Fish Tank of Eternal Life

Designer Rob Maslin would like us all to think of the following phrase while looking at his project (in this post) and while going about creating industrial designs for the rest of our conscious lives: There is no such thing as sustainable product, only the by-products of a sustainable system. To be sustainable, first we must establish a close-loop system and the carrying capacity, then the system must be managed and not over- or under-consumed.” Thusly Maslin presents an aquaponic project by the name of “Free Lunch.” It’s an office-based fishtank with a loop of production and two sources of food.

Salad for the humans as well as fish, if the fish start to overpopulate of course. While the fish are alive, they create waste in the form of ammonia which is turned into nitrite, then nitrates by bacteria in the water. The nitrates are filtered through the plant bed above, the plants cleaning the water for the fish to live in, creating a lovely little circle of life, a closed-loop system with two food crops.

Rob Maslin lets us know that this system, with a 225 liter volume fish tank will grow approximately ten 15cm plants per week, which is enough for an average size bunch of basil or salad leaves on a four-week cycle. To produce a “decent-sized” edible fish stock, (for example, 18cm carp,) the tank would have to be twice the size it is shown in the example in the gallery here. The perfect balance is yet to be found!

Designer: Rob Maslin

16 Comments

  • Brenton says:

    Where do I buy one of these?

  • Brenton says:

    Where do I buy one of these?

  • eno says:

    hmmm interesting idea… but how do oyu get the fish out?

  • eno says:

    hmmm interesting idea… but how do oyu get the fish out?

  • Susana says:

    aquaponia

  • Susana says:

    aquaponia

  • @LordMami says:

    The right balance aside, this is just a beautiful piece of work. A pretty freshwater fishtank and a small indoor garden, that wouldn't be a waste even if it was only limited to small herb crops, especially if you already have a fish tank. I would make the gap between the glass and the plant area a little smaller and add that space to bottom of the structure, though. Just a few inches to keep the fish off the floor. Also a little version of this for a simple indoor plant would, I think anyway, be a popular feature in classrooms and in households with kids. It's a great learning tool.

  • @LordMami says:

    The right balance aside, this is just a beautiful piece of work. A pretty freshwater fishtank and a small indoor garden, that wouldn't be a waste even if it was only limited to small herb crops, especially if you already have a fish tank. I would make the gap between the glass and the plant area a little smaller and add that space to bottom of the structure, though. Just a few inches to keep the fish off the floor. Also a little version of this for a simple indoor plant would, I think anyway, be a popular feature in classrooms and in households with kids. It's a great learning tool.

  • D says:

    Aquaculture is what we always called it; aquaponics is another term.
    We used lettuce & tilapia. not a fan as it was more upkeep than just growing it hydroponics form

  • Without pumps many processes like mechanical filtration, and biofiltration would
    not be possible at all. It will take treatment of the fish and also the vegetation.
    Steven Bourne is a writer with personal interests in the renewable energy sector and his hobbies are centered around the great outdoors and DIY.
    I read this article through a couple times because I am usually quite
    skeptical of these sorts of ads.

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