This project's funding goal was not reached on December 28, 2012.
About this project
Hello Kickstarter! I am pleased to introduce the Goldfish Garden: a patent-pending aquaponic aquarium fish tank that uses plants to effectively filter and clean aquarium water! If you have ever wanted an effortless herb garden or flower bed then this is the product for you! Made of high quality glass, the 2 gallon (7.6L) fish tank makes a great home for baby goldfish (preferably ’fancy’ or fantail goldfish) or other small fish such as Bettas, guppies, or killfish. The filter system is powered by a 1.5W aquarium air pump, which filters the water completely 3x per hour, creating clear water and a healthy environment for fish and plants. The tank is 6.5″ (16.5cm) wide allowing it to sit on a wide window sill or side table, near natural light. For environments without natural light, like a living room or office, there is an optional grow light attachment to create healthy plants and minimize algae within the tank.
This system grows just about any plant, but works best with herbs like basil, oregano, thyme, or mint; or flowers like pansies, marigolds, or even gerbera daisies. No watering or fertilizing are necessary with the Goldfish Garden as the aquarium water is continually pumped over the roots, providing nutrients and hydration to the plants.
I've built dozens of prototypes with an evolving design since August of last year using my own time and money for development. I am at the point where I am ready to sell the first official design of this product, but lack the necessary funds needed to purchase the molds and inventory. This is why I need Kickstarters, like you, to back this interesting product and spread the word about this fantastic idea.
The Goldfish Garden is effectively the smallest and best-designed home aquaponic system available on the market. Pre-order any of the Goldfish Garden kits today to be first in line to have a Goldfish Garden of your very own!
Click the video below to see the Goldfish Garden in action! The sound of the Goldfish Garden is very tranquil and calming, like a miniature waterfall for your home, office, or classroom.
Why do you use Goldfish? Are Goldfish the only fish you can use in the Goldfish Garden?
First of all, Goldfish are definitely not the only fish that can be used in the Goldfish Garden. Other fish, like Bettas, Guppies, or tropical fish varieties can be used in these systems, although an aquarium heater should be added to the tank to keep the water warmer for these tropical varieties (there is a port for the heater cord to sit in built into the top of the tank). Goldfish can be used in the Goldfish Garden for a few reasons:
- They are available everywhere
- They are relatively inexpensive
- They do well in room temperature water
- They are dirty fish (which creates a lot of nutrients for plants)
- They have been domesticated for over a thousand years so are suited to aquariums and there are many varieties of goldfish to choose from Goldfish actually have personalities and over time will recognize and respond to you!
It is recommended that one small fantail goldfish (under 2") be used in the Goldfish Garden (which is the typical size available at pet stores). This system makes a great nursery for young fantails because of the under gravel and small particle filtration in addition to a high amount of oxygenation generated by the bubble pump. Below is a link to an informative website involving the proper care for your goldfish, although more some information is not pertinent to the Goldfish Garden system because of its innovative design: http://www.firsttankguide.net/goldfish.php
Other Goldfish Garden designs are currently under development for large 10 to 30 gallon tanks as well, but this version of the Goldfish Garden is the inaugural product and its success is paramount to future development.
How do you feed the fish?
There is a built in feeding/water filling cutout within the planter. It is recommended that floating Goldfish pellets are used for this system, which is included with the Standard and Standard + Light kit. In the future, an automatic feeder accessory may become available to feed the fish, making the Goldfish Garden completely sustainable and effortless system.
How big is the Goldfish Garden?
- The Goldfish Garden measures 6.5" (16.5cm) deep by 10.5"(26.6cm) wide by 14.5"(36.8cm) high. Remember that the plants will grow out of the top of the system, so the actual height of the system with growing plants will vary.
How much light does the Goldfish Garden need?
Natural light from a window provides enough light for the Goldfish Garden plants flourish. For environments without natural light or in winter months, purchasing the grow light accessory will make plants grow considerably faster and allow for a cleaner tank (because the plants are lit only, not the tank). We are working on a system to block light from entering the tank as well as a nutrient adsorption system that will make algae growth in the tank minimal.
What kind of plants grow in the Goldfish Garden?
- A whole variety of plants grow in the Goldfish Garden's unique planter. Anything from herbs like basil and oregano to flowers like marigold or pansies or even lettuce varieties do quite well in the Goldfish Garden. The planter has an area of roughly 1/2 sq ft, which is actually quite a large area for plant growth. You can even grow lettuce in the Goldfish Garden, but slower growing plants are recommended for ideal plant growth metrics.
