Adding: As @Tronne points out below, there was another Kickstarter. The one I linked above was for the 2 gallon, which was successfully delivered. The Kickstarter for the 3 gallon looks like it funded but never actually shipped to backers, based on the comments. Nearly 1,000 people paid $89 to $139, plus shipping, and got nothing.
I wonder how Meh ended up getting a hold of these to sell to us for $39, but backers never got anything.
@The_Tim@Tronne oh, that’s very sad. I’d be ripshit if I was a backer on the kickstarter. Not meh’s fault, but the original creators… especially since they were just shy mailing these out to the users.
@The_Tim@Tronne i’ve seen this before, most recently with some sort of lap desk type thing. backers payed in the three digit range, including being asked for more money for shipping down the line, never got anything, and i saw it for $20. i’m guessing that the makers end up not being able to afford to ship the thing so meh can buy it from the factory that wants to get rid of all this stock sitting around, or from the makers desperate to get even a little money back. (yes, you pay “shipping” when you buy things but makers sometimes underestimate the real shipping & packing costs, and if there are delays/problems during manufacturing that can eat through the buffer built into the item price pretty quickly.)
@ongware Yeah to be clear, I’m not saying that Meh has done anything wrong here at all. This bad situation is all on the company that pitched these on Kickstarter, took people’s money, then failed to deliver.
@mwarren I came here to say almost exactly this. Honestly, if you want an aquarium, it’s so much easier to maintain a larger tank than something this small. I had a 29 gallon tank for years and once I got everything in balance, there was very little maintenance. The 5 gallon tank was a huge pain in comparison.
@mehgrl I actually have a philodendron growing out my fishtank in the office. I almost never clean my tank. Only on occasion. Plants absolutely do absorb most of the nitrogenous wastes that is produced…
The trick is, you have to understock. One or two small fish per 5 gallons, Max.
3 gallon is too small for fish anyway. Good size for dwarf crayfish or dwarf shrimp though.
Probably house a dozen of some species of neocaridina shrimp in there… Or five or six camberellus species of dwarf crayfish.
@mehgrl@OnionSoup honestly some olorful neocardina would be great. A few low effort plants or some moss or something for them to pick biofilm from once it’s cycled properly and you’d have a pretty self contained setup. Give them a few shrimp pellets for minerals once or twice a week and bam. Might have to get one. I’ve set a few tanks up ordering from aquatic arts, might have to see their current selection lol
@mehgrl@Wendriel there are some crazy beautiful neocaridina strains out now, in any color you can think of.
(Anyone considering dwarf shrimp, don’t mix colors… After a few generations they’ll all be completely brown if you do).
Crayfish are a little more work, and you have to stick to dwarf species that won’t eat each other and won’t eat the plants or try escaping. Plus you need to make them little caves so they don’t kill each other when they moult.
They’re not as colorful or inexpensive as shrimp and you cant house as many, but they have way more personality than shrimp. Far more entertaining to watch.
Acrylic? Oooohh, that does not impress me. I have had way too much experience with the fragility of clear acrylic store fixture equipment. I have to assume that this is made from a better grade of acrylic-based plastics than most of those, but even so, I’ll step carefully around this one.
I have the back to the roots system, which has been going relatively strong for about 3.5 years now with 5 tetras and a few snails. The plant growth isn’t enough out the top to keep up with the waste production, unless I kept growing wheatgrass out the top, which turns into maintenance, but it equalized with adding a few live plants inside the tank. The plant tray stopped a lot of light from getting into the tank itself, so I’m a little curious to see how something like this fares. Maybe a shrimp tank or so to allow for some slower growing plants. And hopefully the light output is enough for some plants in the tank too.
Brine shrimp need salt water, so you can have sea monkeys or you can have houseplants in the planter on top, but not both. And believe it or not you can still get the kit from Wal-Mart and Five Below.
@blaineg@phendrick@rt502@werehatrack My kids came home from a fair with goldfish in plastic bags. I was not amused. Anyway, I bought a 10 gallon tank. I put in some little freshwater shrimp for me. And a snail. Those shrimp are adorable and way more fun than the goldfish. They even come in fancy colors. I got some red ones at Pet Smart.
/image cherry shrimp
This was from a Kickstarter a few years ago. Many of the people who backed it never got one that they paid for. The company went bankrupt with out sending the inventory tanks out to backers. I guess I know where the liquidated assets went.
We had a clear acrylic cube and loved it! Set up was a snap too— We simply unboxed it and kept it on the dresser for a few weeks. As if by magic it accumulated some random bedroom things into it like a key chain, a single sock, ticket stubs, a baseball, receipts, a woot flying monkey etc. When it was done collecting it’s really quirky and unique aquarium staged contents to display, we carefully relocated it to a place of prominence on the fireplace mantle, it required no cleaning or maintenance and was a treasured conversation piece and touchstone symbol to meditate on of our lethargic disorganized complacency, the value of fantasy Instagramming special moments someday or zooming with imaginary fish floating in clear waters with pleasant bubble sounds percolating in the background of impulse consumerism.
I did aquaponics at scale when I lived in South Florida. These little set ups like this cannot produce enough nitrogen for much plantlife unless it is something like basil or the other members of the mint plant. For real aquaponics you need enough water to have some tilapia or something like that
@goldnectar It is 100% for the fish not the plants. They don’t suggest you eat the plants at all due to some of the chemicals you need to put into a tank to keep things healthy which might be pulled into the plants and concentrated.
So I’m trying to decide if I can get away with a Glowfish in the three gallon tank instead of a beta or maybe two Neons.
I know it’s one gallon per fish and I want to stay small but I wouldn’t do more than two and really even the three gallon looks like it might just be one. Just to keep it clean.
