Learn to Build a Grow Table for an Aquaponics System

Learn to Build a Grow Table for an Aquaponics System
– By Colle and Phyllis Davis


STEP ONE: Build the Grow tables.



This sale of this ebook does NOT include the Automatic Trip Valve (ATV) that regulates the water level in the grow tables, but the ATV is available with the purchase of this book for an additional $20.00. Please visit https://gum.co/lhTmBd to make the purchase of the ebook and the ATV.
– – Aquaponics’ Grow Tables raise healthy and fresh table vegetables.
– – Portable Farms® Grow Tables never overflow and are now fully automatic.
– – Portable Farms® Grow Tables become more valuable over time because their production increases over the first two years after the operator learns what plants they enjoy growing.
The valuable content in this Aquaponics Grow Table GOLD ebook has emerged from more than ten years of success in the marketplace. We have continued to refine our Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems and are now growing food in twenty-five countries and in all fifty US States.
The design and function of our Grow Tables incorporates our experiences, the feedback from our global customers, engineers, universities and from many of our own odd mistakes and failures.
The true success of an aquaponics system allows its operators to take a weekend off occasionally, and never worry have about watering or feeding the plants to grow delicious, healthy and pesticide-free food.
Here are the many benefits of the Portable Farms® Grow Tables.
1. They do not leak if constructed properly.
2. They do not bulge or distort when full of gravel and water.
3. They have adjustable legs to level them on uneven surfaces or for special needs (such as building them to be wheel chair accessible).
4. The tray depth and water flow can be modified for growing kitchen or medicinal herbs.
5. The grow trays can be flooded if insect control is required.
6. Each grow table can be sized in width and length to accommodate your location or the food for family or group needs.
7. The grow tables are easy to keep clean.
8. The crushed gravel in the grow tables never needs to be cleaned [if you use a clarifier].
9. The plants in the grow tables strip out the nutrients as the water flows through the crushed gravel.
10. As the water flows through the grow tables, it becomes re-oxygenated during each cycle before it returns to the fish tank adding to the health of the fish and fish tank.
11. Crushed gravel, the least expensive substrate is used to grow the plants. Think cheap and local.
12. Growing food from the waist high grow tables makes it easy to plant, care for the plants and harvest the food.
Measure the space you have and use the formulas provided and the near future the world of self-reliance starts.
PLEASE NOTE: A competent carpenter can build the entire grow table in about 6 hours. We make the assumption that whoever is constructing the grow table has several years of construction experience using power tools, hand tools, and common building materials. Even though the construction is very straightforward and uses common building materials, a high level of precision finish work is required for the grow table to function correctly. A hobbyist without construction experience is very seldom capable of building this level of precision without some excellent help and support.

  STEP 2:  Colle Davis spreading gravel with Juan, his helper. FUN DAY!

STEP 3: Later that same day. The Grow Tables are now filled with gravel, the fish (tilapia) are happily swimming in the fish tanks (far ends of the grow tables) and now it’s time to TURN ON the Portable Farm so the water can circulate twice during the day (20 minutes per fill) to fill the grow tables with nutrient rich water. After the grow tables are filled, then the water drains back into the fish tanks.

Step 4: 40-days after the Portable Farm has been turned on. Happy plants, happy fish and a happy Colle Davis, aquaponics farmer and inventor of Portable Farms Aquaponics Systems.


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    • John K Sullivan on 2018-02-26 at 1:40 pm
    • Reply


    I truly enjoy your emails. They always have something in them to make me laugh, thanks.

    Now to my question, I have watched many you tube videos and read some books on Aquaponics. Most systems and books, etc. say to have the media grow beds 12 inches deep. Yet yours are (or appear) to be much shallower. Why is this?

    Thanks for clearing this up.

    1. John,

      The Portable Farms Aquaponics Systems were originally designed for shallow plastic trays. The plastic trays worked very well but were very hard to expand and to keep from leaking so we switched to wood/plywood plastic lined Grow Tables slightly deeper than the original plastic ones.

      Second reason: No solids flow into the Grow Tables and the gravel in them never has to be cleaned. This is a huge advantage over all other systems we know about. Having a shallower Grow Table also reduces the weight and allows adjustment and to be installed on less highly engineered floors.

      We trust this helps.


    • James on 2015-11-17 at 3:02 am
    • Reply

    Item number 8 in list of items included in the portable farm kit has (ONLY US ADDRESSES). Please clarify this for those us not resident in the US and with no plans to relocate to the US.

