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Aquaponics SystemsHandmade In Canada

Vortex Aquaponics units are hand-built using birch plywood and local s2s lumber, expanded clay pellets and full spectrum LED grow lights.

The flood and drain units have a fish aquarium subdivided by Plexiglass, creating a fish tank and a sump tank. The idea is that the water level in the fish tank always stays at the same height, while the water is being pumped from the sump tank into the grow bed full of expanded clay pellets. Each grow bed has a bell syphon which will drain the water back into the fish tank. There are holes drilled in the top of the Plexiglass which allow the water to overflow from the fish tank, back into the sump tank.

All units have a built in emergency overflow, which will divert the water back into the fish tank should the bell siphon ever fail.

The floating raft units are a simpler design. The fish aquarium is not sub-divided. The grow bed is the same structure as the flood and drain system but instead of a full bed of media there is a 2" styrofoam raft which floats on top of a grow bed full of water. The Stryrofoam raft has holes cut into it to accomodiate 21 individual net cups filled with expanded clay pellets.

All units have a built in emergency overflow, which will divert the water back into the fish tank should the primary drain ever fail.

We use Eheim pumps on all our systems because reliability is very important.

Current Models

The "Cadence" - Flood & Drain (Full Media Bed)

The Cadence
*Current grow lights will differ from those pictured above.

Hand crafted using local lumber this aquaponics system is designed to last for years to come. Based on a 29 gallon (110 litre) high-quality glass aquarium* manufactured by Marineland which is subdivided by plexiglass to make a sump tank and a fish tank.
*This aquarium does not come with the standard manufacturer's 3 year warranty due to the plexiglass modification.

It comes with a 160gph German manufactured Eheim pump, which pumps water from the sump tank up into the grow bed which sits above the tank. The grow bed comes with expanded clay pellets which are the grow medium for the plants.

When the garden is up and running, the plants will act as a bio-filter and clean the water for the fish. The grow bed comes with a Bell siphon for drainage, and an emergency overflow back into the fish tank. Each kit comes with a powerful full spectrum LED light which is rated for <60,000 hours or about 9 years of use.

This system has everything needed to get growing, including gold fish, a can of fish food, a fish net, aquarium gravel, and even seeds to plant!

Flood and Drain (Full Media Bed)
Retail price (Full Package): - $2250*
Retail price (Without LED Light): - $1850*
*Delivery and installation available for an additional fee.

The "Cadence" - Deep Water Culture (Floating Raft)

The Cadence
The Cadence
*Current grow lights will differ from those pictured above.

Hand crafted using local lumber this aquaponics system is designed to last for years to come. Based on a 29 gallon (110 litre) high-quality glass aquarium manufactured by Marineland. This aquarium comes with a manufacturers 3 year warranty.

It comes with a 160gph German manufactured Eheim pump, which pumps water from the aquarium up into the grow bed, where it overflows through the drain system back into the aquarium. The grow bed comes with a 2" styrofoam floating raft with holes cut into it to accomodate 21 individual net cups filled with expanded clay pellets.

When the garden is up and running, the plants will act as a bio-filter and clean the water for the fish. The grow bed maintains a constant 7" water level while continually draining back into the aquarium. There is a seconday emergency overflow for peace of mind.

Each kit comes with a powerful full spectrum LED light which is rated for <60,000 hours or about 9 years of use. This system has everything needed to get growing, including gold fish, a can of fish food, a fish net, aquarium gravel, and even seeds to plant!

Deep Water Culture (Floating Raft)
Retail Price (Full Package): - $1995*
Retail Price (Without LED Light) - $1595*
*Delivery and installation available for an additional fee.

The "Finnigin" - Deep Water Culture (Floating Raft)

The Finnigin
*Current model is a Deep Water Culture - (Floating Raft) and not the flood and drain model pictured above.

