This past Thursday I had the privilege of being able to pitch the idea of aquaponics in a portuguese university contest, as I was one of the 16 semi-finalists. While I was not selected for the second round, I had prepared alongside with a classmate a brief comparison of all home aquaponic systems currently being marketed that we could find. I believe that information such as this might be valuable for anyone interested in aquaponics and anthroponics, and there was no reason for it to become lost in my computer, so I decided to share it here.
All of the home aquaponic systems I will talk about further on are pioneers, since they are presenting some of the first products that will make it more convenient, simple and practical to have aquaponic systems in urban environments, and sometimes in very small spaces. For that reason, I think they are very important to cover in an anthroponics blog, since these systems are paving the way for future anthroponic systems with easier maintenance and operability. So let’s start!
Home Aquaponics SystemsName: Home Aquaponics Kit Price: ~45€ Website: https://www.backtotheroots.com/shop/aquafarm
About: This portable aquaponics system is, I believe, one of the first to show just how small aquaponic systems can be. Some people in reddit and aquaponic forums have expressed concerns over the available water volume for the fish, but nobody can deny that it is a very well designed product from an aesthetic perspective. Despite being highly portable, its size also limits its production capacity, making it suitable for a small amount of salad greens or herbs.
Name: Aquaponicals Price: ~115€ Website: http://aquaponicals.com/
About: This other portable aquaponics system seems like a direct response to the previous one. It has been endorsed by Murray Hallam and Sylvia Bernstein, and it is mostly fascinating for me in the way that it uses a very small autosiphon as well as a sump tank. Like the previous one (and in fact, all of the following ones), it is well designed and aesthetically appealing. However, its portability also limits its production, restricting it to growing a small amount of salad greens or herbs.
Name: Aquasprouts Price: ~90€ (Kickstarter only) Website: http://www.aquasprouts.com/ About: This system has a different approach to the previous two. Instead of designing a whole system, Aquasprouts is a product that you can install directly in your existing aquarium, thus extending the potential users they can appeal two. It is also bigger in size, thus enabling a slightly bigger production of salad greens and herbs.
Name: AquaDesigner Price: ~195€ – ~620€ Website: http://www.theaquaponicstore.com/Aquaponic-Systems-AquaDesigner-s/477.htm About: AquaDesigner products are a range of aquaponic systems designed for indoor or outdoor systems with a focus on design and ambiance/tranquility, rather than systems with a food production approach. As such, they can be used both to grow some herbs as well as to have ornamental flowers to add more ambiance/tranquility to the location of the system.
Name: Aqualibrium Price: ~490€ Website: http://www.aqualibrium.com/ About: Aqualibrium is a type of aquaponics/hydroponics product with a significant increase in production capacity compared with most of the previous mentioned systems. However, its design with clear plastic in all system components could prove problematic in the future with algae blooms. It is, once more, a beautifully designed system, with a living room size and enabling the production of salad greens, herbs and also fruit plants.
Name: Aquabundance Price: ~1 110€ Website: http://www.theaquaponicstore.com/AquaBundance-SpaceSaver-Aquaponics-System-p/tpdas101.htm About: The Aquabundance products are big enough to enable a sufficient production of both salad greens, herbs and fruit plants as well as edible fish. However their relatively big size restricts them to a bigger living room or balcony location.
Name: Farm Tower Renegade Price: ~2 376€ Website: http://store.diyhomeaquaponics.org/
About: This aquaponics system presents the biggest production potential of all the systems presented here. It also enables different arrangements, allowing for a purely hydroponic set-up, an aquaponic set-up, or an aquaponic set-up where the fish food comes from the vermicomposting level. Its big size might restrict it its application to garages, basements or big rooms.
And there you have it! I’m sure I’ve forgotten some systems, but this list should give you a small idea of what’s already out there and to appreciate the efforts of all the companies and individuals behind these products to spread aquaponic systems to households and urban areas.