The Growing Dome Aquaponic Greenhouse
The Growing Dome is the best greenhouse for aquaponics systems since it includes an above-ground pond for year-round growing
Surprisingly, aquaponics greenhouses might be the future of agriculture as we know it. Aquaponics is a symbiotic relationship between fish, plants, and bacteria. These growing systems don’t require soil and they conserve water. In addition, they encourage plants to grow faster and support both edible and ornamental fish.
Modern aquaponics systems work very well inside a geodesic dome greenhouse because they harbor a sustainable growing environment and foster diverse systems. As with any system design, each type of aquaponics system has its pros and cons, so it is important to have the freedom to create hybrids. With the right resources and information, you can select the system, or systems, that will best suit your needs, and allow you to get the most out of your Growing Dome® greenhouse.
History of Aquaponics
Did you know that aquaponic systems are not new to agriculture? There are records of ancient civilizations using aquaponic techniques to cultivate food. Modern commercial systems are largely based on the work of Dr. Mark McMurtry et al. at the North Carolina State University and Dr. James Rakocy at the University of the Virgin Islands. Small scale designs and systems are now available, thanks to their research. The possibilities are endless with custom DIY systems, but several companies are manufacturing pre-assembled kits for anyone that wants to start growing in an aquaponic system today.
Growing Domes with Aquaponic Systems
There are very few places where an aquaponic system can be set-up outdoors. A protected environment, such as a Growing Dome greenhouse, is recommended to keep your fish, plants, and bacteria safe. The above-ground pond in your Growing Dome is also a perfect home for your fish tank. It is energy efficient and conserves water. See how the folks at The Aquaponics Project are integrating aquaponics in a Growing Dome.
Edible fish can also be harvested in the Growing Dome, whether you have Aquaponics in your greenhouse or not. Tilapia is probably the most common and will require more oxygenation than just goldfish. You must also keep your tank above 50 degrees or they may die.
Check out this interview of Santa Fe Community College alumni, Eric Highfield, and tour their 26′ Growing Dome furnished with aquaponics:
Types of Aquaponics Systems
A self-contained, stand-alone aquaponics system works very well in the protected environment of the Growing Dome. It will contain a fish tank, raised aquaponics bed, media to fill the bed, water pump, aerator, and all plumbing. Places like the Aquaponics Source specialize in these kits.
Individual aquaponic components and filters can be combined with the fish tank in your Growing dome. It is best to plan this in advance when building your Growing Dome, but can also be retrofitted to an existing tank. Pumps, various filtration, and even a Koi toilet can be added to the tank to convert ammonia to nitrates to help fertilize your plants. You can use aquaponic media beds or water your soil beds with a drip irrigation system.
Butch Weaver and the Milk and Honey Farm at the Jewish Community Center in Boulder shows us the Aquaponics System in their 42-foot Growing Dome Greenhouse.
Growing Spaces can also refer you to resources that can help design a fully custom aquaponics system for your Growing Dome.
Also, watch this video from Santa Fe Community College about harvesting edible fish in an aquaponic greenhouse.
Want to learn more about aquaponics? Download our aquaponics links and resources here.
New to Aquaponics? Download our Beginners Guide here.