Beginning in April of 2016, we developed Design #1 of the aquaponics system using the available resources in the school’s mini-lab. Our first iteration uses coiled ¼ inch tubing with 9 drilled holes to water the plants. While the system was hastily constructed, it gave our group insight into possible issues associated with aquaponics including water flow rates, crowding of plants, flooding, leakage, as well as information about the design process in general.
The bin containing the plants sits 75 cm above the water bin below and contains absorbent clay pebbles as a substitute for soil. A pump transfers water to the upper bin. We noticed that the drilled holes in the piping were constantly getting clogged and thus failed to deliver a sufficient water supply to the plants. Additionally, the water flowing from the top bin to the bottom one via a hole in the top bin splashed water onto the floor which greatly decreased the amount of water in the system.