Building an aquaponics system in your home is a great activity. Any DIYer can enjoy coming up with a design, going to Home Depot to get everything you need, and making your vision a reality. I've had a few desktop aquaponics systems in the past but recently I decided to make a system that could produce a significant amount of vegetables and fish. As an engineer I had all sorts of plans for a huge fish tank, red and blue LED grow lights hanging from the ceiling, and sprawling grow areas.
After conveying these ideas to my wife I quickly realized this was going to need to stay in the corner of the basement if things were going to go how I originally planned. Once we started brainstorming together the plan started taking a much more exciting route. Luckily there was a middle ground between maximum food production and an aesthetically pleasing home garden. For instance, we could have a pleasant garden in our kitchen:
But at the same time focus on maximizing fish production in the basement:
This split level system was able to meet both our requirements. The water from the basement is pumped up to the first floor, and then there's a T with a ball valve for expanding more grow beds in the basement when we're ready. That way if I want my red and blue LEDs everywhere for a night club looking grow space I don't have to burn the retinas of any tolerant guests. My wife and brother-in-law both had great ideas for this system and I was very happy to follow their guidance. We're looking forward to producing both vegetables and tilapia out of this system, and can't wait to see how things progress!