FishPlant Family Unit Aquaponic System

FishPlant Family Unit Aquaponic System

In stock, but not in our main warehouse so please allow a few extra days for delivery.

In stock

SKU C458

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Description / FishPlant Family Unit Aquaponic System

Home food production has never been more in vogue. We’re waking up to the drawbacks and limitations of large scale farming, and searching for more suitable alternatives – better late than never!

Developed in combination with universities and leading horticultural companies, the FishPlant range brings a proven and sustainable solution to the table if you harbour dreams of becoming self-sufficient. These smart setups rely on aquaponics – a mix of aquaculture and hydroponics – to grow plants (such as your favourite herbs and lettuce) and raise fish together.

The Family Unit is the smaller of the two available FishPlant systems and represents a great way to get started with aquaponics. Impressively, it will provide a couple or a small family with plenty of fresh vegetables and salad, and up to 3.5kg of fish! You can locate one in a small garden, greenhouse or spare room thanks to the compact design, and the low height provides good accessibility to all areas.

What is aquaponics?

Aquaponics allows you to raise fish in a tank and grow plants without soil in an enclosed, bio-diverse eco-system, with beneficial microbes providing the bridge that converts the fish waste into plant nutrients. Compared to traditional gardening, this technique uses 10% less water for 10x the productivity and 3x the growth. Both your plants and fish will perform better, taste nicer and be much healthier, due to the unique, organic environment created.

How does the FishPlant Family Unit work?

Operating as a flood and drain system, the FishPlant Family Unit features two main parts – a plant bed sat above a fish tank. You fill the plant bed with inert clay growing media (included) for the plant roots to bind onto and to accommodate the beneficial bacteria. Periodically, the water rises up from the fish tank to the overflow in the plant bed, it then gets siphoned back into the fish tank until the plant bed empties and air gets into the siphon. The plant bed then refills with water again and repeats the cycle. The fish tank is kept clean and fresh by the plant bed, which essentially acts like a natural water filter. The bacteria in the plant bed converts the ammonia from the water into nitrates – which your plants need for producing healthy fruits, vegetables and flowers. While all this goes on, you just need to make sure the fish are regularly fed!

The system comes with everything necessary to set it up, including the clay pebbles. You’ll get full instructions and an operating guide, and pleasingly no tools are required for the quick assembly. After that, only minor maintenance is ever needed – e.g. every now and then hosing down any biofilm.

What are the benefits of the FishPlant Family Unit?

  • Compact – fits through standard doorways and suits a small garden, greenhouse or spare room
  • Low maintenance – easy to use, and no need to feed your plants directly
  • Steady supply of organic fruits and vegetables year-round
  • Fresh edible or ornamental fish (this family unit stocks 3.5kg of fish)
  • Produces enough to supply a couple or a small family with a constant supply of herbs, vegetables, salad and fresh fish
  • No pesticides, herbicides or plant-growth regulators
  • Low profile – manageable size, even for novice growers

What fish are suitable for the FishPlant Family Unit?

As to what species of fish you farm, this depends on whether you intend to eat them or just look after them for pleasure and enjoyment. While the principle of aquaponics is primarily to grow food, it might be that you prefer to raise ornamental fish – e.g. Koi Carp or Goldfish – leaving you to consume only the plant produce. If you want to keep edible varieties, then you can successfully and consistently manage Tilapia, Carp, Perch and even Trout.

Aftercare

  • While the system is practically self-maintaining once up and running, you will still need to carry out some occasional maintenance to keep it in good condition (such as adjusting your pH).
  • We highly recommend that you:
  • Add plenty of airstones to your tank to oxygenate the water for your fish
  • Introduce worms to the grow bed to optimise the entire system. Composting worms can be bought online – they help to break down fish waste and consume any dead roots or fallen leaves, converting them into usable plant food. Worms also enrich your eco-system with nitrates, potassium, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus, for bigger yields and more incredible flavours.
  • Occasionally add a little chelated iron – which may be lacking depending on the fish food that you apply.
  • Consider using a tank chiller during summer months for fish such as trout to keep the temperature around 18oC (they’re happiest between 12oC and 18oC).
  • Consider using a tank heater during colder months for fish such as tilapia to keep the temperature around 28oC (they’re happiest between 22oC and 30oC). Heaters with a built-in thermostat and timer prove ideal.
  • Place your system under LED or HPS lights to achieve optimal results

Dimensions

130cm x 110cm x 80cm (deep)

What’s included

  • Starter Kit: Dechlorinator (to remove chlorine from tap water for the benefit of the microbes), starter culture of live filter bacteria and food to begin colonisation
  • 300L Fish Tank
  • Tank Cover
  • Plant Bed
  • Plant Bed Stand
  • Pump & Pipe Kit
  • Auto Siphon
  • 4x 50L Clay Pebbles
  • Instructions for build & assembly
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