Use this space to cheer the creator along, ask questions, and talk to your fellow backers. Please remember to be respectful and considerate. Thanks!
@Rebecca Broswn. Thanks so much for leaving a comment. Can you please email us directly? We're committed to providing you with the best support and getting your AquaFarms back up and running is our #1 priority!
As you know, we launched the AquaFarm on Kickstarter back in 2012. It was a brand-new product for us and we've learned a ton in the last few years. The major issues facing the first generation AquaFarm were the air pump and warping. We recently launched the AquaFarm V2 that addresses these concerns by including an improved submersible water pump and sturdier grow bed and lid. For $14.95 you can purchase an AquaFarm upgrade package that includes a new grow bed, new grow lid, new water pump with tubing and instruction card, zymbac, growstones, and wheatgrass seeds. This includes shipping and the package is still available. All upgrade orders are shipped weekly directly from my office.
We're offering this update package to customers with a first generation AquaFarm so they can experience the new AquaFarm without having to buy a new system.
Alternatively, we will ship you a new water pump at no additional cost. It's a huge upgrade over the original air pump and we highly recommend going forward with it, regardless whether you choose to get the whole package or not.
I hope this helps and please let me know if you have any additional questions so I can help!
Back to the Roots
I put my Aquafarm on the shelf after two failed attempts. I'm ready to take it down and try again - so came here to see if there are any updates. I never received the email about a new submersible pump which I see was sent sometime last summer. Any chance it is still possible to receive one of these before I try again?? I was so excited to back the project - and got one for my nephews as well - but both units have been on the shelf after our failed attempts. Let me know if you are still able to send the new pump out! Thanks!
@Nate-- Firstly thanks so much for commenting. We're here to help and you can always reach out directly to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Many people have had success (including myself, also a backer) I think having a stronger understanding of how plants grow really does help with a successful experience. Many plants like wheatgrass and other sprouts have a short life cycle and need to replanted often. Other like basil and cilantro sprout, but need light and time to fully grow. Adding a grow light is always super helpful.
As far as your fish swimming up the tube (so sad!!!), check your email! We're offering a new submersible pump (free)-- that does not need the tube in the middle. The deadline say July 15th, but as always you can just email us.
Finally, you really don't need to worry about a plant in the water taking up the nutrients. The algae in your tank is using those same nutrients-- hence why having a live plant will help prevent dissolved algae from thriving.
I hope this is all helpful information and hope to hear from you soon.
Back to the Roots
email@example.com | 510.922.9758
Nate, I've finally gotten some success. After adding a grow light and ordering some liquid seaweed (don't need much at all), my plants have been doing very well. I've had one freshwater snail since the beginning and it really helps with the algae/sludge maintenance. Hope that helps. Both bulb and liquid seaweed suggestions can be found in older comments below.
I know others are having trouble growing successful plants, but is anyone having SUCCESS? I have yet to have any of my plants live past 2 or 3 weeks from placement of the seeds. They always look great initially, strong and good color, and then suddenly they're all on their sides and dying.
I had two fish swim up the tube and die, but never received the netting that is talked about and was promised. I did buy extra shale rock, though, and built up rocks around the tube. My fish has survived so far, but I keep wondering if it's harder for the poop to travel up the tube now?
Emily, you mentioned a water plant will help with the algae. The associate at the pet store said the same thing, but then another associate said that since I have an aquaponics setup, the plant would take away nutrients from the plants in the grow trays. Thoughts?
Hey Philip-- My local gardening shop recommends 2 ml/gal. Adding 1/2 oz will probably take much longer to clear up. Can you please email me any photos or further details?
Hello again. Yesterday, I dropped in some Maxicrop Liquid Seaweed. Probably about half an ounce. Tried to follow the instructions as best as they could be applied for the AquaFarm. As of this morning the water still looks like a tank of dark iodine solution. The fish seems fine. My question is, what is the expectation for the water clearing up? Thanks.
