Desktop Aquaponic Tank Part 1

I’ve put together the first operational version of the 2.5 gallon desktop aquaponic tank I’ll be working on and experimenting with for a a little while.

My goal was to create an interesting and functional aquaponic system that was compact enough to reside on a desktop, was low cost, and had very little commercial moving parts, so to speak.

3D Print U Siphon 40mmRough 3D Print U Siphon3D Printing U Siphon3D Printed Airlift Hooked UpAirlift Hooked Up Acrylic Top3D printed airlift moving water3D Printed Airlift Unassembled3D Printed Uptake Filter3D Printed Uptake Filter AirliftTop View Aquaponic Tank LidDesktop Auaponics Preview

The features I wanted were:

  • Affordable
  • Small 2.5 Gallons
  • Capable of growing a 2″ net pot, and some duckweed
  • 3D printed parts
  • Ebb and flow system utilizing a 3D printed airlift, and 3D printed Bell or U-Siphon
  • Open and shareable data and design
  • An Arduino based microcontroller to control tank environment
  • DIY Heating element (controlled via arduino)
  • DIY Temperature Control (via arduino)
  • DIY LED Lighting (controlled via arduino)
  • DIY Supplemental automatic fish feeder.
  • Cool looking

My design utilizes acrylic and a little acrylic glue, to create a tank lid and combination filter/grow bed, that measures 3.5″ long by 4″ wide by 3″ tall.

The water is moved above the tank surface into the grow bed/filter by way of a 3D printed airlift and gravel filter, and drains 1/3 of a liter (1.43 cups) every 1 minute and 20 seconds through a 3D printed U Siphon.

I originally made a bell siphon, but it didn’t function as consistently as I had hoped. So I decided to 3D print and use a simpler U-Siphon.

The test setup is pretty successful, simple in its use of an airlift, and meets the basic design goals I had. I also started testing out some LED options and the thing is looking pretty cool.

I’ll provide clearer pictures of the design in part two. The 3D Print STL files are available below. I’m providing them gratis, but please credit the Gardenisto site. Thanks.