Food security & ecological resilience, through innovative farm diversification

Aquaponics Research Kit (ARK)

What it is:

  • A standardised and Open Source Aquaponics system
  • Suitable for temperate climates.
  • Affordable but capable of producing useful food

Basic Kit

£400 parts target (Ballpark £600 shipped cost)

  • Well insulated single IBC system with media grow bed above tank
  • Dual Airlift pump
  • < £30 ESP Temp & EC sensor
  • Transparent Polycarbonate inner cover
  • Automated inner cover opener (Fish welfare)
  • Insulated cold weather cover (10+ cm foam) – Manual operation

Add ons

Citizen Science

  • By standardising certain parameters we can more easily tweak our systems and know what’s working
  • Creation of a ‘reference system’ will enable citizen scientists to compare their trials to others.

Imagined Timeline

  • We build 5 -10 systems this year, find we can’t keep up with demand.
  • We outsource some of the fabrication to friendly local fabricators. They identify design simplifications and improvements. We iterate the Open Source design.
  • We throw up some documentation on our forum, people improve it, versions happen.
  • Schools buy the system, kids learn about food, about nutrient cycles. The older ones do some microprocessor coding to tweak and improve the sensor systems.
  • A bunch of universities build them, the postgrads have neat ideas, there’s forks, the community builds momentum, we get a bit of press in glossy magazines.
  • The community establishes a food waste feed pathway, via black soldier flies we can now feed our fish sustainably.
  • We’re producing significant protein-rich food in urban environments using circular economy principles. What was once waste is now a valuable resource.
  • The systems pop up in deprived & Low income areas, people increasingly feel agency and empowered to grow fresh greens and fish.