TAIPEI -- At every tradeshow, there's always one product that stands out with a different take on things. For CES Asia recently, it was this , and here at Computex, it's odds-on to be this peculiar combination of a fish tank and a potted plant.
Called Fish & Herbs, which sounds like a delicious recipe for dinner, it's actually a device for lazy pet owners and gardeners. A hybrid aquarium and hydroponics combo -- maker Arky calls this aquaponics -- it means that apart from having to feed your fish, there's not much else you need to do.
There's no need to water the plants, or clean the tank, as the built-in bell siphon system will handle all that. A motor continuously sucks water upwards to the base of the plant, which then fills up to a certain point before it hits the limit and gets flushed back down. The action introduces oxygen back down and also keeps the water flowing to help prevent it from being becoming stagnant.
And while the picture above shows a slightly dirty tank, I'm told it was because the Arky reps didn't have time to clean up the plants that were only recently acquired (from the side of the road, by the look of it), resulting in soil leaking downwards into the tank. You're supposed to use gravel or rocks, and plants that will do well without much soil, apparently.
The Fish & Herbs was actually a design project from university graduates, which was then crowdfunded and picked up by Arky for mass production and retail. The aquaponics system has a 1.3-litre tank and is about 36cm wide. It retails for around $100 (which converts to around £65 or AU$130), though only in Taiwan for now.