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Back to the Roots Water Garden
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- Bring the garden inside with the Back to the Roots Water Garden. This mini aquaponic tank is a closed-loop ecosystem — the betta fish waste fertilizes the plants on top, and the plants filter and clean the water for your fish — not your average betta fish bowl!
- Aquaponics is the combination of aquaculture, or fish farming, and hydroponics, or growing plants in nutrient-rich water. The fish excrete ammonia that would become toxic to the fish in a regular fish bowl. In the Water Garden, the ammonia-rich waste is pumped up to the grow bed and absorbed by the plants, helping them grow twice as fast as in traditional farming! The clean water is then filtered back to the tank, creating a low-maintenance, self-cleaning cycle to foster a healthy fish and herb garden.
- The Water Garden aquaponic kit comes with everything you need to get started including: 3-gallon fish tank, organic wheatgrass and radish sprout seeds, a coupon for your betta fish, fish food, natural fertilizer, a silent, submersible water pump, gravel, and growstones.
- Learn more about the science inside your fish tank — download the Water Garden curriculum at backtotheroots.com for lessons on the history of aquaponics, how it works, and the benefits of home and commerical aquaponics.
- Grow One, Give One! Submit a photo of your growing Water Garden for a chance to win one for a classroom of your choice through Back to the Roots’ monthly giveaway. Upload your photo at backtotheroots.com/giveone.
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Back to the Roots is on a mission to Undo Food. In a college class, we learned mushrooms could grow entirely on spent coffee grounds. After watching hours of how-to videos and turning our fraternity kitchen into a big science experiment, we eventually decided to give up our corporate job offers to instead become full-time mushroom farmers. What started as curiosity about urban farming has turned into a passion to Undo Food and reconnect families back to where it comes from.
From the Manufacturer
This 3-gallon fish tank is a closed-loop, self-cleaning ecosystem. Using the science of aquaponics, the fish waste naturally fertilizes the plants above and, in turn, the plants clean the water for the fish. Great for small pet fish and growing fresh, organic herbs. The Water Garden includes: *Fish tank and gravel *Organic seeds and grow stones *Natural fertilizer *Coupon for a Betta fish *Fish food *Silent, submersible water pump Designed and manufactured in the USA
""Fresh herbs and lettuces with no watering or fertilizing, plus a pet fish? Yes please!"" --Cooking Light ""It's a match made in ecology"" --Better Homes and Gardens ""This is a must have"" --Food Babe ""A parenting homerun"" --goop.com
1. Fish produce ammonia-rich waste which can become toxic for your fish if allowed to accumulate. 2. Beneficial bacteria in your Water Garden converts the ammonia into nitrates. These naturally occurring bacteria grow really well in your plant pots. 3. Nitrates are amazing food for plants! As the plants continuously uptake the nitrates as nutrients for growth, they are also cleaning the water for your fish.
Aquaponics is a closed-loop, sustainable farming method that combines traditional aquaculture (raising aquatic animals) and hydroponics (growing plants without soil). It uses 90% less water than traditional farming.
*Aquaponic farming goes as far back as Mesopotamia (Mesopotamians are also known for farming the world's first cereal crops) *Aquatic plants and aerators are typically added to aquaponics system to increase oxygen and reduce algae build up. Learn more about aquaponics at backtotheroots.com/education
Tag a photo of your #WaterGarden on Instagram or Facebook, and you could win one for a classroom of your choice through our monthly giveaway!
Describe your product in 3 words.
Innovative. Educational. Fun.
How did you come up with the idea for this product?
Aquaponics is an ancient form of farming and there were aquaponics kits on the market before our Water Garden. They all seem to be large, expensive and poorly designed. We worked with experts, designers and our community to make this awesome technology fun!
What makes your product special?
The Water Garden is a closed-loop ecosystem that grows food. Using the science of aquaponics, the fish waste naturally fertilizes the plants above and, in turn, the plants clean the water for the fish. All you need to do is feed your fish! It also includes everything you need to get started, including a coupon for your pet Betta. Plus, each time you tag a photo of your #WaterGarden on Instagram or Facebook, and you could win one for a classroom of your choice through our monthly giveaway!
What has been the best part of your startup experience?
It’s really simple - we do what we love with people we love each day! It's been a wild journey - since starting this company in college and going from investment banking/consulting to full-time urban mushroom farming - but we feel so fortunate to be able to work every day towards a mission we love and are so passionate about. We think there is false divide in business - of "not for profits" or "for profit companies" - they should all just be "for purpose"!
Flavor Name: Regular Tank
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|Sold By||hardwarestoreusa||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Relaxbuty||Aqua Design Innovations||Amazon.com|
|Item Dimensions||9.35 x 13.29 x 13.29 in||9.12 x 4.56 x 9.88 in||8 x 28 x 17 in||5.9 x 4.5 x 4.5 in||7.5 x 7.5 x 9 in||11.62 x 11.81 x 17.05 in|
Top customer reviews
Btw, after doing all this work to set up your tank, don't cheap out and get a cheap heater - apparently they will sometimes cook your fish out of nowhere. See my other comments for a well-reviewed heater that fits this tank.
