I’ve spoken before about how adding sophistication to one’s growing setup can be a recipe for more things that can go wrong. But lets say you do it right.. lets say you keep your balances checked and within a reasonable median of safety, then what? Well you might become exceptional at making an ultra-efficient growing setup. You might also be coming to a crossroads..
The one factor in any aquaponics setup that should be foremost in your mind is that you have living breathing animals that rely on your care. If you are aiming to produce huge numbers of fish, the means by which you achieve that goal can easily go from being a system that provides harmony with the fish, to something more like what you’d see in a factory farm. Granted the fish will be harvested in the end, so the idea would be, “What does it matter if the fish are happy or not?” Well, in the end, that bit is up to the grower. I’m personally of the belief that if you’re going to grow something, whether plant or animal, that you provide an environment that is the best it can be for them.
I’d like to provide this video of a commercial AP setup that is right on that bleeding edge. They are currently able to achieve 1lb of fish per 1 gallon of water through the use of high protein fish feed (which most likely is derived from fish-meal, i.e other fish) but also through the application of liquid oxygen being applied to the system. Its a spectacular setup.. a good deal of thought did go into this design. But if you look closely at the tanks you can see the density of fish is at a point of being nearly inhumane. At that density it becomes questionable as to whether the setup is environmentally sound or is primarily for profit at the expense of the fish.
I’ll leave it to your own judgement, but I just want to leave you with a final thought..
Just because a technique(s) impressive and it can be done, some Common Sense should come into play telling you that its pushing the boundaries of what should be sustainable, only to become what is artificially inflated and more for greed then striking a good balance with the natural world around you (or the one you help to create).