The JrPonics FishGarden & BubbleGarden is the world's first 2-in-1 educational aquaponics/hydroponics garden kit for kids. The JrPonics was designed to be a real working, easy to use introduction to the wonderful growing sciences of aquaponics and hydroponics.
Here's how it works:
This 2-in-1 garden kit can be used as either an aquaponics garden by adding aquatic creatures (called "Power Pets") or as a hydroponics garden by using the nutrients included.
JrPonics FishGarden (Aquaponics) is a miniature aquaponics garden where kids can watch frogs, shrimp, snails or fish live, eat and grow below in a natural environment, while growing a couple of plants like basil or mint from the top. The JrPonics FishGarden easily demonstrates the powerful but natural process of nitrification.
The JrPonics FishGarden uses the nitrogen cycle to create a symbiotic miniature ecosystem where plants, fish and bacteria benefit from one another. Kids start with just a couple of pets and gradually add just a few more as the plants and roots grow.
Choose from the 9 different “Power Pet” characters, all who have been tested and proven to perform specific "doodies"...pun intended. The algae eater cleans the windows and the snail and shrimp are busy trimming the roots making cool tunnels for the fish to swim through. The rest of the pets are fun to watch swimming in and out of the roots, with all of them providing the waste to power the garden....a real working symbiotic environment! Plan on lots of babies in these very healthy systems which mimic real shorelines of streams and ponds.
Aquaponics is a food production method using both aquaculture (raising of aquatic creatures in tanks) and hydroponics (growing plants without soil in water) in symbiotic environment.
The kit includes 1oz dropper bottles of Hydrodynamics International's Nitrozime® Seaweed Extract and Fritz Industries FritzZyme® Freshwater Nitrifying Bacteria. Seeds and fish food are also included.
JrPonics BubbleGarden (Hydroponics) - Learn all about hydroponics by growing plants in a miniature two site, recirculating, shallow water culture system. The plants are fed hydroponics nutrients while air bubbles are delivered directly to the roots in the water. This creates a highly oxygenated nutrient rich environment that plants can always drink and breathe from.
Hydroponically grown plants grow bigger, faster and with better yields using just a fraction of the water and nutrients of conventional farming.
Included is a set of 1oz dropper bottles of General Hydroponics® Flora Duo® A & B professional hydroponics nutrients. Our custom easy to use feeding chart teaches kids how to feed their JrPonics differently as plants grow older, easily measuring the nutrients by counting drops! We also explain about the importance of pH and how to adjust it and the importance of lighting.
Each kit comes complete with the following:
- JrPonics FishGarden Tank with Custom Lid
- Air Pump, Tubing with Safety Check Valve and Air Stone
- Specially Formulated pH Stabilizing Gravel Mix
- Net Cups, Clay Pebbles and Colored Foam Pucks
- Basil & Mint Seeds
- 1oz Foliar Spray Bottle
Each unit is lovingly hand-assembled in our home in West Palm Beach, FL. If our Indiegogo campaign is successful, we will be able to move our operation out of our home and to a warehouse where we will supply 2-4 more people with full-time jobs!
A Little History About the JrPonics FishGarden & BubbleGarden:
As parents of seven children and avid gardeners, we have helped our kids with plenty of school science projects over the years. As a former hydroponics store owners, we saw a lack of products on the market for kids that taught the plant growing sciences of aquaponics and hydroponics. We used the free time in our store for over two years to research, learn and develop a one gallon garden kit that correctly teaches the basics of aquaculture (the science of growing fish and hydroponics together) and hydroponics (the science of growing plants without soil using water with liquid nutrients to feed the plants).
Our purpose behind the invention of the JrPonics FishGarden is to educate kids about the environmentally friendly growing sciences of aquaponics and hydroponics. So many children don't even know that food comes from a plant. Our gardening kits belong in all schools, especially in urban areas where children lack the opportunity to see food growing on plants. Our goal is for the JrPonics FishGarden to teach our next generation how to grow their own food and be self-sustainable.
The JrPonics FishGarden & BubbleGarden was launched and ready for retail sales in July 2012, with a sticker price of $65.95. We sold over 1,500 units within the first few months with very little advertising to many hydroponics/gardening centers and pet stores across the country.
