Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Fish farm in W Bridgford!



13 June 2011: One of DNC's students in the Tall Building design module at Nottingham University  has been doing a project on Vertical Farming. For his project he has developed a miniature 
aquaponic 
ecosystem that can be repeated on a grand scale in his building. 

  Now that the University term is over, we have brought this system back and have parked it with Mark and Karina Wells, who live in West Bridgford, and who seem keen to have a working model of an aquaponic ecosystem in their conservatory.
  Currently there are 4 goldfish in the tank which is the right number for that size of tank and for that amount of hydroponic pebbles in a planting tray.
   The principles are explained in several websites, eg WikiHow . and in Backyard Aquaponics. In his building (designed for Singapore), fishfarms would alternate vertically with hydroponic vegetable farming (see here), through about 45 stories.
    Fish inhabit the water, and produce a certain amount of poo. Some of the water is trickled (with its rich nutrient from the fish) and feeds plants and fresh vegetables above or below in a base of volcanic pebbles. The water is thus purified and trickles on through to the next fish farm below. Algae is trapped in filters can can also be used productively.
    PV panels provide enough electrical power for the small amount of pumping required (a one minute trickle of water a few times a day, and some aeration of the water) . The only external input is fishfood - which could be obtained from organic sources, or processed from food waste from supermarkets and the vast restaurant industry of Singapore.
  This method can produce a way of producing edible fish and edible vegetables in one ecosystem! There are other by-products if it's done on a large scale, such as algae farming. Rainwater harvesting in a rainy place like Singapore means that it never requires imported fresh water. Land in Singapore is very limited and very expensive, so everything that gets built now has to be considered vertically! An eco-designed fish farm in West Bridgford would not need to be 45 stories! :)
  As the Singapore building would be productive enough on a small footprint, the remainder of the building is high quality residential apartments, enough to finance the initial construction cost of the tower.

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