Aquaponics Application

Alberta Tilapia Aquaponics

Owner: Gerrit Swanepoel

175029 Range Road 260
Ensign, AB T0L 2B0
Vulcan County

Mailing Address:
808 High Country Bay
High River, AB T1V 1E3

daytime phone: (403) 498-4500
Web site:

Application Date: 2018-06-07

Applicant Details

Please briefly tell us why you are applying to be part of the Certified Naturally Grown program: *
We believe it is great to be a part of a program that teach people to eat naturally grown produce,creating awareness of farmers that do the extra effort to grow naturally. it is healthier and produce last longer it is important to teach the end user and client the importance of naturally grown produce
Are you currently third party Certified for your produce operation by any other organization (Organic, Biodynamic, etc)? *
Have you ever been certified in the past? *
Have you ever been denied certification? *
How did you hear about Certified Naturally Grown? *
Was contacted to do an inspection for your company for another farm

General Information

Please check all crops you grow in your aquaponic system. *

Please specify what other crops (if any).
Please check all markets you grow for (this will be displayed on your farm profile to help potential buyers find you). *

Please specify what other markets (if any).

System Design and Management

Please indicate what type of system you use (for hybrid systems, check all that apply): *

If you indicated you use an "other" system type, please specify what other type of system you use here.
If you use wicking beds, describe how the water his handled after it is used in the wicking beds. Does this water recirculate? If not, how is it disposed of?
What materials are used for root support, growing media, tubing and pipes, tanks, troughs, and other materials that come into direct contact with system water? (check all that apply) *

Are there any other materials you use in your system that are not listed above? If so, please indicate them here.
We use duraskrim food grade liner in our grow trays
If you use soil or compost in your system, where is it used? Is it used only in the dead-end portion, or also in in the recirculating sections of the system?
we start our seeds in a organic top soil that is then washed of before plants enter the grow system
If you use compressed grow plugs, what is (are) the product/s name/s? Have you been able to confirm with the supplier that it/they do not contain synthetic nutrients?
If your system contains cement, does it come into direct contact with the water? Please describe how cement is a part of your system.
If you use wood in your system, is it treated wood? Does it come into direct contact with the water? Please describe how wood is a part of your system.
If your system includes IBC totes purchased used, have you been able to confirm with your supplier that they were used only for food grade uses? If so, how have you confirmed this? If not, how do you intend to confirm this?
Please note that while IBC totes can be grandfathered in when they're in already in use at the time CNG certification is sought, CNG standards prohibit the introduction of IBC totes once CNG status is obtained. Please indicate that you understand this restriction on IBC totes by checking the box here. *
Does water circulate at a rate sufficient so that the water volume of the fish tanks(s) recirculates each hour? If it recirculates at a lower rate, please explain. *
Yes our water circulation is at a rate of 200gal per min, greenhouse is fed by a different pump system from the fish growout building
Briefly describe how your system achieves appropriate aeration. *
We use a commercial air pump that pumps air into our system in every tank and tray.
Briefly describe how your system achieves appropriate degassing. *
degassing is done in our biofilter with the moving bead media as well as a waterfall in the greenhouse to remove the co2 that is then used to grow plants stronger.
Does your system include any of the following: roofing materials, recycled plastics, or plastics that contain BPA? *

Water Sources

CNG standards vary according to water source. Please indicate below ALL water sources you use for your aquaponic system, and answer the corresponding questions.
Do you use Municipal water? *
Do you use well water? *
What are the ground water contaminants of concern in your region? *
What experts did you consult to determine contaminants of concern? *
we use alberta health service to test the water quality due to a onsite slaughter house for fish.
Have you tested your well within the past year, and if so, what were the results? *
sulfate is at 1017mg\l ph is at 8
Are you willing to start testing annually? *
we test quarterly
Do you treat or filter the water before adding it to the system? If so, what methods are used? *
Yes water is filtered with carbon filters and reverse osmosis
Do you use rainwater? *
Do you use surface water? *
If you use a water source that is not named here, please elaborate.

Water Quality: Nutrients, pH, solids

How do you ensure a good match between stocking density and crop production? *
yes we use a ratio of 1 gal water per fish and 10 gal water per square feet
Please describe how you design and operate your system to provide biofiltration that corresponds to production of fish waste and crops. *
we use a RAS system that use a solid filter and bio filtration to convert ammonia, we then oxygenate our water and uv sterilize it as well. our biofilter is custom matched for our system by pertair aquaculture supplies.
Do you ever add supplemental nutrients? If so, what materials or products have you used? List ingredients and product names. How much of these do you use? How frequently? *
no we do not add any supplements
Do you use worms in your system? *
What steps do you take to ensure worms do not introduce pathogenic bacteria to your system? *
we use worms that has been in our systems for the passed 5 years and have complete water testing done for all and any pathogens
What materials do you use to buffer pH? *
ph down is used to change and maintain ph. our ph down is food-grade phosphoric acid
What methods do you use to prevent the build up of waste solids in your system? *
we have a solid removal filter that is cleaned weekly, the solid wate is dried and used as fertilizer for our fields outside
Please indicate how often you monitor each of the following:
pH? *
every 15 min
Temperature? *
every 15 min
Dissolved oxygen? *
every 15 min
Ammonia? *
every 15 min
Nitrites? *
Nitrates? *
Use this space if you'd like to share additional information about your water quality and monitoring practices.
we use and electronic measuring system to have consistent monitoring of our fish farm

