Progress Update: 09/28/2018

As of September 28th, 2018 we have met with the the Dublin Seed Bank and The Tech Museum. These two trips were both very helpful in getting us on the right path for this project. As of now, it seems we will be using two particular plants in our aquaponic system — Tomatoes and Kalanchoe Pinnata (Mother of Thousands). As for the type of fish, we expect to be using the Zebra. These particular choices of organisms were selected with the idea that they are excellent for research at The Tech Museum. The museum expects to use the plants while they are still small sprouts, giving us more leeway in designing the plant growing bed. We have come up with a rough design as shown below.

The idea behind the design is that we will be able to have the tank with the fish in the bottom and the upper layers will be shelves where we can slide in trays of plants with there being lights under the shelves. Since the plants will be harvested before they reach full size, we expect the height between each shelf to be more than enough room for the plants to grow. We kept in mind that this will be in a museum and so the dimensions of this will be 52” x 18” x 83”. The vertical is kept to a height that will be comfortable for children to look at without the light shining directly into their eyes and also the multiple shelves will allow for adults to see the exhibit at a comfortable height as well. 

Aquaponics Abstract

Modern aquaponics emerged from multiple agricultural methods that were seeking to provide a more environmentally sustainable means of food production. Aquaponics businesses are substantial players in the global agricultural market and the industry is still growing. Furthermore, aquaponics as a system was shown to be self-sustainable and environmentally viable.

There is interest in aquaponics, though it does not have apparent backing in the market. Specifically, aquaponics has little market saturation and lacks the required attention to grow. Agriculture today, including hydroponics, requires chemical-derived nutrients that are obtained through mining. Some of these nutrients are expensive to mine, rare to find, and harmful to the environment. In addition, existing systems are also inefficient to sustain a population with sufficient food.

This project provides an exhibit for visitors of the Tech Museum to learn about aquaponics. The exhibit demonstrates how fish and plants can be cultivated efficiently with minimal waste, space, and maintenance. Additionally, the system features an attractive and interactive space for children to learn more about aquaponics. The expected outcomes are a more informed agricultural audience, a healthier environment, and food for the community.