Fish and algae growing together in a solar pond create an aquatic ecosystem that does not exist in nature. A solar algae pond ecosystem has high light levels, rapid cycling of nutrients, and a unique biochemistry driven by daily sunlight pulses.

The ponds act as giant test tubes for research as well as tanks for practical fish production. A major research effort of New Alchemy has been to scientifically develop methods to optimize fish production at home and on a community scale.

For more information, please read A Summary of Fish Culture Techniques in Solar Algae Ponds. This highly condensed summary explains how to optimize aquaculture in a solar pond, based on years of careful research, experimentation and monitoring: a priceless collection of practical aquaculture knowledge.

Heat storage in solar ponds

image - heat storage, day-night - drawingThe water in solar ponds warms up when the sun hits them or when the air around them is warmer than they are. In a greenhouse they collect and store solar heat during the day and release it later at night into the greenhouse air.

A pond will release heat whenever the water is hotter than the air around it, often for several days during sunless cold conditions. It’s passive and automatic – no fossil fuel, no machinery, no sound of fans. For more information, read Solar Ponds for Heat Storage by Earle Barnhart.