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Aquapioneers: print your aquaponics ecosystem

Start growing your own food with the first open source aquaponics kit designed for urban farming ūüź† ūüí© ūüĆŅ

About the project


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At Aquapioneers, we want to contribute to the growing urban farming movement in the world. We envision a future where citizens source most of their food from local farmers, from their rooftops, and from inside their own homes.

We are committed to change the future of food, and we're proud to start with the 1st Open Source Aquaponics Kit.


Backing our "KIT DESIGN + STARTER KIT MANUAL" perk, will allow youto download all you need to become an Aquaponics Farmer. 

With these files, you can go to the closest workshop to make your own Aquapioneers Ecosystem using a CNC router. These are common machines, available in most urban areas. Use the links below to find a local workshop that can make your Aquapioneers kits:

With this system in place, carbon-intensive worldwide shipping is no longer necessary reducing dramatically our environmental footprint and contributing to mitigate climate change.

This is why we decided to Open Source our Kit. Its design will be released in the public domain (CC-BY-NC 4.0) a few weeks after the end of the campaign. Backing our design package gets you early download access.


The Ecosystem uses a natural process called Aquaponics, which harnesses the relationships between beneficial microorganisms, fish, and plants to grow fresh & delicious produce.

The fish process the food they receive and produce ammonia-rich waste. Microorganisms convert the ammonia into nitrates (organic plant fertilizer), simultaneously supplying the plants with nutrients and the fish with clean water!

As a result of this natural process, you won't have to clean the tank again, or worry about the freshness of your food!

Some herbs & leafy greens you can grow

There are hundreds of unique edible plants you can grow. 

Some species of fish that can inhabit your ecosystem 


The Aquapioneers Ecosystem is a thoughtfully crafted fun, educational, and rewarding experience. At the intersection of hardware and ecology,  iIt allows you to grow fresh and tasty food all year round. This little piece of nature, will engage and inspire you, your family and your friends.

Compact design and easy to assemble

We designed the Aquapioneers Ecosystem to have the simplest setup possible. Easy to assemble, it snaps together in just minutes without screws or glues. Our system is a wooden structure that consist of three major components: the legs, the grow-bed, and the light.

More productive than soil

The Ecosystem boasts a grow bed of 70 cm x 30 cm of growing area and a depth of 30 cm for plenty of healthy root space. With a constant supply of water, nutrients and quality light you can expect a higher level of production than typically seen in an outdoor garden. Additionally, you can plant your crops more densely than in outdoor soil.

Low consumption LED lights

The Ecosystem's LEDs just use the light spectrum that the plants need to grow (blue - 650 nm and red- 450nm) reducing significantly its energy consumption. Consuming even less than a laptop (50W).

The lights can also be vertically adjusted to the height of your plants to maximize their growing efficiency.

Integrated Storage Space

Designed into the legs of the Ecosystem, the storage area offers space for the tools you need (e.g. seed packets, fish food, nutrient supplements) and an aquaponics test kit (for testing pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates)

Self-watering & self-fertilizing garden

The Ecosystem offers a low maintenance experience for anyone looking to own an aquarium or grow healthy greens year-round. It works by pumping water and waste from the tank below into the grow bed. After the plants recycle the waste, clean water is filtered back into the tank by the siphon located in the grow-bed to ensure a clean tank and happy fish! The system works as a closed loop cycle allowing a 90% reduction in  water consumption compared to a classic garden.




Since November 2016, Fab Lab Montevideo has been the first Fab Lab outside of Barcelona to beta test the Aquapioneers Ecosystem. It's Fab Lab Manager, Carolina Vignoli explains the reasons why her Fab Lab is supporting the Aquapioneers crowdfunding campaign

Tomas Diez, is Fab Lab Barcelona and Fab City Research Lab co-founder. Fab City is an initiative which emerged from the global Fab Lab Network to change the paradigm of the current industrial economy where the city operates on a linear model of importing products and producing waste, to a circular model in which materials flow inside cities and information on how things are made circulates globally. Fab City is about building a new economy based on distributed data and manufacturing infrastructure. 

La M[Y]NE is a citizen laboratory, based in Lyon (France). Since the very beginning of Aquapioneers' project, the citizen science and collaborative ommons approach from La M[Y]NE, inspired us to make our Aquaponics Designs Open Source.

What are the funds for?

The initial funding goal of our crowdfunding campaign is 15.000‚ā¨. With these funds¬†and the help of our team, we will be able to:¬†

  • Finalize Open Source files + Produce a comprehensive user documentation to operate the kit with confidence
  • Cover the cost of rewards and Kit's¬†production + Shipping¬†and Delivery¬†in BCN
  • Ulule's Commission¬†
  • Maintain our GreenHouse (e.g. fish food, plants seed, etc) for 2017.
  • Marta's amazing video of the project
  • Cover the costs of research to improve the kit/ plans/alternative food for the fish and improve the experience of Aquapioneers users and explorers

However this is just the beginning of Aquapioneers, and we've got an amazing plan to grow and follow our mission of promoting urban agriculture through Open Source Aquaponics.

If we reach 30.000‚ā¨, we'll be able:

  • To makeour 25m2 Aquaponics Greenhouse energy¬†self-sufficient with Solar PV + implement an open source monitoring & control system using the Smart Citizen¬†kit¬†to ease its¬†maintenance.
  • To¬†open source the Greenhouse¬†files + produce a comprehensive user documentation to build and run this greenhouse¬†

About the project owner


After discovering Aquaponics from a family friend, Guillaume left his corporate job to start the Fab Academy at the Green Fab Lab of Barcelona. His final project was an Open Source Aquaponic Kit . During his first experiments at the Green Fab Lab he met Loic, who was doing his master thesis in Aquaponics at the Universidad Autonoma of Barcelona.

Convinced by the unbeatable advantages of Aquaponics as a sustainable method of Urban Agriculture, we decided to combine our skills and savings to create Aquapioneers. 

We started by improving Guillaume's prototype and beta-tested it in various places in Barcelona and beyond. 

Then, we followed worldwide Hallam Murray Aquaponics course that gave use the knowledge to built a 25 m2 Greenhouse with Digital Fabrication to explore Aquaponics on a bigger scale. 

This pilot farm is a small scale version of what could be an aquaponic farm on a rooftop in Barcelona.

This greenhouse allows us to produce 30 kg of fish and 300 kg of vegetables per year, which can feed 2 persons during an entire year.

After last year's encouraging results, we are launching this campaign to give us the means to increase our impact without compromising the Open Source nature of the project.

Collaborators on the campaign: