Bok Choy in the Living Room

Our Hootie 2.0 Indoor Aquaponic System was growing some bok choy.

One-hundred percent of the nutrition for the bok choy came from nutrient-dense fish water continuously cycled from below. Red wiggler worms in the media bed help with nutrient-cycling.

Below is our harvest, with no pesticides, fertilizers, or antibiotics. The only input is fish food! And fish and worms did all of our gardening for us.

And it was very tasty and crunchy bok choy!

We are working on some improvements to the Hootie 2.0, including an LED light, rather than the current T5 fluorescent.

Vertical Hydroponic Grow Systems in Downtown DC

We recently worked on planting and harvesting vertical hydroponic systems at the new Fannie Mae office building in downtown, DC.

These systems make the best use of space by stacking hydroponic shelves vertically. All four levels are connecting to one common reservoir, which is directly connected to the DC water system.

The hydroponic system is from the Urban Cultivator. Pictured here is Niraj Ray from Cultivate the City.

Are you interested in being part of the revolution in urban agriculture? Anacostia Aquaponics is looking for 2019 Team Members / Interns. Learn more: http://anacostiaaquaponics.org/2019-team-member-opportunities/

Cultivator 1.0 Test Model

This past Summer we experimented with a prototype vertical aquaponic system – The Cultivator 1.0 – on the Cultivate the City rooftop farm by H Street, NE.

Re-used food grade 55-gal barrels cut in half served as containers for the fish tank, grow bed, and sump tank.

The Cultivator 1.0 is intended to make the most of vertical space in our dense urban environment by stacking the containers. The vertical arrangement also makes water-flow more convenient.

Was the Cultivator 1.0 successful? stay tuned to find out!

ALSO: Are you considering a career in the growing sustainable agriculture movement? Anacostia Aquaponics is looking for dedicated Team Members and Interns for 2019. Click the link to find out more 🙂

System Improvements at IDEA Charter School

James and William are retro-fitting an existing aquaponic system to improve water flow in the media bed. Without the extended pipes, one side of the bed would not have adequate water circulation. This could lead to poor water conditions.

In the background we see a hydroponic media bed already growing large amounts of basil and tomatoes. This is because we are still far from an adequate stock of fish to produce enough waste/fertilizer in the aquaponic system, whereas in hydroponics the appropriate nutrients can be dosed immediately.

In the hydroponic system, James’ and William’s improved water circulation is not as important because there is not nearly as much organic material to risk foul conditions. It’s important to understand the trade-offs between aquaponics, hydroponics, traditional soil agriculture, and other growing methods.

For IDEA Public Charter School, the aquaponic system is an invaluable STEM education tool to teach students about the ecosystem of fish, plants and bacteria. But it is important to note that depending on circumstances, aquaponics is not the answer for every growing situation.

Rooting DC this Saturday!

Who: Everyone
What: Rooting DC Urban Agriculture Expo
When: Saturday, March 3, 9:00am – 4:00pm
Where: Wilson HS, 3950 Chesapeake St NW, Washington, DC
Why: Sustaining a happy life on Earth!
Price: FREE

Anacostia Aquaponics will have our Hootie 2.0 Indoor Aquaponic System set up and running in the Vendor Showroom, goldfish and all. [Barring any technical catastrophes]

Anacostia Aquaponics Director Brian Filipowich will present “Aquaponics in Washington DC” at 10:00am in Room 205. There are many many GREAT presentations all day long! See Rooting DC Schedule

It’s always a great time, and there’s lots of foodtrucks, hope to see you there!

The Great Pizza Aquaponic Challenge

Last week we challenged the IDEA PCS garden club students:

If you can move this entire aquaponic system upstairs to the green room during your 1-hour lunch break, we upgrade to pizza for lunch next week. By the way: all the fish have to survive the move; the system has to be back up and running; and you have to move all the water too (we wouldn’t want to shock our bacteria with new water!)

The students succeeded, great teamwork.

Now onto the next goal: grow $200 of produce with this same aquaponic system by the end of the school year… we’re gonna need some bigger fishies than these goldfish, not to be koi 😉  [foreshadowing]