@Philip -- thank you for your update and we hope your fish has a speedy recovery! A reminder, if you need additional support or materials please email firstname.lastname@example.org -- that's our official customer support channel and best way to troubleshoot issues.
As far as Tidy Tank, it's a sludge eradicator meaning it will help break down solid waste and food build up. I've never used Tidy Tank in my AquaFarm and instead supplement with 2 nerite snails and a live water plant. Further, if you take care to not overfeed your fish (just a few tiny pellets a day) then you won't have much build-up to address. So to answer your question, Tidy Tank is not necessary as long as you have other natural means to lesson debris buildup (snails, plant, etc). If you do add it, once a month should be sufficient.
If you are seeing yellow on your plants it can be a sign of iron deficiency, which is common in aquaponics and can be easily addressed. Simply add a bit of chelated iron to the grow bed where the plants are growing. The iron will cycle through your tank but the plants should absorb it within a day and it will not harm your fish. You can find chelated iron at and gardening center or consider using Maxicrop Liquid Seaweed. Many aquaponics enthusiasts find it effective.
One thing to note is that with more nutrients in your tank, algae is likely to propagate faster. One way to keep algae minimal is to simply put a water plant in the tank. The plant in your tank will absorb much of the light and nutrients that the algae needs to actually flourish.
I hope this helps and please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions! Emily, email@example.com
I'm still trying to iron out the system. I'm on fish three and just noticed some fin rot today. I've been very diligent this time by 1) occasionally (once a week) adding a bit of salt to the water as recommended by many aquarium sites, 2) adding the Kordon's Tidy Tank solution when ever I top off the water and 3) adding a stress coat solution when topping off as well. It seemed to be working up until now. My question is: Should I continue with the Tidy Tank once the tank's ecosystem's matured a good bit? Does it continuously need the good bacteria? Is that contributing to the fin rot?
Also, I've worked with industrial-size aquaponics units over the past few years. I'm talking tens of thousands of gallons. The plants we typically grow, like basil, fully mature into sizeable plants. This isn't happening in the tank. I'm rocking a grow light probably eight hours a day, so the light is there. The tank should be mature enough to support the plants' needs, yet growth continues to be stunted.
Lastly, since growth is stunted, I've felt the need to change out the plants roughly every three-four weeks. It gets depressing seeing short yellowish plants day after day.
I top of the tank with bottled spring water, so the public water I'm on shouldn't be the issue either. Honestly, I've never tested the pH either so I don't know if that's an issue.
Just some rambling thoughts here. I'd recommend some more hard info. on the parameters needed to test for in order to make sure the tank can support the plants.
@Kip -- We are currently releasing the 2nd version of the AquaFarm (that includes a submersible water pump) and there have been additional mold changes made to upgrade and improve the design and functionality of the AquaFarm. We will launch with the 2nd version in April and have more changes underway. We appreciate your candid feedback and are sincerely grateful to our customers for their continued support and help in making this product the best it can be! Wishing you well -- Emily, Community Happyness Guru, firstname.lastname@example.org
All of you guys who have found the same obvious design flaws in this product should contact the organisation and get a refund. My case was resolved in that manner, getting the cost and the shipping refunded (unfortunately I'm still out of pocket as I'd brought a pump and heater myself to try on the tank).
The testing schedule was described to me and what was tested was the system in-principle and not the actual product itself. Statments that it was run for several months with success involved grow beds and tanks that were completely different to the model, were separate and connected with tubes and utilised different pumps. The all-enclosed-as-one model was not tested.
A prototype or two of the actual model was made to be used at public displays, however this was not run continuously for any appreciable amount of time and was made out of a different material than what the actual commercial models are (ie. a stronger plastic).
I was told all of this over skype by the organisation itself and I could only describe my case as amicably resolved as I got my pledge and shipping refunded. At no point was the actual product they shipped (and are still shipping from their site!) actually tested and it appears they intend to continue to ship a fundamentally flawed product.
Get your money back and don't take no for an answer. I find it appalling that they're still selling this nonfunctional item and are acting as if it is fine.
