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Aquaponics

What is Aquaponics?

Aquaponics for Dummies

Vegetables are grown in water where fish live instead of dirt. Chemicals are never added and products are grown strictly for taste.

Aquaponics
Food production system that combines conventional aquaculture (raising fish in freshwater tanks) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in a symbiotic environment. The water from the aquaculture system nourishes the plants naturally and organically, while the plants filter and cleanse the water that is recirculated back to the aquaculture system. The process is a self-sustaining ecosystem.

 

The Eco System

aquaponics-chart

The fish create ammonia in the water, then the water flows through the bio filter where the nitrification process begins. The ammonia is converted to nitrites and then to nitrates. The water then flows through the troughs with the plants floating on top and the plants absorb the nitrates and filter the water. The clean water exits the troughs and is returned to the fish tank and the process begins again.

The Nitrification Process

A key ingredient in plant growth is nitrogen / nitrates. Without nitrates plants will not grow. In Aquaponics, nitrates are the nitrogen source that is critical for plant growth. Without it an Aquaponics System cannot survive.

The process begins when fish are fed a high protein diet and they then produce ammonia. The main source of ammonia comes from metabolic ammonia excreted as a waste product from the fish gills. The rest of the ammonia comes from fish waste and other organic matter. If ammonia remains too high in an Aquaponics system it will stress and eventually kill the fish.

Fortunately, the nitrification process solves this problem. It is a biological process during which nitrifying bacteria convert toxic ammonia to less harmful nitrate. The fertilizer required for plants to grow.

Converting ammonia to nitrates requires two bacterial species:

  • Nitrosomonas bacteria which oxidizes ammonia to nitrites
  • Nitrobacter bacteria converts nitrites to nitrates

Why Aquaponics Today?

For Your Health

Because you are what you eat, you need to know that what you eat is healthy and not contaminated with chemicals and pesticides. The only way to know that your food is not contaminated is to know the farm. That is why we invite our customers to visit our farm and observe our Aquaponic Ecosystem. Once you understand the process you can be certain that the vegetables you get from H2ORGANICS are correctly USDA Certified Organic.

Organic Healthy Food for Everyone

Because Aquaponics is a living flourishing ecosystem, chemicals are never added or used in the process of growing plants. To do so would endanger the safety of the fish in the system. This guarantees that the food you eat is chemical free. You are certain that the vegetables you are eating are the most nutritious available because 100% of the nitrates, water and oxygen are present at the roots 100% of the time.

Guaranteed Fresh

Because vegetables are grown less than 30 miles from where our customers live, products harvested at our farm in the morning are on your table that night. Preparation and chemical additions for long delivery times are not required.

Sustainable Harvest

Because H2ORGANICS vegetables are grown in a greenhouse and the water in the troughs never goes below 65O F, plants can be grown year round. Because of the nitrate and oxygen rich water plants in an Aquaponics System grow in about one half the time of traditional farming consequently crops come to maturity on a much shorter and consistent basis.

Stewardship of Water
Because the same water is recycled in Aquaponics systems the water usage is less than 3% of the water required to grow the same amount of product as traditional farming. The only water used is what the plants absorb to grow and evaporation. There is not any waste product. As water shortages continue to grow, water management and security will become critical in the future.

Stewardship of Land
Because Aquaponics is a sustainable ecosystem system that requires only 1/20th of the land to grow the same amount of food and because food can be grown in half the time Aquaponics can grow four times more food in the same square footage annually than traditional farming. Chemicals are never added to the soil and pesticides are never sprayed on the plants and subsequently the ground as in traditional farming.

Stewardship of Air
Pesticides and fertilizers are never sprayed or applied indiscriminately to the atmosphere for crop production. This guarantees a cleaner and healthier environment for all. H2ORGANICS vegetables are grown locally and do not require commercial over the road equipment for delivery. This reduces the need to burn large quantities of fossil fuels in the supply chain.

The Future
Farming, as we have known it, is undergoing a fundamental change. Aquaponics is the farm of the future. Consumers today are looking for local, fresh, organic food. This trend will continue as more and more people take charge of their food choices and eliminate products contaminated with chemicals. Aquaponics offers the customer the opportunity to see and understand the ecosystem that grows their food. It allows them input at the farm level for the vegetables they would like to purchase. Once an individual has tasted organic Aquaponic vegetables, they are no longer willing to compromise on the quality of their food.