The Aqua Biofilter is a unique biofiltration
product and service that treats waste water, stormwater and aquaculture
water. Our proprietary Aqua Biofilter ecosystem service
and product is integrated into our range of Floating Wetlands,
Floating Reedbeds, Floating Habitat Islands and Aquaponics
Gardens. Biomimicy of natural systems allows nature to be restored
to a state of balance, benefiting human health and wellbeing by
purifying water that we enjoy for drinking, bathing, showering,
irrigation, recreation, and also the treatment of waste water
that is to be released into the environment.
The Aqua Biofilter functions by removing
nutrients and pollutants from waste water, stormwater and aquaculture
water, through biofilm contact with our unique Aqua Biofilter
technology and the plant growth that our products support. Wetlands
are the kidneys of the landscape, purifying and cleansing waterway
pollutants, heavy metals, and excessive nutrients. Often wetlands
and ponds accumulate excessive sediment, nutrients and pollutants
whilst water quality declines, algal blooms and aquatic weeds
proliferate reducing biodiversity. Restoring ecological function
and bio-signal activity requires natural systems that mimic peak
ecosystems - which led us to design and development the Aqua Biofilter
in 2004, to improve water quality beyond existing methods for
ponds, wetlands and waterways. Typical treatment performance is
reduction for TN 40-80%, TP 50-80%, TSS 50-80%, Clarity 50%-252%,
Metals 50-95% and Pathogens 50-90%.
Aqua Biofilter inventor Tom Duncan is an environmental
scientist, engineer and planner, with a background in permaculture
and sustainable agriculture. Since 2000 Tom has been building
aquaponics systems in largescale and small scale aquaculture systems
across Australia and China. His projects include the worlds
largest aquaponics project, in Chinas third largest aquaculture
lake covering over 4 acres on Lake Taihu aquaculture lake.
Projects have been carried out growing rice, wheat, sedge and
flower products including canna lily. Tom's creativity in deveoping
large scale aquaponics system upcycling nutrients for ecological,
social and economic benefits, led him to further refine aquaponics
garden designs that incorporates a miniture Aqua Biofilter
with all the accumulated knowledge and design smarts, into small
kitchen garden for the home and classrooms that utilise fish
waste and produce food at a micro-scale.
Aquaponic floating wetlands pictured above was
installed over severa lhectares of aquaculture zone in Lake Taihu,
China. The aquaculture was being impacted by stormwater and cross
contamination with effluent, whilst fish waste led to ammonia
build up and exacerbated algal blooms. Canna lily feature an edible
rhizome with carbohydrates, whilst in the project below, wheat
is grown in urban waterways and canals in a new residential area
of Nanjing. Experimenting with food crops, wetland species, native
sedges have led to in depth knowledge of plant - fish interactions,
growth cycles and smart design principles to accelerate plant
growth and purify water quickly. It should be noted that food
suitable for human consumption must be grown in water that is
pure, hygenic and with appropriate levels of nutrients. Experimental
approaches to large scale aquaponics has yielded design insights
that have been incorporated into a unique aquaponics
kitchen garden that grow food safely in your home, by recycling
fish nutrients to grow your herbs, salad greens, wheat grass year
Above project, growing wheat in the Nanjing eco-city development.
Above project rice aquaponics
growing on fish ponds to remove excess nutrients and provide and
economic return for farmers. Social benefits include reducing
nutrients and pollutants impacting receiving waters, lakes the
marine environment, and enhancing humanand fish health outcomes.
Above project growing over a hectare of rice on fish ponds aquaponically to reduce ammonia and nitrogen, producing 20% more rice 15% faster than conventional rice paddy.
Advanced Biofiltration Research and Technology development has been an emerging science for the last 30 years. Installations
in Australia, Malaysia and China and USA have demonstrated the feasibility of the technology, and its applications in aquaculture, stormwater treatment, sewerage
and on-site sewage treatment, industrial effluent treatment, often
for water re-use.
The Aqua Biofilter floating
wetland treatment technology that can be utilised within a wetland
treatment train either retro-fitting or designed into future wetlands. Detention basins can be designed
larger & deeper, effectively providing more storage and HRT.
Wetlands can also be sized smaller as a result, bringing down costs, achieving best practice and effectively treating TN, TP,
TSS and reducing heavy metals. Ecological and human health can benefit from floating wetlands, and biomimicy of natural systems restores natural balance.