Also, you should set up this tank and let it run for at least ten days before adding a fish. The materials don't make that clear, but it will give your fish the best chance of success. Seriously, don't add your fish the first day. It was super tempting to do that, but I resisted. You can too!
- The included seeds grow really fast. After soaking the radish & wheatgrass seeds for 6 hours and putting them in the grow stones, they sprouted the very next morning. The roots had expanded into the water tray after five days. Lately the plants grow about an inch a day. The My husband jokes that he can see the plants growing if he looks at them very long.
- The water stays MUCH clearer than the non-filtered tiny box I had before. There is still maintenance, and my tank is not 100% cycled yet, but as far as small tanks go, this one should be fairly low maintenance. So far the plants just suck up a lot of water & I have to top it off every three days. I add half a cap of D-Klor to 2 cups of water, pour the new water over the plants, and it cycles into the tank to top it off.
- The grow rocks are pretty cool. I didn't know what they would be, but they're basically like light gray pumice. They stay damp all the time by sucking up water through all the tiny holes, I guess. I assume this is what provides the water to the seeds before they grow roots down to the circulating water.
- The tank is not huge. I like the aesthetic of it, and I like that it's big enough for my betta and also doesn't take up a ton of room.
- This really isn't a complete kit. It's more like a half kit, which is fine, but they should make that clear. You need A HEATER, a thermometer, more rocks, some plants, a snail, some cleaner shrimp, a tester kit to make sure your water chemistry is right, etc. You need this stuff or your tank will not last long. They should make this REALLY clear since a lot of beginners buy this tank.
- There isn't enough gravel to do more than just barely cover the plastic at the bottom of the tank. If you want to put in any plants or decorations, the included amount of gravel will not anchor them. They should just not include any gravel, or double up the amount they include. I added my own rocks to the bottom.
- They really should include a heater. I don't know of a fish other than a betta that would work in this tank and not need a heater. I had to do quite a bit of trial and error to find a well-reviewed heater that would fit both the tank and the cord exit hole (for instance, the Eheim heater's cord is too thick to fit through the cord hole). I wound up with the Hydro Theo 25W. The black heater and the black pump take away from the clean visual design of the tank, though. It would be nice to have the right back corner of the tank have a white partial column that could hide both the pump and a heater and still allow water to flow through the top and bottom of the column. It would make it look much cleaner, visually, and would be easy enough for the makers to build in.
- It seems, disappointingly, that herbs don't grow well in here, even with bright light. The wheatgrass looks cool enough and I guess I could add it to a smoothie or something, so I'm not deducting a star, but it really is misleading to have the advertising photo on Amazon feature it growing basil. I bought this as a betta tank and not an herb garden, so I'm not deducting a star.
- The included instructions are good for the first day's setup. However, they should be clearer for ongoing maintenance. I had to read comments and questions to figure some things out.
- I bet that pump breaks fairly soon. I don't think there's any kit out there that comes with a quality pump, though, so I can't be too harsh about that. It vibrates just a bit against the side of the tank, just enough that I can hear it when the apartment is quiet. Based on some other comments, I cut off a piece of kitchen sponge & shoved it between the pump and the tank, and another piece of sponge between the white cord holder and the thank. It helped a TON and the tank is super quiet now.
I somehow managed to grow mold in my pods after about a month. No biggy, as I wasn't intending to actually ingest the wheatgrass or sprouts. I just wanted to see if anything would grow prior to me trying to grow other plants on this tank. The mold most likely developed from seeds that hadn't finished germinating, and weren't plucked out promptly (that's on me). I deconstructed the pods, and cleaned everything out, so now I'll grow something else instead.
But here's the other deal. If you're an aquarist, you'll also know that this tank will require other add-ons, not included with this tank. It actually says on one of their pamphlets that you should invest in a heater if you keep a beta in your tank. But if you're someone who has no clue about running a tank, and this is your first one, research a little on aquarium maintenance. You need to understand how to top off water, because it does evaporate, and add a little water conditioner every time you top off the water. You will need to clean the tank water. Period. There is waste build-up and decaying matter that accumulates over time, and this will kill your fish. You may need to buy a different filtration system. Not a fan of this one, but considering the size of the tank, no biggy. Also, probably best to cycle the tank (and yes, I know how tiny it is, but you can still kill a fish by having it go into shock), before placing your fish in the tank. You should probably clean that pump at least twice a month, not once a month, because you will not believe what is in that thing.... It's a lot of work for such a small tank... Personally, I like my other tanks.. and this one will do just fine hanging out in my kid's room.