While the plants do a good job at cleaning the water, a sump tank made of a few filters in a cheap tote will save having to clean up more often. Managing ammonia vs ammonium for the necessary bacteria levels is hard work and this can help!
The best way for Self-Watering Use 2-litre bottles with Aqua Cones to keep your plants and flowers watered. Aqua Cones work with any soil type because they were designed with punch-out holes near the top for sandy soil, near the middle for loam, and near the bottom for heavy soils. The Aqua Cones collects rain and stores it so that it can provide continuing water to your thirsty plants.
Aquaponics. Is there a simpler version of this? Maybe just...scoop the water? Am I missing the necessity of the pump? I like the over all idea. I hate the look. Is it too much to ask for a pretty sustainable garden?