SYMBIOPONICS™ is a unique aquaponic design and management methodology developed by Aquaponic Solutions. This process involves three key steps in aquaponic system design and management:

  • A unique mathematical model that allows the prediction of fish to plant ratio's in aquaponic systems.

  • A unique aquaponic system buffer formulation model, which integrates with the fish to plant ratio to provide exacting nutrient concentration outcomes in an easy to apply method.

  • Aquaponic system management techniques which are integrally linked to the modeled fish to plant ratio and customised buffer formulation.

The unique mathematical model enables us to calculate the number of plants that may be grown from a known number of fish in the system, being fed a known amount of food on a daily basis, whilst converting that food at a known feed conversion rate. This means that the number of plants being grown in the system, at various different growth stages, can be precisely matched with the number of fish, at various different growth stages, within the system. The customised buffer formulation allows the establishment of precise nutrient ratios within the water (plant nutrient solution) based on what the fish feed cannot supply. Both these models combined, allow minimal external nutrition for the plants - in most cases, less than 10% of the nutrients required for optimised plant growth come from external nutrient additions; the rest come from the fish feed. This allows the available nutrients in the fish feed to be maximised towards fish and plant production. The specific aquaponic system management techniques allow the day to day management of the aquaponic system in a way that optimises the fish to plant ratio, leading to efficient nutrient cycling and therefore, optimising and maximising both fish and plant yields.

SYMBIOPONICS™ was developed to make aquaponic systems as efficient and optimised for nutrient utilisation as possible. Fish have the ability to release large amounts of nutrients as fish wastes (both solid and dissolved waste), especially when cultured in tank systems. For aquaponic systems to operate as efficiently as possible, the number of plants in the system must be balanced with the number of fish so that the waste nutrients released by the fish are fully utilised by the nutrient uptake requirements of the plants. If the fish and plants are not balanced, then the aquaponic system eventually experiences what is known as "positive or negative nutrient accumulation". This means that nutrients either build-up in the system over time, sometimes making the water too "nutrient-rich" for the plants, or they drop off in the system over time, making the water too "nutrient-poor" for the plants. In commercial aquaponic situations, the ability to design and manage the system for optimised nutrient use efficiency is vital to economic viability, as greenhouses and aquaponic systems attract very high capital and ongoing running costs.

In addition, optimisation and efficient management of aquaponic systems to sustain "neutral nutrient accumulation" is pivotal in allowing the system to be operated in a way that utilises all of the environmental advantages of aquaponic methodologies. For example, neutral nutrient accumulation in aquaponic systems means that the minimal amount of fresh make-up water is required for the system. All aquaponic systems loose water via plant transpiration or evaporation from open water surfaces. This lost water is replaced daily to maintain the aquaponic system water volume. If nutrients positively accumulate in the system and build-up to a point where the system water is too nutrient-rich for the plants, then water must be removed from the system. In this case, water replacement is less efficient, as more water is required for the system. This also has a negative impact on the environment, as this nutrient-rich waste-water needs to be disposed of in some manner. So, SYMBIOPONICS™ was also developed so that the aquaponic system experiences the most efficient water use possible (therefore conserving precious freshwater resources), and so that no nutrient-rich waste-water is required to be removed from the system and therefore, having zero negative environmental impact.

Aquaponic Solutions SYMBIOPONICS™ approach can be applied to fully recirculating (coupled), separable systems (designs that allow the fish & plant component to be separated when required) and all de-coupled variants of aquaponic system designs and also allows aquaponic systems to utilise any standard hydroponic plant culturing method available. Many commercial aquaponic systems utilise the "floating raft" or "deep flow" technique for the hydroponic component. Aquaponic Solutions developed aquaponic methodologies allow us to adapt commercial aquaponic systems to any available standard hydroponic plant culturing methodology, including:

  • Deep Flow (Floating Raft)

  • Semi-deep Flow

  • Media Systems (Sand, Gravel, Scoria, Clay Balls, Perlite, Vermiculite etc...)

  • Nutrient Film Technique (NFT)

  • Bag Culture (Dutch Bucket, Media Bags, Coco fibre Bags etc...) - used extensively for fruiting plant culture (eg: tomato's)

SYMBIOPONICS™ has been developed for a large number of the freshwater fish species suitable for use in recirculating aquaculture systems, and therefore, aquaponic systems around the world. Some of these fish species include:

  • Australian native fish species: Murray Cod, Barramundi, Silver, Golden & Jade Perch, Catfish, Sleepy Cod

  • European fish species: Brown Trout, Atlantic Salmon, Redfin (European) Perch

  • North American fish species: Rainbow Trout, Catfish, Chinook Salmon

  • Global fish species: Tilapia spp.

  • Asian fish species: Grass Carp, Silver Carp

  • Ornamental fish species: Gold Fish, Koi Carp

In fact, SYMBIOPONICS™ can be adapted for use with ANY freshwater fish species developed for recirculating aquaculture or aquaponics.

SYMBIOPONICS™ has also been developed for a large number of plant species that are commonly cultured within hydroponic or aquaponic systems. Some of these plants include:

Leafy Green Culinary Herbs: Italian Basil, Purple Basil, Thai Basil, Cilantro (Coriander), Chervil, Italian Parsley, Chives, Lemon Grass, Mint, Dill, Watercress

Culinary Salad Greens & Lettuces: Romaine (COS), Butter heads, Oaks, Mache, Rockets, Ice Bergs, Mezunas, Endives, Lollo Rossas, Salad Bowl, Lollo Biondas, Bibbs, Mescluns, Mignonettes, Witloofs, Radicchios, Kales, Spinach

Asian Greens: Pak Choi, Bok Choi, Tatsoi, Chinese Cabbage, Amaranth, Pei Tsai, Pak Choy, Choy Sum, Yu Choy

SYMBIOPONICS™ methods and models are also developed or fruiting crop plants, such as tomato's, egg plant, peppers, cucumbers, strawberries, etc...

SYMBIOPONICS™ allows you to obtain the best results from commercial aquaponic culturing systems.