Over the past year we've been participating in the Mother Earth News Fairs around the United States. One of the fun parts of the experience has been having a working aquaponics system for folks to look at. Because we are trying to educate people who might be considering a commercial venture about the need for filtration and the benefits of biodigestion, we wanted our little demo unit to model those aspects of a system, as well as having fish and plants.
Some of the constraints we had for this system was that it pack into a carry-on, along with our brochures, so we could avoid having to pay for extra luggage. We also wanted this system to be something that was affordable and available at local stores. The tools needed to create this are a drill with 5/16" and 1" bits and 2" and 3" hole saws, scissors to cut the tubing, and a PVC pipe cutter ($10).
It turns out that 3/4" PVC pipe is just barely bigger than 1" in diameter. So while it is nice to have some kind of bulkhead fitting, it is possible in this system to simply drill a hole and (gently) push the PVC pipe through the hole for the plumbing.
These are pictures taken while I was disassembling the system shown above, to show you how the piece parts come together.