DIY Aquaponic fish tank – Crystal clear water, no cleaning, no water changing, no chemicals


Link to my filter design:

Since this pandemic started, I picked up a new hobby (my kids started it): fish tanks!!!
After the first month of enthusiasm, I was getting tired of all the cleaning, water changing to keep the tank clear and lower the level of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate (those will kill the fishes). Live aquatic plants sound like a good solution but not possible with the goldfishes. They will pull the plants out and eat all the leaves.
I looked for another solution is to use plants outside of the water. An aquaponic fish tank is what I decided on. I looked around for commercially available setups. They are either too expensive or don’t work. I combined all the ideas I could find about this and made my own design.
I built a filter box using Acrylic sheets and expanded clay pebbles (hydroponic pebbles). The filter box forces the water to run the longest path through the clay pebbles. The hollow pebbles will retain all the small dirty debris to keep the tank water clear. All the Nitrogen products produced by the fishes will be consumed by plants that are grown in the filter box.
After using this setup for 3 months, I didn’t need to do any cleaning, no more water changing, and absolutely no added chemicals to the tank to keep the water balanced.
I decided to build the same setup for tropical fishes (they are more gentle with the aquatic plants) and share all the steps with you. Within only 2 weeks, the plants have grown significantly. The fishes are happy and healthy.
I will of course update the states of the tank regularly to show you the results of my aquaponic filter design.

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