Aquaponics is a form of indoor year-round agriculture that combines raising fish in tanks (recirculating aquaculture) with soilless plant culture (hydroponics).
We grow and sell both Blue and Nile tilapias in our Aquaponics system which we started from our own breeding colony. We feed the fish high protein food using self-feeding and timed feeding methodologies. The ammonia waste created by the fish is converted by bacteria into nitrites and then into nitrates. These nitrates then feed our plants. As the plants consume the natural nitrate fertilizer the water is purified and recirculated back as fresh water into the tanks for our fish. This cycle repeats 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
No soils, pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers are used anywhere in our system. It is a true organic cycle.
We use two types of water based growing styles for our plants.
Deep water culture (DWC) or raft-based growing uses a foam raft that is floating in a channel filled with fish effluent water that has been filtered to remove solid wastes. Plants are placed in holes in the raft and the roots dangle freely in the water.
Media-based growing involves growing plants in inert planting media such as expanded clay pellets. The media provides both the biological filtration (conversion of ammonia to nitrates) and mechanical filtration (removal of solid wastes) in the same system.