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Aquaponics Global Ltd. Introductory LectureAquaponic Farming For Hainan.
Aquaponics-The Modern Automated ORGANIC Food Factory. Due mostly to a sharp increase in tourism, Hainan is having to import more and more food. At the same time, the natural wonders the tourists are keen to see are being wiped out by farmers cutting down the forest to get more land-to grow food to feed the tourists. This makes no sense whatsoever, especially since there is a very efficient and simple to transfer technology that takes advantage of a skill many Hainanese already have-FISH FARMING. Aquaponics is the marriage of INTENSIVE MODERN FISH FARMING IN TANKS to INTENSIVE MODERN HYDROPONIC FARMING ON FLOATING POLYSTYRENE RAFTS IN RACEWAYS FULL OF FISH WASTE WATER. NO SOIL IS NEEDED. AQUAPONICS CAN GO ANYWHERE. Aquaponics grows 90% more food on 90% less space with 90% less water and work. It uses 17% of the energy of soil farming,
Tropical Outdoor Aquaponics Using the University of the Virgin Islands Design. This is the tried and tested (operational commercially since the 1970s) University of the Virgin Islands aquaponics system design that our technician is trained to install and use.
The nitrogen cycle in water helps fish and plants live happily together in an aquaponic systemNITRIFYING BACTERIA, NITROSOMONAS AND NITROBACTER, digest fish waste into plant food.Plants eat up the plant food and clean the water. The water is pumped back to the fish. Roundand round. The only input is FISH FOOD, tiny amounts of trace minerals and a little top-upwater (1.5% daily of the total volume of water in the aquaponic system). This comparesfavourably with around 90% of water top-up daily for irrigated agriculture.
Base addition Effluent line Hydroponic tanks DegassingRearing tanks Sump Clarifier Return line Filter tanks Total water volume, 110 m3 Land area - 0.05 ha
Aquaponics Plumbing Diagram Side On FROM OUTSIDE Showing CLARIFIER, outer settling tankfor fish solids disposal, piping from fish rearing tanks to clarifier. Getting rid of the fish solids toan outside tank for settling out and composting to organic fish manure is important. Fish solidsare removed from the system via a tap on the clarifier three times a day, every day. Any waste water is safe to use as irrigation water on normal soil crops such as fruit trees and grain. No untreated fish effluent is allowed to go to waste into rivers and lakes. Its too valuable as organic fertilizer!
View from below of main piping runs in the UVI aquaponics system. Note the route the waterfrom the degassing tank takes into one set of hydroponic tanks, then the return piping (waterlines) from the second connected set of hydroponic tanks. We will now trace the flow of thewater around the system using the System Diagram:
System Design Four fish rearing tanks, 7.8 m3 each Two cylindro-conical clarifiers, 3.8 m3 each Four filter tanks, 0.7 m3 each One degassing tank, 0.7 m3 Six hydroponic tanks, 11.3 m3 each Total plant growing area, 214 m2 One sump, 0.6 m3 Base addition tank, 0.2 m3 Total water volume, 110 m3 Land area - 0.05 ha ONLY
Original UVI Aquaponics System-4 fish rearing tanks and 6 hydroponic troughs.
Overview of the 6 hydroponic raceways of the UVI aquaponic system.
Treatment Processes Air stones, 22 per rearing tank, 24 per hydroponic tank Solids removal, three times daily from clarifier, filter tank cleaning one or two times weekly Denitrification in orchard netting filled filter tanks Continuous degassing of methane, CO2 , H2S, N2 Direct uptake of ammonia and other nutrient by plants Nitrification in hydroponic tank (keep an eye on it) Retention time: rearing tank, 1.37 h; clarifier, 20 min, hydroponic tanks, 3 h
Airlines working in UVI fish rearing tank. Intensive fish rearing (1200 hybrid red tilapia fish in 7.8 cubic metres of water) requires additional air supplied constantly 24/7.
2 regenerating air blowers supply air via air lines to the fish tanks and hydroponic tank. 1.5 hp blower supplies the fish and the degassing tank. 1 hp blower supplies the hydroponic tanks.They supply air to the water 24 hours a day all year or the fish and plants will die very rapidly. Spare air blowers, backup electric supplies and pumps are essential to avoid disasters.