Additionally, it is unfortunate that Jasmine has to deal with this rubbish and that Alex and Nikhil are completely absent in answering for the failings in their product. I haven't posted to make her job harder but because I find it galling that this has kept going without any statement from them.
Hi Philip -- Thanks so much for taking the time to write and share your experience. How long have you had your system running?
It may be that your system hasn't reached a fully optimized state yet with the nitrifying bacteria so not as many nutrients are being made available as they would a little later down the road (say 6 months after the start of the system). It's been enough to get your plants to the 2-3" height but they might need a boost. That boost could come from an outside supplement or through waiting for your system's nitrifying bacteria to become more established.
Aquaponic growers will often supplement their systems with chelated iron and other micronutrients during the beginning stages of a system (first 6 months), but the amount you add requires some research as it depends on the pH of the system. We're looking into ways to boost the system during the first 6 months of running and please email me directly at email@example.com so I can find out more about your AquaFarm!
I hope this was helpful and we appreciate your support -- Emily
Hello again everyone, a quick update from my end. Sadly, my original pump in my first tank has finally began to sing its swan song by considerably slowly down its pumping capabilities. Since I had an additional AquaFarm in storage I switched out the old pump and was back in business. Subsequently, I did contact Emily today to enquire about replacements, since it's only a matter of time before the new pump goes as well.
Anyway, I did buy two CFL grow bulbs as per your recommendation. I simply put them in a desk lamp and raised the height of it as things progressed. Right now, it seems everything growing is in a stasis. I've got basil about 2-3 in. high that won't grow higher and lettuce doing the same thing. The light right now is about two feet above the tank and I can't realistically raise it any more.
My main question is whether the growth in being held back by the light's parameters or some nutrient deficiency in the water itself. The reason I think it may be nutrients is that the basil especially is somewhat yellowed. As an avid gardener, that's typically an indication of a nutrient imbalance.
Any suggestions from your staff on this regarding either better grow light management or nutrient management? Thanks.
@Thad -- I'm so sorry to hear this!! Can you please email photos of the damage to firstname.lastname@example.org and we can make sure we send you a replacement asap. Thank you for the support!
@Kieran, thanks for your question! If you have an AquaFarm and live internationally, you will need to purchase a 3rd party pump. We have a list of recommendations on our website under the AquaFarm FAQ's. It will need to be suitable for a 3-gallon tank and can be an air or water pump. If you'd like to talk more about this, feel free to email me at email@example.com. I look forward to following up!
Does anyone know what I need to buy to get this working in the UK? There are no clear instructions on exactly what I need to buy for the international version... thanks.
Ok today I looked and my tank is cracked its near the top I guess the weight of the water was to much but this is the t of the tank
I can send you pictures
@Kevin -- Thanks for letting us know and yes, we've been shipping out improved replacement pumps for all defective ones! Please email customer support at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will set you up with a brand new pump! Hope to hear from you soon :) - Emily
Our origianl pump stopped working a while back (month or two ago?). Is there a way to get a replacement?
@James -- Great setup!! Keep us updated on how it goes. I might lower the lights a bit, but would love to hear your updates and what you find works best.
@Christie Good question! Do you have decorations in your tank? Adding a cave and/or other decor will help break up the reflection and make a happier home for your pet. Our Bettas in the office are all pretty mellow. They get used to the reflective sides and calm down after a couple of weeks. Still, we're working closely with out manufacture to tackle the effectiveness of the plastic. Will keep you updated on other solutions!
Hello AquaFarm team! I am wondering if you have had any good ideas about the fish going crazy seeing it's reflection (on the sides with the white plastic). My little guy sees his reflection all day and its really sad -- so much so he doesn't really eat. I tried to frost the plastic, using a product that etches glass - it didn't work. Please let me know if you have any other ideas. Plants are growing so well! Love this product!!
