What is the goal of the commercial aquaponics?
To sell fish?
to sell produce?
or a nitche for a restraunt or market?
Most commercial systems run raft beds to make planting/harvest of things like full rafts of lettuce easier but that is not the only thing to consider in aquaponics. No one thing is better for all situations so to figure out the better design for your situation you need to better define the situation for us beyond just simply the tank size.
by the way, why are you thinking about that particular size tank?
Keep in mind that You need enough filtration to handle your water volume and your fish load.
In most backyard scale systems the media beds are the filtration as well as being the plant growing space.
In most commercial systems there are additional elements of filtration beyond the Raft bed.
In that case it is all about the filtration. Study up on the filtration you need and what sorts of plants are the best food source for your fish (though you will likely need something to add to the system in the way of fish feed.) The figuring out how best to filter for the fish and what growing methods will be best for the type of plant production you want should help you design an appropriate system for your needs.
I personally like media beds but that is because I'm a lazy home gardener and I just want to sprinkle some seeds around and come back later and pick produce and maybe catch fish for dinner.
For growing commercial produce you want a growing method that minimizes your labor while producing the best quality product for your market.
For growing lots of fish, you want filtration that will keep your water quality high and nutrient removal that will keep your water quality high so your fish will grow fast and healthy.
It will have more to do with the amount of fish and the amount you feed them and if you are going to be removing the solids or not. And also the types of plants grown will greatly affect how much nutrient gets used.
I think one 30 foot Lufa vine in full growth could suck down the nutrients from 50 well fed bluegill while it would probably take 150 square feet of lettuce rafts to handle the same.
Nice... Thanks for the great info.you know anyone else with a commercial size aquaponics system in the NYC area? I googled for months an no good with getting info. How much growing beds would I need for that size of a fish tank? If my growing beds specs are 70'x 6'x 1' deep?
with a 18000 gl tank you have room for 3000 fish @ 6gl per fish and 420 sqf of media. You can make that much space work with much, much less fish and water, normally in a raft system the calculation is done by feed (how much food the fish have to eat to maintain a system of 420sqf) I do have the formila but have to get back home to get it am on business trip but that tank you have is out of the ecuation am thinking top of my head with a 300 gallon tank and 60/70 fish is plenty for the media bed you have.
Jason valera said:
Do some research into aquaculture so you can decide if green water culture or aquaponics would be more appropriate to your situation.