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The AquaFarm is a fish tank and food garden for the countertop

The AquaFarm Aquaponics Fish Garden uses waste from the fish tank below to supply nutrients to the garden on top. No cleaning is necessary.

Please do remember to feed the fish.
Please do remember to feed the fish.

There can be little doubt that when it comes to food, fresher is better. The same can be said about fish water. Yes, fish water. The living, breathing creature that lives in the fish bowl on the counter occasionally needs its water cleaned to survive. Problem is, in the closed environment of a fish bowl, waste has nowhere to go until a human intervenes. Or one could just let the garden take care of that.

The AquaFarm Fish Garden ($59.99) combines a fish tank with a garden, and it makes perfect sense. On top, five plant pots comprise the garden section of the device while below a 3-gallon tank serves as a home for the fish. (Fish, like people, do not do well with overcrowding; the makers recommend 1 gallon of water per 1 inch of fish.) Included in the box are seeds for organic wheatgrass, lettuce, and basil seeds, as well as a coupon for a Betta fish from a well-known pet supply store.

The system works via aquaponics, in which waste from the fish is used as fertilizer for the plants. A pump supplies the action needed to set the process in motion. The "self-cleaning fish tank that grows food" is a onetime Kickstarter project that is now shipping and the company, Back to the Roots, also sells a grow-your-own-mushroom kit, with at least one retailer including it for free at the moment. Don't worry though, you get to eat those; mushrooms are people food, food for the fish is also included.