I made a new grow light. Uses 6 UV leds 405 to 395nm also called UV-blu. I like the look of the scorched wood and copper. Once I get everything working the way I want, I plan on adding a back drop to the tank so you don't see all the wires. Don't have a timer for it yet so just been unplugging at night. I fear it is to late for 2 of my pepper plants, maybe the final plant will survive.
@Steve, I just emailed you photos and directions. If you received a replacement pump and tube, you should have been emailed a confirmation that included references for the new setup. Our apologies if you did not! Also, Kips comments have been addressed on our latest Update. I will re-post our comments so folks can access them on this page to:
"Apologies for the late response to your comments! We've chatted with Kip and addressed his concerns. I believe he'll be posting about our conversation shortly. In the mean time, we've been experimenting with small scale aquaponics for over a year and the bulk of our experiments were focused on plant growth and the biological aspect of aquaponics.
This small tank is meant to grow a small amount of baby greens and herbs and under the right conditions can successfully do so and keep the water safe for the fish as well. In one experiment with 56 AquaFarms, the majority of the tanks took around 3 weeks for nitrates to appear in significantly detectable amounts. Out of those 56 tanks, about 20 showed especially low levels of nitrates (~5 ppm). These 20 had wheat grass growing and it seems that the wheat grass's very dense root system takes up the nitrates as quickly as they are produced. So it's not that they are not being produced-- rather they are being used up quickly.
The other tanks, where basil and lettuce were growing, had a large range of nitrate concentration in the water - from 20 ppm to 160 ppm.
Adequate nutrients are super important to ensure the success of an aquaponics system, large or small. We're working on ways to provide micronutrients the plants may still need. Still we've seen success growing various plants including lettuce, basil, garlic, mint, cilantro, parsley, and green onions.
We've also noticed that adequate sunlight plays a huge part in a system's success. We've had lettuce grow beautifully under a grow light, but in certain parts of our office where the sunlight barely trickles in, we've seen lettuce become very leggy.
On the design end-- the major issue that we've encountered is the pump wearing out. Prior to launching the product we had 2 prototypes that we ran constantly for 6 months in testing and then regularly after testing and did not experience issues with the pump. However after shipping out 5,000+ AquaFarms many customers contacted us about failed pumps and we quickly made changes to the pump including hardening the seal cup, improving the material the valve is made of, and increasing the depth of the valve to improve water flow.
Of course many other changes have been made as well and it's my job to work with each of you to make sure that your plants are growing and that your unit is functioning. I recognize that there's room for improvement with this brand new product. We're working to keep it evolving and have made big steps to solve some of the initial issues. Of course if you'd like to chat further or need any support please contact me directly at email@example.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org"
Hope this clarifies things and feel free to reach out personally to us!
I received the replacement pump and tubing, but there were no instructions on how to attach it outside the tank. Also, I think everyone would appreciate if you respond to Kip Koenig's post of September 26th. I can't believe you are selling this product on your main website given all the outstanding design flaws.
@Philip- You are absolutely right that light is a huge component to the success of AquaFarm growth. If you don't have your AquaFarm placed in a really sunny spot, it's definitely worth investing in a grow light (check out the 32W HydroFarm bulb -- http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0055F4VB4/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl…). We've noticed huge differences in growth between systems with mediocre sunlight access and lots of sun or a grow light.
AquaFarm is just like any other garden so different plants will require different amounts of light. If you are growing basil, you’ll want to put your AquaFarm somewhere that receives a significant amount of direct sunlight – ideally by a south-facing window. If possible, try to orient your AquaFarm in a way that blocks sunlight from hitting the water in the tank, but can still reach the plants – this helps prevent algae growth. I actually really love experimenting with my AquaFarm and have successfully growing alfalfa, beans, and mint. I'd love to be kept in the loop if decide to experiment with other plants as well!
FYI- we're developing a sleek grow lamp which you can add onto your AquaFarm. It should be available next year! Thanks again for writing and I look forward to your AquaFarm updates!
