Our first aquaponics Farm was built in 2014 within a 5000 sqft greenhouse with over 2000 sqft of growing space; making it one of the largest aquaponics farm in BC. Located only 20 minutes from downtown Vancouver Urbanspace Farm is a large scale aquaponics farms right in the heart of Canada’s most vibrant urban centre.
Our Flagship Farm
The deep water and media beds are designed to grow over 9000 heads of salad greens and turn over 3000 heads a week.
The plants get their nutrients from over 1000 tilapia living happily in two large 800 gallon tanks. The farm is designed as a fully recirculating continuous flow system that uses three stage filtration to clean the water as it circulates through out the system keeping both the fish and plants happy.
The first stage is a 350 gallon swirl filter tank which removes much of the heavier setteleable solids which are then removed and used as organic fertilizer.
The second stage uses high density filter mats to remove the fine solids that are not removed by the primary filter. The filters work progressively to remove as much solids from the fish tank effluent in order to minimize mineralization or the growth of anaerobic zones in our troughs.
The final filtration stage is the nitrification tank where we use bio balls to promote the growth of nitrifying bacteria. The bio balls function by providing a large surface area for the bacteria to easily colonize. It is at this stage where the ammonia in the water is converted by essential bacteria into nitrates which is used by the plants as a source of nutrients.
We consider the filtration system as the lungs of an aquaponics system which is critical in cleansing the water and producing the essential nutrients that are required for the growth of our plants.
Once the water has been cleaned of the solids and allowed to go through the nitrification cycle the water then enters four 116 feet troughs. The troughs have all been constructed out of wood and lined with Duraskrim poly liner which allow each troughs to hold close to 3500 gallons of water.
The water then travels down the troughs and drains into the fifth trough which also acts as a sump tank. Instead of having a below ground sump tank we opted to use one of our troughs as a sump allowing us to reduce construction cost and the risk that comes with a tank being 6 feet under the ground. And because the trough hold so much water the fluctuations are almost negligible.
From this final trough the clean water is pumped back into the fish completing the recirculation cycle that makes aquaponics so unique. Today the farm is operated by Smokehouse Aquaponics Company out of Richmond that grow vegetables for their chain of organic farm to table restaurants in Vancouver.
“The filtration system is the lungs of an aquaponics system which is critical in cleansing the water and producing the essential nutrients that are required for the growth of our plants.”
- Geenbiotix Enterprise, Panama City, Panama (2015) 1.5 acres poly greehouse facility with tilapia, 10,000 sqft of grow space. Feasibility study completed.
- Devin Spink, Commox Valley BC (2016) designed a 2500 sqft fully recirculating system using tilapia to grow salad greens and culinary herbs.
- Island Aquaponics, Toronto, ON Phase I (2017) Launched feasibility study
- Common Ground Farms, Burnaby, BC (2017) designed 6000 sqft facility with Trout, build commencing June 2018
- Velocity Aquaponics, Vernon, BC (2017) Launched and completed feasibility study. Submitted a business plan for $250,000 which was subsequently approved. Building in progress.
- Island Aquaponics, Toronto, ON Phase II (2018) Completed feasibility and submitted a business plan for $500,000 funding application.
We make every effort in the construction of our farms to get locally available and sustainable building materials.