Hi Justin – PLEASE forgive my inability just now – to send you a more direct answer. After doing much research on aquaponics I realize that it uses MUCH LESS WATER than other systems of gardening or farming. Countries who have desert like conditions use aquaponics with wonderful success – and it is a puzzle to me. It appears that our water cycle is closely reproduced in the aquaponic setup. For small windows many people do well with hydroponics and I love seeing their wonderful work. I loved the fish tank and joined window farmers who were getting into this area. With my temporary soil setup, I have to water each plant separately. While the dark soil might generate more heat causing evaporation – there seems to be much more at play with the fish tank and completing the water cycle. BUT, I AM NO scientist – just another fascinated window farmer – watching the wonders of growing in window conditions. There are disapointments and successes. Sylvia Woerner Manchester IN USA.