Community Happyness Guru
Hello everyone, while I've received the new tubing and things are going pretty well with the pump, my biggest problem is lack of light to my plants. The wheatgrass is going ok, but the basil and lettuce not so much. Since I'm an ag. person with lots of experience going seedlings indoors, when I first heard and read about this product my very first concern was lack of light. So far, that's been confirmed for me. I would highly recommend fast tracking a supplemental lighting solution before anything else. By the way, does anyone have a good lighting solution they've found that works well with the Aquafarm? Since mine is in a bedroom, I'm not attaching anything to the ceiling to lower and raise, but rather looking for something with an adjustable stand, etc. Also, not all grow lights are the same and all offer different wavelengths depending on what you're growing, so it needs to be a proper grow light and not just a desk lamp. Anyone from BTTR want to comment here, regarding lighting plans?
@Ann, confirming that your refund has been processed. Best! -BTTR Team
Further to my comments 3 days ago and subsequent message that someone would follow through with the DHL queries, my package (apparently containing my home aquaponics) will not be despatched to me due to insufficient information provided by the shipper to Customs. Please just refund my A$100 as soon as possible. I am tired of the extremely poor communication. Your goal was 100K, you received almost 250K, I don't understand why you could not have invested in a decent administrator. No more excuses, I have heard them since February, been provided misleading con note numbers, put on wild goose chases, just want my money back. Please let me know when this is done.
@Omar Yaqub--- Great question! All of the Kordon products are quite common in aquariums. If you're having troble finding the exact brand (Kordon's a pretty small all natural company) you can use these guidelines:
d-Klor = dechlorinator (Vitamin C based)
Tidy Tank = bacteria that naturally eradicates "sludge"
ZymBac = living nitrifying bacteria
Hope this helps and let me know if you still have questions!
@Becky Aaroen Hane- Thank you so much for your feedback. Can you please give me a call at your convenience. I'm very sorry to read about Luna's accident and would love to learn a little more from it. We've made a few changes to the tubing and I'm testing out some pre-filters. Any data that I can collect from your experience would be super helpful. We've never seen any of tube accidents here in our office, so I'd really appreciate learning more from you directly. I hope to hear from you soon and would love to work with you to get started anew.
email@example.com | 510.922.9758
But I do not imagine I will ever harvest ANYTHING to eat from this tank. My lettuce seeds have grown to about 1/2 inch in the time I should have been able to harvest.
BTW Sponge Bob is very happy and my pump is working great -- we figured out quickly to take it out of the plastic and we had tubing from other tanks,
Algae HUGE problem.. You need light to grow plants and light in a small water tank grows yuck, I tried 3 seeds of lettuce -- seedlings have sprouted, but no real growth. Tried them in open window (low e glass doesn't help plants)The starts I tried did better, MOST surprising of all is that the plant that did best was a lavender start. (don't like to have their feet wet!) LOL Now I just figure if I want to keep "sponge Bob" alive I will have to scrub this tank once a month. Would I buy another? No. Concept was good and I am not unhappy we tried. As is,
this doesn't seem to work, yet.
I wanted to write some of my experiences with the tank. I have learned from others that have posted here and wanted to share my set up, pictures and overall experiences with the developers and backers.
Overall I am happy with the tank but did have to make several adjustments/additions to get everything to work right.
Like others I had problems shortly with the included air pump. It's power reduced over half and was not bringing much water to the upper tank. I check the settings on the pump but eventually I went and bought a external air pump from the Pet store and much happier with that. The pump I got can be used with tanks up to 10 gallons and came with a in-line regulator which allows me to adjust how much air is generated, it's perfect and quiet.
I had ordered Wheat grass, Basil and Lettuce seeds with my kit and the wheat grass took off like a shot and I thought it would be a good thing for my cats but come to find out they kept pulling the grass out of the pots, root and all. The Basil and lettuce did not do so well but I could not give them enough light so I ordered a LED grow light from Amazon.com. Since I was at it I wanted to get a leg up on the plants so I went to a local nursery and picked up pre-grown Basil, Oregano and Chocolate Mint plants. I spent time removing as much dirt as I could from the roots and added the shale rocks to the cup.
