This project is for the Energywhiz Virtual C3 Competition. It focus on tropical fresh water fish aquaponics and water collection prototypes.
The first module of this prototype is the aquaponics system. This system relies on the symbiotic relationship between plants and fishes on a closed watering system which avoids water waste or chemical products runoffs to our precious rivers and oceans.
The water in the aquarium is pumped to the plant bed above it, together with the waste created by the fishes. The plants, which are supported by an inert substrate, filter this waste, using it for its growth and return clean water back to the fishes. The pumps and LED light are fed by a solar generator which is connected to a solar panel outside of the house. Additional monitoring and automation components were included to enable easier management such as web cameras and automatic feeder.
We used the guppies as tropical fishes but any species could be used. I noticed that water was one of the main components required. Although it is on a closed cycle environment, which uses only about 10% of the water required compared to traditional plant growing in soil, we were having to replenish it due to loss by evaporation. For this purpose, we created a water collection from thin air:
This system is based on a Peltier device installed in the middle which is responsible for separating cold air from hot air. The cold air is blown up onto a metallic surface which is used to collect water from condensation.
The integrated system provides a cleaner environment for the tropical fishes and, at the same time, it is friendly for the environment because it uses sustainable energy, it eliminates chemical fertilizer runoffs to rivers and oceans and it cleans by itself using a natural symbiotic relationship between plants and fishes. The result we had is that we were able to grow up to a second generation of basil and the tropical fish increased from 12 to more than 40 in the space of 4 months.