NEW INVENTION: Salmon Aquaponics for Personal or Commercial Growing

 / / November 25, 2011 - - Grow Organic Vegetables and Home-Grown Salmon 

Portable Farms Ltd. Announces Portable Farms™ SALMON Aquaponics Systems. Portable Farms Ltd has been in the aquaponics research arena for forty years and has designed a new cooling system to accommodate the needs for growing cool to cold water fish instead of traditional warm-warm fish. 

Portable Farms Aquaponics Systems (and the majority of all aquaponics systems) maintain a water temperature in the fish tanks in the high 70's to mid 80' degrees F (25 to 28C) because the fresh in those systems is designed for a warm-water fish, tilapia. The warm nutrient-laden water in the fish tanks then circulates throughout the grow trays to grow healthy vegetables, year round. 

Aquaponics is a solution to many of the problems created by aquaculture.

Salmon, tomatoes and blueberries are the top three requested items that show up in wish lists for aquaponics. Salmon for its taste, texture, beauty, the right Omega fatty acid, and the touch of class it brings to the table. Tomatoes, because almost everyone who has ever tasted a good tomato is hooked on looking for that rich flavor again in every tomato they eat. Blueberries, because they have become the darling fruit-of-all-fruits and addition to so many healthy diets.  

The ideal water temperature for salmon is below 54 degrees F (12C). The problem is to either get the salmon to enjoy warm water or the plants to enjoy cold water. What is needed is a heat exchanger or heat staging system to keep them both happy.  

The New Portable Farms™ SALMON Aquaponics System: 

1. The water used to raise salmon in a closed system must be cool, highly aerated and kept circulating to keep the fish healthy. Diverting some of the water to be cleaned on a continuous or regular basis helps insure the fish are kept in peak condition. Here is where the first step in the exciting introduction of the new Portable Farms™ SALMON Aquaponics Systems begins to differ from regular warm-water aquaponics.  

2. In the newly designed system, the cool water is first taken to a Clarifier or Settling Tank area where the water/lumps are allowed to settle out. The cleaned and nutritious water at this point can also begin a warming process with a heat exchanger placed on the outside of the Clarifier which has been insulated so the heat is then directed inward to the water beginning the process of heating the water for optimal plant growth.  

3. A second holding tank containing an additional heat exchanger further raises the temperature and allows a small additional amount of solids to precipitate out of the water. This stage is a totally new part of the Portable Farms™ SALMON Aquaponics Systems. From this second holding tank, which is often a solar-assisted warming tank, the water then flows to the normal Grow Trays for the plants to enjoy and produce wonderful vegetables.  

4. Upon exiting the Grow Trays, the water begins its return trip to the fish tanks and the heat exchangers are run for the opposite effect, cooling the water. As the water exits the Grow Trays, it is as warm as it will be in the new Portable Farms™ SALMON Aquaponics Systems. It must now be cooled back down to the near-ideal (cooler) temperature for the fish. The water used in the heat exchange to warm the Clarifier is the water that comes from the Grow Trays. The heat in the water coming out of the Grow Trays is cooled by the water coming out of the fish tanks and into the Clarifier before it returns to the fish tanks. Some further cooling will be needed because heat is very hard to get rid of in water. However the requirements to heat and cool the water have been greatly reduced by using this modified aquaponics system.  

The selection of a cooler-weather tomato may be required because of the lower temperatures but heating water up from 54 to 70 degrees F is a reasonable task and tomatoes grow well at that those temperatures (as long as they receive sufficient light per day).  

Blueberries do not do grow in an aquaponics system, YET. Portable Farms Ltd continues to work on that requirement and someday we'll be able to announce that yes, you can grow salmon, tomatoes and blueberries in the system. 

Point of Contact:
Phyllis Davis
Portable Farms Ltd., President
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