Hand crafted using local lumber this aquaponics system is a perfect kit for getting started. Designed to be accessible for small children or persons in a wheelchair, the garden is functional and very manageable. Based on a 15 gallon (57 litre) high-quality glass aquarium manufactured by Marineland. This aquarium comes with a manufacturers 3 year warranty.

It comes with a 160gph German manufactured Eheim pump, which pumps water from the aquarium up into the grow bed, where it overflows through the drain system back into the aquarium. The grow bed comes with a 2" styrofoam floating raft with holes cut into it to accomodate 12 individual net cups filled with expanded clay pellets.

With the garden established, the plants become a bio-filter and clean the water for the fish, while the fish provide all the nutrients for the plants. The grow bed maintains a constant 7" water level while continually draining back into the aquarium. There is a seconday emergency overflow for peace of mind.

This system comes with a double head goose neck lamp which holds two 36 W full spectrum LED grow bulbs, as well as a timer. Included with this kit are the goldfish, aquarium gravel, can of fish food, fish net, and also seeds to get started.

Retail Price (Full Package): $1250*
Retail Price (Without LED Light): $985*
*Delivery and installation available for an additional fee.

The "Babylon"

The Babylon
The system pictured here has a full spectrum incandescent bulb. All systems are now equipped with full spectrum LED grow lights which are long lasting and environmentally friendly.

This system is designed with head-turning aesthetics and long term durability in mind. As it is a hanging system, some thought must be put into where the system will reside as it is not as easily portable and a commitment must be made to put a few eye hooks into the ceiling. That being said, we would first qualify that there is structural integrity in the ceiling prior to installing this system.

The grow bed is based on a recycled oak wine barrel, and comes with a 2" styrofoam floating raft with holes cut into it to accomodate 21 individual net cups filled with expanded clay pellets.

The grow bed hangs above the glass aquarium which is subdivided by plexiglass to create a sump tank and a fish tank. The pump is a 240gph Germain built Eheim, which will deliver dependable water flow to the garden. As with all of my units, there is a built in emergency overflow from the garden to the fish tank. The grow light is a full spectrum LED light. This system comes with a timer and all necessary hardware.

This is the perfect system to hang in the lobby of a professional building, or in front of a south facing window in your home. Plant a combination of herbs and flowers, or grow vegetables of your liking. The calming sound of the trickling water and the passive ambiance of the thriving fish transform a room into a showpiece of living art. This kit comes with everything needed to get growing, including fish, aquarium gravel, a can of fish food, a fish net, and seeds.

Retail Price (Full Package): $2850*
Retail Price (Without LED Light): $2650*
*Delivery and installation available for an additional fee.

Passive Solar Greenhouses

  • Passive Solar Greenhouse
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  • Passive Solar Greenhouse
  • Passive Solar Greenhouse
  • Passive Solar Greenhouse
  • Passive Solar Greenhouse
  • Passive Solar Greenhouse
  • Passive Solar Greenhouse
  • Passive Solar Greenhouse
  • Passive Solar Greenhouse
  • Passive Solar Greenhouse
Steven J Wiebe's passive solar greenhouse build with the help of Jaret Nield, Roland Peltier and other friends.
Passive Solar Greenhouse

I am able to design and build custom passive solar greenhouses with full aqauponics systems, which will provide fresh fish and organic vegetables year round, even up here in Canada's north. We can incorporate many of the principles which North American natives used to thrive, like the geo thermal benefit of building into the ground. The greenhouses can have additional heat sources added like a rocket mass heater which is super efficient and burns scrap wood at such a temperature that there is almost no unburned carbons in the exhaust.

As a consultant able to see the bigger picture, I offer design and implementation of self sustaining systems, which incorporate many permaculture principles like growing food forests, using Hugelkultur bed gardening, and harvesting green energy from the sun, wind, methane capture from compost, or even micro hydro where feasible. Municipal and federal building codes will be adhered to wherever applicable.

Contact me directly to discuss your ideas about getting off the grid and/or taking control of your own food security.