Based on the Fleurieu Peninsula, South Australia, EcoSystem Farms deploys ecological principles to create a natural loop between fish and plants where the fish provide the nutrients and the plants clean the water for the fish. The fish and plants are eventually harvested and sold in local markets.
Water quality parameters in the aquaponic system, such as dissolved oxygen, is being monitored through internet enabled technology supplied by Edaphic Scientific. The monitoring technology is supporting management of the aquaponic system with up-to-date, dynamic data.
EcoSystem Farms use rainbow trout that are the little engines that power the aquaponics.
The fish provide nutrients, whilst the plants clean the water for the fish – creating a natural loop – a crucial element of the ecosystem.
Growing in gravel beds rather than soils, EcoSystem Farms grow a variety of crops including Chinese cabbage, lettuce, chives, celery, and silverbeet.
As the crops are -cide free, they are a healthy alternative to other crops that may require heavy use of industrial chemicals. The closed loop of the EcoSystem Farms means their crops are a potentially health alternative.
…. and a functional ecosystem!
Numerous beneficial bugs and frogs are regularly spotted around the property that predate on pests or other animals that may negatively affect production.
The beneficial animals are excellent at creating a functional ecosystem which means that chemicals, such as herbicides and pesticides, are not used. Not only does this lead to healthier food, but farm production costs are also lower.
monitoring water quality through internet technology
EcoSystem Farms recently deployed a water quality monitoring system from Edaphic Scientific for the aquaculture ponds. The system is monitoring dissolved oxygen, electrical conductivity (EC), which is a proxy for nutrient level, water level and water temperature. The sensors are connected to the ES-SYS monitoring system and data is accessed on the internet via the Eagle online platform.
With the Eagle platform, EcoSystem Farms can receive SMS or email alerts to notify if water quality levels deteriorate below an acceptable level. This internet-enabled monitoring system can provide near real-time data and information for the management team at EcoSystem Farms.
what is aquaponics?
Aquaponics is a farming method that creates combines aquaculture with hydroponics in a closed environment. Normally, in aquaculture waste accumulates in tanks and ponds that may be treated chemically or physically. Likewise, in hydroponics, nutrients are added to the water for fertiliser which can add costs to production. Aquaponics aims to alleviate these problems by taking the waste from aquaculture to act as nutrients in hydroponics which then returns clean water back to the aquaculture.
To learn more about EcoSystem Farms, follow them on Facebook or Instagram: @EcoSystemFarms
- Dissolved oxygen sensors
- EC and temperature sensors
- CTD water EC, level (depth), and temperature sensors
- ES-SYS telemetry data logging systems
- Eagle online software platform