At NW Tilapia, there is a harmony that resides between our Tilapia and our plants. This "harmony" is called Aquaponics.
Aquaponics is a sustainable food production system that combines a traditional aquaculture (raising aquatic animals) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in a symbiotic environment. In this system, effluents, such as ammonia and nitrates, accumulate in the water, increasing toxicity for the fish. This water is led to a hydroponic system where the by-products from the aquaculture are filtered out by the plants as vital nutrients, after which the cleansed water is recirculated back to the aquatic animals. (Ref. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aquaponics)
NW Tilapia uses the benefits of the nitrate rich waters, from the grow-out fish production, to feed beds of lettuce, herbs, and other crops. Unlike chemical fertilizers, the nitrates in the water are in the most richest, natural form possible. A head of lettuce, in ideal climate and sunlight, can grow from a transplant to a full head of lettuce in 3-4 weeks. Below are some photos of our crops.
Click on the images below to view larger images.