Northsider Farms in Arvada, Colorado has been operational since 2017, and supplies fresh, healthy, and local produce and tilapia to the Regis University area. The farm is made up of two greenhouses, each running unique custom aquaponic systems. The large greenhouse was completed in fall of 2017, and consists of a 4 media bed AquaBundance system with a 300 gallon fish tank. These beds are used to grow an abundance of tomatoes, peppers, and other fruiting crops. Nutrients are also supplied to a custom 6’x16′ double-decker deep water culture system growing leafy greens. In this double-decker DWC, a customized LED lighting system provides complete coverage for leafy greens on the bottom level of raft boards. AquaVertica towers were installed over the fish and sump tanks for additional vertical growing area.
A second aquaponic system in a small greenhouse was installed in the fall of 2018, and utilizes state of the art technology to create an ideal system for growing fish and fruiting crops together, without the discharge of any water or waste from the system. This fully decoupled aquaponic system raises tilapia at the perfect temperature and pH in a stand-alone aquaculture system. Filtration is performed using an automatically backwashing AST Endurance filter that provides complete life support to the fish. Waste from the filter are then transferred to an aerobic mineralization tank, where solids are broken down into nutrients for the plants, providing a more complete nutrient profile than a standard aquaponic system. Water is pulled from both the aquaculture and mineralization systems into a hydroponic dutch bucket system. In the buckets, nutrients and pH are tailored to be ideal for the production of fruiting crops. Right now, an abundance of tomatoes are being produced in this system.