How would it be if you can enjoy the pleasure of gardening & fishkeeping simultaneously? Fishkeeping is exciting, so is gardening.
With the advent of the aquaponic system, it’s not a dream anymore to do both at a time. The AquaSprouts garden is providing a superb opportunity for anyone to fulfill this dream at home.
The AquaSprouts garden is a starter kit, equipped with a grow-bed for plants, a pump & a timer. You can easily set up your first aquaponics fish tank by incorporating this garden kit into a simple glass aquarium.
Here, you’ll get the detailed AquaSprouts Garden review describing all its features. Moreover, I’ll describe what else you need & how to set up an aquaponic tank with this kit.
What is Aquaponics?
The Aquaponic fish tank is a method of growing fish & plants together. It’s one of the types of a self-sustaining aquarium where you need minimal maintenance.
So, how does aquaponics work? Aquaponics works on the principle of mutual benefit. A synergistic relationship develops between plants & fish. You don’t need additional fertilizer for the plants; fish provides rich nutrients to them.
On the other hand, plants clean the water for the fish with the help of nitrifying bacteria. Because of that, the maintenance requirement of the aquaponics tank is less than other conventional tanks.
How Does AquaSprouts Garden Works?
The pump in this kit delivers waste-containing water in the grow bed once an hour for 15 minutes. The water inside the grow-bed fills up to a certain level and then returns to the tank by return drain.
Beneficial bacteria in the grow-bed, near the plant’s root space, transform fish wastes into nutritious plant food. After filtering through the grow-bed, clean water then cycles back to the aquarium.
AquaSprouts Garden Review (Knowing its Features)
AquaSprout Garden Kit does NOT contain all you need to make your aquaponics tank. However, it comes with MANY essential items that help tremendously. Let’s see what it offers.
AquaSprout Garden kit comes with a black planter (decorative container) that surrounds the fish tank. It easily fits over a 10-gallon aquarium & no extra tool is required to accommodate.
The planter contains a grow bed with substrates, where plants will grow. You can utilize your creativity here to cultivate herbs, veggies, or any decorative plant.
A growing medium (substrates) consisting of clay pebbles is also included with the package. Clay pebbles hold the plants in place & work better than traditional soil; also it doesn’t degrade over time.
Grow media provides surface area for beneficial bacteria to colonize. It works like a mechanical & biological filter that traps the leftover foods, fish wastes, etc. & converts them into rich nutrients for plants.
Adjustable risers allow you to adjust the height of the grow bed. The length between fish tank & grow-bed depends on the types of plants you want to grow.
Pump & Timer
The kit includes a submersible pump to circulate the water through the grow bed. It can pump 160 gallons per hour & requires 9.5 watts to function.
The pump operates on a 24 hr timer & turns on every hour for 15 minutes, brings the tank water into the grow-bed.
A removable light bar is attached overhead of the grow-bed. Lighting requirement varies on plant types. You can use any grow lights based on your plant’s needs.
The light bar is easily mountable on top of the grow-bed using the bar legs. You can adjust the bar elevation as per your need (within range!).
Adjustable Drain Extender
One of the significant discomfort users mentioned is it’s loud. When the water cycles back to the tank through the grow-bed, it creates a splashing sound, like a fountain.
To rectify this little problem, the manufacturer comes with an adjustable drain extender. So now you can adjust the return drain according to your need.
What Makes AquaSprouts Garden Likeable to Users
Modern & Elegant Design
The kit is elegant & modern in design. Parts are made of light materials but sturdy. The stylish Black matte design makes it so lovely looking & brings perfect ambiance to any place.
Easy to Install
It’s easy to set up; prepared in such a way so that anybody with no or little experience can quickly assemble the unit. The manufacturer also provides a simple step-by-step setup guide. Follow the instructions & you’ll find your garden tank set up is done.
It’s self-maintaining, once established, virtually requires no maintenance. A sustainable food chain develops in the tank. Therefore, you don’t need to clean the substrates or change the water frequently like a regular aquarium.
It saves your valuable time & effort while you can keep enjoying the pleasure of fishkeeping.
Good Customer Service
The manufacturer won’t leave you alone, always by your side with caring service. During installation or at any point, if you need any assistance, just dial the number & they will be at your help. You can also use their live chat.
Great Fun & Learning Tool
It’s great fun to work with this kit & a useful learning tool on how nature works. Creating the natural ecosystem all by yourself at your home is indeed remarkable.
You can also teach your kids about sustainable ecosystems. Engaging in every step of setting it up will also be a great source of joy for them & allows you to have a good family time.
AquaSprouts Garden Set Up
What Else will You Need After Purchasing the AquaSprouts Garden?
Before starting a fish tank from scratch with AquaSprouts Garden, you need the following items to buy. You don’t need them if you already own an established 10-gallon aquarium.
