Aquaponics combines aquaculture, the controlled production of fish, with hydroponics, the growing of plants without soil.
Hydroponics has global applications in virtually all climate areas. The true beauty of hydroponic culture is the flexibility it allows in adapting to many situations from greenhouses, to highly specialized indoor LED vertical systems. It can be used in highly industrialized countries such as the U.S., and in developing countries in the Third World to provide intensive food production in a limited area. To illustrate the potential use of hydroponics, tomatoes grown in a soil-less manner can yield 150 tons per acre annually vs. 15-20 tons per acre annually in traditionally soil based farming! The only necessities are fresh water and nutrients.
Our rapidly diminishing farm land and top soil; and lack of sufficient clean water globally have significantly reduced traditional agriculture potential. The answer to date has been genetically modified organisms (GMO), enhanced pesticide usage, and growing crops on 100% inorganic fertilizers. The result is unhealthy, un-nutritious and tasteless produce that we all find in our stores!
Growing fish and plants together is a remarkable concept, however it isn’t new. It has been done quite successfully throughout the world with a variety of species and under a variety of conditions. The procedure is quite logical in its application; as fish produce nitrogenous waste and plants require nitrogen for growth. The plants use the fish waste for food, and in so doing remove the waste from the water so it will not become toxic to the fish. This creates the ability to satisfy two completely different markets and double the profitability within the same amount of space.
By applying our technologies and production methodologies in our farms, we intend to provide a better solution to the growing food crisis!
An Integrated Approach - Aquaponics
The objective of our integrated applications at Aqua Biologics is to produce technology and methodology innovations based upon the total integration of systems. This means using the by- product (or liability) of one production system for the production of a secondary or tertiary product.
Integrated aquaculture is an excellent choice for any areas where land and/or water are at a premium. Further, aquaponics presents an excellent opportunity to capitalize on the rapidly growing organic and “all-natural” markets. Aqua Biologics’s future aquaponic operations will be integrated with Aqua-Sphere® to create a totally synergistic system with multiple crops. Using the Aqua-Sphere as the nucleus of our operations, our goal is to create a food production network that produces healthy, sustainable fish and produce in locations throughout North America, and eventually the world. The integration of hydroponics into our aquaculture model creates enhanced value through cost savings, product diversification, market appeal, branding, and profitability.
For example, while sashimi grade hybrid striped bass is raised in the Aqua-Sphere®, the waste is concentrated, removed, and mineralized. Once fully dissolved, the mineral rich fertilizer is utilized to grow fresh organic herbs and vegetables in adjacent greenhouses.
While ABI has used premium hybrid striped bass as the production species in the aquaponic model for freshwater, many other species can be used including tilapia, trout, salmon, barramundi, redfish, pompano, etc. The fish and produce varieties can be selected based upon the climate and market appeal.