Amazing eco system

Yesterday I had the pleasure of being exposed to a great eco-system in someones backyard. And although it isn’t a startup business, it is one of the best startups I have ever seen. Let me explain.

After seeing an idea on television, Shane decided to build a food eco-system in his small suburban backyard. The concept is simple enough. Take tank water from the roof of the house. Build a two meter long 70cm deep fish pond in the backyard. Build a raised vegetable garden which doesn’t have soil, but gravel. Link all of them with some piping, and 12 volt pumps which are powered by some solar panels on the roof. In the fish pond Shane has placed 60 baby rainbow trout for winter. They’ll grow to harvest size by spring. They take freshwater from the roof and the vegetable garden beds. Water is then pumped back from the bottom of the pond with the fish poo in it to provide nutrients and water to the vegetables. Remember the vegetables are planted in a gravel bed. The vegetables then take all the nutrients from the poo, clean the water and aerate it and then it goes back into the fish pond to create clean water for the fish. It’s a wonderful system. It’s a self sustaining, edible example of what can be done with micro thinking. See the big picture photo easy below, and some closing comments under the pics:

I told Shane he should be selling this and start a business building it for other less scientific minds. But it also go me thinking about what the future looks like. Future solutions to energy provision and the food industry are not anchored in macro infrastructure, but selling micro infrastructure for self sustainability in home. Like what Shane has built; on roof wind generators, roof tiles made from solar panels, septic systems which clean and recycle the water we use from our tanks. This is the future entrepreneurs should be inventing.



  1. Mike Boyd · August 15, 2010

    I love this.

    I have always wanted to do something similar but one a smaller scale. Having a passion for aquariums, sustainability and ecosystems this just makes so much sense.

    I wonder if there is a commercial application on a micro micro level where you could incorporate growing bench-top vegies on top of your fish tank using the same fluro lights and nutrients from the fish water…? Power the lot with small solar panels and you’re laughing.

    Well done Shane.

    Thanks for sharing Steve!

  2. Sam Granleese · August 15, 2010

    Thanks for sharing Steve. Shane this is really quite something.

    I started growing veggies and herbs this year at my house in Richmond, using an okay amount of recycled/rain water and compost. It is very satisfying to be partially self-sustaining.

    However this setup really sets the bar high and is something I’d love to aim towards in the next few years.

  3. nicholas kormas · August 15, 2010

    Hey Christiano Kitsune I read this awesome little blog post by a friend Stephen Sammartino on backyard eco systems and entrepreneurial opportunities, i think you’ll love it :)

    Nick Kromas (Via facebook)

  4. Jonathan Lai · August 15, 2010

    “Awesome, just awesome!”

    Jonathan Lai (via facebook)

  5. Sand Sock Girl · August 15, 2010

    Wow this is amazing, I salute the owner of this for his hardwork! Very very nice, this is an inspiration.

  6. Richard · August 15, 2010

    Mike Boyd should definitely have his business plan worked out already for his micro micro bench top garden system, I hope he makes a million bucks! Great post

  7. Mike Boyd · August 15, 2010

    Richard, I’ve got a million and one others things on the cards at the moment so the ideas all yours for the taking! ;)

    I like your site too by the way, I’ll be returning for another look shortly.

  8. Columbia pro Roofing repair · August 15, 2010

    Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging oon blogs I stumbleupon every day.

    It will always be interesting to read through articles from other authors and practice a little ssomething
    from other websites.

  9. thisearthhorse · August 15, 2010

    I totally agree with you, this is fantastic! I look forward to the day that I can buy aquaponically-grown fish and vegetables.

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