Fish rearing tank inlet and tank harvest water drainage pipes. Buried under gravel for easyaccess for maintenance. The tank has to be half emptied during fish harvests, every 24 weeksas fish get to market weight and size. This makes harvesting with hand-held nets much easier.
Each pair of fish rearing tanks has its own conical clarifier, and p.air of orchard netting filledfine solids filtration and mineralization tanks. The water from both sides of the system goesinto the degassing tank (left hand side of picture) and flows via gravity to the 6 hydroponictanks. In the hydroponic tanks, the nutrients in the water are absorbed by the plant crops.
Another view of the orchard netting tanKs to which the water flows from the clarifier cone.
Dismantled conical clarifier end on with bottom hole for exit pipe for tapping off fish solidseffluent.
Dismantled aquaponics conical clarifier with baffles inserted. These force the solid lumps offish excrement downwards towards the bottom of the cone where they settle while the lesspolluted water continues to the orchard netting fine solids filter tanks. Gravity fed water flow.
Fish solids (fish poo and water) being removed from the clarifier cone via pipe to the outside.This should be done 3 times a day. The buckets of fish poo are sent to a settling pond outside.
Alignment of 1 clarifier and 2 orchard netting tanks with the fish rearing tanks they serve.
Clean the netting in the orchard netting tanks using the winch and a hose, with dechlorinatedand dechloramined water, once or twice a week to control nitrate levels in the water supply.To find out how much nitrate, nitrite and ammonia is in your water, and to control the pH, youhave to test the water scientifically EVERY DAY. THIS IS NOT JUST ADD WATER FARMING!
Cleaning the orchard netting using built in high pressure nozzles. The nitrifying bacteria live onfine fish solids captured by the orchard netting and release dissolved nitrates for plant feed.
The solids settling pond at the UVI. Removed fish solids settle here and compost into a sludge.The separated water can be used for soil crop irrigation. The sludge at the bottom is periodicallydewatered using a geotextile bag and pump. The resulting fish manure is organic fertilizer. Thiswater runoff from the system represents around 1.5% of the system volume as an exchange rate.
The degassing tank and base addition tank, sump and pump at the center of the UVI system.Water flows by gravity from the orchard netting mineralization and filter tanks to the degassingtank, which is heavily aerated with air lines. This fizzing air through the water removes residualhydrogen sulphide and carbon dioxide from the water column. The base addition tank is for thegradual addition of tiny amounts of garden lime (calcium hydroxide-Ca(OH)2) and old fashionedlye (potassium hydroxide-KOH) in alternating amounts with precise testing to control water pH.
A crop of lettuce ready to harvest in the UVI hydroponic troughs. 29 days from seedling toharvest, one harvest a week all year. Lettuce grown in soil takes 60 days at lower plantingdensity.
Floating raft with crop of lettuce ready to harvest at the UVI. Floating rafts can be lifted out toharvest crops. Floating rafts are painted white on the upper surface to reflect solar radiationupwards. This deflects heat from the water and the raft seals the raceway to prevent waterevaporation. Water exchange in this aquaponics system is 1.5% compared to 90% forconventional soil crop farming. This is because the water is sealed in and shaded, and the fishrearing tanks are also shaded. 98% of water used is constantly recycled round the system.
Another view of staggered crop rotation in the UVI aquaponic system. Seedlings andharvestable crops grow in sequence on a “conveyor belt” of removable floating rafts. This is anorganic intensive food factory. In a controlled climate greenhouse, this method can be evenmore productive with more control over temperature and humidity, also storm avoidance.
More lettuces growing fast in the UVI aquaponics system.
Culinary herbs (with a high market price per plant) growing in the UVI aquaponics system.
Cucumber plants growing in the UVI aquaponics system. Cucumber, melon and squash are allpossible fast-fruiting crops in this system.
Close up of an immature cucumber growing in the UVI floating raft aquaponics system.
