Freshwater Farm is now cycling in Northern Michigan!
I am a student in the Fisheries Department at Michigan State University. As part of a grant writing class, I wrote a business plan for Aquaponics and submitted it into a sustainability business plan competition sponsored by Loyola University and won. Now the real journey has began.
I have constructed a raceway fish tank with a settling basin. This cycles into a DWC raft grow beds (biofilter). Most of the literature I have says the biofilter should be ready to go (nitrites and nitrates) in about a month. I am doing a fishless cycle and I have added ammonia and ProLine Bacteria and old filters from the Pet Store. It has taken 3 weeks, but I think the nitrites are now spiking.
Freshwater Farm will be culturing Yellow Perch with minnows for feed and selling loose leaf lettuce, lettuce heads, spinach, mint, and basil at farmers markets and restaurants.
My hope is to create a Perma-culture type Aquaponics system by modeling a small ecosystem: YP - Minnows - Zooplankton - Phytoplankton with a profitable filter.
Aquaponics is so cool!