Floating raft aquaponics is also referred as deep water culture (DWC) the system is mostly suitable to commercial based aquaponics operators to enable them produce certain vegetables called the lettuce. This is done by putting the lettuce seedlings on a floating raft through the holes. The raft is made of polystyrene sheets with holes cut out to allow the positioning of the lettuce.
The floating raft aquaponics success is in the removal of the solids from the fish.
The floating raft aquaponics process
This system aims at producing enough oxygen for the lettuce roots. The roots are immersed in water and dirt accumulation on the roots should be eliminated quickly to enhance oxygen absorption and other minerals, which are vital to the plants growth.
To minimize dirt accumulation the system requires a filtration process, after the fish solid leaves the big fish tank, the water is then pumped to pass through a swirl filter slowly, this allows the waste to settle on the bottom of the tank. The waste is pumped out and used as high fertilizer.
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After the water passing through the swirl filter it passes to particulate filter where mineralization of the water takes place. Also when water is getting into the particulate filter it is screen off any waste, and is heavily oxygenated. At this stage the aeration is provided into the system, which facilitates bacteria action on the fish waste and converts them into the essential nutrients required by the plant.
The nutrients fully dissolve in water and are taken to the plants roots, the water is finally passed through a drop out zone to pacify water removing any waste and water is then pumped to the floating rafts.
The process uses air stones at planned intervals to oxygenate the lettuce plant roots. The water entering below the floating raft is completely clean to ensure the roots have maximum surface area exposed to allow absorption of oxygen and all essential nutrients, which the system seeks to provide.