Seeds, Transplants, and Crop Health

Do you grow some or all of your own transplants? *
What growing media do you use? Please list the ingredients. *
we use a top soil that is sterilized and natural no chemicals added.
Do you use any chemically-treated or genetically modified seeds? *
Do you purchase some or all of your transplants? *
Describe your primary insect pest challenges AND methods of prevention and control. (Do not answer "none". You MUST indicate actual pest challenges or LIKELY challenges, and you must ALSO indicate how you manage or how you would manage them. If you indicate a product, also specify how often it's used.) *
we have aphids in our system and they are controlled biologically with laceworm that kills them off, all benificial insects come from a lab.
Describe your primary plant disease challenges AND methods of prevention and control. (Do not answer "none". You MUST indicate actual disease challenges or LIKELY challenges, and you must ALSO indicate how you manage or how you would manage them. If you indicate a product, also specify how often it's used.) *
rust on tomatoes is a problem, by trimming off any leaves that do get the disease we are able to control it
CNG certification requires the use of certified organic or Certified Naturally Grown seeds whenever available. Please indicate the suppliers from which you source - or will source - your seeds if your application is accepted and you continue the certification process. *
we use Wildrose Heritage Seed
Please indicate, by entering your initials, that you understand that CNG strictly prohibits the use of chemically treated or GMO seeds. *
Please indicate, by entering your initials, that you will as a general rule purchase organically grown seeds, AND that you will only purchase conventional seed when the variety you wish to grow is not available in certified organic or CNG form. For each variety purchased in conventional form, you will identify (and keep records of) at least three commercial organic seed suppliers who do not carry that variety. *

Fish Management

We do not offer certification for fish, but do set some limited standards for fish management where they might affect the produce and or quality of life for the fish.
Does hormonal sex reversal treatment ever occur on-line / within the recirculating system? *
Please describe the practices you use to prevent and treat fish disease.
With a proper filtration system the water is kept crystal clear and fish specimen is caught daily to ensure fish health is perfect. visual inspection on top of that with a trained fish breeder that has 8 years experience in this industry ensure fish life is perfect
Have you ever found it necessary to use antibiotics? *
Please describe what kind of fish feed you use. Is it organically grown? (For aquaponic produce certification CNG standards do not require that the feed be organically grown, but we are interested to know what producers are using and to give credit to any producers who may be using organic feed) *
we use a commercial feed from ewos Canada freshwater pacific floating , it is currently one of the best feeds available for the fish.
Do you use black soldier fly larvae or duckweed as supplemental feed? *
Do you use any supplemental feed besides BSF larvae or duckweed? If so, describe it here, and indicate how you protect against contamination of your system. *

Protecting Against Contamination

Is your operation partially or entirely INdoors? *
What are the nearby land uses? Are there any that might pose risks of contamination? *
we own the land all around us and it is used as fields for horses. grain farmer closest to us is 1 mile away.
How does your ventilation and air filtration system prevent possible contamination? *
Closed contained ventilation system and the extracted air is replace with moist cool air from the fish farm
Do you share space (including fish tank, seedling starting, or plant production space) with other producers? *
Is your operation partially or entirely OUTdoors? *

Waste & Energy

These questions will not determine certification status, but are intended to encourage producers to review our recommendations in these areas and to give credit to producers who have made investments in the sustainability of their operation.
How do you dispose of fish solid wastes? *
fish solid waste is air dried in summer months after it is removed from a swirl filter. that solids is spread out on our fields to provide nutrition to our grass.
When necessary during system change over, how do you dispose of nutrient-rich water? *
our system recycle 99% of its water and water that is filled into the system is ony due to plants using it to grow or evaporation,
What measures have you taken to conserve energy, improve energy efficiency, and/or use energy from renewable sources? (This could include system design, siting, insulation, crop and fish species selection, and more.)
we use state of the art heating and cooling system with only one fuel source for all our fish tanks and 4000 square feet building and 3000 square feet greenhouse. using a greenhouse that seal air tight up to 95 % we have almost complete insulation for lower heating bills. in the Ras system a single feed pump is used to cycle our complete system. All equipment has a high energy efficient rating as well

Inspections & Networks

A core requirement of CNG certification is the on-site peer-review. Getting this completed is facilitated if you're a part of a network of aquaponics producers who might serve as your inspector. Are you a part of a network (informal or formal) of aquaponic producers in your geographic area? *


I understand that only the produce, NOT the fish, can be labeled and sold as Certified Naturally Grown. *
I will not label, or in any way lead consumers to believe that produce not raised in accord with CNG standards is Certified Naturally Grown. *
I understand that I have to complete at least one Inspection(s) of another CNG aquaponic producer in my area each year, if there is one within a one hour drive. *
I understand that the inspection I conduct will NOT be of the same producer that inspected me. *
I have reviewed the Certified Naturally Grown aquaponic certification standards, I understand them, and I will abide by them. I understand that if I have any questions I may contact CNG for clarification. *
You may use this space to tell us anything else you think we should know about your operation.