Hydroponics is a method of growing plants without the use of soil, instead using a nutrient solution that provides all the elements required to grow your desired plants. Hydroponic nutrients are available at many garden centers. Choose the correct nutrient solution for the plants you are growing. Fruits require a different mixture than vegetables and different stages of development require different blends. Building a hydroponic system can be done with a few materials. Doing it yourself costs a lot less than buying pre-built kit.
Building your System
Measure the inside of the fish tank and cut the foam to fit inside. Subtract 1/4 inch from the measurement of the inside of the tank and take that 1/4 inch off the foam. Cut holes into the foam to fit the mesh pots. Fill the mesh pot with your growing medium. Cut a hole at the side of the foam where you can feed the aerator pump hose.
Spray the inside of the fish tank with the black paint to let dry. The black paint keeps sunlight away from the hydroponic solution inside. Place the aeration stones at the bottom of the tank and attach the hose from the aerator pump which lays outside the fish tank.
Fill the fish tank with your hydroponic solution allowing enough room for the foam and the liquid it will displace. Place the foam into the tank fitting the hose for the aerator pump in the hole you made. The foam will suck up the hydroponic solution. Turn on the aerator pump to begin circulation of the solution.
Place you plants into the mesh pots. Change the hydroponic solution every 2 weeks to keep it fresh and effective.