Benjamin Graindorge and Duende Studio have created Floating Garden, a 100% natural water filtration system for aquariums based on hydroponics, using a cushion of sand plus plants in a tray that sits above the aquarium, resulting in a cross between a decorative glass vase and a water purifying plant that provides mutual, symbiotic benefit to both plants and fish.
Floating Garden uses two techniques for eliminating nitrate wastes voided by fish:
1/ Gravel-bed filtration: tank water moves over a tray where it seeps through a 5cm layer of river-sand. The sand bed traps suspended waste particles and forms a host environment for the aerobic and anaerobic bacteria that transform azote into nitrates.
2/ Aquaponics: nitrate-enriched water pours over a layer of plant-life. The substratum of roots extracts the nitrates to sustain plant growth, which means that water returning to the tank is pure.
Currently only available in a limited series of 10, made to order by rapid prototyping, Floating Garden is due for release as a public version in plastic and ceramic from Spring 2010 and will be on show from 25 June to 25 July 2009 at Forum Diffusion, 55 rue Pierre Demours, 75017 Paris.