Airlift Window Farm (plastic-free)

12:17 am in Materials and Resources, posts with pitcures!, questions, Seeking Advice by jennaspevack

I’m attempting to build a version of the Airlift Window Farm without plastic parts.

The initial version uses stainless steel tumblers, sisal rope, metal crimps, a glass reservoir, and natural latex tubing. The only plastic part is the air pump. Everything was purchased fairly inexpensively (mostly on the Bowery in NYC).

You can find images of the project in progress HERE.

If I can get this one to work, I will build a second system next to this one using Chinese bottle gourds, coated in beeswax (see diagram). We’ll see.



  1. I’m currently having problems getting the pump to push the water up the airlift tube. I’ve noticed others have had this problem and see that Britta posted some suggestions, which I tried– but they haven’t worked. The air forced into the air lift tube doesn’t seem strong enough to move the water up vertically. It goes for about 6 inches and falls back down again. It also makes a loud bubbling/spattering noise. The pump tubes are dry and the air lift tube is fully submerged and mostly straight. I have an ActiveAqua AAPA7.8L pump. — ANY SUGGESTIONS?