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ECO-Cycle Aquaponics Indoor Garden System with LED Light Upgrade

4.2 out of 5 stars 65 ratings

Price: $300.00

Enhance your purchase

Brand ECOLIFE Conservation
Color Black
Material Plastic, Metal
Item Dimensions LxWxH 25 x 13 x 10 inches
Item Weight 17 Pounds
Style Garden
Shape Rectangular

About this item

  • Grow fresh organic produce all year long on your 20 gallon fish tank with no water changes
  • Fish fertilize the plants. Plants clean the water for the fish in this closed loop, sustainable system
  • Advanced, programmable LED lights help your plants grow faster using less energy. 4 grow settings, remote control, and built in timer give you the most efficient, easy to use system available
  • Instructional videos, email and phone support included. Tank not included
  • Excellent learning tool for all ages with curriculum offered for teachers

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Frequently bought together

  • ECO-Cycle Aquaponics Indoor Garden System with LED Light Upgrade
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Product details

  • Is Discontinued By Manufacturer ‏ : ‎ No
  • Product Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 25 x 13 x 10 inches; 17 Pounds
  • Item model number ‏ : ‎ 1.0
  • Date First Available ‏ : ‎ July 9, 2014
  • Manufacturer ‏ : ‎ ECOLIFE Conservation
  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B00LMMNVWO
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.2 out of 5 stars 65 ratings

Important information

Legal Disclaimer

The ECO-Cycle Aquaponics Kit® is protected by copyright and may not be copied without permission from ECOLIFE. 2017 / United States Patent No. US 8,966,816B2

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Customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5
65 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on November 27, 2019
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3.0 out of 5 stars Gets your foot in the door
By James Kelly on November 27, 2019
I've had this unit for about 2 months now and I've learned a lot about aquaponics in that time.

Let's be honest - the price point on this item means it's only for a very niche audience and you probably know where you stand. Aquaponics was designed to be executed as subsistence farming in very poor countries with infertile soil using dirt cheap equipment - empty garbage bins, some PVC piping, a cheap pump, some edible fish, and sunlight. This hood is designed to fit on a nice expensive 20 gallon tank full of expensive ornamental fish and maybe give one person a few vegetables or strawberries to snack on. It will never pay for itself. If you're buying this it's because you want a centerpiece that doubles as a science experiment. Does it satisfy?

I feel it does. I've enjoyed checking up on my fish and plant health each day. The whole setup gives an impression of abundant life that I don't get from plants or fish alone. I know if I built something from scratch it would take a lot of equipment and time I don't have and end up uglier and less streamlined. However there are a few design issues with this Ecolife hood that you should be aware of.

First, the tank light and grow lights operate on the same timer. If you give your hood plants the 16 hours of light the booklet recommends you will also be feeding algae in the tank the same amount and will have to scrape it more often. Aquaponics is supposed to solve algae growth by eliminating free nitrates (and my water tests show this is the case) but my green algae doesn't seem to care.

Second, it's loud. Water dumps continually from the elevated growing tray down to your water line which is a good few inches away even if you stay topped off. This creates a constant pissing noise which you might find irritating. I wrapped a wooden paint stir in plastic wrap and stuck it under the stream as a silencer and it worked well. (check the picture)

Third, having the plants on top of the aquarium likely means the grow lamps will be above eye level, especially as you raise them to keep up with a growing canopy. These are not ordinary lights - on the grow settings they will cause irritation if looked at directly, so be mindful of where you plan on positioning this; next to your living room sofa is probably a bad idea unless you can finesse the timer to only turn on when no one is around. Putting a hood over the lamps is not an option as they will overheat quickly.

TL;DR: If you aren't handy or need something compact this will get you in the door of aquaponics, but $300 would go a long way in a custom build that would be more fit to your needs. Regardless of how much you spend now there's a lot to learn in maintaining a healhty aquaponic system and nothing is truly plug-n-play. Take your time and enjoy the process.

Edit: I should add that you need realistic expectations of what you can grow with this. The pods are only ~2 inches deep and tall plants with thin stems will fall over easily despite abundant root growth. The short and stocky profile of my strawberries seems most suited to these pods while the kale wasn't at all. You might get more support by changing the substrate from fired clay to something like rockwool pods but I haven't tried.

Edit 2/25/2020: I switched to a 29 gallon tank which thankfully had the same width as the 20 gallon so the hood still fits comfortably (third picture). I removed the kale and replaced it with a few basil seeds which promptly exploded with leaves and roots, even suffocating some of the strawberries. Just these 5 plants are able to keep the water free of nitrates even with 30 inches of fish being fed twice a day and their thick stems stand tall despite the meager substrate.

I made massive improvements in water quality by collecting rainwater and mixing it with tap. This reduced my water hardness and pH instantly — luckily none of the fish were harmed despite the sudden change. The strawberries are showing immediate improvements from the increased uptake (they prefer acidic water).

I realized I had no use for this ludicrous amount of basil so I'll be ordering more strawberries sprouts and filling the tray with them.

Edit 7/13/2020: Unfortunately I had an infestation of spider mites and had to cull my entire crop of strawberries. I'm not sure where they came from but the makeshift cover I built to contain light in the grow area also made the air stagnant and warm — the exact conditions in which pests thrive. I've since added a small USB fan inside and started a new crop of strawberries and green onions.

I also got some snails to fix the algae problem and they've done a great job (not to mention they're pretty interesting pets in their own right).

Collecting rainwater has proved more laborious than I'd like owing to the fact that my metal gutters and roof tiles are not sanitary, so I'll be getting a reverse osmosis system installed.
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Reviewed in the United States on April 30, 2021
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Reviewed in the United States on November 14, 2019
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