The Emerald City Aquaponic Development Project

The California Cannabis Conservancy In Conjunction With Emerald Thumb Industries, Inc.Presents TheEmerald City Aquaponic Development Project
The Anza Valley Answer - Growing Hemp & Medical Marijuana With  Aquaponics 

Aquaponics is a sustainable method of raising both fish and vegetables. It is popular with individuals, entrepreneurs, educators, missions and governments. Furthermore, with this type of indoor farming, you grow substantially more food with less water, land and labor than traditional agriculture.

What is aquaponics?…a resilient farming system that provides wellness and better nutrition.

Aquaponics is a form of agriculture that combines raising fish in tanks (recirculating aquaculture) with soilless plant culture (hydroponics).  In aquaponics, the nutrient-rich water from raising fish provides a natural fertilizer for the plants and the plants help to purify the water for the fish.  Aquaponics can be used to sustainably raise fresh fish and vegetables for a family, to feed a village or to generate profit in a commercial farming venture, year ‘round, in any climate.

Aquaponics is a great example of year ’round, indoor farming. It can be done anywhere, providing fresh local food that is free of pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers. It is safe, easy and fresh!

Modern-day aquaponics are much more technologically advanced than their predecessors. Today’s ‘closed-loop’ systems ensure very little interference from outside sources.  When combined correctly, fish and plants participate in a symbiotic co-existence that ultimately produces some fine cannabis.

Our facilities will have 800-gallon tanks of tilapia, in a closed-loop, recirculating ecosystem. We'll feed the fish, the fish creates a solid waste, and through a microbial transformation the solid waste is turned into nitrates. The water is then circulated through their grow beds, where the plant roots suck the nitrates out of the water.  The water is then returned to the fish tanks, clean of any toxic substances that would affect the health of the fish.

Related imageThe reason that this process of growing marijuana is not widely used is the steep startup expense. With all the equipment needed, not to mention the livestock, this complicated system is a pricey way to begin a cannabis venture.  It does, however, provide a significant pay off in the long run.

The science-based aquaponic systems for hemp and medical marijuana use the same proven methods that is use for vegetables, but integrate advanced techniques and specific design criteria for farming medical marijuana and hemp and other medicinal herbs in aquaponics.

The Medical marijuana & Hemp Aquaponic System:

>Use in a greenhouse or building
>Can include integrated, adjustable light rack
>Balanced, continuous production
>Proven Design
>Commercial size systems

Benefits of using the Aquaponic Medical Marijuana & Hemp Systems:

  • No pesticides

  • No herbicides

  • No chemical fertilizers

  • Proven system design for industrial hemp & medical marijuana

  • All-natural process produces superior results

  • Uses up to 95% less water!

  • Closer plant spacing and more crops and harvests per year

  • Efficient and sustainable

  • Grow Indoors, Year ‘round

  • Eliminates bad odors 

  • Produce Organic & Super Premium Quality medicine

Sustainable Agriculture

It absolutely is more costly than a normal soil grower, but the sustainable agriculture portion is important to our company. We should point out that although the investment cost is steep what needs to be invested in aquaponics equipment, but with this system you will have no fertilizer costs.  May we add that if we were a traditional soil grower, costs for fertilizer would likely be 10 – 15% of his total yearly budget.

A further added benefit of cultivating marijuana in this scientific swimming pool is that aquaponics growers end up with two sellable commodities — high-grade cannabis and delicious fish.  When our fish get to be a pound and a half to two pounds, we sell our fertilizer factories as we like to call them, and recoup our costs for the manpower and the fish food.  We use tilapia because it’s a “hearty fish” in high demand.

Image result for Grow CBD Hemp in Clear Flow Aquaponic Systems

Although there are opponents to farmed fish environments, an aquaponics system requires a comfortable living space for the aquatic life to yield quality marijuana.  Our tanks are not overcrowded.  Happy fish are happy plants, so you don’t want them stressed out by abuse. Everything in our system is about the fish and through osmosis our plants are healthy.

