I first got really excited about the idea of fish tank aquaponics after following the above project on Kickstarter a couple of years ago. The project described the idea as “a self-cleaning fish tank that grows food” and that’s exactly what home aquaponics or fish tank aquaponics is all about!
I think it’s safe to say that fish tank aquaponics is somewhat trending. The Kickstarter project was a huge success – getting 249% funded by the end. Setting up your own home aquaponics garden is also something that is really easy to do and can be quite rewarding.
How Fish Tank Aquaponics Works:
Fortunately, fish tank aquaponics doesn’t require a degree in quantum physics to understand. Fish produce ammonia-rich waste and nitrates as they go about their daily business; this waste-water is pumped into a planted growing bed, which fertilizers / feeds the plants; and the resulting water (which is now pure and waste-free) is filtered back into the fish tank. The beauty of fish tank aquaponics is that it is a closed system, which means that if one gets it 100% right, you will never need to clean your fish tank or water your plants!
I’m taking a bash at setting up my own home aquaponics using a 100 litre fish tank, a herb box and some ferns. The idea is that the ferns will eventually grow around the fish tank – creating something rather aesthetically pleasing. But have a look at what some others have come up with. I’m particularly inspired by the multi-layered fish tank aquaponics setup. It’s a good example of indoor vertical farming or windowfarming.
It’s important to note that one does not use soil with fish tank aquaponics, but rather small stones of between 5-10mm in diameter. The plants instinctively wrap their roots around the stones and don’t require soil at all. Also, if you’re not making use of a flood tank, it is important to consider choosing plants that enjoy being constantly hydrated, which is why I decided to go with moisture-loving ferns. Aquaponics Achievement unlocked! 🙂