I’m pretty excited about this week. Since last September my husband and I have been designing and testing an aquaponics system for home gardeners and we will finally unveil our work this Thursday at the LOHAS Forum here in Boulder. We developed our system because we feel that there just isn’t an aquaponic system on the American market that is well made, durable, attractive, easy to assemble and easy to use – all at an affordable price. And while there is lots of wonderful, imaginative work going on in the DIY world with recycled barrels, bathtubs, and cattle feeding troughs this kind of approach isn’t for everyone.
We also feel that the elephant in the room when it comes to U.S. aquaponics is the fact that most of the country can’t grow outdoors year-round unless they have a greenhouse. This is because aquaponics is fundamentally about cultivating a beneficial bacteria base that in most parts of our country can’t survive one of our winters, or if they do, their metabolism shuts down to where there is nothing going on during the winter. So, after spending all summer nurturing the bacteria, feeding the fish, and tending the plants, why let it all go when the first frost hits? Why not bring it indoors?
With these thoughts in mind, we selected four principles which we then used to drive many of the functions and features now built into our AquaBundance system.
Design for Aquaponics
- 60-gallon Fish Tank to grow full-size, edible fish.
- 12” deep Grow Bed with Media Blocker for easy maintenance.
- Tank plumbing designed for maximum aeration for healthy fish and ease of maintenance.
- Expandable to a larger fish tank. The 60 gallon tank in the original system will convert to a sump tank.
Design for Durability
- Rotational molded, UV-protected, food-safe plastic – will not warp with heat and weight.
- 1 1/2”, 14-gauge, powder-coated square steel tubing.
- Furniture grade PVC that won’t break down in outdoor heat and sunlight.
Design for Year-Round Gardening
- No width greater than 28”– fits through all exterior doorways.
- Handles and casters on the table, and handles on the fish tank make for easy lifting and transporting (after the tank water has been emptied into another container).
- 8 square feet of plant growing space.
Design for the Home
- Elegant Asian look.
- 4 Colors – Charcoal, Terra Cotta, Grey Granite and Cream Granite.
- Furniture grade, high-gloss PVC in decorator colors.
- Optional view windows for fun and enjoyment.
In addition we made sure that most everything in this system is U.S. made, and that everything will ship via Fed Ex so that we can
avoid pallets and keep shipping costs as low as possible.
We’ve experimented with a wide variety of system parameters in our greenhouse systems over these past 9 months, and spent
countless hours designing every last detail and we are now ready to let you see what we have worked so hard to develop. We won’t be shipping until August because we still have some final work to do on the user guides but you can soon check it out on our website and let us know what you think!