Aquaponics is the combination of aquaculture (fish farming) and hydroponics (soilless plant culture).
In aquaponics, the fish waste provides a food source for the growing plants and the plants provide a natural filter for the fish.
A natural microbial process keeps both the fish and plants healthy. This creates a sustainable ecosystem where both plants and fish can thrive.
Thе aquaponics system fully meets the requirements of organic production. Medicines, plant protection products (zoocides, herbicides, fungicides, ISR stimulants), fertilizers or other harmful chemicals are not used, resulting in the production of healthy and safe food.
AQUAPONICS IS THE MOST SUSTAINABLE OF ALL PRODUCTION METHODS KNOWN TO THE PEOPLE
Aquaponics is a hybrid system that combines organic farming, hydroponics and recirculating aquaculture to grow food productions in a natural and sustainable way. Aquaponics has all the advantages of the three methods, including:
Aquaponics demonstrates a natural cycle between fish and plants and is the most sustainable of all production methods known to the people.
The fish do not carry the same pathogens, such as E. coli and Salmonella spp., that warm-blooded animals do.
The larger water volume in the raft provides a buffer for fish production.
Plant nutrients are derived from fish waste rather than from potassium or phosphate fertilizers.
Plants grow well with constant biomass in aquaponics.
There are no harmful pesticides, herbicides or chemical fertilizers used in aquaponics, making the products safe, quality, and healthier.
By eliminating the soil in vegetable production, you eliminate all soil borne disease.
In aquaponics, plant spacing can be very intensive, allowing you to grow more plants in a given space.
With high stocking densities in the fish tank, plants will quickly grow and develop in an aquaponic system.
Aquaponics uses a fraction of the water that traditional field production does because no water is wasted or consumed by weeds.
Aquaponics is a natural, organic method of high quality fish and vegetables.
AQUAPONICS FROM HOBBY TO COMMERCIAL PRODUCTION AND CENTER FOR EDUCATION AND AGROTURISM
Modern and innovative aquaponics has made it possible to create fish farms in variety locations, for example in buildings or on urban roofs. Domestic production of healthy foods is completely possible without great effort. While commercial production can be a very successful business. In addition, there is a hobby application at home or in the office – the fish tank can be combined with a mini garden for growing herbs, fruits and vegetables or flowers. Aquaponics can also be used for educational and research purposes, and for agrotourism. All these separate areas of aquaponics can be realized through the various configurations offered by ‘AQUAPONICS BULGARIA’ Ltd.
The options depend on the number of Fish tanks (4 to 8) and their capacity (from 1136 L to 4542 L). Equipment includes: Fish tanks and tank stands; Clear Flow Aquaponic Systems® system with patented ZDEP® filter system; Large Raft Tanks; Living Filter Media Beds, Accelerated Plant Nurseries, Automated Germination System.
The commercial systems include the Commercial 35, Commercial 100, Commercial 150, Commercial 225 and Commercial 300. The number represents approximately how many thousands of heads of lettuce you will harvest per year. For instance, the Commercial 35 will produce about 35,000 heads of lettuce per year. The Commercial 100 will produce about 100,000 heads of lettuce per year, and so on.
Predictable annual production for the smallest systems is within the limits of:
18 425 – 23 050 leafy green plants (about 50 – 65 leafy green plants/day) from the Raft Tanks; 3000 to 5100 leafy green plants (about 19 – 28 leafy green plants/day) from the Living Filter Media Beds; 612 kg whole tilapia (harvest just over 76 kg/every 6 weeks).
For the largest systems is:
248 800 – 276 400 leafy green plants (about 680 – 760 leafy green plants per/day) from the Raft Tanks; 41 500 – 55 200 leafy green plants (about 57 – 75 leafy green plants/day) from the Living Filter Media Beds; 7135 kg whole tilapia (harvest just over 430 kg/every 3 weeks).
The MicroFarm includes the Complete CF3 Clear Flow Aquaponic Systems® (it does not include ZDEP®): All fish and filter tanks and tank stands, Fish tank window kits, stands, Pumps and plumbing, Raft tank frames and liners, Food grade rafts, Accelerated plant nursery, Inline water heater, Grow light package, Water Quality Test Kits, Monitoring and Alarm System, Starter Kit of Growing Supplies and Fish food, Assembly and operation manuals, SOP and GAP manuals and Greenhouse. The estimated annual production is: 10 368 – 12 960 leafy green plants (about 27 – 36 leafy green plants/day); 439 kg of whole tilapia (harvest just over 67 kg/every 8 weeks). On an area of 125 sq. m. up to 178 sq. m. these efficient and profitable systems can be created almost anywhere. MicroFarms are ideal for indoor production, whether in a greenhouse, warehouse or other building. We also offer highly efficient greenhouses for all three MicroFarm offerings (MicroFarm 1, MicroFarm 2 and MicroFarm 3). The annual productions from the MicroFarms is from 7560 leafy plants produced in the smallest system and up to 20,900 leaf plants – the largest system. Annual fish production is 592 kg. The estimated labor per day are from 2 to 4 hours.
The Small Fry is a great little system to demonstrate the science of aquaponics. The Small Fry is intended to sit on a tabletop, with easy viewing of all tanks, bio-filtration components and the raft tanks. Whether you are a school that wants to showcase aquaponics on a table top, or a home owner who wants to grow fish, vegetables and herbs, the Small Fry will get you started in aquaponics. The annual production is over 416 plants and over 14 kg of fish. The required area is about 17 sq. m.
