ColdSnap Aquaponics LLC

Owner: Pamela Walker

6251 State Hwy 54 West
Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54495
Wood County

daytime phone: (715) 421-9000
evening phone: (715) 421-9000
Web site:

Application Date: 2018-08-20

Applicant Details

Please briefly tell us why you are applying to be part of the Certified Naturally Grown program: *
Validate our growing methods Confidence building for consumers Network of like-minded growers
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? *
Nelson and Pade, Master Class
For how long have you been growing aquaponic produce for market? What has prepared you to do this successfully according to CNG standards? *

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).
Farm to School, Health Care Facilities

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.
Clear Flow Aquaponics System with ZDEP
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.
Potable water grade liner NSF certified PVS pipe
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?
None used
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.
None used in system, floor walkways
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.
Cedar stands for fish containment tubs, no direct contact
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?
No IBC totes in system
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, recirculation meets standards
Briefly describe how your system achieves appropriate aeration. *
Water circulates in system 24 hours/day. Blowers and air diffusers are located in the fish tanks, degassing tanks, and raft tanks. Back up generator to prevent system failure.
Briefly describe how your system achieves appropriate degassing. *
Within the system, a vessel designated for degassing is aerated 24 hours/day.
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? *
Well-driller (Bertram-Junemann Well Drilling)
Have you tested your well within the past year, and if so, what were the results? *
Yes; all within acceptable parameters. Indicates slightly high iron
Are you willing to start testing annually? *
Do you treat or filter the water before adding it to the system? If so, what methods are used? *
Iron removal system (Iron Curtain)
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? *
Bi-weekly nitrate and nitrite tests
Please describe how you design and operate your system to provide biofiltration that corresponds to production of fish waste and crops. *
Nelson and Pade system with ZDEP filtration (includes nitrification and mineralization tanks)
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? *
Chelated Iron, as needed
Do you use worms in your system? *
What materials do you use to buffer pH? *
Potassium hydroxide and calcium hydroxide for system start-up, as needed afterwards
What methods do you use to prevent the build up of waste solids in your system? *
ZDEP filter system, solids are processed for use in media beds
Please indicate how often you monitor each of the following:
pH? *
Temperature? *
Dissolved oxygen? *
Ammonia? *
Nitrites? *
Nitrates? *
Use this space if you'd like to share additional information about your water quality and monitoring practices.
Test frequency increases if plants or fish appear stressed

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. *
Rockwool cubes (1")
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.) *
Drain flies (midges) and caterpillars (July). We use light sticky traps, biological controls, and remove the caterpillars and infected plant by hand.
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.) *
Powdery Mildew, we installed a dehumidifier to lower humidity and remove affected plants.
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. *
Johnny's Seeds, True Leaf, Seed Savers, Harris
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.
Removal from main tank system, place in alternate tank and treat with salt bath.
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) *
Rangen XG360
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? *
The greenhouse is located on 18 acres that we own and manage in a sparsely populated township. We have logged a portion of the property to increase natural sunlight, and there are no known risks that we are aware of.
How does your ventilation and air filtration system prevent possible contamination? *
The controlled environment greenhouse maintains screens throughout the building to prevent contamination from entering. Air filtration is computer controlled, small fans run 24 hours/day, and exhaust fans cycle according to set parameters.
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? *
The ZDEP system provides zero discharge, and any fish waster is used to perpetuate plant growth.
When necessary during system change over, how do you dispose of nutrient-rich water? *
The Nelson and Pade Clear Flow Aquaponics system with ZDEP, processes wastewater allowing nutrient-rich water to return to the raft system while remaining waste water is cycled through the media beds. There is no net discharge from the aquaponic system. Drain water from sinks and washing activities is plumbed to the septic tank.
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.)
Building is set to capture sunlight in most efficient angle, north portion is covered with metal ceiling and insulated, insulation boards are placed in roll-up screens during winter, lower knee-wall is insulated in greenhouse, we use propane heat and have a wood gasifier system that circulates warm water in the floor, and we have a computer control system that makes adjustments based on prevailing conditions.

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.