Incredible Aquaponics

A few months ago we were approached by Incredible Edible Todmorden to give technical assistance to their new aquaponics project. We looked at what was available in both open source and proprietary systems and concluded that the options were extremely limited. And if that wasn’t challenging enough, inevitably the timescale was in weeks and the budget was hundreds of pounds, not thousands.

Then the only system that looked both affordable and functional (kijanigrows) let us know that they weren’t ready to ship systems yet despite suggestions to the contrary on their website. By this point I’d gained quite a solid grasp of the functionality of these systems and I proposed that we extend an existing system to add additional sensors, re-write the software and add in a raspberry pi. The cost of the hardware would be modest, the system would be far better than any available and we would have created a great, open-source system for the community to benefit from.

control system

So now the system has been designed, built, tested and implemented. We are still in the development phase of the software but the end is in sight. Soon the data that is currently only available inside the building will be continuously updating a website where it can be graphed and manipulated. Live video will be streamed from underwater, so that supporters as well as the people who look after them can see their progress.

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4 Comments

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  1. Good Evening,

    I am building a aquaponic system and would like you use your controller/monitor interface, but I have no programming experience. Do you assemble and sell these or is there some sort of tutorial on how to do so??……..

    I have an idea for you guys that may help you generate some revenue. Create the first AQUAPONIC MONITORING & DIAGNOSTIC WEBSITE SERVICE…… This service can use a subscription business model. Using your hardware and software novices like myself can set up a aquaponic system and have it monitored by experienced enthusiast and/or professionals. The data can be reviewed daily, weekly, monthly or however prescribed. True there are plenty of aquaponic forums on the internet but not with the kind of data streaming your software/hardware package provides. No one wants to loose pounds of precious crops or fish although this website will not make any guarantees….it will provide peace of mind knowing experienced eyes are watching and actively coaching you along your aquaponic journey. I can go on and on about how this would be the ultimate educational tool. After a year of collecting data from home systems, university/experimental systems, commercial systems etc…….. You can launch the first AQUAPONICS ANALYTICS…… and the ways you guys can educate and monetize from this service will be endless.
    I think you guys are on to something big in the world of aquaponics.

    Take Care

    Keith

    • Hiya Keith – we’re getting ready for a kickstarter in a couple of months, then you can buy our stuff! There are tutorials but you need a bit of experience with hardware to follow them. You don’t need programming experience though. If you’d like to build them yourself rather than wait we’ll happily help you directly – it will help improve our documentation for everyone.

      We’re obviously all great minds because our thoughts for a sustainability model are exactly around that support element, plus a community of growers.

      We’ve collected over a year of solid data on the system in Todmorden, so we’ve got confidence that we can collect and analyse the data, and you’re right, it’s a great asset.

      Although it would be nice to monetise a bit and maybe be able to afford to live from it (beyond minimum wages levels!) our main ambition is to make aquaponics more popular by making it easier. If there are loads of aquaponics systems then we’ll probably be able to make a living of sorts from it somehow. Right now we’re keen to learn more, carry on improving our systems, and spread our knowledge as widely as we can.

      • Any update on the kickstarter?

        • Well, isn’t it funny how a few months turns into a year!

          We are so nearly ready – we’ve now got a video made for the pitch and we’re busy trying to sign up some ‘names’ to help promote it.

          I’ll do a proper post to update the blog and reply to all the comments – I’ve been a bit slack recently as is obvious…

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