Modular Aquaponic Shelf Farm
The Design Challenge
Design and create a modular aquaponic shelf farm to take advantage of natural fertilization by fish and combine it with space-saving technology found in modern warehouse farms.
Summary of Research
Aquaponic systems are based on the idea that it is possible to take advantage of the natural cycles and production of nutrients found in fish tanks, where they otherwise build up and cause pollution in the water. Using the nutrients to which are already pre-mixed in the water from the tank means that it is possible to increase the rate of growth in common plants that are able to be grown in hydroponic farms where there is a decreased amount of growing medium and the plants are watered based on floods of nutrient-rich water. Substituting the nutrient-rich water in hydroponic farms with the nutrient-rich fish tank water results in a mutually beneficial system where there is little to no waste. By making the system closed and independent of outside resources (besides electricity for the pump) it is possible to have a scalable design that can be used in larger industrial farms across Kenya. Using modern technology such as pumps and Arduino controlled servos to determine the timing of the flooding of the plants means that this design has the capacity to be used by almost anyone if the main control panel is made user-friendly enough.