AquaSprouts Garden is NOT an actual aquarium; it’s a kit made to sit over a fish tank. So, you have to buy a 10-gallon glass aquarium along with this to make the aquaponic tank.
Filter (NOT necessarily)
You don’t need to buy a filter as long as you don’t overstock & allow time to establish a natural ecosystem. Once set, the self-maintaining mechanism will take care of the filtration needed.
However, if you find it difficult to keep your aquarium healthy, in that case, for your aid, you can buy a power filter. I recommend using an Aquaclear power filter, suitable for use in a 10 to 30-gallon aquarium.
Related read: Best aquarium filter for 10-gallon tank.
An aquarium without a heater is almost impossible to think about. But, unfortunately, the kit is without a heater; you have to buy one to keep a consistent tank temperature.
Tropical fish requires 22 to 27 degrees Celcius & cold water fish prefer below 22 Celcius. I recommend using a heater for both types of fish. Arrange a reliable 50W aquarium heater for a 10-gallon fish tank.
Depending on the plants you want to cultivate in the grow-bed, you need to provide lights for the photosynthesis process.
Although some plants grow on low lights, I recommend purchasing a full spectrum LED light for better growth. Also, add light for the tank if you don’t want to keep your fish in a little dark.
You don’t need to turn the light on all time; turn the lights off at the light. Plants only require 6 to 8 hours of lighting for optimum growth.
Testing Kits & Other Stuff
How do you know that everything is excellent & going well? YES, you need to test the tank water regularly. Parameters you must look for are Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate & pH.
Checking the parameters is vital; if anything goes wrong, you can predict earlier. Unfortunately, the testing kit isn’t included in the package. However, the API master freshwater kit is a good one & also reliable.
Moreover, at some point, although not very often, you need some aquarium stuff like a water conditioner, liquid fertilizer (ONLY at the start), bacteria additives, etc.
Pros & Cons
- You can enjoy fishkeeping & gardening at the price of one.
- An autonomous tank hence requires less maintenance.
- It is elegant, sleek & compact in design.
- Easy to install.
- Good customer support.
- It Doesn’t include a fish tank.
- Not had necessary equipment like a heater.
- The pump creates noise.
How to Create A complete Aquaponic Tank with AquaSprouts Garden (Step-By-Step)
If you already own a well-established 10-gallon aquarium, then it’s SIMPLE. You just need to set the garden kit over the fish tank. However, it’s not the same if you are a beginner & starting your first ever aquarium.
As a newbie, you may think buying the AquaSprouts Garden is almost the job done to set up your aquaponic tank. The bad news is, you are WRONG.
Purchasing the kit is just a START; you need at least a month to get the full-functioning aquaponics fish tank.
A bit of knowledge and research will help you in your aquarium endeavor. You can also follow the below-mentioned step-by-step process for your guide.
Step-1: Place Your Aquarium
Place your fish tank near the electrical outlet since you need to plug in the pump, heater, lights, etc. Once filled with water, it’s difficult to move, so put in a suitable location beforehand (avoid direct sunlight because it may create algae problems).
Step-2: Put on Substrates
If you want to grow plants inside the fish tank as well, add suitable substrates for them. Planting inside the tank is also beneficial; it will add extra filtration to the tank.
However, suppose you don’t like making things complicated. In that case, a more straightforward approach is to create a simple fish tank without plants. Put some gravel as substrate, decor, artificial plants, etc. (the way you want to see your tank).
Step-3: Add Plants
Prepare the grow-bed of the garden kit with clay pebbles. It would be best if you grew your plants before putting fish in your tank.
You can sprout your plants from seeds or use saplings. However, it may require much more time for plants sprouting from seeds, better to use sapling for faster growth.
As long as you don’t put fish (no POOP!), there will be no nutrients for plants to grow either in a grow-bed or in the tank.
Step-4: Fill the Tank with Water & Start Cycling
Fill the tank with water, place all electrical stuff (pump & timer, heater, lIght, etc.) & turn it on. Treat the water with a water conditioner & add bacteria additives to cycle the tank fast.
Now it’s time to place the kit over the aquarium & let cycle your fish tank. I recommend using a fishless cycling method. Check the detailed article on how to cycle a fish tank.
Step-5: Make Aquarium Live (Add Fish)
Once cycling is done (test your water with a test kit) & the plant shows some growth, start adding fish. It’s better to make a peaceful community tank with platies, zebra danios, neon tetra, etc.
AquaSprouts garden is an excellent introduction to the aquaponic system for both beginners & seasoned aquarists. However, proper planning, little patience & willingness to learn would be of immense help to successfully develop your aquaponic tank.
Although everything has its glitches, it is one of the best aquaponics kits on the market. Apart from the slightly higher price, it is absolutely a splendid one to keep at your home.