Inda-Gro is currently refining a proven and successful model for high crop production aquaponics. The system has been under development and testing for some time now by Darryl Cotton, the company president. Their FaceBook page features regular photo updates of the system in progress, as well as other hydroponics inspired or related growing experiments they may have on the go at any given time.
Aquaponics has been gaining more popularity and attention in recent times, and for many great reasons. Being able to create living system that produce both fish and greens for eating in a manner that is sustainable certainly gives this growing industry an important place in the development of modern agricultural practices.
However, one of the limitations has been that some aquaponic producers have hard a hard time realizing heavier yields and plants that like to use more fertilizers, for example like tomatoes. Lettuce and other herbs are very well suited to aquaponics because they offer fast crop turn around times and don’t require high concentrations of nutrients in the growing solution. This means less stress ob both the living system used to produce fish like Tilapia and greens like leaf lettuce. It also means less stress for the grower because increasing fish populations without increasing things like tank capacity (in order to promote more fertility for hungrier crops) means a lot of management issues that could lead to potentially disastrous results if not watched carefully.
Darryl Cotton has created a living aquaponics system that is capable of producing respectable yields in heavier feeding crops like tomatoes and is currently refining aspects in the construction and layout. The system is intended to be scalable and repeatable, so that it can be adapted for any sized application as operational needs dictate.
Grozine is aiming to provide our followers with plenty more coverage as developments unfold, however, Darryl in the tradition of agronomy, has shared some of his findings and insights on how to create high production aquaponics.
1. The fertility starts with the carnivorous fish tank. Large Mouth Bass and Blue Gill create a rich waste versus “Veggie Fish” like Tilapia or Koi.
2. Tilapia, Koi and plants like strawberries digest the bio waste created by the carnivorous fish, the portions they do not consume and the waste they convert into other plant available forms of nutrients are also being fed through the plant system.
3. The main plant system, intended for high crop production aquaponics, has increased levels of oxygen. Plants with higher levels of DO (Dissolved Oxygen) in hydroponics grow faster and use available nutrients more efficiently. This means heavy yields with lower fertility levels.
4. The growing media and plant roots act like a natural living filter, removing wastes generated by the fish production portion of the living food system. The stages, sizing and flow rates are carefully proportioned in their design.
5. Since fish waste by nature is relatively low in micro nutrients, Inda-Gro has carefully sourced a Trace Element supplement that also supplies some levels of Calcium and Potassium. It approved for use in the European Aquaponics community and has demonstrated to significantly increase the number of fruits produced by heavier feeding crops like tomatoes in their test growing facility.
Erik Biksa has been writing about and discussing hydroponics growing, related technologies and cropping methods since 1999 in a variety of professional publications and platforms globally Erik has travelled the world learning and teaching modern growing techniques and technologies and is appreciated by many growers for his informative yet hands on approaches. Presently, he is the Editor at Grozine Hydroponics Mag.