The Flourish 30 x 96 Aquaponic FarmTM represents an extremely thoughtful and practical layout designed for maximum production, efficiency and diversity of crops. The farm layout fits into a standard 30 x 96’ greenhouse and has been designed and engineered based upon years of research and farm management experience by the team at Colorado Aquaponics. The farm comes with all of the tanks, plumbing components, filtration equipment, multideck nursery, waist high transplanting trough, deep water culture troughs, aeration equipment, and 8 media beds for fruiting crops. 

This system is best suited for greenhouse environments with an east to west ridge line where crops can take advantage of the full southern exposure.

Rendering shows the Flourish 30 x 96' Aquaponic Farm in a Ceres Passive Solar Greenhouse with east - west ridge line. 

The Plant and Fish Environment
The Plants - The farm features two 8’ x 72’ deep water culture troughs (DWC) totaling 1,152 square feet of total production space which is substantially more than other kit systems in the same footprint. The deep water culture system is excellent for leafy greens, lettuce varieties and high value herbs. The nursery and transplanting systems are designed to work in an optimum rotation with the main DWC troughs so the system is producing the highest quantity of produce possible every week. We use only food grade raft boards designed by Beaver Plastics in our systems and Duraskrim liner. The DWC frame is made from standard 1" galvanized steel tubing and easy to assemble metal framing components. 

The Fish - There are four 300 gallon fish tanks designed to manage a steady rotation of fish at a conservative and healthy stocking density. The tank volumes, recommended stocking density and the fish rotation plan are all designed to maintain a consistent nutrient load for the plant system and to ensure the system maintains a proper ecological balance. Common fish to raise would be Tilapia, Catfish, Koi or Hybrid Striped Bass.

The Nursery and Transplanting System 

The Nursery - The farm offers a fully automated double deck nursery system that allows for the efficient germination of seedling trays. The nursery has two levels to easily accommodate production of all of the seedlings required for the regular rotation of plants through the main farm. Additional space has been included for the production of high value microgreens or other seed starts. The nursery is conveniently located along the north wall adjacent to the transplanting trough for easy access. 

Waist High Transplanting Trough The elevated waist high deep water trough allows for very efficient and comfortable transplanting of seedlings from the nursery. Transplanting of seedlings to the main raft boards for final grow out also takes place in the elevated trough. The second stage transplanting method provides for higher overall production levels in the main DWC system by maximizing available space for the grow out of mature crops.

System Filtration and Flow 

We’ve located the filtration system along the north wall so its not taking up valuable harvesting and circulation space in the middle of the farm thus allowing for more growing space. The filtration system is a three stage system designed to remove the heaviest solids while allowing suspended solids through to the brush filter tanks for additional breakdown and absorption by the plants. A biological filter provides the ideal environment for nitrifying bacteria to convert the expected daily ammonia production from the fish to nitrates for the plants.

Water flows by gravity from the fish tanks through the filtration system, out to the DWC troughs and ends in a central sump tank. A single pump lifts water from the sump tank back to the fish tanks. The elevated transplanting trough is run independently by it's own pump from the nearest DWC trough. 

Over 10,000 gallons of recirculating water contribute to the overall thermal mass of the environment. 

System Decoupling – The fish and plant systems have the capability to be easily decoupled from each other should the need arise to run the fish system independently from the plant system. The filtration system is designed to support the mechanical and biological filtration requirements for the fish. A dedicated pump and nutrient sump tank for the deep water culture system allows the plant system to operate on its own recirculating loop. The sump then functions as a dosing reservoir for organic hydroponic nutrient solutions or compost teas. 

The Media Bed System

Along the north wall we have included 8 raised media beds providing 72 sq ft of growing area for the production of fruiting crops, expansion of crop production from the DWC system or to run trials on other species as desired. Culturing plants and small fruit trees in containers can also be easily accomplished in these beds. The beds can be used in a variety of ways from container culture, media or deep water culture. Each bed has its own independent flow control. The media bed system is linked to the main farm system providing tremendous additional surface area for nitrifying bacteria. 

