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Friday, September 2, 2011

2 - Building the 365 Aquaponics System

My Original Prototype, Apr 20, 2011

For the next several days, I'll walk you through building "the 365 Aquaponics System," a wheelchair-accessible, 200 gallon aquaponics system and greenhouse for around $1000. The system you'll see over the next several posts will be auctioned off during the Aquaponics Association Conference to raise funds for the Association.

Here's the schedule of posts - enjoy!

9.03 - Setting up the Tanks
9.04 - Installing the Bulkheads
9.05 - Connecting the Fish Tank and Sump
9.06 - Pumps, Timers, and Plumbing
9.07 - Installing a Float Valve
9.08 - Media Options
9.09 - The Bell Siphon
9.10 - The Coanda Discharge
9.11 - Floating Raft
9.12 - The Durso Standpipe
9.13 - The EMT Hoop House
9.14 - Moving the System
9.15 - The Final Accounting
9.16 - Storing Solar Energy for Winter


  1. What a nicely serendipitous occurrence! You got te perfect name for your blog courtesy of a mistake by the Aquaponics Conference organizers. Of course, it was wonderful that the site is available.

    1. It has been nice, though I see my 3x5aquaponics blog continues to get hits, so it still has gotten tens of thousands more page views that this blog.

      For those who happen upon this page from a search engine, I wanted to mention I ended up getting tapped to write The Complete Idiot's Guide to Aquaponic Gardening for Penguin Book Group. The book is now available for purchase at It includes lots of DIY plans as well as everything I wished I could have found in a book back when I was starting out (which wasn't very long ago...). So far the reviews are good!

      In particular, I include a set of plans for a greenhouse. I combined plans so the result could be made without having a threshold, because I do like the idea of making the greenhouse wheelchair accessible. The plans I put in the book were for a PVC greenhouse, since you don't need a special bender to make that kind of greenhouse. But I personally like the EMT frame for it's ability to have vertical sides for minimal footprint.


    1. Hi c.,

      Absolutely my prototype wasn't wheelchair accessible. My prototype was loosely based on a North Carolina extension set of instructions for building a greenhouse, and wheelchair accessibility wasn't a priority for them.

      The door would need to be wide enough for a wheelchair, and the threshold would need to have a very low profile. Also, the aisle between the growbeds needs to be the right width (30", I believe).

      I plan to replace my prototype greenhouse with the wider version that allows an adequate width given the Rubbermaid stock tanks. In addition, the pipe between the fish tank and the sump needs to be buried under the aisle.

      So. To make my own back yard greenhouse wheelchair accessible, I would need to make several modifications - first of which would be modifying the entire greenhouse so the threshold was passable.

      Thank you for your comment!