Image credit: Fishy Farm Aquaponics
From the urban aquaponics of Growing Power to planned industrial-scale fish and plant farming operations, there is no shortage of people trying to make aquaponics—or the symbiotic combination of hydroponics and aquaculture—work. Yet while there are a few ready-to-use aquaponics kits on the market, and no shortage of aquaponics instructional DVDs, homemade aquaponics videos, and people selling plans for aquaponic systems, nobody yet seems to have cracked the market for an easy, ready-to-use product that can take aquaponics to a mainstream audience. But that doesn't stop people from trying—and I've just come across a new kit-based system that aims to do just that. Describing itself as a provider of "polyculture equipment or family food production", Fishy Farm sells aquaponics kits that include a vermiculture (worm farming) element to keep water clean and healthy for the fish. (No word on whether the worm-farming element also provides a supplemental feed for the fish, but it doesn't look like it.)
Consisting of attractive, wood-lined grow tanks, grow beds and "rafts", Fishy Farm's products range from compact units for beginners—which seemed to be geared toward vegetable production and keeping tropical fish—through to backyard units that can support edible fish species like tilapia or catfish. The company is also developing complete greenhouse kits, and recommends its growbeds for retrofitting existing koi ponds for aquaponic vegetable growing too.
While the compact kits will set you back $500, it looks like a backyard set up for edible fish production, as well as veggies, will cost at least $2,500. But if these things work like the manufacturer claims, and if predictions about climate change and food prices (or peak oil and food prices for that matter) prove to be true, then it wouldn' take long to recoup your costs. And peace of mind around your family's food security is always a nice thing to have too...
More on Aquaponics
Growing Power: Urban Aquaponics, Vermiculture and Sustainable Agriculture
Aquaponics Grows Up? Worldwide Aquaculture Plans Industrial-Scale Fish Farming
Aquaponics USA: Ready-to-Use Kits for Backyard Fish Farming
Aquaponics Made Easy Instructional DVD
DIY Aquaponics: a Video Roundup
Friendly Aquaponics: Plans for Sale
Are Aquaponics Kits a Rip-Off?
Is Aquaponics Cruel?
Aquaponics: An Efficient Way to Feed Ourselves?