Since adding the grow lamp I also planted the supplied lettuce seeds in one of the cups and they are growing well.
The top cover is rather flimsy and will not stay attached (seen in photos). but this does not really hinder anything other than looks. Suggest ribbing to strengthen the top cover.
I did buy a submersible LED light from Amazon.com so that I can see the tank and fish better.
It's possible I may be over feeding my Betta as I started to get debris at the bottom and algae in the tank. I recently purchased a Zebra snail and a Bamboo Shrimp to help with cleaning the tank and so far they are all doing well.
I noticed that the temp of the water is dropping now with the weather change so I have also purchased a 25W thermostat controlled heater from Amazon.com
I have the air pump/LED light and Grow light on a plugin timer so that they shut off at night to give everything a rest daily.
I have ordered additional supplies from homegrownponics.com and really like their "Refill Bundle":
Includes 4 oz. bottles: Fish Prep, D-Klor, Zym-Bac, and Tidy Tank with 20 grams of fish food.
*Tetra Whisper 10 Air pump
-- includes in-line regulator
-- purchased at pet store
*Alert Stamping 5-1/2-Inch 60 Watt Aluminum Shade Clamp Lamp Light
*ABI Full Spectrum 12W LED Grow Light Bulb for Veg and Flower, E26 Base (Red 610-640 nm, Blue 450-470 nm)
*18 LED Aquarium Fish Tank Bar Submersible Waterproof Light Lamp 100-240V White
*Hydor 25W Submersible Aquarium Heater
*Woods 50009 Indoor 7-Day Heavy Duty Digital Outlet Timer with 2-Outlets
Any word on where Canadians can order supplies? HomeGrownPonics does not ship outside the US.
I have had this tank set up since July and wanted to provide feedback.
I like the tank design, though I wish I would have been able to get in black rather than white. Our pump died lasted about a month and a half before it stopped pumping water. We bought a replacement along with 6ft of tubing at the local pet store. We were able to finagle the tube to fit outside the tank fine. I was concerned with the high-maintenance basil needs, so I planted all wheatgrass. It is loving the environment and doing well. My cats also love it. We have had our beautiful little silver and purple Betta female, Luna, in the tank since day 3. While she did have some issues with the reflection at first, she was remarkably smart and realized it was her or at least that it was not attacking her after a day or two.
Unfortunately I woke up this weekend to my husband yelling, as he went to feed Luna - he was always the one to feed her and she learned that, so that when he approached the tank she would swim to the back right corner where the food appeared, as opposed to anyone else approaching she would just stare at. Luna had gotten sucked partially into the tube, and was dead. I am still absolutely sick about this. Do you understand how horrific that is? Yes, many will say "it is just a fish", but all animals have some form on sentience, and Luna - like the last three fish we have had in our time together - had quite the personality.
We are not sure yet if we will be getting another fish to try again. I am torn betweenthe design flaws of this tank and the $50 I paid to back it. I want to get my money's worth and yet, I do not want this tank to kill another fish in such an awful way.
I love the concept behind this tank, but it needs some serious redesigning.
Would the company please note that Australian DHL cannot despatch goods without the following: (I trust documentation will be provided to me in the appropriate time).
Please responds to the freight company as soon as possible.
Your goods have arrived at DHL and DAFF advise insufficient documents for clearance.
Please contact the manufacturer to provide copy of documents, this department is not permitted to liaise directly with exporters. As per excerpt from attached Quarantine Direction:
Declaration from manufacturer is required stating what goods are derived/made from:
E.G. Animal, plant, (state botanical name), microbial or 100% synthetic
AND Must state the end use.
