By 2050 food production needs to
increase by 70% to
feed 9.6 billion people

aquaponics is a closed containment ecosystem, utilising
controlled-environment agriculture (CEA) for food
production where fish and plants co-exist for mutual benefit

greater than 95% water saving; greater than 70%
electricity savings; and ~30% less capital than
conventional farming

we launched our micro-modular unit,
enquire for more information

Hello and welcome!

We are so glad that you found your way through the grapevine of the interweb to our website. Here you will find all you need to know about our aquaponics venture and vision, what we do, who we are and, more importantly, how we can work together.

modular & scalable

We are biased towards a “Lego Block” approach. This offers a number of advantages, namely the replication of the modular systems that drives down cost, lessons learned from one installation on best practice can be repeated and mistakes avoided.

direct waste nutrient utilisation

Many agriculture including aquaculture produce significant quantities of waste, without addressing this problem responsibly. Aquaponics in comparison utilise this fish waste more efficiently than any other system.

mushrooms provide CO2 enrichment

CO2 enrichment is pivotal in boosting crop productivity. The agriculture sector in stark contrast to all other sectors face an increased CO2 footprint in future. By growing our own mushrooms, we are CO2 neutral to negative, without reliance on petrochemical derived gas.

solar & wind power generation

Renewable energy is clean, affordable, domestic, and effectively infinite. It produces no emissions and results in cleaner air and water for all. It provides our projects with power independence and lower cost overheads in the long run.

95% water saving

Globally, the agricultural sector consumes about 70% of the planet's accessible freshwater, more than twice that of industry (23%), and dwarfing municipal use (8%). Toxins used in agriculture also contribute that seep back into rivers and water reservoir.

rainwater harvesting

Rainwater Harvesting is an effective and eco-friendly method of reducing water usage in our project, which will lead to reduced water bills and environmentally responsible approach to natural resources.

The Facility

We designed a Modular Aquaponics Integrated Farming Commercial System that can be replicated in most regions in the world, with slight modification. The aim was to create the most productive smallest footprint commercial system. The result is a design that fits in a ¼ hectare of 50 x 50 meters that can be easily repeated in a modular approach. The facility consists of 6 greenhouses of 7 x 30 meters, with simple but durable construction methods. The total water volume in circulation is 200 kilolitres, where the fish tanks’ total volume are 38 kilolitres. The rainwater harvesting storage provides an additional 30 kilolitres back-up.

The floating bio filter media specific surface area totals 300 m2, with the DWC providing 388 m2, the Vertical Grow Towers 78 m2 and the microgreens ebb and flow system a further 154 m2 for fish waste mineralisation. The system is designed to accommodate offline mineralisation when required, with flexibility built in with a drum filter supporting the solids swirls filters. Every aspect that required dynamic monitoring and automation, has been equipped with the best of breed PLC or SCADA application. The plant operates on a single 1.1 Kw water pump and a single 1.3 Kw air blower under normal operations, both with automatic stitch over back-up units.

All systems are integrated with IoT with management dashboards available on tablets and smartphones. The modularity of the system allows to individual sectors or sub sections to be isolated or taken offline, together with operating the aquaculture sector as a RAS and the vegetables section is an independent hydroponics system, should environmental circumstances demand such operations.

The building part features areas for mushroom substrate storage and prepping, office, laboratory, produce cleaning and packaging, cold room, break room, general storage, electrical systems, workshop and fish feed production area.

Key Drivers

Combine best practice of aquaponics with integrated farming and working towards sustainable agriculture with the least environmental impact.

Respond to increased efficiency needed by agricultural sector to boost productivity

Offer a symbiotic alternative to current greenhouse practices with a reduced CO2 footprint.

Enable reliable year-round drought resilient production of crops.

Total control of the complete food chain with no pesticides, GMO, hormones or petrochemical derived fertilizers.

We want to help spread the word about aquaponics by offering internship, training, workshops, and demonstrations to farmers, schools, and the general public.

Market Gardens

Thünen's model of agricultural land: Early in the 19th century Johann Heinrich von Thünen (1783-1850) developed a model of land use that showed how market processes could determine how land in different locations would be used. Von Thünen was a skilled farmer who was knowledgeable in economics. It seemed that we conveniently “rediscovered” urban farming which was established as best practice more than a hundred years ago.

Aquaponics Integrated Farming

The International Organisation of Biological Control (IOBC) describes Integrated Farming as a farming system where high quality food, feed, fibre and renewable energy are produced by using resources such as soil, water, air and nature as well as regulating factors to farm sustainably and with as little polluting inputs and outputs as possible.

