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Back to the Roots Water Garden Fish Tank

3.3 out of 5 stars 1,101 customer reviews
| 314 answered questions

List Price: $99.99
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  • Meet the new Water Garden — a self-cleaning fish tank that grows organic sprouts and herbs. In this low-maintenance, mini aquaponics ecosystem, the fish feed the plants, and the plants clean the water — no water changes required! Perfect as a hands-on family/classroom project, or a unique gift for the pet or gardening enthusiast in your life.
  • This beautifully redesigned 3-gallon fish tank features elegant curved edges, making it a perfect addition to any home. Now with twice the growing space, optimized water circulation, and customized Grow Pods, harvesting your own fresh herbs at home has never been more easy & fun! 
  • The Water Garden includes everything you need to get started: 3-gallon, shatter-resistant fish tank, gravel, organic seeds, Growstones, natural d-chlorinator, a coupon for a betta fish, and natural fish food. Manufactured in the USA.
  • This closed-looped ecosystem is powered by aquaponics — the combination of aquaculture, or fish farming, with hydroponics, or growing plants in nutrient-rich water. Here's how the self-cleaning cycle works: 1. Your fish produces nutrient-rich waste. 2. In regular aquariums, the nutrient-rich waste builds up and becomes harmful to your fish. In this Water Garden, the plants are continually taking up these nutrients as food to grow. 3. The clean filtered water drops back down to your fish.
  • Includes free access to interactive aquaponics curriculum. Learn more about the science inside your fish tank, and the history and benefits of aquaponics on our website.
2 new from $76.49 2 used from $68.84

Frequently Bought Together

  • Back to the Roots Water Garden Fish Tank
  • +
  • Zoo Med Betta Bed Leaf Hammock
  • +
  • Aqueon Betta Pellets Betta Food
Total price: $82.27
Buy the selected items together

Special Offers and Product Promotions

Size: Deluxe

Product Description


The award-winning Water Garden has been beautifully redesigned with an elegant curved tank, double the growing space, custom grow pods for easy planting and harvesting, and improved accessibility to customize your fish's home. This self-cleaning fish tank lets you easily grown your own organic sprouts & herbs all year-round. Great for kitchen counters or school classrooms. Purchase includes free access to accompanying STEM curriculum for kids ages 8-15.

Product Details

Size: Deluxe
  • Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 13.4 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Item model number: 32000
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,101 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,315 in Pet Supplies (See Top 100 in Pet Supplies)

Important Information

Everything you need to get started including a water pump, organic seeds, Growstones, fish food, natural water conditioners, and a coupon for a Betta fish.

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Size: Regular
I recommend using ghost shrimp,a snail, and a clean fish of your choice to make the tank close to self sustaining.Also the best plant is lucky get rid of the grow stones and put marbles instead.And buy more rocks for the tank.
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The manufacturer commented on the review below
Size: Regular
I deleted my original review because after a little over a month of owning this, I wish I just had a regular fish tank...OR that over at Back to the Roots they included information about fish in vs fishless cycling of tanks and more information overall. And there are a few problems with the design.
Here's my experience with this tank so far.
I started out with white cloud minnows in the tank. We had to get cold water fish unless we wanted to add a heater (another thing they don't tell you) because I live in San Francisco, and our house is usually 62-65 degrees inside.
I changed out 20% of the water every other day while the tank was cycling because I was (rightly) concerned about the fish. These minnows are hardy, but fish in cycling can still damage their gills or kill them. They survived but after a couple of weeks I took them back and bought a betta instead because the minnows really should be in a bigger tank.
So now I have a betta. And I love him.
Unfortunately, the tank doesn't really live up to their self- cleaning claims. "Dump some sludge eradicator in the tank every couple of weeks or get a snail" they say. Having done both of those things, there's still a build up of "stuff" in the gravel at the bottom of the tank. I've just resigned myself to the fact that I might have to clean out the tank regularly, which would be fine if it wasn't a colossal pain in the butt because of the top, or throw this out and get a regular tank that's easier to clean (with or without a filter).
Also, the plants sprouted really quickly and grew fast for about two weeks. After that, growth significantly slowed down. They are getting sunlight but obviously, this tank can't be directly in the sun because of the fish.
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The manufacturer commented on this review(What's this?)
**Updated response with info on the new AquaFarm v2 being sold currently. Stacy and others.. please contact me directly if you need support with your first generation AquaFarm or have any questions.**

Cycling your AquaFarm is not necessary when you own a Betta, because the AquaFarm include (a) nitrifying bacteria that immediately begins to convert the ammonia into nitrites and nitrates (plant food) and (b) The AquaFarm includes wheat grass seeds that begin growing within a few days, absorbing the plant food. Fancy Guppies and Zebra Danios also do well in the AquaFarm right away. If you're keeping other fish in the tank cycling the tank for a week while the wheat grass grows is a good idea. You can skip the "Fish Bath".

