“Basically, what we do, we feed the talipia conventional fish feed, a vegetable-based fish feed, and what happens is the water from the talipia tanks is overflowing into a filter which removes all the solid waste,” Lester said.
“The water that passes through the filter is still loaded with nutrients the fish produce and it flows in and cycles through the plant bed. The roots of the plants hang down in the water and remove all the nutrients and ammonia that the fish produce.”
In turn, notes Lester, the plants — including various types of lettuce and culinary herbs — clean the water for the fish.
“This plant bed system is an intricate part of keeping our fish alive, as well,” he said.
“Anybody who has a fish tank at home, multiply that by about a million, then you can realize how important the filter is in this system. Without the plants we have no filter.”
Lester said the windstorm damage has made it difficult for the farm to stay on its all-important timelines for its products.
Jim Lester, better known to many as “Farmer Jim, “ stands at his aquaponics facility greenhouse at his farm on Pearltown Road. Lester says farmers have to be optimistic in the face of setbacks.
©Joe Gibbons/The Telegram