Do you need to water the plants?
No- the Bubble Pump action brings nutrients and water up from the bottom of the tank to evenly disperse it in the planter right at the root level, so no need to worry about wilting plants or complicated fertilizing schedules.
Why should I buy the Goldfish Garden instead of another system?
The Goldfish Garden has been in development for over a year, is patent pending, and was invented by an expert in aquaponic technology. The innovations included in this system such as the self-cleaning bottom (which sucks the solid waste from the bottom of the tank), a planter design that traps solid and liquid waste and aerates it for degradation into plant food while providing a vast surface area for biofiltration by beneficial bacteria. Included in the planter are also extra components to buffer the pH of the system and add plant nutrients that aquaponic systems lack, creating much healthier and faster growing plants.
Aquaponic systems and aquariums in general are not easy systems to maintain. No matter what other systems may claim, water changes and occasional cleaning are required in every aquatic system. The Goldfish Garden has simply been designed to limit these issues, creating a miniature sustainable environment similar to what happens in nature.
These innovations along with its sleek design and over a year of R+D make the Goldfish Garden the premium choice aquaponic fish tank on the market.
Are aquarium decorations important?
Small fish in nature are usually at the bottom of the food chain, meaning pretty much everything wants to eat them. Just because they have been domesticated doesn't mean these fish aren't worried about being eaten constantly. Providing interesting environments with 'safe' areas for fish to hide decreases the stress on the fish which in turn makes them happier and healthier. I am committed to providing the best environments to fish to keep them happy, healthy and safe for a long life. I believe that happy fish make happy plants and I like to design the interior of the fish tanks in such a way that there is adequate hiding space and playful decorations that make the system not only extremely attractive but also results in healthier fish.
Risks and challenges
Thank you for supporting the Goldfish Garden Project! If the funding goals are reached molds and materials will be purchased as soon as possible to get mass production up and running for the first lot of Goldfish Gardens. Of course, with every business venture there are issues that arise that have the potential to delay final product release. We are working with suppliers and manufacturers to ensure this product will be produced on time and with the highest quality for our Kickstarter customers. Communication with Kickstarter supporters via newsletters and the blog at thegoldfishgarden.com will keep everyone updated on the progress of Goldfish Garden production over the coming months.
This business has been my full time job and will continue to be so if I receive enough support from the Kickstarter community. Aquaponics is a passion of mine and I hope through the Goldfish Garden people may get a deeper understanding of this potentially world changing technology.
Some information on the manufacturing process of the Goldfish Garden:
Tank- sourced from a US manufacturer
Planter - 3D file is ready for submission for tool manufacture for injection molding, although ceramic planters may be made as well using a slip molding technique (I have done this with some prototypes). Interest in ceramic planters please leave comments so a discussion about this option can be started.
Grate/Bubble tube port - designed and ready to be submitted for tool manufacture for injection molding
Funnel bottom - designed and ready for resin mold pouring
Aquarium Decorations - Resin and slip molds awaiting funds to purchase
Planter insert - designed and materials sourced from manufacturers, final manufacturing process still needs to be finalized.
As with every Kickstarter project, backers will only be charged if we hit our fundraising goal. The sooner we hit out goal, the sooner production work can begin to get this fantastic product shipped out to wherever you may be.
If anybody has any other questions feel free to leave your comment below and it will be answered as soon as possible. Thank everyone so much for being a part of this project!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
The Goldfish Garden weighs more than the minimum used for economy shipping, so overseas shipping is pretty expensive. I am working on finding lower shipping cost methods and plan to update my project shortly with new information.
Yes, they can be used and in fact are recommended to keep the tank cleaner longer. More importantly snails in particular help to cycle the tank by seeding beneficial bacteria from their shells into the tank, making it healthier for the fish.
Basically what is different is that my product has extra innovations to make the product better at self-cleaning and filtering waste. These extra innovations are an under-gravel filter, small particle settling and capture system, fertilizer capture and release system, as well as an aerated solid waste degradation area to provide extra nutrients to the plants and keep the system clean.
I do not know all the components or mechanisms involved with the 'other' system, I can only infer what parts are their from watching their video. From what I can gather, it seems that their design is very similar to the design I was using over 9 months ago, but I ended up adding more parts to create a more sustainable and better working system for the customer. These extra innovations took considerably longer to develop, which is why I am only releasing this product now. It is simply a case of bad luck that the other system was released such a short time before mine.
- (30 days)