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Zweig PondsThe most sophisticated version of solar pond aquaculture at New Alchemy was an aquaponic system developed by Ron Zweig. Fish are grown in a solar pond and lettuce grows hydroponically on the surface. For more information, please read An Integrated Fish Culture Hydroponic Vegetable Production System by Ron Zweig, from  Aquaculture Magazine, May/June 1986.

An advantage of this system is its structural simplicity: no electric water pumps, no water pipes, no filters, no clarifiers, no plant rooting media, etc. It is a modular, mobile unit. They have worked successfully both outdoors and in greenhouses.

For more information about growing fish and vegetables in solar ponds, read Earle Barnhart’s summary of Zweig Pond Aquaponics.

Alternative Fish Feeds

Successful aquaculture and aquaponics depend on a population of fish that are regularly fed, like any other livestock. Standard commercial fish feeds are pellets containing protein from endangered, depleted populations of ocean fish such as anchovies.

To be sustainable, aquaculture must look to alternative fish feeds such as insects, earthworms, and high-protein plant leaves such as comfrey and alfalfa, feeds that have been tried successfully at New Alchemy.

For more information, read the following publications:



  • Open System Fish Culture
    by William O. McLarney & Jeffrey Parkin
    Journal of the New Alchemists
    Vol. 5, 1977, pp. 89-92