Self-cleaning aquarium fuels its rooftop herb garden with fish feces
Back in 2013, a startup called Aqua Design Innovations launched a low-maintenance home aquaponics system that relied on the natural filtering abilities of fish and plants to keep its waters clear. The company raised a whole lot of cash in the process, and is now building on that success with a bigger and better system that accommodates more plants.
The EcoQube C+ is a successor to the company's earlier aquariums, but uses the same aquaponics filtering system to grow plants and keep the tank clean (no scrubbing or filter replacements required). This approach relies on the symbiotic relationship between fish and plants to produce clear water.
When the user feeds the fish, they produce waste that is rich in ammonia. That ammonia is broken down into nitrates by bacteria in the water and filtered through the plant's growing medium, which absorbs the nitrates for fuel. The filtered, ammonia-free water is then returned to the tank. This diagram here shows how it works.
The C+ model measures 11.25 in (28.6 cm) wide, 8.25 in (20.9 cm) thick and stands 22.5 in (57.1 cm) tall. It comes with double the tank space of the standard EcoQube C, with a 3 gallon (11.35 L) capacity. Up top, there are now five separate slots for plants, flowers and herbs rather than just one. Other features include a built-in waterfall and overhanging customizable LED light that can be controlled via remote control.
Aqua Design Innovations has returned to Kickstarter to fund the EcoQube C+, where it is offering the low-maintenance aquarium for early pledges of US$99. The campaign is drawing to a close, however, so best move quick if you're looking to get your hands on one. Shipping is slated for November 2018 if all goes to plan.
You can check out the pitch video below.