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Back To The Roots Water Garden Review 2023 – Pros, Cons & Verdict

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By Lindsey Stanton

Back to the Roots water garden

If you like growing plants, especially with aquaponics, and you like having fish too, the Back To The Roots Water Garden is probably going to pop up in your search. This is a unique little tank that can house 1–2 smaller fish, while also having a miniature herb or plant garden on top.

The tank provides quite a unique concept and is certainly reliable. Today we want to see how good this tank actually is, sure it looks stylish, but how does it perform? Let’s dive into this Back to the Roots Water Garden review to take a detailed look. (you can check the price and more info at Amazon here).

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Our Back To The Roots Water Garden Review

Back to the Roots water garden closeup


The Back to the Roots Water Garden is not huge. It cannot house many fish or grow many plants on top. However, it is not meant for size. After all, bigger is not always better. This Water Garden has some valuable features nonetheless.

Important: If you were looking to house a Betta Fish then this tank is NOT really suitable in our opinion as Betta’s have specific conditions and requirements that cannot really be met with this tank, we have covered some good and suitable Betta tank suggestions in this article here.


This is a small tank that comes in at 3 gallons. Now, the whole thing is a little bigger if you take the garden on top into account. With that being said, a 3-gallon tank is okay for a small fish or two. Some people like the compact size and design of the Back To The Roots Garden because it can easily fit on an office desk, a nightstand, or on a bookshelf. It’s a good option for people who want fish and plants but want to keep it small.

Plant Growth

Of course, the really neat part here is that you get a little micro garden on top of the tank. If you like growing herbs, this thing might be a really cool option for you. There are some micro-greens and wheatgrass seeds included here to get you started. Heck, you might even be able to grow something that you can eat with this thing, like basil or other herbs. The lid which serves as the tray for the plants is pretty easy to remove, which helps make tank cleaning and maintenance fairly easy.

It is kind of frustrating to have to remove the tray for fish feeding, but it’s not the worst thing in the world. However, what is great is that the plant pods help to start the nitrogen cycle in the tank for cleaner water.


The main advantage of the Back To The Roots Water Garden is that it does not require any filtration, nor do the plants on top need fertilizer. If you have a fish or two in the tank, their waste should be more than enough to keep the plants alive. On that same note, the plants on top should be more than enough to filter the water below. They pull chemicals and pollutants out of the water, effectively working as a filtration unit.

Now, do keep in mind that the plants on top can only do so much. While they work effectively as biological and chemical filters, they do not really remove any kind of solid debris. It does not have the filtration capacity to handle any kind of large or even medium bioload. In other words, you will need to bust out the net to remove solid debris like fish waste on a regular basis. To be clear, there is a little pump which pulls water to and from the plants


We like the look of the Water Garden since it does add some color and life to any space. The tank is also quite durable which is always a plus in our book. One thing that needs to be said is that you will need to buy plants, fish, substrate, and probably even some lights and a heater on the side, which is a bit of a drawback.

  • Durable.
  • Good looking.
  • Unique concept.
  • Grows plants.
  • Does not require a filter.
  • Self-sustaining (mostly).
  • Easy to set up.
  • Requires a fair bit of cleaning.
  • Feeding fish is a bit of a pain.
  • Could do with some more accessories.


So, all in all, the Water Garden is a pretty novel concept: using fish to feed plants and using plants to filter the water. Yeah, it’s pretty incredible. The Water Garden tank certainly looks nice and it makes for a good conversation piece. However, you cannot really grow a lot with it, nor can you house a lot of fish, plus there are some minor filtration issues too. It’s a cool addition to your home, but it’s probably not for people who prefer real aquariums with several fish.

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