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The overwhelming majority of aquaponics method comparisons are like bar-room debates on the merits of Ford Vs Chevrolet.

They are often quite impassioned – and invariably lacking in data.

In a well-informed exception to the rule, Mark compared the UVI raft system and iAVs in the article Dare to Compare?

So, what does a comparison of the two methods (premised on the available data) tell us?

For those who have no stomach for facts (much less numbers), let’s put you out of your misery straight away.

iAVs eats the UVI raft method

For those, like me, who prefer  facts (but in a more easily digested form), here’s the crux of the matter.

  • iAVs is far simpler to build – FACT
  • iAVs is much easier to operate – FACT
  • iAVs uses less energy – FACT
  • iAVS uses much less water – FACT
  • iAVs can accommodate a wider range of food crops – FACT
  • iAVs can demonstrate much higher productivity – FACT

Those FACTS point to a much greater profit potential.

Now, the other thing to note is that all of that is straight out of the box.  The truth is we don’t know what the upper limits of iAVs are.  Mark is the first to say that he never set out to optimize anything but rather to demonstrate viability. More to the point, he never got the opportunity to refine the performance variables.

At the risk of stretching the friendship, I’ll chuck a couple of numbers into the mix.

Mark believes that tomato yields of 80 kg / m2/ yr are possible.  That equates to over US$500 wholesale (AU$655+) per square metre per year in the “Certified Organic” marketplace.

And that figure does NOT include any income from the sale of fish or intercrops.

Does anybody know of any other aquaponics method that comes even close to that?  If so, please tell us.  Of course, we’d prefer demonstrable facts rather than conjecture, speculation and unsupported opinion.

Actually, I’ll go further than that.

I challenge anybody to come up with production figures better than (or even equal to) those demonstrated by iAVS.