Air line bubbling in a hydroponic raceway under water. The floating raft has been recentlyremoved temporarily for harvesting lettuce.
Air stones and airlines, airline connectors at the UVI. Air has to be constantly pumped into thewater in all the fish rearing tanks and hydroponic raceways.
Floating raft with lettuces being lifted out to harvest at waist height. No back breaking bendingor soil contamination. Clean lettuce! Fish are cold-blooded so cannot contaminate aquaponicsystem water with germs that make humans sick. Wash your hands after going to the bathroom!
The trestle table on which the floating rafts are rested so the lettuces can be quickly cut off.
Putting the floating raft on the trestle table. Note the roots hanging down. In aquaponics, theroots of the plants do not have to grow sideways to find nutrition, it is all in the fish wastewater supplied direct to the roots. So the plants growth energy is all concentrated in topgrowth which can make many species grow twice as fast, also at half the spacing. No need forlots of space! Aquaponic farming uses 90% less space to grow up to 4 times more food.
Crated lettuce ready for market from the UVI aquaponics system.
Cleaned floating raft after lettuce harvest, being stacked against the fence to dry.
Treatment CharacteristicsFish toxin removal rates from the waterusing romaine lettuce (g/m2/day):NH3-N, 0.56 NO2-N, 0.62 COD, 30.3 Total nitrogen, 0.83 Total phosphorous, 0.17
Raft Hydroponics Advantages: no tank size limitation, no root clogging, maximum exposure of roots to water, sheets shade and cool water, plants not affected when water pump stops, easy to harvest with no back breaking work Disadvantages: roots vulnerable to damage byzooplankton, snails and other organisms (use tetras(aquarium fish) to control zooplankton, and red earsunfish to control snails.
Snails like these can be a pest in your hydroponic troughs. Red eared sunfish will eat them.
Red eared sunfish living under your hydroponic rafts will eat all your snail pests, but not yourplants.
PEST CONTROL IN AQUAPONICS IS NECESSARILY BIOLOGICAL. IF YOU USECHEMICAL PESTICIDES, EVEN IF THEY ARE LABELLED ORGANIC, YOU WILL KILLYOUR FISH! Fish are very sensitive to poison. You cannot use any toxic chemicals such as pesticides on your crops since the water will take the chemicals back to the fish and the fish will all die. No antibiotics either. Pest control in aquaponics involves using beneficial insects such as ladybugs, parasitic wasps, and lacewings to eat up insect pests. You can also use bacillus thuringensis, a bacterial spray that kills caterpillars but not fish and humans, and natural vegetable oils which suffocate the insects.
Biological Pest Control DIPEL SPECIAL BIOLOGICALY VEGETABLE SAFE OIL SPRAYS.
DIPEL kills caterpillars and worms without killing fish and humans.
Important Principles Optimum feeding rate, 60 - 100 g/m2 plant area/day prevents nutrient accumulation or deficiency Slow removal of solids increases mineralization Frequency of filter tank cleaning controls nitrate levels through denitrification Treatment capacity of hydroponic tanks is equivalent to 180 g of feed/day/m2 of plant area
Production Management Feeding: three times daily ad libitum 32% protein, floating, complete diet Stagger fish production, 24 week cycle, harvest every 6 weeks Stagger plant production Use biological insect control Monitor pH daily, maintain pH 7.0 by alternate and equal additions Ca(OH)2 and KOH Add chelated iron (2 mg/L) every 3 weeks Add makeup water daily, about 1.5% of system volume Purge fish for 4-5 days before sale
Red hybrid tilapia fish sell very well to restaurants. They also grow in large numbers inaquaponics systems fish rearing tanks, where they fertilize the water for the plant crops. Theytake 24 weeks to grow from fingerlings to plate size, and are harvested from each tank in turnevery six weeks. (There are 4 tanks, 4 x 6 weeks = 24 weeks). There is a separate breedingstation where the tilapia are bred on the farm to ensure healthy disease free fish.
