In this post I want to explain why our system design is different and why that is.
There a number of design people use in Aquaponics but not all these designs are used in Commercial Aquaponics.
The most common systems used are;
Deep Water Culture (Rafting) – Nutrient Film Technique (in tubes) – Media Beds – Dutch buckets – Vertical towers or A-frames
All system move water and there are two most used methods are;
Continuous Flow and Flood and Drain (siphon)
When it comes to Commercial Aquaponics, most use Deep Water Culture (Rafting) and the least used is Media Beds.
Deep Water Culture (Rafting) uses Continuous Flow to move water and Media Beds use Flood and Drain (siphon).
This is where we differ; we use Media Beds and Dutch buckets with the Continuous Flow to move water and below is why.
Our system and why?
Why do we chose to use media beds and Dutch bucket?
Bio-Filters are the key to maximising your fish capacity in a Commercial Aquaponics system, and the bio-filter will stop you fight the PH balance in your system.
We know all the inherited issue with media beds, and biggest of which is the cost of media which has always be the reason for not using them. All the traditional issues with media grow beds can be overcome and believe that the benefits far outweigh the set up cost.
We use a “Continuous Flow, subsurface, media system”
Our grow bed are 1000m wide x 300mm deep x a chosen length
We use a stone that is roughly 20mm in our grow beds that act as our Bio-system (most important part of Aquaponics). Bio-systems control the ammonia that is produce from fish and when your system is design around maximum fish product then bigger bio-systems are best?
The 300mm deep grow beds are this deep for a good reason as we split the 300mm into three zones.
The first Zone is from surface to 50mm down, we call this the “protection zone.” The protection zone is what this space does, it minimizes the heat penetrating into the water, it minimizes light penetration that then controls algae growth, and it minimizes water evaporation, then finally provides an air space for the roots of a plant to breath. Also this space is used by worms to escape water and absorb oxygen through their skin and remain out of direct light that will dry them.
The second zone is from 50mm to 250mm down, we call this zone the “action zone” and is where the plants roots feed on the nitrates that are made by micro-bacterium converting ammonia to nitrites then into nitrates.
The third zone is the final 50mm of the grow bed we call this the “settlement zone” because it where the settle of fish waste solid that got pass our collects and it is where the worm casting settle.
The water in the system from the fish tank, grow bed and sump is pumped continually around the system. we have chosen this method as we believe that constant water flow through the grow bed delivers fresh oxygenated water, moves the ammonia from the fish tanks regularly and pass it through the important is that the media grow beds are always having water passing through then
High Capacity Fish production:
Most Commercial Aquaponics Farms operate with a balance of Fish and Vegetables and generally lean to vegetable production because balancing the PH from fish can get tricky when you increase fish density.
So most system strict to some golden rules, which is fine but we believe limits profitability of a system.
Questions to those who make a living from Aquaponics farming;
Would your system function without the fish being in it?
Would your fish survive without your plants being in it?
Please do your research on each of the subject mentioned above
I am no expert or a scientist in the Aquaponics field, but I have been involved with Aquaponics projects for a longer time and I want to give you my opinion on all the Ba Ba Ba about Aquaponics, you can take or leave it?