Steve Cordova created this small, self-contained fish tank and aquaponic planter with the hopes that it will get people interested in urban farming and growing their own produce.
The solar panels power a motor that pumps water to the planter. Bacteria that grows at the bottom of the tank near the pebbles turn the ammonia into nitrite. In the planter, waste from the fish becomes nutrients for the plants. The plant roots strip ammonia, nitrates and phosphorus from the water. Clean "filtered" water flows back into the tank.
"Urban Farming is a growing trend and with people now more worried about the produce they consume (Thank you Monsanto *sarcasm*), the ability to grow your own Non-GMO organic vegetables in a viable way has become more attractive for people. Living in an urban area leaves limited space for people to utilize, so my idea of creating a modular and stackable system was born."
The project began as part of Cordova's coursework for a Sustainable Energy class at Tish ITP and he's sharing the design with hope that others can contribute their ideas to improve it. He told TreeHugger that he "would like to get more people to improve upon the design and release their plans so everyone can make their own version."
Cordova grows lettuce in his planter, and thinks herbs, kale, cabbage, and broccoli would also do well.