Feeding the fish at the University of the Virgin Islands aquaponics system. Feed as much asthey will eat three times a day for maximum growth. Only as much as they will comfortably eatin half an hour. DO NOT OVERFEED, this pollutes the water and will cause disease and deadfish. The netting is to keep out predators such as birds and cats, who eat fish! You want tomake sure that you harvest 1200 fish (hybrid red tilapia, as an example) every 6 weeks!
Testing the water in the fish rearing tanks for pH. This must be done at least daily to make surethat the pH is neutral (7.0). If the pH is too high or too low, old fashioned lye or garden lime basemust be added to buffer the water pH. This is done extremely carefully and gradually in the baseaddition tank. Garden lime increases pH, while old fashioned lye decreases it. Tiny amountsonly!
Calcium hydroxide or garden lime (Ca(OH)2) in a bucket ready to be added to the base additontank at the center of the aquaponic system by the sump and pump. Be careful, this is nastystuff! Only this amount for thousands of liters of water. The base addition tank trickle adds thesolution over many hours in tiny quantities so as not to shock the fish.
The pH (level of water acidity/alkalinity) of your aquaponic system must always be kept adjusted to neutral (7.0) for all the living processes and creatures to maintain healthy harmony. Aquaponics is extremely harmonious!
Potassium hydroxide before being added to the base addition tank at the center of theaquaponic system by the sump and pump. Be careful, this is caustic, i.e. it burns! Only thisamount is added for thousands of gallons of water. The base addition tank trickle adds thesolution over many hours in tiny quantities so as not to shock the fish.
The base addition tank where the pH adjustment base chemicals are added very gradually tothe sump. This sump tank is where the water returns to from the hydroponic raceways to bepumped back up to the fish tanks. The aquaponic system works with JUST ONE 1/2HORSEPOWER ELECTRIC PUMP for water pumping, one 1 1/2 horsepower regenerating airblower for fish rearing tanks and degassing, and one 1 horsepower blower for hydroponics.
The 1/2 horsepower electric pump UNDER THE SUMP, pumping the CLEANED water back upALONG THE MAIN PIPE that branches to supply the 4 fish rearing tanks. The fish tanks are theHIGHEST POINT OF THE SYSTEM. From there the water trickles down again round the systemvia gravity, finding its level as it follows the pipework from one tank to another. THEAQUAPONIC SYSTEM IS FILLED FROM THE SUMP AND PUMP. THE SUMP IS NOT THE DUMP.The dirty water from the system DOES NOT GO ANYWHERE NEAR THE PUMP.
Energy Consumption One blower for fish and degassing, 1.5 hp One blower for hydroponics, 1 hp One water pump, ½ hp Total energy consumption 3.0 hpTHE SINGLE PUMP IS UNDER THE SUMPThe clean water collects in the sump for the pumpThe water is pumped to the highest point: the fish tanks.It then flows under gravity round the system again .
Graphic showing relative production quantities overall in one year for tilapia, lettuce, basil andokra using one 0.05 ha. UVI aquaponics unit. Other crops can be grown of course. Units p.a. Tilapia Cases p.a. Lettuce Basil Okra kg/m3/yr Okra Metric tons p.a. Basil Lettuce Tilapia 0 5000 10000 15000 20000 25000 30000 35000 40000
1200 red tilapia about to be harvested. Note the high stocking density of the fish and the AIRLINES in the tank. Fish in intensive rearing tanks need a lot of oxygen. This stocking density in pond fish farming is not possible because you cannot supply enough oxygen or control pHaccurately or consistently enough to get these results. If you did this in a pond you would kill all the fish. POND FISH FARMING DOES NOT WORK FOR AQUAPONICS AT ALL.
Lifting a floating raft full of lettuces out of the hydroponic raceway.
Okra seedlings in plastic net pots and coir/vermiculite planting plugs newly inserted into afloating raft. Seedlings are germinated and grown on separately in a separate greenhouse for 2-3weeks before insertion into the aquaponic system. The growing medium for seedlings is amixture of non-soil inert coir (coconut fiber) and vermiculite. Soil is not allowed (diseases).
Okra growing in the UVI aquaponics system hydroponic raceways on floating polystyrene rafts.
Roots of okra crop demonstrating health and strong growth in nothing but fish waste water.
