Solar Innovations, Inc. completes the implementation of a closed-loop greenhouse aquaponic system inside the company’s green LEED gold certified corporate headquarters and manufacturing facility. The greenhouse production system was installed by the Company’s research and development team in collaboration with Solar Innovations, Inc’s greenhouse specialists.
Aquaponics are unique systems used to create a mutually beneficial relationship between aquatic animals and plants. These systems consist of a large tank of water, filled with the gardener’s choice of fish, which is connected to greenhouse grow beds. The water from the tank, which includes the waste created by the fish, is transferred through the system to the grow beds and is used to fertilize the plants. The nutrient-dense waste products are distributed to the plants, and the purified water is re-circulated back to the tank.
Traditional aquaponic systems consist of fish, but the aquaponic system in the Solar Innovations, Inc. greenhouse is home to over 80 tilapia and approximately 450 shrimp. In this habitat, the tilapia feed on microalgae, a natural byproduct of this style of aquaponic system. The microalgae would normally harm the shrimp, if they were cultured separately. The waste from the tilapia is broken down by the shrimp. This allows for a smaller filter system and creates nutrients that are more easily absorbed by the plants. Instead of conventional soil, the grow beds are filled with man-made clay pebbles. These pebbles are hollow and hold the nutrients for a longer period of time, creating a more efficient growing environment. Once the shrimp and tilapia in Solar’s aquaponic system have completed their life cycle, the greenhouse specialists will harvest them and keep several tilapia to mate and restart the cycle of the aquaponic habitat.
Greenhouse aquaponic systems are a sustainable alternative to traditional gardening methods that do not require additional fertilizers. Aquaponics can be designed to any scale in order to properly suit the greenhouse in which it will be used. Solar Innovations, Inc. plans to incorporate aquaponic systems into the greenhouse accessories line, and they will be available to customers in the near future.
For more information regarding the sustainable greenhouse aquaponic system, to speak to a greenhouse specialist, or discuss an upcoming project please contact the Solar Innovations, Inc. team.