Biofilters such as living roofs, living walls, and constructed wetlands have many applications for the outdoor built environment. Opportunities for indoor applications exist but require special considerations. Dr. Robert D. Cameron has designed and constructed exterior and interior biofilters for many applications on several continents. Here he provides a step by step “how to” on constructing an integrated interior system comprised of a living wall and an aquarium to provide culinary herbs for the kitchen.
The integrated system, measuring 33” by 40” provides habitat for more than 25 plant species and several aquatic animal species. In addition to plants for aesthetics, culinary species include: basil, mint, sage, thyme, and oregano. The five inch depth of the wall cavity required a custom-made aquarium which houses species such as Betta fish. The living wall component filters the fish wastes which provide nutrients for plant growth. In addition, the living wall aerates the water providing oxygen for the fish. Consequently, no aquarium mechanical filter or air pump is necessary. Ultimately, the integrated system provides a balanced small scale ecosystem practical for residential applications.