Okra plants ready to harvest the okra. Note the very high planting density. This cannot be achieved in soil.
Some other crops you can easily and quickly grow, flowers for cutting, melons, basil. Basilgrows from seedlings in 29 days. You can cut it three times before you have to replace the plants.
Advantages of Aquaponics Fish provide most nutrients required by plants Plants use nutrients to produce a valuable by-product Hydroponic component serves as a biofilter Hydroponic plants extend water use and reduce discharge to the environment Integrated systems require less water quality monitoring than individual systems Profit potential increased due to free nutrients for plants, lower water requirement, elimination of separate biofilter, less water quality monitoring and shared costs for operation and infrastructure.
Perspective on UVI Aquaponic System The system represents appropriate or intermediate technology It conserves water and reuses nutrients The technology can be applied at a subsistence level orcommercial scale Production is continuous and sustainable The system is simple, reliable and robust Management is easy if guidelines are followed
Nelson & Pade Commercial Size Ready Made System In Kit Form.If you dont want to build your aquaponic system yourself from local materials, you can order a kit from America. This is, however, much more expensive and many of the parts are actually Made in China. Nelson & Pade, U.S.A. Well established manufacturer of commercial sized aquaponic farming kits. Largely copied from the previously described University of the Virgin Islands aquaponic system. Guaranteed to work. Price of one UVI-like commercial small sized farm kit $45,495 excluding freight and installation.
Nelson & Pade grow beds and fish grow out tank. Two grow beds in one raceway with a plasticdivider, floating raft systems. Grow out tank with observation window for Nile tilapia. Can bebuild outdoors or in a controlled climate greenhouse.
Nelson & Pade conical clarifier. Nelson & Pade orchard netting tank and degassing tank. Thesework exactly the same as the UVI system above. The conical clarifier removes the worst of thefish solids using baffles to drive the solids o settle ttowards the exit pipe at the bottom. Theorchard netting tank removes the finer solids and provides a home for the nitrifiying bacteriawhich digest the solids into nitrates. The degassing tank removes hydrogen sulphide andexcess carbon dioxide from the water column using intensive aeration via the air pumpedthrough air lines in the tank. From the degassing tank the water flows out to the plants.
Nelson & Pade UVI-style sump with base addition tank for gradual addition of pH controlbases. The single low horsepower pump for the whole Nelson and Pade system, like the UVIsystem, pushes the water up to its highest level in the fish tanks. From there it trickles downaround the system and back to the sump and pump using gravity under its own weight. This isbasically the same system as that designed by the University of the Virgin Islands team in the1970s, but available as a prefabricated easy to assemble kit. Operating the system, however,requires additional advice, training and supervision for some months to ensure success.
Close up of Nelson & Pade degassing tank. Here excess hydrogen sulphide and carbon dioxidefrom bacterial activity in the orchard netting tanks is removed with intense aeration. Waterflows from the degassing tank straight out to the hydroponic troughs. Water flows from the orchard netting tanks to the degassing tank. From the degassing tank the water flows full of nitrates to the hydroponic tanks. This is identical to the UVI system but smaller. It does not grow anything like as much fish.
Lettuce seedlings growing in the hydroponic trough (29 days to harvest). Seedlings growing in net pots in the floating polystyrene raft in the hydroponic trough. They are not growing in soil. Their roots are suspended in the fish waste waste that has just flowed out of the degassing tank. The water under the raft is intensively aerated.
Nelson & Pade media bed modules. THIS IS NOT SOIL. This is expanded clay balls. This neutral growing medium is good for crops that do not like to have their roots submerged in water all the time. Reusable. Flooded with flowing water at all times to a fixed level.
