Better Elephant marked the beginning of the 2012 growing season with a splash this week. The opening of the new fish pond was received with much interest and enthusiasm. Southwark News reported on the event and Southwark council agreed the pond could stay - despite its initial fears over health and safety.
The pond contains a number of fish and will form the base of an aquaponics system, which is part of Better Elephant’s plan for an edible landscape and sustainable food production at the Elephant & Castle.
Aquaponics is a sustainable food production system that combines a traditional aquaculture (raising aquatic animals such as snails, fish, crayfish or prawns in tanks) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in a symbiotic environment. In the aquaculture, effluents accumulate in the water, increasing toxicity for the fish. This water is led to a hydroponic system where the by-products from the aquaculture are filtered out by the plants as vital nutrients, after which the cleansed water is recirculated back to the animals.