Self-cleaning Fish Tank System for Aquaculture & Fish Hatchery

Truly self-cleaning, NoClean betta fish tank. Multi-Color LED Lighting & Remote Controls
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Discontinued by manufacturer. is available.

Bring the garden inside with a self-cleaning fish tank that grows food. Uses aquaponics to convert fish waste into plant food.

Avo – Self-Cleaning Fish Tank by Susan Shelley
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Maintaining our in home aquariums can take up a large part of our day. Sure you could simply remove all of your fish and give the tank a through scrub rather than regular maintenance but this actually hurts the environment you are trying to create. To keep the tank going long term consistent action must be taken, and what better tool could there be than the tank itself?

When you find the best self cleaning fish tank that suits your home the work needed to house fish, frogs and inverts are cut back dramatically. Unfortunately there are far too many aquariums springing up that are far from self cleaning and actually cause more work than a plain tank.

The majority of the self cleaning fish tank designs are plant based, with a few that focus on unique suction designs. Most of the latter have failed but personally I've found one that works perfectly. Self cleaning fish tank. Fish waste fertilizes plants and plants clean the water.
Photo provided by FlickrAquaponics Garden Self-Cleaning Fish Tank - Classroom pet?
Photo provided by FlickrAqua Farm, self-cleaning fish tank that grows food
Photo provided by Flickr
That’s why self-cleaning Betta fish tanks are all the rage. They promise you the benefits of having a beautiful Betta fish swimming around without any of the maintenance downsides.Most self-cleaning tanks are too small to keep a Betta fish happy, they don’t always function like the manufacturers claim, they may be expensive, and you’ll still have to perform regular maintenance.Issue #1) They’re often too small for Betta fish. The biggest self-cleaning Betta tanks top out at 2-3 gallons, with most of them being much smaller than that. This tank features the most popular form of automatic cleaning in aquariums today.

As fish waste, along with any extra food they missed, breaks down into elements that are harmful to fish it is pushed to the plants roots via the pump. As the water passes by the roots the waste is slowly absorbed into the plants, keeping them well fed while simultaneously cleaning the aquariums water. This is the base idea for most of the plant based self cleaning aquariums.

What makes this tank so special is the design. Five individual plants are allowed to grow in their own section, each of witch has an equal amount of water flow. This creates a more healthy environment for the plants and allows the tank to be even lower maintenance. After all if the tank was not keeping the plants alive they would not be able to keep the aquarium water clean.

Before any of this happens we must first discuss the breakdown of the fish food and waste. This is called the nitrogen cycle and has three steps. As the waste is broken down it becomes a highly toxic ammonia. This is then broken down by beneficial bacteria into still toxic nitrites. A lot of good that is right? Well the final step is even more beneficial bacteria breaking the nitrites down into nitrates, a slightly annoying chemical that is toxic in very high quantities. This will probably raise two questions in your mind:

Where Do I Get This Bacteria?
Normally you would need to cycle your fish tank for months. This is done by feeding an empty tank the same amount you would feed normally. Thankfully the Back to the Roots self cleaning fish tank comes fully stocked with beneficial bacteria in its garden.

What About The Nitrates?
While plants do not take in toxic ammonia, they do love nitrates. It is actually better to give your plants water full of the waste produced by fish as the nutrients help the plants growth dramatically. Simply put the fish feed the plants which in turn clean for the fish. First of all the design has to look good. While this may seem vain or snobby if the tank looks bad we probably wouldn't even want it no matter how well it works. That brings us to the second point, functionality. Just as design, if the functionality doesn't work the tank is of no real use to us. Of those that do work it's a question of how well they work.

The third and final condition is the size of the tank. Because self cleaning fish tank designs are hard to come by it is also understandable they have some limitations. Specifically plant based self cleaning fish tanks will not be too large, as plants can only absorb so much of the waters nitrates(the final product of fish waste.) Finding a balance between size and effectiveness is our goal here. After plenty of testing and returning we have found the best self cleaning aquariums on the market. This is a small tank that is primarily used to house small Betta fish. If you wish to house a different kind of fish you will need to improvise your own form of aeration.

With that part out of the way we can discuss a little bit about this tank. Coming in at half a gallon the Penn-Plax aquaponic self cleaning fish tank is a low cost choice for those looking to add a fish to their home. Most of the dimensions are used in height, making this tank mostly suitable to Betta fish. Located atop the tank is the single pot where you can plant any leafy green plant. Try to avoid plants with high needs as they will only be supplied by a single fish.

As displayed in the picture to the right there is no form of water movement in this tank. The roots of the plant are simply allowed to fall into the tank and absorb the nutrients they need. As this happens the plant takes away the harmful toxins produced by fish waste and excess food. Additionally they release oxygen into the water which helps compensate for the lack of water movement.

The reason Betta fish are able to use this low amount of oxygenated water is because they have the ability to breath from the waters surface. Most fish do not have this ability and would end up running into the plant while getting oxygen from the surface, harming them until they succumb to illness.