Fish, green leafy vegetable (lettuce, bok choi, kailan etc) and tomato example productionchart, Nelson & Pade Commercial 500 system. Fish production is 997.9 kilos a year tosimultaneously produce vast amounts of green vegetables and tomatoes. Area of the system is only 374.585 m² or 0.037 ha. Units p.a. max Fish Leafy greens Tomatoes Units p.a min Kilos Per year Tomatoes Leafy greens Fish 0 5000 10000 15000 20000 25000 30000 35000 40000 45000 50000
Specifications of the Commercial 500 Aquaponic System From Nelson & Pade.Specific Details Commercial 500 Aquaponic SystemEstimated lbs. of fish 2,200 lbs/997.903 kg/yearEstimated pounds of fish is based on raising Nile Tilapia,under optimum conditions.Estimated number of heads of lettuce/greens 28,800 – 46,080 /year We have used lettuce as an example because it is 552 - 884/week, averagecommonly grown in aquaponics. Most other greens such ascollards, chard, bok choi and herb varieties such as basil,chives and cilantro, can be grown using the same plantspacing. Other crops, such as tomatoes, eggplant, melons,beans, cucumbers, etc., can be grown using the appropriateplant spacing. Results depend on good management andvary according to climate and whether in a greenhouse.Estimated lbs of tomatoes (in addition to the production 2400 – 3360/pounds/yearabove) 1088.621 - 1524.070 kg/yearSize of vegetable grow beds: 2 – 8’ x 40’Raft 2 – 10’ x 32’NFT Aquaponic Flow Channels 2 – 3’ x 32’Media-Beds 2880 plant sites (leaf) 96 plant sites (vine)Number and size of fish tanks 4 – 500 gal fish tanksEstimated amount of time required/day 5 - 8 hours/dayFor feeding fish, maintaining filters, seeding, transplantingand harvestingApproximate space/dimensions required 2 – 28’ x 72’, 4,032 sq. ft. / 374.585 m² or 0.037 ha.Package Cost $ 45,495Kit Crating Fee $825
This is the mature aquaponics system at the University of the Virgin Islands, St Croix.More food can be grown per hectare than with any other form of food production in a mature and properly managed aquaponics system for LESS INPUTS than conventional agriculture. Aquaponics Global Ltd aquaponics consultancy can assist you to construct and operate one or more of these systems on a residency basis.
General productivity of ALL aquaponic systems is much more efficient than soil farming. This has been scientifically proven with studies which are freely available online.E.g. http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/science/enviro/aquaculture/acrdp-pcrda/projects/reports-rapports/ca/CA-05-01-004.pdf Aquaponics uses 90% less land than soil farming to produce the same amount of food as a plot 90% larger of soil, or much more. Aquaponics uses 90% less water to produce the same amount of food as a plot 90% larger. Or even more food than that. Depends on what you grow. Aquaponics can produce up to 4 times as much food per acre/hectare as conventional farming. No chemical pesticides or herbicides can be used. Compared to hydroponics alone or fish farming alone, aquaponics is cheaper and more productive.
Staffing levels in aquaponics are low for technical staff. Only temporary harvesters needed. Because aquaponic farms are largely automated food factories, only two or three full-time technical staff are needed for farms producing tons of food. Minimum-wage semi-skilled harvesters are required only once or twice a week to do the easy harvesting of vegetables off the floating rafts at waist height. Fish harvesting is once every six weeks. Fish filleters and processors may be needed. Adequate refrigeration equipment is definitely needed.
Income from aquaponic farming varies according to market, crops grown, and quality of farmmanagement. Marketing your fish, vegetables and fruit is also VERY important and should bedone correctly and in good time to maximize your income from your organic food factory. Income from aquaponic farming varies from country to country, climate to climate and individual to individual. Different crops bring in different prices in different places. Aquaponics Global Ltd expert approved consultants are available for preliminary on the spot assessment of your technical aquaponics system requirements, construction costs, operating costs and requirements, crop products and markets in your area for the usual consultancy fees, plus travel and living expenses, interpreting assistance paid for . We are all accomplished linguists who can learn your language on long-term residency contracts without too many problems. Like any business, successful aquaponic farming depends on correct standard operating procedures being adhered to by properly trained staff. Aquaponics Global Ltd consultants are qualified to train your technicians and semi-skilled workers properly on the spot, with appropriate linguistic and logistical assistance from your side. We can also train future aquaponics technology trainers. Good general farm management and sustained, timely and creative marketing are also crucial. You do not make money by growing food. You make money by selling food! We can teach you modern farm and food factory management, and efficient marketing, locally and on the Internet!
