Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More
Growing Fish in Greenhouses

Growing Fish in Greenhouses


NARR: Salad greens and fish go very well together. And they grow very well together, too. Arugula, watercress and yellow perch are growing together in greenhouses on a busy street in Milwaukee. it’s a promising experiment at a place
called Growing Power. The community-based urban farm grows
food for local groceries and restaurants. Those markets have been hungry for
yellow perch since numbers of the favorite fish crashed in Lake Michigan
in the 1990s. Will Allen runs Growing Power. ALLEN: We get two products in a pretty confined
system. If you look at that system, you got food growing up there, and you
got food growing on the next level, and down on the bottom you got 10,000, or probably
more like 9,000 now, but about 9,000 perch. We use the plants to filter out the waste. NARR: Plants, soil, and pebbles make natural filters. ALLEN: You got fish on the bottom,
you pump water up and let it matriculate through the beds and plants and
back into the systems down below. NARR: Allen is refining the process with
technical help from Fred Binkowski, an aquaculture specialist at the
University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute. BINKOWSKI: You know the greenhouse
model is fairly unique for aquaculture. Not many people have been doing this. NARR: In many recirculating aquaculture
systems, the water is cleaned with expensive mechanical filters and other equipment. At Growing Power,
the plants perform the crucial tasks. BINKOWSKI: Getting rid of the solids, getting rid of
the ammonia, getting rid of carbon dioxide. NARR: Raising fish in cities offers many
advantages, according to Binkowski. BINKOWSKI: You’re creating a product
that you’re really putting at the center of consumer demand.
And, as a result of that, you’re probably reducing transportation
costs significantly. You’re creating jobs. You know, establishing businesses,
creating jobs in the city area. Abandoned factories, you know, with the loss of our
manufacturing base here in the northcentral region, and these are
opportunities to get these buildings back up and running again. NARR: Will Allen sees the benefits of
greenhouse aquaculture extending far beyond his particular Milwaukee neighborhood. ALLEN: We’ve taken this project into
systems that can be replicated easily around the world. Because, we have people coming in
here from around the world. And they see these systems, and they say, “I want this in my
community, in my small community.” So when we go into Ghana, we go into South America, into Peru, Columbia, and Argentina, they want this system. BINKOWSKI: What we can provide through the
Sea Grant Outreach Program, is all of the state of the art technology
for raising yellow perch. ALLEN: It really meant a lot to have this partnership. Like Fred said, it really offered to me an
opportunity for the University Institute to go into the community and do a community project
with a community-based organization. I think that is probably the most powerful thing
that I’ve leveraged around the country when I go around the country and
talk about our relationship.

66 comments on “Growing Fish in Greenhouses

  1. aquaponics! woot woot! This stuff is an amazing step towards a more sustainable future.
    The only thing I can't wrap my head around is how to aerate without consuming too much electricity…

  2. This is so cool. Imagine if every office building would do this? Instead of haveing "goldfish or koi" Have regular "eating" fish. Now that would make for a cool pond.

  3. @janicmc1 have the water drop at a higher distance to the water so it creates natural aeration in the water..

  4. @buzzbuzzquack ……how about containing the gnats that hang around ripening/decomposing foods and feed them to the fish and or compost them

  5. what you have here is a very nice set up im looking to do the same thing on a smaller scale fish worms and plants all things i like all rounded into one

  6. @ adityadg7890 and PatientEve Do you even hear the content? Yellow-lake perch are diminished. They are saving them. If they do nothing, they'll be gone. Growing Power is a non-profit that teaches people and children to grow food – not just fish- on a beyond organic intensive method that is an alternative to factory farming/industrial farms. The water in the tanks is cleaner than the area's lakes and rivers because of the plants (watercress and others) filtering the water.

  7. dont listen to those devils Will. you know exactly what youre doing. now they are trying to understand. you should not have shared your wisdom with them

  8. Any update on this project? Is it healthy? Is it financially feasible? Are the fish as healthy and nourishing as fish we'd find in the wild?

  9. @PatientEve i know it looks cruel but if generations of these fish have grown up this way then they should be accustomed to it. it also applies with other animals such as rabbits and chickens.

  10. pearch,hybrid bass,fresh water prawns,tilapia,I could see fresh water shrimp getting fat off of this.now if they started going more verticle with this as the sky is the limit I would love to see that and how they would prop up the fish tanks at different levels and have walkways to harvest food!! there's a lot of possibilities here for sure.

  11. @HighTowerMinistries pine straw it's acidic which would bring the pH down a bit when it decompses, but don't add to much, just sprinkle a little a mulch

  12. We have so many empty factories where I live that by opening place like this alomst everyong in our town would have a job. I hope that they are doeing well.

  13. I kinda wonder with the setup, where you get the electricity from? Is it off the power grid? I was kinda thinking that it would be pretty cool to setup your own system to generate electricity considering how you about have a complete environment, I don't see why you couldn't produce hydro electric? May be a small investment, but it may pack you back, and it would really have a nice confined setup where it's completely self sufficient.

  14. Aloha Aquaculture Enthusiasts: Mahalo to our speakers who have done a great job presenting at the International Workshop on Aquaponics and Tilapia during August 2010 at Hilo, Big Island of Hawaii. To learn more about the workshop and to watch many free, full length presentations from that workshop go to AquacultureHub website.

  15. @HighTowerMinistries go to an aquarium shop,you can buy a product called PH down,alternatively you can use lemon juice, or vinegar.

  16. This is pretty amazing,on a lot of different levels!! Kudos!!
    I'm amazed there aren't a pile of this type set up here in Fl, where the weather precludes heating costs in a greenhouse.
    Steve

  17. This is pretty amazing,on a lot of different levels!! Kudos!!
    I'm amazed there aren't a pile of this type set up here in Fl, where the weather precludes heating costs in a greenhouse.
    We are doing a 16'x20' aquaponics greenhouse on our property right now-system has been cycling for 6 months using koi to provide nutrients for the plants…next step is 100 catfish.
    What are you folks using for growing medium in the pots on racks?
    Steve

  18. Love what youre doing and your informative video Thank you!! What is the best ph level for the fish? Im a pioneer with an open source sustainable community project called OneCommunityRanch (a .org) and we are getting ready to set up an organic farm using Aquaponics and are hoping to find some members educated in this system of growing. Thank You for the video and in helping to change our world!!

  19. These, instead of IMF and Wall St, are reasons we go to school. IMF and Wall St are one big scam and brain washing magazine we must eliminate with modern communication. We don't need them to trade our resources and our valuable efforts.

  20. This system is ideal for sustainable development and of course, the fish does not have mercury like the fish from the oceans. At the same time there is no need for transportation. Very god guys keep on telling people how to do it in underdeveloped countries.

  21. Imagine this franchised in a manner to where the community ultimately gains with overall economic stability. Bravo!

  22. What are they using to feed the fish.
    Feeding PHarmed Fish remains the biggest obstacle.
    Are they being fed antibiotics, growth hormones, hydrolyzed poultry feathers and such?

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