Aquaponics is a proven, closed loop food production system that recycles fish effluent as the main source of nutrients for plants floating within deep-water raft beds.  Aquaponics uses one tenth the amount of water and energy required of conventional agriculture and can grow crops in half the amount of time of field production.  Local certified organic vegetables grown in Aquaponics stay fresher much longer than supermarket product and can command twice the price.

Cold season vegetables grown in a passive solar greenhouse eliminates the need to heat the airspace using fossil fuels and enables us to grow vegetables year round.  We use solar hot water collectors to heat the fish tanks and the adjacent propagation rooms which we work in during the day then dump that stored heat into the greenhouse at night.

aquaponics tanks

As an additional bonus we harvest thousands of pounds of fish for local restaurants and  nd our own consumption. Research is underway to use hemp seed cake as our main source of fish food.. Aquaponics combined with hemp is proving to be an awesome combination to achieve food purity and long term sustainability.

These greenhouses for aquaponics can be used in cold, moderate and warm climates and will protect our crops from extreme weather conditions.  These greenhouses are a great choice for year ’round food production.

Commercial Aquaponic Systems

Proven Designs

The patented flow aquaponic systems we choose to use are the only fully-developed, complete system packages available for large scale aquaponic food production. They include the equipment, manuals, documentation and support you need to get into and be successful in the medical marijuana aquaponics business.

Maximize Production 

Their commercial line of patented Flow Aquaponic Systems reduce waste and increase nutrient availability for additional plant growth.  In addition all of our commercial systems use the accelerated nursery for faster production and increased income.



Commercial systems come in modules that can be duplicated for expansion, allowing us to easily increase size as the business grows.

Continuous Harvests, 365 days per year

The vegetable crops from these systems can be harvested daily to meet market demand. Our systems are designed for continuous vegetable production, 365 days/year. Each commercial system uses multiple fish tanks for staggered harvesting. With tilapia that means you will harvest a tank full of fish every 3, 4 or 6 weeks. If you use two modules, you will harvest a tank full of fish every 2 or 3 weeks. With 3 modules, it is every 1-2 weeks, and so on.


  • Unlimited Expandability! Start with one or more modules. Add more modules to meet the growing demand

  • Modular Design

    • Risk mitigation

    • Crop diversification

    • Add modules for expansion

    • Consistency in operations, efficiency and training

  • Excellent Return on Investment

  • Advanced, science-based design

  • Proven system includes manuals and SOP’s

  • Efficient design reduces labor and increases profitability!

System Description


Complete patented Clear Flow Aquaponic Systems® with ZDEP®

Proven, science-based design includes:

  • Fish tanks

  • Fish tank stands

  • Patented ZDEP® filter system

  • Clear Flow Aquaponic Systems® filter tanks

  • Filter tank stands

  • Raft tanks – Easy-to-assemble frames, cushion underlayment, custom-fit raft tank liners

  • Living Filter Beds (Small Commercial and Expanded Large only)

  • Accelerated Plant Nurseries (table frames, channels, plumbing)

  • Automated Germination System (table, trays, plumbing)

  • Water pumps, plumbing, parts, gate valves and true union ball valves

  • Air blower, aeration system and air diffusers

  • Fish net, thermometer

  • Books: Aquaponic Food Production, Aquaponics Q and A

  • Documentation, Assembly Manuals,  Operation Manual

  • Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

  • Good Agriculture Practices (GAP) manual template

Premium Greenhouses

  • premium-greenhousePremium Greenhouse for Aquaponics. Available from select manufacturers. Greenhouse above shown with optional rigid sidewall vents.

    Looking for a Premium Greenhouse for our Commercial medical marijuana venture.

  • In a cooperative effort to offer the most advanced greenhouse designs that embrace energy efficiency and food safety, premium greenhouse designs are available from select manufacturers. Design features we can choose from include:

    • Greenhouse designed with food safety, bio-security, energy efficiency and maximum environmental control in mind.