We strive to follow the guidelines of the European Initiative for Sustainable Development in Agriculture (EISA) guidelines for Integrated Farming. Integrated Farming is a whole farm management system, which enables the farmers to identify opportunities and threats and act accordingly, and, at the same time, consider consumer interests in their business. Integrated Farming is not based on a set of fixed parameters but on informed management processes. This knowledge-based flexibility of Integrated Farming includes attention to detail and managing all resources available.

Design Considerations

From the outset we adopted the motto of “Form follows Function” together with utilising standard Commercial off the Shelf (COTS) products and components. Thirdly we focussed on systems and technologies that are well proven, with reliable manufacturers with product guarantees, as well as well reviewed systems by international users. The design phases followed a cascading improvement iteration from conceptual, prefeasibility, to feasibility. The challenge was to find the ideal size for a minimum commercial modular footprint, while aiming for minimum land requirement, together with acceptable revenue and profit margins. Critical focus on the Capital Expenditure for this modular system was a constant reality check to keep the cost as low as possible to make the financial entry point as easily accessible.

We realised that our experience in industrial process plant design can add much value to improve productivity, so it was important to model the layout to enable simplicity in operation and easy access for maintenance.

The ability to Measure, Manage and Automate became ever important during the design phase, where we realised that it is impossible not to employ critical Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems, since moving from a hobby scale to commercial scale does not allow for any guesswork or not having a constant eye on critical environmental parameters. The complexity also called for system automation, since the risk of any imbalance and implied financial are not acceptable. The system actively monitors and control optimum levels of temperature, pH, Residual Humidity (RH), Electric Conductivity (EC), Dissolved Oxygen (DO), Oxidation Reduction Potential (ORP), Ammonium Ion (NH4+), Calcium Ion (Ca2+), Nitrate Ion (NO3-), Nitrite Ion (NO2-), Potassium, Ion (K+), Sodium Ion (Na+), Bromide Ion (Br-), CO2, and water flow metering.

Micro Modular System

We decided to design a small/micro modular system for home owners that wish to own a quality designed system, build with durable professional materials. Many other entry level system utilises repurposed ICB’s that may have been used to transport dangerous chemicals and or temporary construction materials, often with poor design. Our approach on materials selection was narrowed down to food grade Glass Re-enforced Plastic (GRP) or fibreglass as most of us know it, and galvanised square tubing that can be assembled from a flat pack system which will outlast any of the entry level systems by a long stretch. The design features a fish tank of 500 Lt in volume with each single Deep Water Culture (DWC) Tub 360Lt in volume.

Our system does not make use of gravel bed grow media and flat bottom fish tanks that looks great for the untrained eye, but cause anaerobic toxic build-up as well as difficult cleaning impractical abilities. In stark contrast, our fish tank features a cylindrical design with a conical bottom. In combination with the correct water flow design, results in a self-cleaning fish tank with a bottom drain to purge accumulated solids. Form the fish tank, the water is then pumped into two integrated swirl filters in series that further remove finer solids. From there the water flow into the DWC raft beds where each raft bed is aerated individually to ensure optimal root conditions. As the water exit the end DWC raft bed, a small portion of the still nutrient rich water is then channelled to a drip irrigation to a Coco Coir bed, suitable to grow plants such as a variety of tomatoes. The water is then UV radiated to ensure no nasty critters or pathogens may contaminate the system. Prior to the water entering back into the fish tank, we installed a venturi to add an additional air boost into the water to keep the fish oxygenated.

The basic turnkey configuration consist of the following:

  1. - 1 x GRP fish tank
  2. - 2 x GRP swirl filters
  3. - 2 x 1.2 x 1.2 x 0.35m GRP Deep Water Culture (DWC) Tub
  4. - 1 x Drip Flow GRP Tub for tomatoes/cucumbers
  5. - Piping, fittings and valves
  6. - Modular galvanised mild steel structure with Connect-it durable polyurethane industrial strength
  7. - 1 x UV Sterilizer 55w
  8. - 1 x Water pump 30W, 2000Lt/h
  9. - 1 x Air pump 4.5 W 300Lt/h with 2x 50mm air stones, pipes and fittings
  10. - 130 x Net Pots 50mm
  11. - 5Kg Coco Coir Block

The basic micro module can be expanded to a maximum of 8 DWC raft beds, with each DWC raft bed component available as an upgradable sub module with or without the Coco Coir Tomato bed section. Our Customers will benefit from our consultation assistance to establish and maintain optimal fish to plant ratios as additional modules are added to the system.

Technology and Partners

  • 15 River Club Estate Coleraine Drive River Club Sandton 2196 : +27 11 783 8864