week we made progress so it didn’t become stagnant while using community space to store materials.

I made a weekly update on the atxhs members list letting people know what we were planning to work on and what we actually accomplished.

Pdf of atxhs-members email chain ->

Google Slides of project scrapbook ->

The project culminated in the fish stocking party on Jan 27th of 2019.

The system has been running fairly smoothly, there was an issue that 3 months later we had found an issue that the lid of the tank had started to rot as the lid wasn’t sealed as well as the rest of the plywood.

I’ll make another topic shortly for status and updates of the system.

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