    • Natural ventilation -or- evaporative cooling system with fans

    • A greenhouse engineered to meet National Building Code. State-stamped engineered prints available

    • A-frame peaked roof design with roof peak vents

    • Insulated metal on the north end wall and roof area over fish and filter tanks

    • Polycarbonate sidewalls and roof area over plants

    • Automated peak vents and automated wall openings

    • Insect screening and screen frame kit on window and peak vent openings

    • Automated shade system over the crop area

    • Horizontal air flow fans

    • Doors and door framing kits

    • Greenhouse Controller to automate all environmental control functions

    • Double door vestibule entryway with air curtain (OPTIONAL)

    • Most manufactures can supply qualified, experienced teams to build the greenhouse

Expanded Large Commercial

The Expanded Large Commercial  systems have two Large Commercial modules plus one additional bay of Living Filter Beds and space for an office and retail area. This system is 3 times larger and produces significantly more food and revenue than one Large Commercial module.


  • Lettuce Production:

    • 160,000 – 220,000* plants/year (about 440 – 600* lettuce plants/day)

      *depends on lighting plan

    • Lettuce production is our secondary revenue source

  • Other Vegetable Production

    • Crops in the Living Filter beds can include marijuana, hemp, kale, Swiss chard, herbs, peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes or other vegetables

  • Fish Production: 

    • 10,000 lbs. whole tilapia/year (harvest just over 800 lbs./every 4 weeks)

  • System Dimensions:

    • 124.5′ x 140′ (17,430 sq. ft.) greenhouse to accommodate system,  optional equipment, office and retail space

  • Estimated Labor per day:

    • 40-50 hours/day in greenhouse

  • Expanded Large Commercial System Cost: 

    • $ 189,995 per system


  • Primary Options Available:

    • Greenhouse, Fish Purge System, Fish Nursery System, Grow lights


By far this is the most thoughtful and practical layout designed for maximum production, efficiency and diversity of crops. The farm layout fits into a greenhouse and has been designed and engineered based upon years of research and farm management experience by the team. The farm set up comes with all of the tanks, plumbing components, filtration equipment, multideck nursery, waist high transplanting trough, deep water culture troughs, aeration equipment, and multi  media beds for fruiting crops. 

This system is best suited for greenhouse environments with an east to west ridge line where crops can take advantage of the full southern exposure.

These aquaponic systems provide hemp and medical marijuana farmers a natural, sustainable method to grow hemp/marijuana and other medicinal herbs.  These proven systems produce premium quality products in a controlled environment, year-round.

Protecting the crop and utilizing aquaponic growing techniques are key to growing a better-quality product, without the use of pesticides, herbicides or chemical fertilizers and mainly the conservation of water.

Cannabis growers can embrace this technology to produce crops faster and of higher quality. Aquaponically-grown cannabis is free of chemicals and is cultured without the use of pesticides or herbicides. 

Aquaponics is simply growing fish and plants together in one integrated eco-system.  The fish waste breaks down and provides an all-natural fertilizer for the cannabis plants.

We will use the world’s most advanced aquaponic system. It is all about using the best equipment and methods to produce the best quality cannabis.

Why do we mention hemp and medical marijuana?
Medical marijuana always steals thunder from hemp but hemp is an amazing crop that can be used for feed, fiber and medicine.   Hemp is a variety of the Cannabis Sativa plant.  However, unlike marijuana, hemp does not contain THC, the psychoactive compound.  So, you get all of the medicinal properties of the cannabinoids in the hemp plant, but you don’t get high.  It is for this reason that the US government as well as the medical industry is now supporting the production of hemp. Although myriad products come from the hemp plant, our focus in aquaponics zones in on the medicinal cannabinoids, CBD and CBC.  

Why now?

With the new US farm bill, hemp is now (after 100 years) again legal to farm in the United States.  Farmers, consumers, pharmaceutical companies and everyone with an interest in healthy living is excited about this opportunity.