Differences Between Aquaponics And Conventional Farming 1. Conventional Agriculture Aquaponics Grows crops in soil. Does not grow crops in soil. Grows crops in recirculated fish waste water, either on its own with the crop plants suspended at the surface in plastic net pots on floating polystyrene rafts, or suspended in the flowing water by an intert growing media fill such as expanded clay balls (Hydroton or Hydroleca brands) or pea gravel.
Differences Between Aquaponics And Conventional Farming 2. Conventional Farming Aquaponics Does not use artificial fertilizer. Uses artificial fertilizer Nitrates dissolved in the recirculating from a natural gas fish water from the intensive fish farm, flowing through the grow beds (methane) or methane or floating raft deep water containers from oil refining fertilize the plants. The source of these nitrates is the ammonia feedstock. You have to excreted by the fish in the intensive tank-based fish farm part of the buy artificial fertilizer aquaponic recirculating aquaculture every year to grow system. Aquaponics uses liquid organic fertilizer sourced via the enough food. solids removal and mineralization section from the fish excreta. Fish excrete ammonia through their gills and a certain amount is also dissolved out of their faeces as well.
Lettuce seedlings freshly inserted into floating polystyrene rafts in the hydroponictanks. No artificial fertilizer is used. Specially filtered fish farm waste water is used in the tanks. The lettuces clean the water of nitrates and GROW GROW GROW to harvest size in 29 days (normal time in soil farming is 60 days). The clean water is pumped back to the fish in the fish rearing tanks. Over 90% of this water is recirculated constantly. No weeding or digging required. Far less space and water required to grow much more food far faster than is possible in soil agriculture!
Differences Between Aquaponics And Conventional Farming 3. Conventional Farming Aquaponics At least 90% of the water used by aquaponic Water in conventional systems is recirculated. Water evaporation is limited by keeping the fish tanks in the shade agriculture is used only and covering deep water containers completely with floating white-painted closed-cell once. 90% of it then polystyrene rafts. These rafts are pierced with holes at regular intervals into which the plants goes to waste! China is in their polystyrene net pots are inserted. No surface area is permanently exposed to the heat now experiencing a of the sun, and the white paint further reflects heat back up into the atmosphere. This helps to severe water shortage keep water temperature at optimum levels for growth while stopping evaporation. Some loss and this should not does occur through evapotranspiration through the plants, however. In the University of the continue! Virgin Islands aquaponic system water exchange is 1.5% of the total system water volume (the amount of water that has to be topped up to replace water used to flush out fish solids and to replace water loss through evapotranspiration).
Differences Between Aquaponics And Conventional Farming 4. Conventional Farming Aquaponics Aquaponics uses an adapted form ofConventional agriculture hydroponics to grow crops. Crops grow atonly can harvest a few up to twice the speed suspended in fertile fish waste water. They also grow at up tocrops a year. Plants grow half the required spacing, so with crops such as basil and lettuce it is possible toslowly in soil. In get twice as many plants, twice as fast with the right varieties. That is 4 times astemperate climates, there much food! Crops grown in the floatingis a long winter harvesting raft deep water container system can be grown conveyor-belt fashion, withrest. seedlings being planted at one end of the hydroponic floating raft raceway as crops are being harvested weekly year-round from floating rafts at the other end. In temperate and desert climates a controlled climate greenhouse is necessary to get these results year-round, however.
Differences Between Aquaponics And Conventional Farming 5. Conventional Farming Aquaponics You cannot use chemical pesticides. Conventional Even the organic labelled ones will agriculture uses large kill all your fish dead fast. Since the fish it is who are running your quantities of artificial aquaponic system, dont use chemical chemical pesticides. pesticides. Only biologically safe pest control methods can be used. These include friendly insects such as ladybugs and parasitic wasps, bacillus thuringensis, which kills caterpillars but does not affect fish or people, and vegetable oils which suffocate the pests.
