Moffat CAN Carbon Neutral

Scotland's First Aquaponics Greenhouse


Aquaponics is a combination of Aquaculture (rearing fish in tanks) and Hydroponics (growing vegetables in water, not soil).  It is a sustainable way of producing food because the fish and plants work in harmony - the fish produce waste which provides the nutrients for the plants and the plants soak up the nutrients leaving clean, fresh water for the fish.  Once the system is up and running, no extra water is added (apart from small amounts to counteract evaporation) - the same water circulates around and around.  At the moment we are feeding our fish prepared food - but it is our intention to feed the fish on worms from our compost production.  Our system rears Tilapia - they are a tropical fish that are very well suited to being reared in this way.  On top of that they grow very quickly!  The other bonus is that we can produce tropical fish here in Moffat - reducing some serious food miles!  Because the fish are tropical they do need to have warm water - around 28 degrees celcius.  To maintain our sustainability,  we use renewable energy to provide the warmth - from the solar thermal panels and ground source heating from under the garden.

Our Aquaponics system is now up and running.  We are slowly building up the fish numbers - it has to be done slowly so that we don't overload the system too quickly.  Aquaponics is a balance between the fish and the plants and its important to get that balance right - we're well on our way!

You can learn a more about Aquaponics from Aquaponics UK

Here are some pictures showing our progress...


Creating the polycarbonate roof


Shuttering the existing stone wall to enable us to fix the roof to it


Team chat


Concrete going down (Builder Bernard Provost's team)


Lovely job!


All hands to the deck


Grow beds all ready and waiting for plants


Fish tanks waiting for fish


Basil plants just about ready to be transplanted to the growbeds



The 'plug' ready to go into the grow bed


The planting raft - when the plants grow the roots dangle down into the nutrient rich water


The basil plants in the grow beds - they like their new home!




Staff briefing

These little ones are in the nursery tanks - when they are big and strong enough they'll be moved into the main tanks.  We hope to have dinner plate sized (!) fish for eating by September

Young tilapia in the nursery tank

Edward the gardener shows how the plant roots dangle down into the the water to soak up the nutrients as the water flows past

Flourishing plants

Edward shows Moffat Academy pupils how the plants grow

Edward explains how the seeds are planted in the coir plugs before going into the water

Feeding time!

Watch your fingers....

Moffat Academy and CAN staff

From the water........ the plate in a matter of hours

They taste delicious!