What is aquaponics?

Aquaponics is the combination of aquaculture (raising fish) and hydroponics (growing plants in water without soil) together in one unified system. It is used to grow food in a  concentrated and sustainable manner.

How does it work?

The aquaponics cycle works like this: Farm vegetables and fish are a part of one integrated recirculation system, where water from fish tanks recirculate through vegetable growing beds. Vegetables benefit from the nutrients provided by the fish through a nitrification cycle that converts toxic ammonia from fish waste into nitrate, making the water suitable again for the fish and highly nutritious for the plants. All solid fish waste is filtered out of the system.

What are the benefits of aquaponic growing?

Compared to traditional farming methods, our aquaponic system uses 95% less water and energy allowing us to grow more produce and significantly faster too. Our plants grow symbiotically with our fish, in an integrated and highly beneficial system where disease and waste are drastically reduced.

What type of pesticides/pests do you use?

We avoid all chemical pesticides and use biological pest control methods, like ladybugs. This maintains biodiversity in our greenhouses and ensures a clean and healthy harvest.

What does free-range mean?

Free-range refers to the way our Begawi Chickens live. Their eggs are produced in housing systems with outdoor access and plenty of room for them to move around freely. This allows them to engage in their natural behaviors and live healthy lives.

What is Tilapia in Arabic?

Tilapia is “bolti” in Arabic.

What is the fish growing cycle like?

Our Nile Tilapia start in our quarantine tanks at 5 grams, then they’re moved to one of four fish tanks. There, water is recirculated, converting the fish water into nutrient-rich fertilizer to feed our vegetables. When they’ve reached 700-1250 grams (it takes between 4-6 months), the fish are harvested and prepared for market, either in whole form or filleted.

What do you feed your fish?

We feed our Nile Tilapia top-quality fish food to which we add our own organic vegetable protein supplement.

Where do you sell your produce?

We sell our produce directly to all Gourmet Egypt stores, Sunny Market (Zamalek), Ma7ali (Maadi), and Offah (Sheikh Zayed and online at offah.com), as well as several local restaurants including Crave, Cachimba, Ovio, Tabla Luna, and Loft 21.

How big is the farm?

Bustan Aquaponics covers approximately 3,000 square meters within an eight acre olive orchard. The farm consists of five commercial scale aquaponic systems, a holding and purging facility, a fish nursery and quarantine facility, two plant nurseries, a packing facility, a fish cleaning and filleting facility, and two free range chicken enclosures. The farm produces 25 tons of fish and 65-70 tons of vegetables per year.

Where is the farm located?

Bustan is located on the northern edge of Cairo, on the Cairo-Alexandria Desert Road.

How can I visit the farm?

To arrange a visit to the farm and keep up-to-date with activities happening at the farm, please visit our Facebook page. For media requests, please contact our team through our contact form here.

If we haven’t answered your question here, please feel free to get in touch directly. We’d love to hear from you!