[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOEfQGEl8eg&w=560&h=315]

Aquaponics combines both aquaculture (raising marine life) and hydroponics (growing plants). Bill Carlson, the co-owner of Mountainside Lavender Farm, along with his wife, Lori Carlson, utilizes this concept. Carlson has a greenhouse aquaponic system in which fish waste provides nutrients for plants, the plants help clean the water, which is then cycled back to the fish tanks.When Carlson first started out, he was more interested in growing fish rather than produce, but realized how the two could easily intertwine. His fish tanks include tilapia, goldfish, catfish and bluegill.  Carlson states that the system seems more complex than it really is. Carlson, with the help of his older brother, built the existing system in a greenhouse. There are three fish tanks, with a single, underground tank that pushes the water into the three tanks.The fish waste creates ammonia, which later turns into nitrates, which is absorbed by the plants to grow. Carlson has started the Portland Metro Aquaponics Meetup Group, which would be a great starting point for anyone interesting in learning more. This an awesome example of green living at its best….if only I had a greenhouse. Watch the video to learn more. MORE

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