Sustainability @ NYU: Fishel Aquaponics

Aquaponic farm set up.

Project and blog post by E.J. and E.W.

Aquaponic farming produces environmentally sustainable food by leveraging natural relationships between water, fish, and plants. In an aquaponic system, water from a fish tank is cycled through a vegetable bed. The fish waste in this water provides organic fertilizer to the plants; as the roots absorb the fish waste, they purify the water for the fish. In contrast to conventional agriculture, a well-designed aquaponic system requires no chemical fertilizers, results in no run-off, and uses up to 90% less water. At Fishel Aquaponics, we are developing a simple-to-use countertop aquaponics kit that will allow people to experience this ecosystem inside their own home — to grow tasty, organic vegetables with the help of a few pet fish. In our video for design week, we briefly discuss why we started this project. We then describe the modular building and yes-no tests we used to make our prototyping process simpler, faster, and less expensive. To stay updated on our progress, see more videos like the one below, and learn when our product is available for pre-sale, sign-up at our website here

E.W. is a student at NYU’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and an avid aquarist. 

E.J. is a recent graduate from NYU’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and has worked on farms and homesteads in New York, Alaska, and Texas.

This blog post and video are a part of Design Week 2021: Designing Waste Out, presented by Design Lab @ NYU MakerSpace. Design Week is an annual week of events focused on a critical aspect of design. The theme this year is around sustainability and ways that we can all make a larger impact when we decide to take action and do something. The week is packed with talks, workshops, and a panel, and highlights projects like this one on sustainability happening at NYU. Learn more about Design Week here.