I like this, if it only had to do with me, but it also has to do with a (or more) fish and I would feel way too guilty giving any living being so little room to be. A fish can’t ever pick up speed in these things. I would imagine that that is one of the best things about being a fish. Honestly, they could barely swim in a straight line in this.
Received mine today. Everything appears to be okay, except i either can’t find the “premium plant medium” or it didn’t come with it. Net pot is there, bag of carbon hiding in the tank, but no medium. Anyone else locate theirs?
@cdevilliers@ramaiv@techn9ne816 To be fair I did post a few times that the company that made it went seriously bankrupt a few years ago and left hundreds Kickstarter backers with nothing. The plant medium should cost almost nothing.
Regardless, I do not think it is too much to expect that something included in the product images and under the “What’s included in the box” be included in the box. I’ll be filing a chargeback if support does not resolve the issue as this is a pretty clear case of “product defective” or “product not as described”.
@cdevilliers@ramaiv@techn9ne816@Techn9ne82 Point taken!! If you check on the kickstarter and scroll past all the people who did not get their tank who are raging you’ll see they had switched to a white media that dissolved into the tank within a few weeks and wrecked things pretty bad. I looked into a few threads and it seems sea sponge might be a good alternative. There are a ton of pretty cheap aquaponic starter media that would probably work.
@cdevilliers@ramaiv@techn9ne816@Techn9ne82@Tronne Keep an eye on the tank - it may be defective too. Just had it spitting water out the back of the tank and down the wall here, I’ve lost about an inch of water in the tank. It stopped as quickly as it started but if it continues to kick water out I’ll be sending it back. Yes I filled it and let it run for a day before putting it where I wanted it and adding stuff to it
I would strongly suggest putting it somewhere waterproof and allowing it to run for a week with just water in it and make sure it doesn’t spit water all over the place
@Tronne it’s really hard to tell - it’s on a shelf (in place of a previous betta tank) and I heard water running, and the tank is wet at the back where the plant “holder” and the actual tank “box” come together.
@brandom@cdevilliers@ramaiv@techn9ne816@Techn9ne82 For what it’s worth I think I’ve pieced together why there is no media. The company owed $40,000 to their warehouse company at the dock when it came in from China. They went bankrupt due to this bill. So they never got the product to put the media in the box at their facility. It went to a creditor as-is and then was probably sold to multiple intermediaries and then a buyer at Meh was offered it.
@ramaiv yes, no media in mine as well. I bought some coco (hanging basket liner) and cut out strips that I pushed down in a loop into the baskets. So far that is holding my perilite and mint plants ok.
@ramaiv Missing media here as well. I used some “Smart Soil Sponge Pods”, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08F4Y7P13. They’re a little small for the net pots, but I think they’ll do the trick. There may be something better/cheaper, I just had some left over from this https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08DLMRKHM.
Overall, I like the EcoQube. It’s attractive, and I the design is well thought-out. You’ll have to fiddle with the setup since the instructions are lacking. I would rinse everything before you assemble, as mine was a bit dirty. The connector on the top of the pump tube snaps on to the bottom of the grow tray and makes a good seal. This makes the water flow nice and smooth. But that’s nowhere in the instructions.
There’s a rectangular outline where the pump sits, so the tube aligns with the fitting on the bottom of the grow tray. If the suction cups are rinsed, they will stick well to the bottom of the cube. I believe the bag of activated charcoal sits in a compartment between the mesh sponge and the pump. I left the charcoal in the mesh bag, even though the zipper is metal and might eventually rust. The alternative would be to spill the charcoal into its compartment, but I figured that would be tough to change if I ever wanted to.
The only way to operate the lights, (which are necessary for growing,) is with the remote control. The remote is small and flimsy, so easy to lose or break. I would backup the IR codes somewhere if you can. (Maybe someone can post the IR codes here, in case they’re needed?)
@ramaiv mine just arrived today. No medium. All the other parts appear to be there, but now im worried about it leaking like others have said. I’ll fill it up tomorrow and see if it’ll run fine before adding any substrate.
@ramaiv Just unboxed mine. Same issue with no plant media. As mentioned by others, it kinda defeats the purpose. Sincere appreciation for your plant media substitute ideas! I hope I can get this up and working because the concept is pretty cool.
Big note going forward is that I will be researching EVERYTHING I buy before purchase on Meh.
@Barney@Tamena same here, I got three and no plant medium, $7.99 for a pack at petco. Just noticed a disclaimer on this page that says it doesn’t come with the plant medium. Listed in the manual though… Also the larger one has the light support has two sets of holes, but it won’t slide down enough to hide or use the top holes.
@terrancecohen You are supposed to suction out some water every time you add more to avoid buildup of “hardness” / minerals in the water. I suppose if you always filled it with distilled or reverse osmosis water that wouldn’t be a problem.
Anyone else have water pooling around the base? It was running finr for about 5 days. I can’t tell where the water is coming from either. It’s not from the base, so maybe from the plant pod part? It also looks like some water was coming from where the wire to the pump goes in?
@xenophod I found on mine that the tube from the pump needed to be seated perfectly into the upper housing…otherwise it was tossing a bit of water about like it was leaking. I had to really work to get mine to line up and seat properly. I waited about 4 weeks before adding fish. I have 2 zebra danios and a snail and 2 small cleaner shrimp in the tank. The basil seems to be growing the best (middle 2)…and on the right my mint is trying to show up. From an aquaponics standpoint, the roots aren’t supposed to stay wet the entire time, so I am trying to figure out a way to occasionally pull the roots out of the water. I didn’t receive the plant growing media in mine, so I found something on the internet, but I’m not sure it’s the right stuff.
This is the tank after a bunch of experimentation and trial and error. My basil and mint is growing great up top. On the flow ramp you can see some of the roots from the basil reaching into the actual fish tank.