I rarely recommend changing the water--the water naturally gets cloudy for 3-4 days after initial setup, but clears up on its own. Adding a snail will help contain algae, and additional oxygen from a water plant helps your eco system balance out quicker. Removing water however, removes beneficial bacteria that helps keep your water safe for your fish. If you ever have concerns about the clarity of your water feel free to email our customer support photos so that we can help out.

The Pump-- The AquaFarm v2 includes a submersible water pump that's totally silent, and cycles the water/waste more quickly and can easily be maintained if it ever gets clogged.

Warping-- We've made some major improvements to the tank to prevent warping. The tanks being sold now have a more flexible grow lid and bed and there is a sort of a suction fit between the two. We're also using lightweight growing material to prevent warping. Still, if you notice any issues, our Community Happyness team will gladly check out your tank and send you the proper replacements.

Heater-- The New AquaFarm has extra slots for up to 4 power cords to come out of the back of the AquaFarm (you can include a heater, lights, airstone, etc.. if you like) Also, we've been using the Tetra Submersible Water pump in our experiments for over a year. So far this is the best heater I've used.

Again, thank you all for your feedback and please contact us with question or further feedback.


Jasmine Jackson
Back to the Roots | 510.922.9758 x1
Size: Regular Verified Purchase
This seems to be becoming a love it or hate it item, though I'm not sure why. Yes, it has/had some flaws, but it's still a unique and worthwhile item. I've posted a few pictures of my tanks.

Update 11/06/13- As others have observed, the tray on my oldest AquaFarm finally began to show some warping. I contacted BackToTheRoots and in a short time received three new frames and trays and a light weight growing media. While I am overall supportive of the AquaFarm, I have also not hesitated to be critical of it's flaws as I see them- but their customer service deserves 5 stars.
The company has made changes to the product. They have moved the pump out of the plant tray- a major improvement. I believe they have also upgraded the included air pump, and are adding something to prevent fish from entering the lift tube. More than enough for me to amend my 3 star review to 4.
As for reviews claiming the AquaFarm doesn't "work", of course it works. Aquaponics works. The devil, as they say, is in the details.

I've had 3 of these set up for a while now. Judging from other reviews, it seems the tank isn't meeting expectations as a herb garden. I can't say. I bought them as Betta tanks. With the modifications I described previously they are proving to be exceptionally nice little tanks. Because it lacks a conventional aquarium filter it is sometimes being deemed inferior- it definitely isn't.
Mechanical filtration and chemical filtration is not normally needed. The proliferation of filters requiring floss-carbon cartridges isn't because they are needed, it's because selling replacement cartridges is very profitable.
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Size: Regular Verified Purchase
I have the v2 latest current version as pictured.
After reading so many of the other reviews I decided that I should write my own.

Is this product perfect for novices? Probably not. I certainly would not put a fish in that I cared deeply about, before learning more about hydroponics.

We knew nothing about hydroponics when we started and I'm very happy to report that were well on our way now. We started by soaking our seeds for almost a week till most of them started sprouting in our cookie sheet. I'm not sure why this isn't suggested. During which time my two year old daughter decided she wanted to help by mixing all the seeds :) we started with the two packs provided, and some mint, Basil, radish, wheat grass and broccoli for broccoli sprouts.

Well the provided seeds did really really well, but because the seeds were mixed I kinda had to put them all in at once. The other seeds might be coming now but it's hard to tell because of the forest of wheat grass and radish sprouts. :)

We've made at least four smoothies so far and the grass keeps growing great. We've cut sprouts for two sandwiches and we're having lots of fun.

I tried to do my research and since we cared so much about the plants we wanted to put the tank in the sun. So I bought the betta and a plocostomous. Well I know all betta fish are different but this one didn't like that idea one bit. Within two days there was only the betta left. :-/ oops. But the plants were growing great!

By this time the water was looking a little gross. Some of the seeds fell into the water and are kind of rotting on the bottom. So after that experience I decided I would buy a little fire red cherry shrimp and an assassin snail.
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