Biological Pest Control-Ladybugs, Parasitic Wasps, Lacewings, Hoverflies, Dipel (Bacillus Thuringensis), Special Vegetable Oil Bug Killer Sprays. DIPEL SPECIAL BIOLOGICALY VEGETABLE SAFE-Kills OIL SPRAYS-kill caterpillars insects by and worms. suffocation.
Differences Between Aquaponics And Conventional Farming 6. Conventional Farming Aquaponics Conventional No digging is necessary. agriculture has to spend Everything grows in time, money and water. No soil is needed equipment on or allowed. Soil brings ploughing, hoeing and plant and fish diseases, digging. so it is banned. You cannot and must not use soil in an aquaponics system.
Differences Between Aquaponics And Conventional Farming 7. Conventional Farming Aquaponics Conventional You only need 10% of the land space used by conventional agriculture uses a lot of agriculture to grow the same space and land. It often amount as would be grown n is associated with 90% more space in a year in soil. In many cases you can sewage pollution grow vastly more than that on problems from cattle your tiny plot. This is very and pig farm runoff. intensive agriculture, grown as if the food was being made in a modern factory. Unlike other factory farming methods, it does not pollute the water supply.
Differences Between Aquaponics And Conventional Farming 8. Conventional Farming Aquaponics Conventional This is automated agriculture is labor- growing. A team of two intensive. or three trained technicians are the only permanent staff you need, the rest are weekly harvesters that come in for the weekly harvest to do easy hourly piece work.
Differences Between Aquaponics And Conventional Farming 9. Conventional Farming Aquaponics Conventional farmers In a controlled climate greenhouse, if needed due to the are dependent on the outdoors climate, you can control weather, which can day length with low energy LED grow lamps, and control humidity, wipe out profits air temperature, etc. No suddenly. destructive weather and pest control is easier. So the ROI on a controlled climate greenhouse is fast since you are growing when no-one else in your area can, very probably. Supplying the winter market for vegetables without the high prices of imports. Remember, low staff ratios too.
Differences Between Aquaponics And Conventional Farming 10. Conventional Farming Aquaponics Conventional vegetable farmers You have two different just grow vegetables. products being produced simultaneously here in the same space, tilapia fish and vegetables and/or soft fruit such as strawberries and melons. The vegetables grow much faster than the fish and in much larger quantities. The big money is in the vegetables.
Why is the big money in the vegetables, not the fish?Tilapia fish take 24 weeks Leafy green vegetables to grow from baby fish grow up to twice as fast to plate size. When you as normal in aquaponic start your aquaponic systems, at up to half system running, you the normal spacing. You have to wait 6 MONTHS can get a crop of lettuce for any fish harvests at at twice as many per all. However, you will be square metre than in getting lots of soil, in 29 days rather vegetables after 6-8 than 60!! Other crops WEEKS from starting up. grow fast, too.
Differences Between Aquaponics And Conventional Farming 11. Conventional Farming Aquaponics Conventional All automated on the agriculture requires a spot. No running lot of fuel and around. 17% of the electricity to run barns, energy usage of a tractors, combine conventional farm harvesters, backhoes, overall. You are not ploughs, etc. digging or weeding so no complex machinery is needed. Just the aquaponic system.
Two Different Futures For Hainan. Conventional Farming Aquaponics Farming continues as usual without Aquaponics is adopted as a technical reforms. Land and water use government policy for all fish farms continue to increase. The famous and market gardens. Fish farming Hainan natural environment is becomes sustainable and massively destroyed by desperate farmers more productive. Fruit and vegetable trying to find more land and water to production increase exponentially to grow food. There is no longer any the point where Hainan is exporting rain forest for the tourists to come fresh organic produce even with the and see, and the beach and littoral demand from the tourist boom. Land environment is polluted by sewage and water use actually go down runoff from mismanaged instead of up. This makes saving the conventional agriculture. Tourists rain forest from being cut down very cease to come because the place is much easier and makes this carefully ruined, and soil and water quality go managed forest available for down to a point where food mostly profitable ecotourism. Everyone is has to be imported at great expense. happier, healthier and more Nobody is happy and many are prosperous.