SoCal Aquaponics

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SoCal Aquaponics is a large-scale commercial producer of organically farm-raised fish and greenhouse vegetables that will be located 60miles East of Los Angeles.

Our production facility will use an eco-friendly recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) to grow quality tilapia, shrimp and vegetables that will supply the local and foreign market with the much needed and wanted American Grown fish and vegetables.

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Current intensive indoor aquaculture technology actually got it roots from technology first developed to grow fin fish like Tilapia, Stripped Bass, Trout and many other types of fish. When one first enters a modem aquaponics growing facility the first impression would be, this is just like a fin fish set up. There are many rows of tanks filled with water. The sound of pumps moving the water and other things one would find in such a place. However, a visual first impression is where the similarity ends and the business of growing this specialized creature begins.

Advantages of integrated production: Higher revenues can be achieved by farmers who can increase farm productivity and differentiate production with limited investment. Free availability of water weeds guarantees cheap supplies and keeps channels clear of clogging vegetation, thus providing an important environmental service. Decaying organic material can help fertilise ponds and at the same time provide a plant growing environment less prone to diseases and to soil pests.

Reduction of chemical inputs allows farmers to get premium prices from soilless (hydroponic) or organic vegetables in a market quite sensitive to pesticide use in agriculture. Surveys carried out suggest that nearly all the vegetables sold in supermarkets (conventional, hydroponic or organic), show some degree of certification and traceability. Rising environmental concerns and growing demand for different uses of production inputs set
new challenges for aquaculture and aquaponics development . Increased productivity wi th reduced ecological impact, integration between production systems and reduced use of chemicals are just some of the leading principles that more sustainable fish production needs to follow.

 

Insect and disease control techniques for vegetables in integrated systems are limited to the use of biological control, resistant varieties, screening and specialized cultural practices. In general, pesticides should not be used because most are very toxic to fish, and none have been approved for use in food fish culture. Similarly, most therapeutants for treating fish parasites and diseases should not be used in an integrated system because they harm the biofilter and vegetables may readily absorb and concentrate them. A possible approach to avoid the restrictions of pesticide usage is to establish the hydroponic unit as a flow- through system, thereby allowing the vegetables to be managed independently of the fish.
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Vegetable production

More than 30 kinds of vegetables have been raised in integrated systems on an experimental basis. A wide range of systems has been used in a number of different environments from greenhouses in northern states that are heated in the winter to outdoor aquaponic systems in the subtropics. Production levels have varied greatly in response to environment, system design and management. Crops that have been studied most intensively include tomatoes and lettuce. Tomatoes appear to be most productive in outdoor gravel systems with varieties that are determinant (i.e., they set their fruit during a short period and are not pruned).

Tomatoes require a long growing period and are therefore at greater risk to damage from pests and diseases. Lettuce is a popular plant for integrated production because it grows well in response to high nitrogen levels, yields a high proportion of edible product, and is subject to less pest pressure due to its short production cycle. Common methods for growing lettuce in integrated systems are NFT and deep flowing channels with polystyrene sheets for plant support.

Plants are started in peat pellets in trays outside the system. After 3 weeks, the seedlings are transferred to the system for 3 more weeks of growth, which will bring them to harvest size under ideal conditions. Two additional weeks of growth are required during the winter in heated greenhouses. Lettuce production is usually staggered so that one crop is harvested each week, and a new one is immediately planted. Another crop with good potential for integrated systems is sweet basil.

SoCal Aquaponics intends to commercially produce and market wholesome seafood products, primarily shrimp, along with some fish (Tilapia and Barramundi) and organic vegetable crops utilizing the waste from the culture of the shrimp and fish.

Aquaponic systems vary in size from small indoor units to large commercial units. SoCal Aquaponics uses both fresh and salt water depending on the aquatic animal and vegetation (fresh or salt water).

At SoCal Aquaponics, our plants will be grown in a way (for example a hydroponic system) that enables them to utilize the nutrient-rich water. The plants uptake the nutrients, reducing or eliminating the water's toxicity for the aquatic animal.
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Most green leafy vegetables grow well in the hydroponic filter. Although sometimes selected minerals or nutrients such as iron are added, the main source of nutrients for the plants is the fish waste.

Mission Statement: To be a worldwide industry leader in the development of environmentally friendly technologies for the purpose of creating commercially viable products which will capitalize on our innovative processes, lower cost and be pioneers in the marketplace. To provide a
comfortable work environment in which each individual is treated with respect and dignity. To continually develop and maintain satisfied customers. To create a clear, simple, reality-based vision and communicate this vision to all constituencies. To have enormous energy
and the ability to energize others. To set aggressive goals and reward progress; yet understand accountability and commitment. To contribute positively to our communities and our environment.

 

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