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  • Industrial-scale aquaponics- real aquaponics?RAS vs double RAS in aquaponics food production

    BIGH Anderlecht

    Inagro - Kick off project Aquavlan2

    31th May 2017

    BIGH Building Integrated GreenHouses

  • Urban surface as a high valuable ressource: Greenhouse integration

    Uptake of urban discharges: CO2, heat, rainwater, organic waste

    High visibility and transparency

    Local production, local consumption

    High valuable farming for high valuable products

    Urban aquaponic farming by BIGH

    2000 m2 outdoor garden + 2000 m2 aquaponics greenhouse production:

    Fish stripped bass 40t/year

    Cherry tomatoes 16,5t/year

    Herbs 572 000 units/year

    Microgreens 10 000 trays/year

    Mescluns 6000 kg/year

  • 3

    BIGH Anderlecht Abattoir site

  • 4

    Total rooftop 4000 m2 including:2000 m2 greenhouse incl. mezzanine / 2000 m2 productive garden

    Juvenile plants Aquaculture Growing tables

    BIGH Anderlecht Abattoir site

  • 5



    2000 m2



    2000 m2


    mezzanine 550m2)


    BIGH Anderlecht Abattoir site

  • 6

    BIGH Anderlecht - Aquaponic greenhouse

  • BIGH - Aquaponic greenhouse

  • Growing fish and plants together in one integrated system. The fish waste provides an organic food source for the plants, and the plants naturally filter the water for the fish (The Aquaponics Source)

    Combining conventional aquaculture (snails, fish, crayfish or prawns in tanks) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in a symbiotic environmentWater from an aquaculture system is fed to a hydroponic system

    Nitrates are utilized by the plants as nutrients

    water is then recirculated back to the aquaculture system


    BIGH Aquaponics definitions

  • Mayas, Aztecs, Asia 1000 BC: crop grow better when fish are present

    Modern times:1. Backyard aquaponics

    2. RAS Fish farmers want to filter their recirculating water

    3. Commercial aquaponics farms still in the beginning

    BIGH Aquaponics history

  • RAS = the only real aquaponics? Adapting fish to the crops, scaling the plant for the fish

    Pursuit of compromizes

    Technics before economics

    Optimizing for one or for both?

    Critics The most expansive irrigation water of the world

    Crops in alkaline water, fish in fertilized water?

    More sustainable?


    Economical reality

    BIGH Aquaponics as an industrial production system

  • Double RAS system

    Optimization for the fishand the crops Technically



    BIGH Reconsidering aquaponics

  • Double RAS = improved aquaponics? Create a system where both cultures can be favorized.

    Create a system where both cultures can be economically viable, even independantly.

    Flexibility, control, sustainability

    BIGH Reconsidering aquaponics

  • Horticultural world not yet ready Old manners are the best proven

    Unconventional thoughts

    Unconventional scales (high costs for low surface)

    Fish farming world

    (Belgian?) Legislation lack Aquaponics legislation?

    Urban agricultural wastes

    Financing an aquaponics farm Lack of farming subsidies in Bxl

    Investors lack of confidence in (modern) agriculture

    BIGH start-up challenges

  • Start of building site in June 2017

    Farm opening: January 2018

    Outdoor garden in construction & test

    BIGH almost there

  • And see you at the farm opening!

    BIGH thanks you!

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