Combining plant and fish culture in the same system results in a more natural, environmental friendly food production process than traditional agriculture or aquaculture.
Instead of using synthetic fertilizers and the few inches of topsoil remaining on our land to grow agricultural crops, in aquaponics, the waste from the fish are used as fertilizer for the plants. The plants in turn purify the water for the fish, allowing valuable resources to be recycled and utilized more efficiently.
There is no effluent discharge requiring costly filtration or wastewater treatment, and although it is an aquatic system, it only utilizes 3% to 5% of the water that traditional land based agriculture requires for irrigation. This means that you can operate an aquaponics system in resource limited regions, from dry infertile lands to urban settings, without the need for cultivable land or vast water resources.
This also means that we do not have to rely so much on food coming from far places, but are now able to produce food locally.
For people worried about the quality and the freshness of their food, aquaponics provides a means to assure a continuous supply of safe and nutritious food that can be grown right at home.
Resources on Earth are being strained beyond sustainable limits. Aquaponics offers an economically viable, environmentally sustainable and socially responsible alternative to producing superior quality food locally and more in tune with nature. At Morning Star Fishermen we are learning and teaching others how to move from linear consumption or production processes, to cyclical ones, specifically designed and tuned for perpetuation of basic resources and life supporting systems.
Tilapia – Saint Peter’s Fish
• Native to Africa and the Nile River Basin in Lower Egypt
• Omnivore [eats organic material, not other fish]
• Breeds prolifically indoors or outdoors in small areas
• Healthy [low fat – low calorie, protein is more easily digested than poultry or beef protein]
First fish taken into space [with astronaut John Glenn in 1998] READ MORE >>
The Genus Tilapia
This Tilapia is endemic to warm waters throughout the world. The aquaculture, or fish farming, of Tilapia is recorded in human history as far back as ancient Egypt. Tradition holds that the Tilapia was the fish that Jesus used to feed the five-thousand on the Sea of Galilee – thus one of its common names, “St. Peter’s Fish.” Tilapia is also referred to as “The Wonder Fish.”
Tilapia eat algae and plants, they are not carnivorous. Tiny combs located in their gills enable them to constantly filter and to remove microalgae from their water environment. Because they are low on the food chain, they cannot build up pollutants and other toxins in their bodies – unlike the carnivorous predator fish species. Therefore, Tilapia is a healthier food for humans.
Tilapia convert a greater proportion of their feed into growth than most other fish species. The acid content of their digestive tract is one of the strongest known and efficiently digests most microorganisms.
Strong Immune System
Tilapia are hardy fish that can thrive in salt, brackish, or fresh water. When well fed and kept in warm water, there are no known diseases that can cause a large kill of the Tilapia stock. Their strong immune system guards against the infections that often wipe out whole populations of the more delicate species used in aquaculture.
Tilapia can grow from fingerling to eating size in about 10 months in an average aquaculture station. Commercial growers have created optimum environments that can grow Tilapia to market size within just six to seven months.
Easy, Uncomplicated Aquaculture
Tilapia is more easily grown than other foul fish species for either commercial or non-profit enterprises. They may be grown in open ponds cages submerged in ponds, aquariums, or tanks on land. Tilapia’s wide range of tolerance of environmental changes, including, water quality,temperature, salinity, population density, make them ideal candidates for aquaculture. Many other fish used for aquaculture, such as fresh water trout, are much more delicate and prone to disease when stressed by even relatively minor changes in their environment. With the proper training and approach, Tilapia aquaculture can provide a reliable harvest that is inexpensive to grow. fish tank with aquaphonic vegetables on top
Nutritious, High-Protein Food Source
Tilapia is becoming more popular every year, as a commercially-grown fish, as consumers discover how good the fish tastes. Farm-raised fish, are commanding more in the marketplace, because they are free of the industrial contaminants found in many open waterways.
No cultural or taste barriers
Tilapia have scales and are considered a kosher food, unlike catfish, which are prohibited by some religions. Tilapia also has an excellent flavor, with none of the oily, fishy taste that some people object to in many types of seafood.
Tilapia have a viable market in all economies – first, second, or third world. Therefore, those people that learn Tilapia aquaculture have more than a protein-rich food source for themselves – they also have a cash-generating crop that can be sold in their local food market. Therefore, Tilapia can do more than feed the people that learn Tilapia aquaculture. Tilapia can help lift them out of poverty!