Optional Systems to Optimize the Farm Environment

Wicking Bed - An optional 32' long by 24" high wicking bed can be included to provide an excellent space for the production of root crops such as carrots, potatoes or ginger thus allowing for maximum diversity of crops that can be grown in the Flourish Farm system. 

Compost Tea Brewer - A compost tea brewer is an excellent way to mineralize and digest solid wastes produced by the fish. Creating your own compost tea can be a great way to reintroduce a boost of nutrients to the main farm system, the media bed system, amend your soils or be sold to other gardeners to help bring additional income to the farm. 

Purging and Quarantine System
– A separate tank is available to provide the ideal environment to safely bring in new species and quarantine them before adding them into your production system. The system has its own Polygeyser Bead Filter and is not hydraulically connected to the main farm for pure isolation and disease control. The system can also be used for purging fish that are harvested from the main system and are being prepared for market.  
AquaHeat drawing

Natural Gas or Propane Heat - Maintaining consistent water temperature is critical to providing a healthy and productive system. Fish can be significant stressed if the water is too cold. Bacterial activity can also be severely comprised at temperatures below 64F which will ultimately influence your water quality. Most systems even in the warmest US climates will experience temperature drops in the winter months that can adversely affect production. 

Farm Production Estimates
  • 1,000 lbs of fish annually - Assumes Tilapia in a four tank stocking rotation with a maximum adult stocking density of .5 lbs per gallon. Actual production can vary depending on species, water quality, temperature, system management and other factors. 
  • 800 heads of lettuce per week in DWC - 40,000 heads annually* - Assumes popular lettuce varieties such as Romaine, Bibb or Green Star lettuce. Many other leafy greens and herbs can be produced depending on customer demand and environmental conditions such as; kale, swiss chard, mustard greens, basil, mint and collards to name a few. 
  • 18 microgreen flats a week* - Assumes 36 microgreen trays planted with a two week seed to harvest period. Many possible varieties are possible and choices will likely depend on customer and market demands. 
  • 700 lbs of Tomatoes seasonally* - A variety of other crops may be desirable but this estimate assumes media beds are fully dedicated to tomatoes. One tomato plant per 4 sq ft with an average seasonal yield of 40lbs per plant. Estimate also assumes a typical Colorado greenhouse growing season from March to October. 
*Actual production estimates can vary substantially depending on many factors such as: environmental controls, temperature, humidity, pest management, water quality, overall system management, species selection, planting rotation, product handling, nutrient dynamics, available light and more. 

Energy Estimates
The farm utilizes a single main pump in normal operating mode running continuously at 230 watts. When running in decoupled mode the farm utilizes two identical pumps simultaneously running at 230 watts. The energy estimates provided below are for equipment used to run the aquaponic farm and does not include any equipment necessary to heat and cool the greenhouse. 

Equipment Run timeWatts 
Main system pump 24/7 230 
Transplant trough pump  24/7 92
Nursery pump30 to 45 min/day 50
Regenerative Blower 24/7 470

Delivery and Installation
The complete farm generally ships between 4 to 6 weeks from the time of your order. We require that you have your building or greenhouse fully erected with power, water and gas service (if needed). Upon your purchase we will provide schematic drawings and recommended utility locations necessary for the system. It is recommended that the system be installed on a solid level floor which can be either concrete or compressed dirt or sand. Loose or shifting soils could be problematic and result in a catastrophic failure. 

You are welcome to participate in the installation and include other people as needed. Putting the farm together can be a lot of fun and having a few hands is really helpful. However, due to the complexity of the installation and our desire to ensure it is done correctly, we will require at least one project manager from our staff to oversee the installation. If you do not wish to be involved, we can also send an installation team to manage all aspects of the build from start to finish. We will provide you a quote for whichever option works best for you. 

Please Contact us for pricing, installation and delivery information. 

JD and Tawnya Sawyer, Owners of Colorado Aquaponics and The Aquaponic Source