Our retailers told us that customers love the
JrPonics, but not many were purchasing because the price was too high. Honestly, we agreed with our retailers and consumers!
Stores and customers alike loved our product but the fact remained that we needed to make a change.
So we went back to the drawing board to figure out how to reduce our costs so we could get the Jrponics FishGardens into the hands of more little gardeners. The answer is simple - we need to buy our components in larger quantities to lower our costs. This will allow us to sell our product for our original intended MSRP of just $39.95.
In September 2013, we took a leap of faith and reduced the retail price to $39.95. It proved to be a wise decision - in the months following, we have more than quadrupled our sales and continue to see sales climb. Customers who didn't like the price tag before, are now buying the JrPonics FishGarden without hesitancy and in some cases they are buying two or three ... a truly one of a kind gift with so much value.
What challenges do we face if we are successfully funded?
Fortunately for our backers, we have already taken on the initial risk ourselves by finishing the research, development and initial production of the JrPonics FishGarden a year and a half ago. This included everything from the sourcing of components to creating custom shipping boxes and materials, developing our website and the initial launch of our product. This revealed a few small bugs that we have had a chance to work out.
We are qualified to take this project to the next level because we have already spent a great deal of time working all the bugs out which can be costly and time consuming for new start-ups.
The mis-pricing of our product actually gave us a chance to take things more slowly instead of selling tens of thousands right from the start without working out potential problems. For example, when we shipped the first JrPonics units, 4 out of 5 units arrived cracked. We had to revisit how we packed the fragile containers for shipping. We chose a larger shipping box with additional packing material and now we rarely have units arriving damaged.
Initially, we had sourcing issues on two of the components included in the JrPonics FishGarden. The grommets and clay pebbles were both unexpectedly discontinued by the suppliers we were buying from. Now, all of our components are sourced from reliable suppliers and we have back up sources in place just in case a supplier cannot deliver in a timely manner.
The biggest challenges we anticipate
facing is the increased volume of production. We know that once we have the
working capital to produce and sell the JrPonics FishGarden at the new lowered
retail price of $39.95 and begin an advertising campaign for the first time,
the demand for our product will be huge! At this time, we feel we have enough
people on board with the project to meet the demand and are ready to hire more employees when necessary. We are hard workers,
dedicated and determined to see this wonderful endeavor through to the very
With the confidence of increased sales and interest, we are ready to crank out as many JrPonics as we get orders for except for just one small detail... We lack the working capital to continue to produce the JrPonics FishGarden at our new retail price.
This is where Indiegogo and awesome backers like you come into the picture.
The goal of our Indiegogo Campaign is to raise the working capital we need to permanently reduce our retail price to $39.95. We will reduced the wholesale cost for our retailers and be able to offer a substantial discount to teachers and schools.
At this point, we have almost run out of JrPonics FishGarden kits and need to manufacture more soon to keep up with demand. Our Indiegogo campaign is an all-or-nothing campaign. If we do not reach our goal of $150,000, we will not see any funding for the JrPonics FishGarden. Without funding, we will not be able to manufacture any more JrPonics FishGardens.
Why should you back the JrPonics Indiegogo Campaign?
1) We have a real working product, not just a prototype. The JrPonics is an amazingly detailed garden. Literally everything has been thought of to give the user a true plug-and-play experience to make the introduction to both aquaponics and hydroponics less complicated and more fun.
2) Our product has an established following on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Pinterest and is already being sold in nearly 200 stores in the US and Canada. The JrPonics FishGarden is getting rave customer reviews on Amazon.com from parents, grandparents and teachers that love our product.
3) We have a positive message behind our product. Supporting the JrPonics FishGarden project is supporting positive change in the way our next generation of gardeners/farmers/growers thinks on how to grow food in sustainable and environmentally friendly ways.
Here's how you can help:
Here is your chance to be a part of something important and get rewarded nicely for your efforts!
You can help our campaign in a couple different ways –
1) By pledging an amount and and getting awesome rewards.
2) By sharing our campaign with as many people as you can.
The seemingly simple act of sharing our story with other people is how Indiegogo campaigns are successfully funded and dreams become reality.
Help us provide a reasonable retail price for the JrPonics FishGarden & BubbleGarden, so that every child has the opportunity to to learn about gardening.
By backing our campaign, this dream can become a reality for our family - thanks to awesome backers like you!