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    Can indoor aquaponics enhance the health quality of our lives?

    Gabriel Bustos
    May 3, '21 3:02 PM EST

    Country vs. city lifestyle

    What can we learn from being surrounded by aquaponics?

    I would visit my family members in Guerrero, Mexico, from time to time. I learned the unique ways they lived. Almost all the construction materials were organic. It seemed like every section of the house was built separately. Primarily all sectors of the house allow daylight in the spaces. The only connection to the home is the foundation and the roof. The living room and kitchen are out in the open. As a mid-size concrete wall that surrounds the kitchen, separate the living room. The mid-size 4-foot wall is the best element in the house because it provides many essential components to their lifestyle. The wall is utilized as a water well, domestic fish farming, and aquaponic garden for edibles. The waterproof well wall is 8 inches thick. There is a cement-built planter on top for easy access to the vegetation. There is a water pump that helps the water cycle. Before this device, they use to pump the water manually with a water well pump. The water was fresh, drinkable, and they found out that the water produced was great for fertilizing crops. 

    The aquaponics garden benefits were more significant than just consumption. Some plants were for medicinal purposes as well. They use lavender, echinacea, turmeric, peppermint, chamomile, aloe vera, fenugreek, and passionflower. My father’s parents used these plants to heal most illnesses. My father carried that trade to the states and owns a small mom-and-pop herbal medicine store. My father told me, “sure, the lack of hospitals in Mexico did create lethal threats to some farmers. However, most of the elders lived nearly 100 years of age. My cousins are dying younger than their parents. We traveled north to the states because of severe droughts and famine in Mexico when I was young. But, how I treasure those fruitful years." The Cities have everything in abundance, yet people have the highest mortality rate from natural causes such as cardiovascular disease and cancer, mostly in city lifestyles. Can we perhaps adopt certain practices from the countryside to promote longevity?

    Can the benefits of designing high levels of daylight to a building potentially produce indoor plants that can provide inhabitants longevity?


    Ernest Scott | Dec 6, 2017

    Designing buildings with high daylight levels can grow a whole range of plants within the living space. NASA researched what kind of plants could filter all the contaminants from indoor air, and they concluded that these three plants in sufficient quantities could take out nearly all indoor pollutants. The money plant is very well oxygenating during the day. The mother-in-law's tongue plant produces oxygen at night, and the areca palm is very good at taking volatile organic compounds out of the air, and all three of them are good at deionizing the air, which reduces dust levels. The research study of 16,000 square foot office buildings in Singapore has tried this. It has achieved remarkable results about a 20% increase in productivity, a 50% reduction in headaches and eye complaints, and even a measurable increase in blood oxygen level. Humans are much happier and healthier when we are in direct contact with nature. As designers, perhaps we can adopt an approach of creating buildings that allow high daylight levels that are completely waterproof and functional. The potential methods combined are biomimicry and 3D printing technology, and why not... close the loop by doing it with eco-friendly materials.



    • randomised

      Fish tanks can really stink, really don't want to know what a fish farm would smell like and be surrounded by that smell indoors where you live 24/7?

      May 4, 21 5:32 am  · 

      Potential for legionnaires disease. You need to be careful that doesn't happen. 

      Jun 25, 21 8:21 pm  · 

      2nd time debunking this cleaning pollutants myth in the last 10 days for me ...

      Plenty of other reasons to like indoor plants without needing to spread the myth.

      Jul 2, 21 2:39 pm  · 
      2  · 

      There are more metrics to how plants can be beneficial than pure mathematical. The amount of CO2 in the air is more important to monitor than oxygen. If there was 10% or more CO2 in the air, it can be fatal. On one hand, CO2 is important for certain physiological reasons which are why pure oxygen is not healthy. We want to ideally have CO2 in or around the levels of pre-industrial age or pre-civilization when we were mere nomadic when CO2 levels were around 180-300 ppm. Or about 0.02% to 0.03%. Even small percentage changes have an effect on us physiologically. If you have poor and I mean very poor air exchange, the CO2 levels will climb and eventually get problematic. 

      You can say that the biggest thing we can do is have good air exchange which is fine. Adding plants in one home or office isn't going to change the world but plants in indoor spaces where the exchange rate is probably going to be much less than it is outdoors in most days especially in coastal communities where there is wind current, the plants can make a difference in how we feel, our ability in productivity, attentiveness because as you may know, the CO2 levels have increased by 150+% in the air we breathe over the past 10,000 years and what we know from studies on the impact of CO2 on our bodies, excessive CO2 levels would be dangerous for our health but also if there wasn't CO2, it would be bad. Humans as a species came to be when the world's CO2 levels were about half of what it is right now. Office environments and homes can have a situation where the CO2 levels can be higher than norm and build up. Good air exchange is important to keep it from exceeding the atmospheric levels but indoor plants can reduce the CO2 in the micro-climate of the indoor environment even below that of the ambient outdoor air CO2 levels. 

      Some reading material:

      Other benefits are more in the domain of psychology than necessarily instrument readings and biology. There are reasons for comfort where having indoor plants may be beneficial when appropriately done. 

      I do support the idea of indoor plants with outdoor plants and transitions between indoor and outdoor with more natural and plants where elements of "landscape design" don't strictly begin at the exterior envelop. While a home must shelter from adverse weather, it needs not be a sterile bubble isolated from nature when nature can be on both sides of the wall. Architecture with the interior landscape is living architecture as you may say versus just dead architecture composed of non-living elements.  One has to do it properly. Too much moisture on the inside can be a problem. Like I mentioned earlier about legionnaire but other problems as well can be a problem if you are not attentive. 

      There is a science to doing this properly. 

      EA, the link at gardenmyth..., the author did seem to kind of not really quite grasp what even 2-3% CO2 can have on human beings in terms of a variety of effects on a biological level. How many plants are needed and what type to reduce CO2 concentration level in half is not discussed and with air exchange, how it will impact the comfort and bringing CO2 levels to ideal levels biologically. Even if not reduced to half the outdoor CO2 concentration level, just getting it in the 300 to 350ppm levels indoor and kept at those levels even with friends, and family over with density. The ideal is to have a decent air exchange rate. 

      One can look at different times in Earth's history where the CO2 levels were much higher (like upwards of 6000 to 7000 ppm) but humans weren't around in those times (~500 MILLION YEARS AGO) and at that level, humanss today would find such to be discomforting, severe headaches, and tiring. We aren't meant to live in that conditions. The ideal zone for humans is around 200 to 350 ppm of CO2 in the air. It's harder to speak for non-humans but I suspect most pets we would have would be fine in that environment because we are mostly creatures that came about during the times when Earth's atmosphere had a CO2 concentration level in the 200 to 350 ppm levels. 

      Indoor environments should not let the CO2's PPM levels climb up beyond these level in an ideal configuration. Plants may play a role in this, the main regulation is in how we manage air exchange. Plants plays another role psychologically and also have other benefits that are not strictly measured on the realm of scientific instrument readings and may play a role in helping in getting the PPM below outdoor levels that are increasing due to climate change impacts. 

      Jul 9, 21 8:38 pm  · 
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