Discover all things Lotus Gardens.
Scroll through the slides to learn about Lotus Gardens’ aquaponics farming system.
Aquaponics is a system in which fish eat and their waste produces ammonia. Beneficial bacteria then convert ammonia into nutrients, supplying plants with natural fertilizer. Aquaponics is a closed loop system as water is continuously recirculated through plant roots. Aquaponics mimics the natural symbiotic relationship between fish and water.
Our aquaponics sytem holds 30,000 gallons of water provided by our onsite well.
Our system starts with a water polisher. This acts as a biofilter for the water entering our four, 1200 gallon fish tanks.
Our fish tanks drain into four vertical flow seperators (VFS’). Each fish tank has its own VFS, which seperates fish poop. The four VFS’ drain into an aqauculture water waste collector (AWWC), which has shelving units in it to collect whatever solids have gotten past the VFS’ before entering the two middle troughs. Water continuously flows through the troughs, back to a pump, then back into the polisher.
Growing Space Specifics
We have eight rows of 10 ft troughs linked together. There are 44 floating trays in each row with 33 plant spaces in each tray. This makes 1,452 spaces in each trough for a total of 11,616 spaces!
Our four fish tanks are stocked with roughly 3,500 yellow perch per tank. After our first year of operation, we will harvest fish every 90 days. Our fish are fed food from Brookings, SD.
The following data can be used to estimate the nutrients our produce receive:
- Crude Protein: 42%>
- Crude Fat: 12%>
- Crude Fiber: 4%<
- Phosphorus: .75%>
- Ash: 8%<
Lotus Aquaponics Urban Farming vs. Traditional Farming
Organically Grown & No PCBs
- We cannot use pesticides; it will kill our fish which are a key component of the aquaponics system.
- Our produce is more nutrient dense keeping it fresh for over three weeks when properly stored.
- You can visit the farm anytime to see how your food is grown!
Non GMO Seeds
- We have a steady stream of nutrients provided by fish in our closed loop, indoor system. Our aquaponics system is significantly less prone to pest than traditional farming.
- We can grow every season, all year round.
Low Water Usage
- Our farm has zero discharge of water into the environment, causing pollution. Our closed loop system allows for water to be reused.
Plants Grow Twice as Fast
- Naturally fortified water from fish allows our produce to grow twice as fast as produce grown in traditional farming.
Higher Brix Level
- High brix levels make our produce more nutrient dense.
Replicate of a 40-Acre Farm Field in 8460 sq ft
- This allows our farm to be extremely environmentally conscious by any standard, but especially compared to traditional farming.
Fertilizer is Natural
- Our fertilizer comes from cold blooded fish, which do not carry E. coli or salmonella.
Fish Are The Fastest Converter of Plant Protein to Animal Protein
Fish Have No Growth Hormones, No Mercury, No Antibiotics and No PCBs
- Our closed loop system receives zero man-made chemicals.
Harvest to Table in a Matter of Hours vs. Weeks
- Lotus offers the convenience of local, farm fresh pick up, or same day delivery when ordered by 12pm. We offer a choice of delivery day (Tu., Fri.) and time (by 7pm).