FAQs

Starting Your Microfarm   |   Running Your Microfarm   |   Plants   |   Fish  |  Etc

 

What is aquaponics, anyway?

Aquaponics is a closed loop, symbiotic system, that mimics nature by circulating water between plants and fish. The fish produce nutrients for the plants, while the plants use those nutrients to grow. This keeps the water perfect for the fish and provides you with a steady supply of fresh vegetables.  

 

Starting Your Microfarm

 

Why isn’t a tank included?

Including a tank increases the carbon footprint and cost of shipping your Microfarm, so we decided it would be more sustainable and cost-effective to acquire the tank locally. Repurpose one you have around the house or when you buy your beautiful fish, pick up a 10 gallon tank!

 

I just started and my water is cloudy - why?

This is because the bacteria in your tank are not firmly established in high enough numbers yet. If it is cloudly, do a 20% (2 gallon) water change every day until the cloudiness is gone.

 

My water seems kind of cloudy (green) - what’s up?  

This is an algae bloom, likely caused by too many nutrients or high light levels in your tank. First, make sure the tank itself isn’t in direct sunlight. If it is, either move the tank or block the light coming into the aquarium.  If this doesn’t do the trick, the best fix is a 20% (2 gallon) water change to bring the tank back into normal nutrient levels. Repeat once a day until the problem is solved.

 

Running Your Microfarm

 

How often will I need to replace my bulb?

It is recommended you replace your bulb every year to maximize plant growth. 

 

I opened my light and it did not work, what should I do?  

Sorry about that! We will send you a postage paid box and you can ship it back to us for a free replacement. 

 

My bulb burned out, can I get a replacement?  

You will want an 18 watt 6000K T5HO lamp. Please contact us first, we can send you a replacement bulb.

 

Plants

 

How do I plant the seeds?

To plant seeds simply make a small depression with your hand by pushing it across the clay balls.  Then, sprinkle seeds inside the row and gently push the balls back into place. Watch the seeds grow up!

 

What else can I grow in the MicroFarm?  

There are a plethora of plants that will grow well in the Microfarm, from herbs to ornamental houseplants.  Greens such as lettuce and arugula as well as herbs like parsely, cilantro, and sage should all grow well.  The only plants that do not do well in an aquaponic setting are root vegetables, such as carrots and potatoes.  Fruiting plants like tomatoes and peppers will take more care with the system and require a support structure.  It is conceivable that they can be grown, but we do not recommend them.

 

Fish

 

What kind of fish can I use?

There are a lot of fish that work well in a ten gallon tank. We highly recommend having at least two otocinclus catfish and a snail to clean up algae and leftovers from your other fish. Then follow the one inch per gallon rule of the adult size of the fish. White cloud minnow, tetras, platys, guppies, and mollies are all great choices. Be careful with livebearers though, your tank might be overpopulated in no time if you mix males and females!

 

How much do I feed the fish?

Feed the fish twice a day with as much as they can eat in five minutes.

 

Do I have to clean the fish tank?

Yes, but not as often as a traditional fish tank.

 

Etc.

 

Are all of your parts made in the USA?  Where are they made?

All of the large plastic parts are crafted in New England.  However, we could not find an American made version for some of the other parts, such as the pump and light, so we will stay on the lookout for new opportunities!