How to do Aquaponics without Electricity

What You'll Need
PVC pipe3 to 4 inches
PVC elbow fitting
Drilling equipment

Aquaponics can be done without electricity if one can manually remove the water from the bottom of the fish tank and empty it into the grow bed where the hydroponic plants grow.

Step 1 – Preparation

The grow bed should be placed at a level above the fish tank. A small algal bed should be constructed at a layer adjacent to the grow bed and separated from the grow bed with the use of a board. The fish tank should be placed in such a way, that the water from the algal bed slowly drains into it.

Step 2 - Constructing the Suction Pump

Insert the pipe into the elbow and attach a cap to the elbow end. Then, drill holes into the cap for water to flow through the holes into the pipe.

Step 3 – Placing the Suction Pump

Thrust the capped end of the PVC pipe into the deepest part of the tank in such a way that it is held there. Ensure that the manure-laden water in the pipe is at the same level as the fish tank.

Step 4 – Water Suction from the Fish Tank

Place your hand over the open end that juts out, to create a suction effect. Lean the pipe out of the water so that the holes in the cap push against the water and it does not flow back out of the pipe. You have to continue doing this until the water flows out of the upper end of the pipe.

Step 5 – Release the Nutrient Rich Water into the Grow bed

Manually remove this PVC pump that you have created and release the nutrient rich water it into the grow bed. When you release this water, allow for aeration by either pouring it over a bowl of gravel or a grid of sticks made for this purpose. When the grow bed is full of the water suctioned out of the fish tank and reaches the growing media, stop the process and board up the grow bed.

Step 6 - Release the Nutrient Rich Water into the Algal Bed

Let the water flow into the algal bed that’s constructed. The algae that grow here become a source of food for the fish. This also helps in retaining the nutrients from the fish tank. By not allowing the water to flow back into the fish tank from the grow bed and using it to grow algae, the water is further purified. Once the algal bed is bathed and the nutrients are used up, the water flows back into the fish tank. You can also chop up some edible leaves, small enough for the fish to feed on, thus supplementing the algal feed. Allow this to flow back into the fish tank to feed the fish.

To ensure proper working of this aquaponics system, you need to spend about 15 minutes, 3 times a day to suck the water out of the fish tank and pour it into the grow bed and the algal bed. This requires no electricity and should be done manually.