Aquaponics 101 – OK, here’s the deal.

This blog is currently attracting up to 800 visitors PER DAY from all corners of the world and I find it it extremely motivating, during my trials and tribulations, to know that a loyal band of readers are following my every move.

I’d thus like to invite you along for the next chapter of my Aquaponic Adventure.  You are welcome to join as a casual reader, a commentator, a critic or even an equity partner.

The last three years of home and commercial aquaponic builds have been a great experience and together with extensive research into topics as diverse as composting and sun tracking, as well as building 7 large greenhouse tunnels for numerous clients, I feel that the time has come to put this all together into developing the ultimate, self-sustaining Aquaponic system. which I am initially calling, “One Earth”.

I don’t have the capital to pursue this dream, hence this post.  What I need is an equity partner (or partners) to fund one years worth of research and the cost of building a pilot site incorporating all of the technology developed.  In return, my partner (or partners) would own a share of the facility built, a share in the profits generated by this site, but more importantly, a share in the intellectual capital and/or patented processes and procedures developed during this period.

The idea is to build a system here in Knysna, South Africa, in a temperate climate and then later replicate it in a cold climate (say Alaska) and a warm climate (say the Philippines).  Set out below is a rough brief of the system.

  • It must use no grid-generated power (ie. renewable energy only) of which the whole system should use a maximum of 30KWh per day.
  • It must use rain-scavenged water from the greenhouse structure as top up after the initial fillup.  All internal condensation must also be preserved.  New, unique systems must be developed to achieve this.
  • Heating and cooling must be achieved by renewable means only.  A unique compost heating system must be developed to achieve this.  Solar heating must be optimised by new sun-tracking optimisation.
  • New filtration systems, combining the best of existing aquaculture and aquaponic principles, must be developed and implemented.
  • All ponds, raceways, growbeds and compost bins must be custom designed in-house and manufactured ourselves for patenting and future sale.  Roto-moulding techniques will be used here.
  • Plants will be grown in a mix of gravel, NFT systems and compost-based potting soils to optimise nutrient take-up for a variety of different vegetables and herbs, depending on their individual requirements.
  • Stocking densities of fish will be ethical and provide the fish with sufficient space and stimulation.
  • It must provide employment and training to local people, wherever it is built, as well as educate children and students from the local communities.  Training courses in self-sustaining aquaponics could also be offered on-site.
  • It must be able to be replicated in rural, urban or inner-city environments, with only minor modifications.
  • The entire system, down to the smallest bolt and nut, must be able to fit into a normal shipping container for transport to any country in the world and assembly on site, by semi-skilled staff.

I am ready to start this project immediately and have found ideal land on a long lease to build the pilot system.  I am prepared to offer all the experience and reasearch I have acquired to date, as well as 12 months of design, development and build time.  I am looking for an equity partner with $200 000 to invest for a 50% share of this project.

Comment below if you are interested or email me privately at

Cheers for now.



8 thoughts on “Aquaponics 101 – OK, here’s the deal.”

  1. I think it’s a fantastic idea. Would you consider smaller donations? Micro-partners?

    Comments on your design criteria so far:
    – Compost heat was researched fairly extensively in the 70’s and early 80’s, but from what I read, I didn’t see too many people find a good way to do it. There were too many other gases that were produced that were problematic, or they weren’t able to get enough heat out of it. I think solar would be the way to go for heating the water.
    – You talk of roto-moulding. So, are you talking about plastics? If so, then you are getting into some potentially nasty stuff, from an environmental point of view, right?
    – I really like the idea of being able to ship everything in a single container!

    1. The reason I am interested in compost is that not only is it a “potential” form of heat but I will also be needing tons of compost for my hybrid Aquaponic (AP) system using both traditional gravel “flood and drain” techiniques and traditional soil-based systems.

      Estimating the Risk of High Winds Associated with Tropical Cyclones” Interesting, I have also given consideration to wind turbines, for which I have the agency for a great range of turbines in my area. This might be an even better source of power, as we have consistent winds in most of the areas that I am currently building in.

      The spec on the plastic is UV-stable, food-grade, LTPE. Unfortunately, whatever we design for growbeds or fish ponds inevitably gets back to plastic in one form or another.

      Thank you for your comments.



  2. Hi, you may be interested in a couple of sites. one is of a guy in Australia who does microponics which include pigs,ducks,chickens,soldierfly larve,rabbits,worms,and duckweed in a self contained system. We are begining work on plans for an artic greenhouse energy indepedent as yours. Some suggestions for heat are low wattage fans to blow heat that ries bak down to plants. I believe it to be possible to heat with compost or a solar hot waterheat. in a temperate climate you would not have to be fancy,heat it up and let it roll down hill and the heated pipes run through the greenhouse. A guy in lower MN wrote a book on low E winter garden production. The critters provideE mass on cold nights. Warm days they are tractored outside. as far as plastic i am all for clay like tey make the sewer pipe out of,if a manufactor could be found to do towers. We are looking for a way to do a sustaible homestead in Grand Marais Mn. Any info you can pass along I would appreciate

  3. Where does Newtopia come from? I googled the word after thinking it up, sure that it was no neologism- yet it only comes up here. Would you be interested in dialoging about what the concept means to you? I want to use it as a title for something I’m working on and it is in accord with your work.

  4. This is such a great idea. It seems that you’re about to change our world. I am glad that you already know what the system should be like and what it shouldn’t be. I need to let you know that your writings had been very helpful to me to start trying building my own mini system at home.

    I am from the Philippines and if we get to the point that we need to try building the system here, I’ll be very much willing to help in any way I can. (I’m sorry that I’m unable to help funding the project).

    Keep up the good work and continue to inspire us all.

    – Andrew

  5. been reading some of your stuff for a while and also setting up a small system in P.E, unfortunately am not by the means to invest otherwise certainkly would have as i too believe in that

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s