Aquaponic Feedback System

Aquaponic Feedback System

Lucy Hirshland and 2 OthersCaitlin Haggerty
Dina Pfeffer
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The Water Habitat is a beautiful bio-powered addition to NuVu's space, a private, leafy-green escape from the pressure of glass walls and exposed, open-plan workspaces. Featuring an aquaponic drip system, the wall grows tomatoes, strawberries, lettuce, and herbs in a mutually beneficial relationship with a host of aquatic creatures. A comprehensive environmental regulation system is required to help the wall thrive for the community‚Äôs benefit. 

The Aquaponic Feedback System operates through several Arduinos, which are microcontrollers that can be programed from a computer and connected to an array of sensors and moving parts. Each Arduino takes in information from one or two sensors and sends commands accordingly. For example, if one Arduino detects a pH above the ideal range, it sends a signal to a peristaltic pump to add a few drops of basic fluid to the water. 

The Aquaponic Feedback System engages the issue of labor in the context of small-scale agriculture, exploring the possibility of hands-off plant growth. It is a step in the direction of a fully automated system that supports both aquatic and plant life. While the purpose of the project is for there to be as little human intervention as possible, certain sensors prompt a human, rather than automatic, reaction. When an ultrasonic distance sensor detects that the water level is too high, it alerts users by turning on an LED. A human caretaker is expected to respond to the problem manually. 


A personal space designed to let one relax and connect with nature while surrounded by an aquaponic system; The wall has plants growing out of it and is rooted in a fish tank that is monitored by arduinos. 

The Bio-Powered Habitat provides a quiet space for the people at Nuvu to get work done or relax in, since the general environment can be loud and overwhelming. At the same time, it is a home for fish and flowers to grow and form a symbiotic relationship with the people. There are two transportable walls which can be pushed together in a corner to form the space. One wall is composed of the aquaponic system, while the other has a chair made of mycelium to lounge in.

The system of arduinos shows the potential for AI to completely automate the maintenance of an aquaponic system, garden, or even a whole farm. Sensors monitor the water level, temperature, and pH to ensure optimal growth conditions for the plants and fish. If one of these conditions is outside of the allowed range, an Arduino will light up to alert people. In the future, the arduinos could be hooked up to a pump (or whatever tool necessary) to return the condition back into the allowed range.

The automated aquaponic wall could be applied to a bigger scale to build a sustainable house. A much more eco-friendly alternative to current buildings, the wall demonstrates the possibility of using accessible materials (plants, flowers, fish, etc) to our benefit, while also helping the other forms of life around us.


The Bio-Powered Habitat turns an otherwise mundane space into an environment that embraces and accentuates human interdependence nature through aquaponics. More specifically, programmed circuits are used to monitor a water system that sustain the plants on the wall. The wall can be rolled to different locations to change the space.

The Aquaponic Feedback System works by reading code off of an Arduino. For example, controlled variables such as temperature and water level are maintained by the Arduino. There is specific code that writes parameters for the variables, and if it goes outside of that range it will light an L.E.D. to notify people.

The hope is that the Bio-Powered Habitat will raise awareness of the impending consequences of abusing the environment, and will encourage others to work on projects similar to it on a bigger scale. This project raises the question of how we as humans are going to fix our environment and begin using less harmful products because there is no Planet B. Physically and mentally, the space will provide relief to those who use it through its comfortable design and the positive effects of plants.