Organic Aquaponics

Copywrite by Eli Rogosa <growseed@yahoo.com>

How does it work?

Educational Activities

Let's tour a Growing Power aquaponic system Click on * for more info.

 

1. Starting with the Fish

Young Nile Tilapia fish are warmed by heat radiating from coils of water connected to a roof-level water tank that absorbs the sun's energy.

1a. Caring for Tilapia *

Tilapia eat duckweed and algea that grow in the nutrient-rich water.

2. Aerobic Biofilter Habitat

The water falling from the plants above onto the rocks in the fish pond

creates a habitat with a balance of air, moisture and nutrients for

microbes that cleanse water.

 

2a. Wetland Biofiltration

Beneficial bacteria thrive on the submerged, oxygen-rich plant roots of papyrus. The bacteria convert the toxic ammonia in fish waste to nitrate, used for nutrients by vegetables.

2b. Wetland Plants

Wetland plants have adapted to the anoxic conditions of marsh depths lacking oxygen by drawing air down from their stems and leaves into their roots. These oxygen-rich roots are teeming with aerobic microbes.

2c. Anerobic Biofilter Habitat

Porous lava rocks lining the pond bottom provide a home for the teeming anerobic bacteria that transform ammonia into harmless nitrogen gas that returns safely to the atmosphere.

3. Duckweed

floats over the gravel bed. It absorbs the ammonia and converts it into a protein-rich biomass that easy to digest by fish. Click on the frog to learn more about duckweed:


3a. Cultivating Duckweed

Duckweed, equal in protein to commercial fish pellets, produces more protein than soybeans. When combined with plankon and algea, duckweed provides a complete nutrient source for Nile Tilapia, while cleansing the water.

Duckweed Aquaculture

4. Vermicomposting*

Red earthworms (Eisenia fetida) eat semi-decomposed foodscraps, yard waste and manures. They can transform dried fish sludge into vermicompost. Mix in kelp and greensand, if available, to add valuable trace minerals and grit for earthworms.

 

 

5. Soil-Media and Irrigation

Vermicompost is mixed with shredded coconut hulls or vermiculite for a soil media. This mix provides balanced nutrients and air, and wicks up moisture from the flow of water pumped up from the fish pond below.

6. Plant Troughs

Almost any vegetable can be grown in the plant trough. Shallow rooting varieties, ie: watercress, lettuce, salad greens or basel, do especially well. 

 

7. Renewed Water

The cleansed water recirculates down into the fish pond, completing the cycle.

 

Aquaponic-Pond Ecosystem

Powered by sunlight, enriched by oxygen from the waterfall, nourished by fish-waste nutrients, the pond is home for a treasure of microscopic creatures.

 

 

An 18' pond with nearly 100' of plant troughs.

Three-tiered Aquaponic System

Build your own system for bio-intensive fish-vegetable garden.

LINKS

  Bioshelters

 

Aquatic Microbial Life

'Living Machines'

Ecological-Engineering

 Intervale

Integrated Aquaculture-Agriculture

Integrated Biosystems