Aquaponics World, LLC
Just Keeps Changing Everything
If you’ve been following our progress over the years since we first came onto the Aquaponics scene in early 2009, you already know we’re innovators. Our retired aerospace engineer turned Aquaponics Systems Designer, Oliver Duffy, just keeps improving his designs never being satisfied to settle for almost great and certainly never following the pack.
We started our Aquaponics journey as backyard Deep Media system designers, which we are still doing through our Aquaponics USA
company that sells Deep Media Home and School Systems. In those days our Greenhouse looked like this with five Deep Media Beds.
Then we started exploring commercial aquaponics and talking about the possibility of designing Vertical Aquaponics systems on a large scale to sell vegetables for profit. Quite frankly, we were laughed at by some pretty heavy hitters in the field in those early years of commercial aquaponics.
Suddenly, everything changed and anyone who was a real contender in the field started designing commercial systems that no longer grew leafy greens in Deep Media Systems. It was the time of the emergence of Deep Water Culture Beds often referred to as Raft Systems. Raft Systems have become the standard for commercial aquaponics; and it seems the pack has simply settled on them as the answer.
Raft systems were not new technology as they came onto the scene in the 70’s with the now famous Dr. James Rakocy over at UVI (University of the Virgin Islands); but until around 2011, for the aquaponics companies that formed in the field outside of University settings, Deep Media was all the rage.
Now, it’s the ubiquitous Horizontal Raft System that is showing up everywhere in commercial systems that are growing leafy greens. Below, this Raft System, showing only the troughs, was built for the 2013 Greenhouse Expo in Bahrain. The plants will be held in polystyrene rafts floating over the troughs. The polystyrene has holes drilled in it to hold the plants. There’s nothing wrong with these Horizontal Raft Systems as they’re made out of wood and pond liner; and are, therefore, relatively inexpensive to build; and they grow beautiful leafy greens. But their downside is they are all “Horizontal” and take up a massive amount of Greenhouse or Warehouse space to put out their crops.
In the aquaponics field, space is precious so designing systems with the ability to put out more plants in less space is highly desirable.