From the land that can miniaturize everything, Japan is on its way to revolutionize the way people grow food in small apartments.
This miniaturized aquaponics system could double as a home aquarium system that also grows a few lettuce heads in its circular floating raft system. All powered by decorative tropical fish. Its also designed to act as a therapeutic display that is also both functional and attractive.
This system consists of a fish tank and a vegetable planter, which are connected by pipes. It utilizes the fish waste as nutrients for the plants, in a symbiotic closed-loop cultivation system.
This compact design, where the water, ornamental fish, and vegetables can all be seen together, was created by AAC an aquarium production company.
A spokesman for the company said “In this system, the fish droppings are decomposed by bacteria, so they become organic fertilizer for the plants. Aquaponics isn’t yet widely known in Japan. So we’ve designed this product to introduce aquaponics in the form of a display. We hope that, if people understand the concept, aquaponics will become widespread.”
Because the effluent from the aquarium is consumed by the plants, the tank water doesn’t need changing so often, and the cultivated vegetables can be eaten. So, this system offers benefits apart from being a display.
“As an interior display, we think this system’s initial benefit is therapeutic. So we’ve created a soothing image by using curves, and we’ve eliminated the corners for safety. This display is also well-lit, so the plants grow well, and the fish look pretty.”
“Currently, we’re using lettuce, but flowers can also be grown. We expect this system will be used in cafes that feature organic vegetables or relaxing themes, and in nursing homes, hospitals, and the like. If people who can’t get outside easily can plant vegetables indoors, we think it could be therapeutic.”
This version will be priced at 300,000 yen (~US$3,800). N.I. Teijin also plans to offer custom-made versions.
Ouch! $3,800 is a bit pricey but it should give you some inspiration for making your own indoor system. All you need to find is the right perspex tubing and grow-lights and some imagination in the workshop.