A Truly Sustainable Solution for Growing Fish and Vegetables in closed-loop Systems

UF’s core and unique production technique is Aquaponics (AP) technology. In AP, the recirculating aquaculture (fish farming) system discharges wastewater (effluent) that is used as organic fertilizer for plants (hydroponics). This results in significant water savings, the key advantage of Aquaponics.

The water savings are dependent on the rate of exchange between the two systems, the selected crops and the level of water quality required for the fish. Generally, statements in research suggest up to 90% overall water saving versus both systems not being conneted.

Furthermore, AP provides an innovative approach to grow fish and plants without using arable land. These strengths make AP particularly attractive for urban environments.

 

With the recirculation of fish waste into productive hydroponic growing, plants need less Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potassium (NPK) fossil-based fertilizer additions, resulting in a lower ecological footprint for food production. Within controlled environment greenhouses, AP production systems can be managed without pesticides or herbicides, using only organic pest control.

Fish health is ensured through lower stocking densities and great water quality than in common aquaculture facilities, resulting in no need for antibiotics. Overall, the combination of aquaculture and hydroponics in Aquaponic technology is seen as a highly sustainable and resource-efficient production method compared to stand-alone aquaculture or hydroponics. Additionally, the system has very little chemical inputs and therefore provides a “zero residue” approach to farming (at par or beyond most organic standards), highlighting health and food safety benefits. AP is also closed-loop and therefore provides a “zero waste” production.

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