Vermiaquaponics:


Vermiaquaponics is actually a word my father and I invented. It is in laymans terms the same thing as aquaponics but with a combination of worm breeding. You use the worm castings to make a nutrient tea which is then used to feed the plants through their roots directly and in the form of foliar feeding. Foliar feeding is when you feed a plant through its leaves. You spray the tea onto the leaves directly and the goal is to have the nutrients be absorbed in more than one way. Then the worms themselves are used to feed the fish thus eliminating some of the cost of fish feed, and making these aquaponic systems more self sustainable.

Vermiaquaponics will soon become the future of aquaponics. In a way many people use certain aspects of it by feeding their plants with extra micronutrients and such.(for example chelated iron, manganese, zinc, etc) But what makes this version so unique is that it will help eliminate the cost of fish feed which becomes an enormous expense. In addition you are feeding your fish great protein which should theoretically help them to grow faster and bigger. Although worms do not give fish 100% of their diet, and are nearly 90% composed of water, so supplements will be required. So essentially your getting your fish wish less cost improving your profit. One concern I have about this new form of growing is when it gets to the commercial scale. Places like the University of the Virgin Islands are harvesting over 5 tons of fish annually and in order for something like this to be beneficial to them you would need a very vast number of worms. Making vermiaquaponics less practical on a commercial scale but definately beneficial on the hobby scale. Something to consider if trying to convert from aquaponics to vermiaquaponics is that you will need the space to grow your worms, and to make sure you will have enough worms to be able to integrate this technology into aquaponics.

The forcus on vermiaquaponics is to not incorporate it in systems producing such high quantities of fish. For the Urban Farmer, primary focus should be on plant growth in order to make profit. Using as little fish as possible and supplementing with tea will reduce other costs. The key is to get the right number of fish to plant growth ratio and also adding the vermiaquaponics side of the equation. When all these numbers can be worked out maximum plant growth to cost can be achieved giving you maximum profit.

Unfortunately I won't be doing any research on this topic for my Senior Year Project. Originally it was what I was going to focus my time on but it no longer seems practical for the time constraints for me to be able to run tests that I will be satisfied with. Regardless I feel that this is still an important aspect of my project so I will leave this page to help inform people. In addition my father will probably still start running tests to see its benefits, and perhaps I can post some results here later even if it doesn't involve my project. Now I will be focusing on building aquaponic systems for North and writing my own class curriculum. For more information visit these links:

Action Plan
Research
Big Three