NOTE: Manufacturer to use checklist below
Importers responsibility to check the declaration before emailing it to DHL
1. Must be In English
2. Must be sent as Pdf attachment
3. On Company letterhead, including full address
4. Must State AWB number @@@@@@@@@
7. Must state Employees title
8 All pages numbered
If goods require an import permit:
IF IMPORTER DOES NOT HOLD EXISTING PERMIT
DHL cannot hold shipment, as per Quarantine/DAFF requirements Permit MUST be applied for BEFORE shipment arrives.
As per attached Quarantine Direction, clearance must be completed prior to 12/10/2013
5 Apac Drive
Tullamarine Vic 3045
Ph: 03 9933 5528
Fax: 03 9338 5499
FOR UPDATES ON DELIVERIES CONTACT CUSTOMER SERVICE TOLL FREE 131406 AUSTRALIA
Thank you for your response Emily, I do appreciate it. However I feel it is more important to dialogue here. I am not unhappy with your product, my tank is quite happy at this time. My plants are another subject. I have added a grow light and perhaps that will do the trick. Emily, I am not the one that needs the dialogue, and I think these people here need to see and read some of your advice to their problems instead of conducting them via email. I believe that is where the frustration is coming from in part. Thats my two cents, for what it is worth...
Thank you for your comment and I totally understand your point of view. We are contacting customers individually on most issues so we can obtain specific information and photos from them.
I'd love to follow-up with you as well and see if there is anything we could do to better support you. I actually have photos I could send of basil plants that grew as tall as a full loaf of bread! Being that the AquaFarm supports mostly herb growth, we recommend you experiment with different ones and see what you get best results from. We've had success with alfalfa sprouts, beans, mint, even green onions (which are planted via bulb, not seed).
I'm sorry that you felt you had to figure out things on your own. I'd like to make it up to you by chatting one on one.
Please reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'd like to get things moving in a different direction for you.
My pump has stopped working, who can I contact to have this replaced?
It seems the comments are taking a negative turn. Please keep your integrity intact and address these concerns point by point....from the beginning. If your backers are turning sour on your project then it would be safe data to pull from that your retail buyers will soon do the same. My farm is doing well but I would be foolish to ever think I would be able to harvest a salad from it. From the beginning too many unknowns, too little practical information and I had to figure most of it out on my own....
Putting aside the cheerful, upbeat attitude would be a relief in exchange for some true dialogue with honest and helpful information, because that is what all these people are asking for..
I must agree with you all. My pump died 3 days after i got my aquafarm. And now i bought new one. Plus i´m a international backer so i had to buy seeds plus poweradapter only that 50$ plus my international shippnig cost 50 bucks total of 150 bucks. Now the aquafarm is bowing very much. I really regret for backing this project up.
After 2 months of running the AquaFarm, I have to say I agree with all the points of Kip's comment below. The pump died a long time ago and when it did it took the pale sprouts that had grown at this point with it. I have been testing the water parameters regularly and while there seems to be a detectable nitrate cycle, the amount of nitrate produced is minuscule and hardly sufficient to grow herbs from seed (I'm trying dill, coriander, lettuce and oregano) or sustain seedling plants. My basil seedling barely survives because of moisture, but is lacking nutrients. Any cheap soil-potted basil from the supermarket thrives in comparison (I don't understand all the excitement about "growing your own food", these are bog standard herbs for crying out loud).
It's an absolute mystery how you could have several of the systems in your office for some time and not come across at least some of these issues. I also would appreciate a public response explaining your design and testing process. Thanks
Any suggestions on an automatic feeder?
Please respond by 3 October if you intend to honour your agreement or refund me $100. I have spent enough months chasing your company, and been given the bum steer by being provided incorrect tracking numbers etc for goods that have obviously not been despatched. Deleting my comments is an indication that you are not interested in honouring your side of the agreement. It appears that you have taken my good faith and treated it with contempt.
Jasmine Jackson, or, preferably, Alejandro and Nikhil,
I was promised via email that I would receive a response once you are back in the office...I have not received a response and it is several days after I was told you would be back.
This is an absolute farce.
Could you please outline what the testing procedure was for this product. Currently it seems that someone thought up a design and you rushed into production without actually testing it.
