Home Aquaponics Kickstarter: Self-Contained Fish Tank/Veggie Garden? I’m In!

Geek Culture Kickstarter

I have designed my own hydroponic system. I have built self-sustaining mini-aquariums. But though I’ve thought about it, I’ve yet to get up the nerve to combine the two.

Now, with the Home Aquaponics Kit, I don’t have to assemble my own.

Alejandro Velez and Nikhil Arora, the UC Berkeley grads behind Back to the Roots, makers of the farm-in-a-box Mushroom Kit using recycled coffee grounds as a growth medium, have come up with the Home Aquaponics Kit, billed as “a self-cleaning fish tank that grows food.” These guys aren’t just businessmen. They’ve given TEDx talks about sustainable business and social entrepreneurship. Last week, they and 15 other small business owners met with President Obama and Vice President Biden at the White House to discuss ways to grow the economy, including job creation and crowdfunding.

So it’s not surprising that when they needed funds to manufacture their countertop hydrogarden, they launched a Kickstarter campaign. The Home Aquaponics Kit Kickstarter campaign is already fully funded with a little less than two weeks to go.

The way the Home Aquaponics Kit works is this: one or more fish in the attractive plastic tank produce waste. That waste is sucked up through a circulation system to the hydroponic growing system above. The nutrients from the fish waste nourishes the plants, and the water that has been filtered by the plant roots returns to the fish tank.

Aquaponics potAquaponics pot

Image: Back to the Roots

With the right amount of food for the fish and light for the plants, you end up with a self-sustaining system that looks good and produces herbs or other veggies year-round. And the educational value for your kids is a big plus!

When the Home Aquaponics Kit hits stores, it’s expected to cost around $70. But you can still get in at the Kickstarter pre-order price of $50. You have until December 15, with estimated delivery in February 2013.

It’s been a while since I grew my own indoor hydroveggies. With the Home Aquaponics Kit as an incentive, I just might get back into the game.

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