self sufficient automated aquaponics system

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Days to Go: 46

Target: R 45,000



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self sufficient automated aquaponics system
Tuesday, 05 September 2017
Project Admins:
automated off the grid aquaponics system

" Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises."



Everybody keeps shouting "end world hunger" but nobody is really doing anything about it. That's where I come.

My name is Marcell De Klerk, my project, as the title says is to develop and manufacture a self sufficient fully automated aquaponics system that can be offloaded any where on the planet (where there is sunshine) and with a push of a button the system deploys to start growing food all by itself with minimal input from a person...well almost. You still need to feed the fish, plant the seeds and then harvest the fruits.

So what is aquaponics? Hydroponics has been around for a while and a lot of people are using it but will you believe me if I told you that aquaponics has been used for thousands of years! In a nutshell aquaponics is virtually identical to hydroponics except for one thing. Both use a soil less grow media and in some cases the only grow media is water. In hydroponics the water contains a mixture of the nutrients needed for healthy plant growth and has to be added manually, aquaponics on the other hand uses fresh water aquatic creatures to provide the necessary nutrients ie. fish poop. You feed the fish, the fish poop in the water and bacteria convert the waste into healthy nutrients that plants absorb and the plants in turn purify the water that is pumped back to the fish tank and so the cycle continues. The plants can be harvested as can the fish, supplying a source of protein.  

Just from that short non scientific description you should immediately see a lot of benefits to aquaponics over traditional farming. Firstly is always the question of water. Traditional farming requires enormous amount of water and most of that water isn't actually used by the plants and goes to waste. Aquaponics needs less than 10 per cent of the amount of water used by traditional methods because of the closed loop system, the plants absorb what they need and the rest is returned to the fish tank. Soil, another issue. Not a lot of the planet can be used for farming. 71 per cent of the planet is covered in water, 37 per cent of Earth's land area is agricultural land but only 11 per cent of Earth's total land, is used for crops. With a soil less growing system you are now able to grow crops anywhere...even on the ocean surface, under it or even Mars! 

































































Our Passion

I'm a tinkerer so this project will test my skills to the limit that will later make a difference in someone's life

Funding will be used for

Funding will be used to acquire all the necessary component needed to build the prototype.

The most expensive so far is the solar kit at R10 000 and
LED grow lights x2 R11000
Dissolved oxygen meter R3950
UV Sterilizer R1050
200lt light expanded ceramic aggregate R1380
Aerator R1230
Solar pump R799
Test kits needed for water monitoring R1379
800lt tank +200lt grow bed R3000
Rockwool seedling cubes R59
Air stone R49
Tilapia fish R100/10
Feed for a year R3640
Temperature controller R369.95
Computer controllers and accessories R6698
Seeds +-R600
Total works out to R45303.95

More about our Project

Fully automated off the grid aquaponics system.
Completely independent from water, electricity even soil.

With a push of a button the system deploys ready to go. Legs lift and level the unit, the sun tracking solar panel unfolds and starts charging the deep cycle batteries. Insulating/ transport panels fold down to allow natural sunlight into to grow units. At night the panels automatically close keeping the inside temperature constant simultaneously switching on the LED grow lights allowing the plants to grow 24/7.

PH, water temperature, salinity, nitrite, nitrate, ammonia levels and dissolved oxygen are all automatically monitored by probes in the fish tank and automatically adjusted for optimum water quality.

Fish are fed a specific weight of food at specific times automatically.

All this can be monitored and if need be adjusted by a user friendly touch screen interface.

A integral reverse osmosis system can purify contaminated water for use to top up fish tanks as well as for drinking purposes, a powerful UV sterilizer kills all harmful pathogens as well as algae.

Should a catastrophic power failure occur where neither the batteries or solar panel can provide power to the unit, a external inlet socket can be used from power supplies such as generators, mains power, external or backup solar panels and UPS or other automated aquaponic systems should there be more than one unit.

The only consumables that needs replacing is fish food, supplements to plants such as calcium and iron chelate new seedlings, in some cases water, replenishment of fish stocks and organic aquaponic friendly pesticides.

We can also help you out on

You can also contribute in term of donating expertise or parts/ components, manufacturing facilities, programming, CAD and /or prototyping services

The Team

  • marcell de klerk
    Project Owner
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The content of this proposal by self sufficient automated aquaponics system (the "Company") and the documents, comments and information contained within it (together the "proposal") have not been approved by an authorised person within the meaning of the Financial Services Acts (the "Act"). Reliance on the propo...

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