Growing indoors though Aquaponics

Hi, I hope you don't mind me popping in here as I'm just wanting some thoughts on a final year design project at university.

I'm researching aquaponic growing systems (will explain further down) and require some insights from people exactly like yourselves.

Aquaponics is really simple. You have a fish tank with goldfish, turtles, tilapia or any other fish really. Linked to this, you have a small pump as you would in any fish tank that pumps water to plants growing in a growing medium (think those tiny red stones that nearly all shopping centers in the 90s used to 'grow' fake plants in). The plants extract the nutrients left in the water via the fish erm... cough pooping cough cough and in doing so filter the water, proving clean water to the tank i.e. never clean out the tank. If that doesn't make sense, check out this project to get the basic idea in video format...

I'm just wondering peoples thoughts on perusing a project following this concept. Ideally I'm looking for parent feedback from people without a garden and would have to grow in the home if they wanted too. I'm not restricting feedback to just those however!

My 'manifesto' for the project is as follows (just to give you a little more insight into my train of thought, which is nor wrong nor right)

The worlds population is set to increase to 9.7million by 2050 and this will put huge strains on global resources. Things like oil, energy and rare earths will become increasingly scarce but these are things, as a planet, we can adapt to. Food and Water is going to make the biggest impact on our lives. 

Food is becoming quickly something that very few of us have any control over. Tesco is the new allotment and super farms of 100,000+acres in the US are intensively farming GM crops covered in an array of pesticides and chemicals. People are beggining to revolt against this, but we have 
forgotten how to grow. Aquaponics provides an easy, sustainable and, most importantly, expandable platform on which to practice the ‘art’ of growth.

Phew, thanks for reading this far! So, I'm looking for feedback on the idea. Think what restricts you from growing in the home, keeping pets, lack of green fingers, think as wide as you can tall.

Thanks for your time and I hope to be making some contacts on here that wouldn't mind been prodded a little more in the future!



  • In the kind of house I live in that would be fantastic, but i'd probably need a UV light too. (back to back terraces are not light friendly...) but I have had goldfish, and I enjoy having plants around the house, its a win win (from the sound of it). Surely you'd still have to clean the tank now and again though right? if nothing else for the alge on the glass. I've also had problems with water plants introducing pests and disease into my tank.Along with some water snails of some kind too. Probably just a result of my cheap pet shop I used and lack of fish based knowledge. 

    It also sounds quite expensive and like it would take up quite alot of space. 

    Just my thoughts, but does sound like a good idea. 


  • Thomas,

    Thankyou for your feedback, you have highlighted many holes I need to research. I'm thinking that a lot of this project will be leaning towards the educational side of things. Algae growth is something that has been brought up by a few people now but the solution seems to be 'add a little ph balancing solution', 'add some extra x', 'remove water y'... you catch my drift. The whole idea (from my perspective) will be to educate adults, in order to educate their children in eco systems and growing. Obviously I want to make this process as hastle free as possible but when problems arrise I will be writing the corrasponding literature as part of the package which will explain not only the solution, but more importantly WHY it has happened. Keep calm carry on kind of stuff! Thanks again for your feedback, looking forward to hearing back from other members on this site!

  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 2,693

    You have made 2 assumptions: 1. people need/want to grow food indoors ie they don't have a garden and 2 they like to keep fish indoors. And 3, they have the space.

    I would have thought that space and light would be the biggest problem. No way could anyone grow enough food to make an impact on their diet by growing it indoors. Perhaps a few lettuce leaves but that will not go far. 

    An idea which is perfectly feasible but practically, unworkable. Sorry.

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • hogweedhogweed Central ScotlandPosts: 2,693


    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
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