In case you hadn’t heard, food is getting more expensive, mostly due to rising harvesting, shipping, and processing costs. One answer to the problem has been to start looking at alternative, more local and efficient ways to produce food for communities wherever they are, and Aquaponics looks like a solid solution. The system marries aquaculture (aka fish farming) with hydroponics, to deliver fresh home grown vegetables along with fish supplies when needed.
The largest systems offer commercial levels of production, growing anything from tomatoes, peppers, beans, cabbage, strawberries, kale, and salad vegetation though to harvesting trout, catfish and tilapia fish. This TableTop Aquaponics system is an altogether more modest affair, which is clearly designed as an introduction to aquaponics, so don’t expect to harvest anything more than some simple herbs or an occasional lettuce.
Even though it’s a small unit, it looks like it has all the ingredients you need for proper sustainable aquaponics. Unlike pure hydroponic systems, there’s no chemicals added and there’s no need to change the water, the whole thing is an almost closed loop. The fish eat whatever food you give them, they poop, which is then pumped up to the gravel beds at the top of the system, which acts as the fertilizer to feed whatever plants you’re growing. Beautiful symbiosis in action.
And on top of all that, you get to enjoy a free fish aquarium (surely you’re not going to eat that little goldfish are you?) and a soothing fountain feature which can calm the stress. Win-win. It’s not a completely fit and forget system, because you have to monitor levels of ammonia in the water (from the fish poo) and also keep watch on other aspects of the cycle, e.g. levels of algae etc. And of course you have to add your choice of edible vegetation and provide enough light and love.
Check out the video on the site to see how it all fits together. We think this is a perfect way to sample this increasingly popular hobby/small business system, and who knows, it may inspire you enough to stick a full sized version in the backyard and transform your life. Available in black and white models and priced at $189.95 (excluding fish and water).