My husband and I have a very interesting dynamic. Everything turns into a competition, including (somehow) who has a better 3 gallon fish tank.
A few weeks ago, we found ourselves at Petco, perusing the aisles, dreaming up the ecological makeup of a 500 gallon saltwater aquarium/mini-reef— an idea that’ll never come to fruition because HFS who’s going to deal with that? Hubby was in charge of maintenance for a ~200 gallon freshwater tank when he was a teenager, and that was tedious as heck.
But small, hardy betta fish? Those we can handle. The boys each picked a betta— Kid1 got a female baby , Kid2 a fancy-lookin’ blue fella. But while Kid2 got a run of the mill, modern style 3 gallon cube aquarium, I convinced Kid1 to go for the Water Garden.
My eyes lit up when I saw the Water Garden on the shelf, and seeing as it was the last one of its kind at the store, I couldn’t convince myself not to buy it.
Fast forward about ~1 week, and here’s what our Water Garden looked like with wheatgrass and radish sprouts happily growing from the provided seeds:
Since then, I’ve added a nerite snail (we’ve named him Gary) to help keep the tank algae-free and help lessen the general fish muck that accumulates over time. With the increase in waste being produced, we’re trying some sunflower seedlings going— hopefully they’re getting enough nutrients from our water garden’s two tiny residents! Next on our list are herbs of every kind.
- Everything you need is in the box, including a coupon for a betta fish, if you haven’t already bought one
- Perfect for jumpstarting an educational experience around sustainability, farming, hydroponics, and aquaponics
- You’ll also get a promo code good for complimentary radish sprout and wheatgrass seed packets (and free shipping, as of writing this)
- The current model is Version 2, which has an improved design over the first version, including a more efficient type of water pump.
- It’s easy to underestimate what you’ll need — depending on your climate, you may need to buy a small water heater for your fishies
- Not gonna lie— those included wheatgrass and radish sprouts got out of control. They grow fast, and your first batch of seeds won’t last long. To keep your Water Garden’s filtration system going, you’ll need to make sure to have seedlings (or other quick growing sprouts) ready to swap in.
Keep in mind
It’s a fish tank, people! Yes, the idea is that this is a self-cleaning tank. As with any aquaponic system, this doesn’t mean self-sustaining. You’ll need to top off the water when the in-tank levels goes down due to evaporation. You’ll have to keep seedlings at the ready to make sure you’ve got hungry plants waiting to filter hat doesn’t mean you won’t ever have to clean your tank. You’ll need to keep an eye out for algae growth or generally “dirty” tanks that need additional attention.
Pet ownership is a serious decision and should not be taken lightly! Do your due diligence, and take the time to thoroughly research the pets you’re considering welcoming into your family.
Where to buy the kit
- Petco (If you buy it in-store, make sure you get Version 2 with the black, submersible pump! One of the Petco locations with me was selling V1 as recently as May 2016.)
- Back to the Roots (official website)
- USDA National Agriculture Library
- The Aquaponic Source: What is Aquaponics?
- Book – Aquaponic Gardening: A Step-by-Step Guide to Raising Vegetables and Fish Together
- Book- Aquaponics: The Ultimate Aquaponics Guide – From Beginner To Expert (Aquaponics, Hydroponics, Homesteading)