Charlie Price @ TEDx Warwick
Charlie Price on aquaponics @ TEDx Warwick
May 29, 2014 Aquaponics No Comments

There is a TED talk for just about anything cool these days, so of course there are some great talks on Aquaponics on TED! The below video is our favorite as the speaker Charlie Price covers the bases in a way that is both informative and easy to understand.

Charlie is from Aquaponics UK – the social enterprise dedicated to implementing systems and educating people about aquaponics. Here’s what he has to say about Aquaponics on TED:

We need to produce 50% more food by 2030. Our resources are running out and we need to produce more with less. He explains how an aquaponics system is like creating a self-sustaining ecosystem, with the aim of minimizing inputs and maximizing ouputs.

As he proves, an aquaponic system can be as basic or as complex as you like. The most basic system including just vegetables and fish, but there are other options too. Here is our summary of his talk:

Inputs:

1. Fish food – There can be some sustainability issues here, but there are several different options one can take. One of the most sustainable methods is to keep a wormery and feed the worms to the fish, (this will depend on you having carnivorous or omnivorous fish.) This can also be used to make ‘worm teas’ which are an all natural pesticide. These can be fed on waste from your plants, whether it’s the outer leaves or the roots.

2. Energy – to run water pumps. To make this more renewable and to decrease your output you might want to consider using solar energy.

3. Water – although an aquaponic system only uses 10% per day that usual farming methods require, we have to think about where this water will come from. One of the most efficient ways to do this is rain water harvesting.

Outputs:

1. Basic crops such as vegetables, fruits and herbs. Between 30-50 kilos of food can be grown per 1 kilo of fish.

2. Fish – whichever varieties you want to use

3. Giant freshwater prawns – this is the first time we have mentioned this on this blog, but given that algae is naturally produced in enriched water with a light supply, freshwater prawns can easily feed off this so these can be added to your tanks

4. Black soldier flies. These will thrive if fed fish waste (such as bones or leftovers). There are certain rules meaning that you cannot feed worms with fish products and then feed back to the fish, so the alternative is to add another animal to the ecosystem…

5. Chickens. When the soldier flies have been fed fish waste, they become a strong source of protein and make great chicken feed. THEN, the chicken waste can head off back to the soldier flies, and then this can also be used as another fish feed.

6. Eggs! From the chickens, obviously.

As you can see, the possibilities are endless and an entire eco system can more or less run itself. There are numerous ways to add value to your system.

The video is a full 20 minutes long, but very inspirational and gives great ideas to what can be achieved with an aquaponics system.

Watch it here:

Pippa Woodhead
Written by Pippa Woodhead
Being a health-nut, London born Pippa has struggled to adjust to the lack of availability of lettuce and kale since re-locating to India. Previously naive to the extent of the worlds food struggles, she has now become obsessed with sustainability in food production and especially in India where it needs it the most (plus she’s also hoping to get her hands on some kale any day now). When she’s not writing for Aquaponics in India, she is usually found with her head in a book or in the kitchen experimenting with new vegetarian recipes.