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Aquatronix - Grow 100% Organic for 10$/month

Aquatronix is an automated vegetable fruit and fish farming system if designed for a mass scale. The indoor version is designed for the urban kitchen within a suitable and controlled environment.

  • As the main Image, this is a 3-D screenshot of the final prototype.

  • Our first prototype.

  • Our 2nd prototype.

  • Automation Wires and sockets.

  • User interface and monitoring screens.

What it does

Aquatronix uses fish tank as an irrigation system along with a controlled & monitored environment to grow plants within any indoor or outdoor location. It provides an opportunity for one to grow greens and fruits at home without the worry of external factors.

Your inspiration

The inspiration rose from 3 major aspects of our lives; the water scarcity in many parts of the world, various illnesses like respiratory diseases to cancer related deaths that rise due to the use of pesticides in inorganic food, lastly to make organic produce affordable and reachable to everyone. After conducting research, we built a beautiful bridge between conventional soil irrigation to organic methods of agriculture and beyond. This new found passion is a much-needed solution for the struggling populace of major underdeveloped communities and a choice for the urban living to switch to the healthier variety of food produce.

How it works

Aquatronix works on two main systems to implement successful growth of plants and fish. The fish waste once exposed to oxygen naturally converts to a nutrient for plant growth. The pump circulates the water from the plants to the fish tank. water is the medium to grow plants rather than soil. Artificial lights complete the need for photosynthesis by depicting similar light waves to that of sunlight. The second system is Automation. With a Programmable Logic Controller and sensors, the system is responsible for the monitoring and care of the plants. Temp., humidity, ammonia, nitrate and oxygen sensors keep track of the health conditions, pH and Electric Conductivity (EC) meters monitor the water’s pH and mineral content. The information obtained is then used in accordance with the programmed routine, inside the PLC, which can control the fans for ventilation, alert the user to information via LEDs and regulate the watering and lighting of the machine.

Design process

Designing the hardware began by building a mini-fridge sized prototype system under a very low budget. At this stage we had succeeded in making the system work without any automation or smart approach. The lighting system was experimented on by using LED strips and T5 fluorescent lighting configurations to which the T5 produced the best results of plant growth out of the two. Once the lighting systems and vertical farming structure were implemented, the next step was to set up the sensors to which the machine would act accordingly. Our next stage was to build a friendly user interface to automate all the necessary sensors for the system which makes it very easy to monitor the vitals of the fish and plants. Simultaneously we were also working on remodeling the structure of the system to host more plant buds and school of fish. The essential criteria for success deemed to be plant growth, fish's happiness, water consumption and cost.Temperature, humidity and pH sensors were calibrated and connected with the PLC system to begin automation. Using “PC WORX” to program the PLC and adding a HMI Touch Panel (which can manually control the irrigation, lighting and humidity aspects), it becomes easier to control and troubleshoot without the need to manually look for and solve problems.

How it is different

In hydroponics, when the plants are gown without soil and only water, due to the addition of preserved nutrients etc, the plants are roughly 80% organic and 70% cheaper than conventional soil irrigation method. Whereas when this same system is integrated with a fish tank like Aquatronix, the plants are 100% organic and 90% cheaper. Standing at 2m tall, 1m wide and 0.6m long, the machine can fit comfortably indoors and in confined spaces. Taking up the same amount of space as the average fridge, Aquatronix can be an essential kitchen tool for the food lovers. The systems capabilities include producing 6 different types of plants along with a school of fish, with zero addition of any kind of nutrients and it's pesticide free . Being able to maintain environmental conditions and grow multiple plants automatically creates a major opportunity for the average person to grow fresh green produce comfortably at home. Mass scale production supports fish farming as well.

Future plans

Our future plans for the project are focused on two major localities, a mini vertical mobile farming solution for the suburbs and hard to reach areas. For the urban living, convergent solar rooftop farming is in our next design chapter. A solar Off-Grid power source. Currently, we are adding in an Aeroponics system which will minimize the amount of water used. We are also planning to eventually be able to access the machine wirelessly on a user’s smartphone. Combining all these features with the automation aspect, the aquatronix system could be monitored and controlled from any location with no worry of running out of power or water.


1. Won at the Expo 2020 Innovation Grant Programme 2. Won the title of "Best Student's Research" at American University of Emirates/ 3. Won 1st place at the Heriot Watt Innovation and Sustainability Competition.

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