Plantus (for home aquaponics)




January 6, 2009


BUTE & Kitchen Budapest



Thesis Tutor

Dr Katalin Máthé (Department of Machine and Product Design, BUTE)


András Szalai, dr. Manuéla Lukács, Márton András Juhász, Melinda Sipos, Péter Grob, Zoltán Csík-Kovács

Plantus - Hydroponic plant growing and fish-developing device

Thesis project at Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BUTE).

The goal of my thesis was to design an eco-kitchen product and its surrounding that calls the attention to eco-conscious way of living and consuming, and gives high priority to up to date technical possibilities.

Plantus project is the result of the co-operation of BUTE and Kitchen Budapest.

Plant growing device

A hydroponic plant-growing and fish-developing kitchen device, that completes today’s kitchen to make it a real eco-tech part of a 21st century’s household. Plantus is a self-supporting system for growing plants, herbs and vegetables using nutrient solutions without soil, caters fish (also edible) and disposes a separated sprouting unit. Plantus is interactive and customizable, according to consumer’s need.

Plants and fish

They furnish oxygen and also a refreshing ambient. The functioning is based on hydroponics; a nutrient water circulating system provides the water supply of the plants, the daily washing of the sprouts and the feeding of the fish. The plant-, sprout- and fish-support constitutes a complete system, where the leftover is rebuild and reused.

The aquarium of the fish serves as a water-tank too, divided in two, for hygienic reasons, to water buffer and fish keeper part.
From the aquarium the water flows to the irrigation system, divides into to circles; the sprout-washer and the plant-watering part. The sprouting plate is washed through according to the programmed settings and than the water goes back to the fish tank, to the buffer part and than is reused again. The plants are watered from above, through the leakage of the tubes.

Energy support and communication between the units

Two accumulators are responsive for the energy support of Plantus, one is always set aside, so that the system would not stop working even when the other is being recharged. The communication system is operated by a central microcontroller. Based on the signals of the light-, humidity- and water level sensors, the microcontroller runs the light and water supply by managing the valves and LED-s of each shelf.