F5 (Fantastically Fun Fresh Food Factory)
The F-5 is a fantastic system for the beginner or anyone who wants to set up a small but highly productive aquaponic system. The F-5 can annually produce 50 kg of fish and 900 – 1440 heads of lettuce, other leafy crops or a variety of vegetables such as tomatoes, beans, cucumbers and more. The F5 has a single 379 L fish tank to save on space and 2 – 3’ x 5’ plant grow beds. The F5 is a great system for a beginner and makes an ideal classroom aquaponic system.
The Home Garden will seriously supplement your family’s food supply, with over 90 kg of fish and 1350 to 2160 heads of lettuce or lots of other fresh veggies every year. This is a great choice for a family who wants to get started in aquaponics. The Home Garden is a classic aquaponic raft system that has 2 – 416 L fish tanks. The Home Garden has 3 – 4’ x 6’ plant grow beds.
The Family Plus is great for home food production and big enough that you’ll likely have extra to share with friends or family. Like the Home Garden, the Family Plus is a raft aquaponic system. It has four fish tanks. But, it is twice as big as the Home Garden! It can annually produce 208 kg of fish and 2700 – 4860 heads of lettuce (or other vegetables). The Family Plus has 4 – 416 L fish tanks and 6 – 4’ x 6’ plant grow beds.
AQUAPONIC SYSTEMS FOR SCHOOLS AND UNIVERSITIES
Nelson and Pade, Inc.® works with schools and Universities around the world, supplying Clear Flow Aquaponic Systems® for schools, education and research. Currently, we have shipped systems to hundreds of schools and Universities in the United States and 25 other countries. We provide assistance, documentation, curriculums and grower support so that educators can focus on what matters…successfully implementing an aquaponics program to educate their students. Aquaponics is an excellent means of demonstrating many principles of science, agriculture, math and business in all grade levels and for home schooling. Applications of these technologies are only limited by ones imagination.
The concept of interdisciplinary education shines when it comes to aquaponics in schools. In addition to the plant sciences, aquaponics incorporates and demonstrates many of natures natural cycles, nitrification, biology, fish anatomy and nutrition and high-tech agriculture. A unit in aquaponics enforces practical uses of chemistry, mathematics, physics, economics and engineering. The monitoring and care of an aquaponic system by students helps instill a sense of responsibility, inspires creativity and creates excitement in the learning environment.
A unit in aquaponics can be started at the beginning of a semester and run through the entire semester, allowing the educator to present the individual concepts and lessons as the plants and fish develop and grow.
Four systems are suitable for training: Small Fry, F5, Home Garden and Family Plus.
PRODUCTION OF 100% NATURAL, HEALTHY FOOD – FISH AND PLANTS
Fish that we have raised in aquaponics with good results: tilapia, blue gill/brim, sunfish, crappie, koi, fancy goldfish, pacu, various ornamental fish such as angelfish, guppies, tetras, swordfish, mollies, carp, barramundi, silver perch, golden perch, yellow perch, Catfish, Large mouth Bass. The most popular type of aquaponics is tilapia. Tilapia is characterized by rapid growth, resistance and high protein content. Tilapia is the fifth most important species in fish farming, with 1 505 804 metric tons for 2000.
Much of the tilapia sold in stores in Bulgaria was imported from Indonesia, China or Central America. This fish is usually of very low quality due to low-quality fish feed and long-distance transport. The Tilapia, which will be grown on the farms of ‘AQUAPONICS BULGARIA’ Ltd, will be fed with high quality, natural fish food without the use of chemicals and antibiotics. The time required to grow the tilapia from a 50 g of feed material to the commercial size is 168 days. The fish will be sold whole (live or into ice) and filleted (fresh or frozen).
The greenhouses will produce a combination of leafy crops, including several types of lettuce (Red Salad Bowl lettuce, Green leafy lettuce, Oil head, Lolo Rosso, Romaine, Oak leaf); Spices (basil, wild onion, peppermint, parsley, dill, etc.) and vegetables (tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers); Edible flowers and exotic vegetables. The production will also be available as vegetable mixes (ready-made salads). Over 20 crops/year are expected from each plant unit.
Lettuce and basil are two of the most commonly grown plants in aquaponics. It is possible to grow over 250 variety species of plants, including exotic vegetables, and even citrus fruits.
FOOD SAFETY AND FOLLOW-UP
The greenhouses of ‘AQUAPONICS BULGARIA’ Ltd. include equipment and world Good Agricultural Practices to ensure and prove the safety of food products. Strictly identify and track all fish and plant production as well as deliveries. Greenhouses have optimal air temperature, humidity and plant ventilation and optimal water temperatures and dissolved oxygen levels for fish. The controlled environment allows the operator to implement an effective and efficient biosecurity program during cultivation and post-production processes. Aquaponics can eliminate the possibility of external contamination and prevent the infiltration of pathogens. This includes ensuring that unwanted animals, insects and humans are not involved, and that fish and plants are not infected with viral and bacterial diseases. Fish and vegetables produced by aquaponics are organic farming products under current regulations. Biomarkers guarantee the origin and quality of the products.