    1. James,

      The items require special customs clearance that our supplier will not provide for amounts under a tonne for shipments outside the US. We have no control over this requirement. Some people outside the US have had the Portable Farms Kits shipped to a US address and then, we don’t know what happens to it, but they do receive their PF Kit and build their Portable Farm. Our concern and that of our supplier is that these items are only shipped to US addresses.

      We trust this addresses your concern.


    • Mohamed on 2014-12-31 at 6:48 pm
    • Reply


    Its amazing what you guys are trying to do with aquaponics, that is much appreciated

    Mine is a 2 fold question dealing with 2 different countries as follows :-

    1) i am a Kenyan living in saudi arabia where tempratures get to 50 degrees centigrade, is it feasible to grow plants for food here and is aquaponics the way to go? How can the portable farms help in mitigating such high temperatures.

    2) Now to my home country where the weather is almost perfect year round and vegetables in plenty and cheap and where a niche market is almost non existent since most people only want affordable vegetables rather than quality vegetables due to economic reasons , once again is a commercial setup of the portable farm technology feasible in such low income countries.


    1. Mohamed,

      Thank you. You are too kind.

      Responses: 1) The Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems must be housed in a climatically adapted structure. This means that in severe heat there must be ways to keep the interior of structure at the Grow Table level below 40 degrees C. This is an engineering task and is often accomplished using shade cloth, geothermal cooling, fans, wet walls, and other devices to keep the interior safe for the plants.
      2) Selling to the common market is not your market. Selling to the upscale restaurants, resort hotels, casinos and other businesses that must provide excellent food to their sophisticated clientele. Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems are designed to provide the best food on earth to those who are willing to pay for locally grown, pesticide free food.

      We trust this helps and we look forward to having you as a student.

      Colle Davis – Inventor

    • john on 2014-12-10 at 4:28 pm
    • Reply

    would a 60ft2 tray in a 160ft2 green house require only one of your units to operate?

    1. John,

      Yes, you would need only one Portable Farms® Module/unit for that size. All of the Portable Farms® Kits are designed to support up to 200 sq ft of Grow Table space. The smaller sizes are simply scaled down from this commercial size. The Portable Farms Kits are all the same components, only the timing is adjusted to the size of the Module.

      We trust this information helps and we look forward to having you as a student.

      Colle Davis – Inventor

    • Bruce on 2014-03-13 at 9:53 pm
    • Reply

    Does the system have to be set up inside a greenhouse or can it be built and operated outside in Southern California?

    1. Bruce: All Portable Farms must be installed INSIDE a greenhouse to protect from bugs, birds, wind and heat. – Phyllis Davis

  1. Hello I live in north vancouver BC Canada – I have a 6x6ft green house that I would like to convert into a backyard aquaponics. I have a family of 5. Is this a possibility based on my available space.. Thank you for your help

    1. Bren,

      That is too small to put a Portable Farms® Aquaponics Systems inside. You need at least 10′ x 12′ or you can have grow space and move around inside. A family of 5 will require 125 sq ft of GROW space (25sq ft x 5 people) and the smallest ‘footprint’ building that will contain that amount of space is 10′ x 24′.

      We trust that even though this is not what you wanted to hear, it is reality.

      Have a great holiday.

      Colle Davis – Inventor

    • Randy Styer on 2013-04-17 at 4:54 pm
    • Reply

    The $2500 sounds good. The course includes the entire assembly, operations, and maintenance course. What does the entire assembly include exactly.

    What is included in the Portable Farms technology kit?

    Thanks, Randy

    1. Randy,

      Thanks. The sentence you are referring to has be changed so it reads -, and maintenance ‘information’. Without the ”’s Sorry for the confusion.

      Every page, literally has a place to sign up for the PRICE LIST. Right hand column, second box down. Fill in your email address, first name and click SUBMIT and Voila! up pops the price list. Hint: You have to scroll DOWN to read the entire page.

      Colle Davis – Inventor

    2. Randy,

      Thanks. The sentence you are referring to has be changed so it reads -, and maintenance ‘information’. Without the ”’s Sorry for the confusion.

      Every page, literally has a place to sign up for the PRICE LIST. Right hand column, second box down. Fill in your email address, first name and click SUBMIT and Voila! up pops the price list. Hint: You have to scroll DOWN to read the entire page to read the contents of the Portable Farms Kits.

      Colle Davis – Inventor

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