Otherwise please explain how the following were not picked up prior to production:
- the pump is not designed to operate on its side and so needs to be located outside of the unit (and has even caught fire in one case listed in a prior update's comments!);
- the unit is not made to accommodate tubing which is attached to a pump outside of the unit (which it needs to be);
- the pump does not function under conditions expected by your backers (ie. in countries other than the US, in my case Australia, where it would seem you had plenty of backers, it cannot operate on our electrical supply);
- the pump has a habit of dying pretty quickly, or otherwise is unreasonably loud, which you are addressing by replacing but only for North American backers and the only justification I've been given for that is that you don't want to pay to ship the replacement overseas when those overseas backers paid an additional 100% of cost to have the unit shipped to them (read: you're just being plain insulting to us);
- the grow bed/top unit is not strong enough to support the weight of the water and gravel, causing it to warp and no longer fit together properly;
- the instructions included with the Aqua Farm instructed the use of 4 times the amount of de-chlorinator recommended on the back of the bottle;
- from most reports the unit is entirely incapable of growing much else than wheatgrass or sprouts in amounts which could be harvested (and even then its production is laughable);
- the tubing supplied (which isn't long enough if the pump is placed outside the unit) is far too rigid and of such poor quality you're replacing it (oh, wait, only for backers in North America...because apparently the rest of us are just shills);
- the unit does not accommodate a power cord running into the tank for the use of a heater, which is almost always necessary to for a Betta fish;
- the sides have a mirrored effect which drives the Betta fish to distraction (seriously, did you even put a fish inside one?);
- fish can get sucked up the tube, a fairly obvious design flaw which even someone who would fail engineering would notice, not to mention being really quite horrible that it does that to the fish...oh but your organisation is so full of aspiration as you smugly claim you're saving the planet and we're your 'kickstarter family' so you must be full of goodness...guess what, good intentions are more harm then good if you don't know what you're doing;
- the system clearly is not capable of keeping itself clean and one snail is really nowhere near enough (and has a good chance of being attacked by the Betta), this could possibly have been addressed by having an opaque or translucent backing but you would have only found that through testing (hmm...);
- the tank isn't really an appropriate size for a Betta in the first place, something you can find out with just a minute's research (oh, but that would've involved research wouldn't it...no it's much more wholesome to just write a bunch of lurid rubbish about addressing sustainability concerns and being nice to the earth without actually looking into possible suffering you'd be causing); and
- having tested a friend's pump, which is the pump you recommend people buy (because YOU FAILED TO EVEN REALISE THE SUPPLIED ONE IS NOT MEANT TO OPERATE ON ITS SIDE, THUS NEGATING A KEY PART OF YOUR DESIGN) I can report that it is so strong that water splashes out from the top of the unit.
So, what testing regime did you have for the Aqua Farm, if it clearly failed to identify any of these fourteen (14) glaring design flaws?
Particularly, how did you manage to not even notice that the pump and how it is to be arranged in the unit are critical design faults that cause failure within the first day with what would appear to be a high rate of occurrence?
Please respond to this as these are not just my concerns, but are frustrations clearly expressed by many backers on your comment sections. Your tone in responding to us thus far has been incredibly patronising: we don't want to hear the excitement in your voice (which all seems to be a bunch of cheaply-written inspirational language that signifies nothing), we want actual answers.
I'd really like to address your concerns and resolve your frustrations -- we absolutely honor our backers and know you deserve that. Please check your Inbox so we can continue this matter there.
Community Happyness Guru
Emily, thanks for the reply. Do you know of any other equivalents to D-Klor, and TidyTank? HomeGrownPonics only ships to the US. I live in Canada.
Are there any "tips & tricks" to reduce the noise level of the pump? Outside of that, the tank is perfect. Our fish is happy as a ... fish.
I still have not received a response. It has now been over 10 days and I have tried comments and private emails and still have not received a response. Is that an appropriate way to run an organisation?