EcoQube: Bring Nature to Life

Guest blog by Eric Suen and Kevin Liang, Aqua Design Innovations

Eric and Kevin - EcoQube

We could all use a piece of nature that we can enjoy or escape to everyday.

The problem is that most aquariums that we put in our homes are not sustainable ecosystems. They need maintenance like water changes, filter replacements, and the occasional algae scrub.

EcoQube close up

Aqua Design Innovations, an undergraduate UCSD startup has designed the EcoQube, a compact aquarium that uses plants like basil to keep the water clean.

EcoQube adjustable

How does it work? The EcoQube is a recirculating system where the fish produce nutrients for the plants that grow above it. This concept is called aquaponics, a method of sustainable food production that the founders of Aqua Design Innovations, Kevin Liang and Eric Suen, see as the future of organic farming.

The EcoQube comes with a K-12 curriculum about the science behind aquaponics and self sustaining ecosystems. Help Kevin and Eric deliver the EcoQube to homes and classrooms across the country. You can support their Kickstarter campaign here: http://kck.st/1b6GV4m


Our names are Eric and Kevin. We’re UC San Diego students and aquarium geeks who met in high school and instantly became intrigued by planted aquatic ecosystems. As we got older, we realized the bigger challenges humanity as a whole faces in terms of food and water shortages so we decided to use our knowledge of aquariums to deliver the concept of aquaponics and the impact it can have to as many people as possible.

We started out working in various stores. Kevin actually served as a biologist assistant at the Steinhart Aquarium (California Academy of Sciences) where he managed and maintained 100,000 gallon systems as well as serve as the operations manager at Aquatic Central, the largest aquarium specific store in San Francisco. Eric was one of the first employees at Archaea International Corporation (DBA Aqua Forest Aquarium) also based in San Francisco where he focused on sales, customer relations and product user interface development.

(read and see many more pictures and video at their Kickstarter page) http://kck.st/1b6GV4m