Aquaponic MicroFarms

A perfect way for beginners to start a profitable aquaponics farm

Nelson and Pade Inc.® originally designed the MicroFarm to meet the criteria of the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Micro Loan program.  The MicroFarm has been so popular, that we now offer three MicroFarms to meet the demand for varying levels of production and investment. Our Aquaponic MicroFarms are designed to continuously and profitably grow food year ’round!

Efficient and Profitable Aquaponics

If you are interested in starting an aquaponics business, the MicroFarms from Nelson and Pade, Inc.® are a perfect way to go.  Nelson and Pade, Inc.®’s Aquaponic MicroFarms use our proven Clear Flow Aquaponic System® design to create a profitable starter commercial aquaponics venture.

Embrace Indoor Farming with a MicroFarm

With sizes ranging from 792 sq. ft. – 1,144 sq. ft., these efficient and profitable systems can be set up nearly anywhere.  Our Aquaponic MicroFarms are ideal for indoor farming, whether in a greenhouse, warehouse or other structure.  Nelson and Pade, Inc.® offers budget-friendly, but highly effective, greenhouses for all three of the MicroFarm offerings.

A Part-time Family or Retirement Business

  • Looking for a small business for your family?
  • Considering a retirement business?
  • Want to work part time and earn a reasonable profit for your efforts?

The MicroFarm is an excellent option for each of these scenarios.  In addition to the profits you can earn running a MicroFarm, caring for the fish and plants is therapeutic, enjoyable and rewarding.  The premium quality fresh fish and vegetables that you will grow in your Aquaponic MicroFarm and sell in your community will contribute to the better health and wellbeing.

What is Aquaponics?


MicroFarm Specifications

MicroFarm 1

MicroFarm-1The MicroFarm 1 is ideal for someone who wants to grow diverse crops.  It includes 3 – 200 gal fish tanks, filter tanks (clarifiers and mineralization tanks), degas and sump tanks, plumbing and aeration systems and 12 individual 4′ x 6′ rafts tanks.

Our smallest Aquaponic MicroFarm, the MicroFarm 1, is a great starter system to get into aquaponics, especially if you want to grow a variety of crops to sell at a roadside stand or farmer’s market.

  • Vegetable Production*:
    • 6,480 – 7,560 heads of lettuce/year
      (132 – 220 heads/week)
  • Fish Production:
    • 970 lbs/year

      MicroFarm-1-drawing
      MicroFarm 1 from Nelson and Pade, Inc.®
  • System Dimensions:
    • 18′ x 44′ – 792 sq. ft.
  • Suggested total area indoors or greenhouse:
    • 24′ x 56′ – 1,344 sq. ft.′
  • Estimated labor per day**:
    • 2-4 hours
  • Electrical Requirements:
    • 40 amps 120V, 24/7
  • Grow LightElectrical, approx. at Max:
    • HID-6000 watts -or- LED-4500 watts
  • MicroFarm 1 System Cost:
    • Essentials: $16,995
    • Premium: $21,995
  • Optional Greenhouse Kit (24′ x 56′)
  • Primary Options Available:

Request a MicroFarm 1 Order Form


MicroFarm 2

The MicroFarm 2 is designed to meet the criteria of the FSA Micro Loan Program.  As a complete package including the MicroFarm 2, greenhouse, accessories, training and support, it costs less than $50,000, the limit for the MicroLoan.  The MicroFarm 2 is an excellent low-cost way to get started with an aquaponics business.

The MicroFarm 2 includes 3 – 200 gal fish tanks, filter tanks (clarifiers and mineralization tanksAquaponic MicroFarm 2 d), degas and sump tanks, plumbing and aeration systems, plumbing and aeration systems,  and 2 – 6′  x 24′ rafts tanks. The full length raft tanks allow a grower to use the super efficient “conveyor-belt” method of growing lettuce, moving the plant rafts forward as the crops mature.

  • Vegetable Production:
    • 7,776 – 9,072 heads of lettuce/year
      (198 -248 heads/week)
  • Fish Production:
    • 970 lbs/year
  • System Dimensions:
    • 18′ x 48′ – 864 sq. ft.
  • Suggested total area indoors or greenhouse:
    • 24′ x 56′ – 1,344 sq. ft.
  • Estimated labor per day:
    • 2-4 hours
  • Electrical
    MicroFarm-2-drawing
    MicroFarm 2 from Nelson and Pade, Inc.®

    Requirements:

    • 60 amps 120V, 24/7
  • Grow Light Electrical, approx. at Max:
    • HID-6000 watts -or- LED-4500 watts
  • MicroFarm 2 System Cost:
    • Essentials: $18,995
    • Premium: $23,072
  • Optional Greenhouse Kit (24′ x 56′) 
  • Primary Options Available:

Request a MicroFarm 2 Order Form


MicroFarm 3

Aquaponic MicroFarm 3 aThe MicroFarm 3 is designed to be a high-production and very profitable small farm.  The MicroFarm 3 uses our same proven Clear Flow Aquaponic System® design and incorporates our Accelerated Plant Nursery system to use indoor growing space most efficiently while increasing production.  With four fish tanks, both fish and vegetable production is increased.

The MicroFarm 3 includes 4 – 200 gal fish tanks, filter tanks (clarifiers and mineralization tanks), degas and sump tanks, plumbing and aeration systems, plumbing and aeration systems, 2 – 8′  x 24′ rafts tanks and a 10′ x 12′ accelerated plant nursery. The full length raft tanks allow a grower to use the super efficient “conveyor-belt” method of growing lettuce, moving the plant rafts forward as the crops mature.

  • Vegetable Production:
    • 17,100 – 20,900 heads of lettuce/year
      (328 – 402 heads/week)
  • Fish Production:
    • 1,305 lbs/year
  • System Dimensions:
    • 22′ x 52′ – 1,144 sq ft..
  • Suggested total area indoors or greenhouse:
    • 30′ x 64′ – 1,920 sq. ft.
  • Estimated labor per day:
    • 4-6 hours

      MicroFarm-3-drawing
      MicroFarm 3, from Nelson and Pade, Inc.®, shown in optional Advanced greenhouse
  • MicroFarm 3 System Cost:
    • Essentials: $32,995
    • Premium: $38,995
  • Optional Greenhouse Kit (30′ x 64)
  • Primary Options Available:

Request a MicroFarm 3 Order Form

*Plant production numbers assume proper environmental control and grow lights to supplement sunlight, totaling 12 hrs./day. Results may vary.

**Labor is for operating the systems. It does not include office hours, business management, marketing or delivery.


Essentials vs Premium
We offer our MicroFarms in two versions: Essentials and Premium.

Essentials
The Essentials version costs less with fewer parts included.  Yet, we include all of the essential components you’ll need. Commonly available parts are not included and can be purchased locally.   The Essentials version saves you money, but increases the time it will take to assemble it.  They are great for DIY’ers who want to save money, source a few parts locally and don’t mind spending a little longer building the system.

Premium
The Premium version includes everything you need, including pre-cut pipes, fittings, labeled parts for easy assembly and hand-crafted cedar stands for the fish tanks. We have designed the Premium Systems to be complete easy-to-assemble packages, eliminating guesswork and trips to the hardware store.

Essentials vs Premium Comparison

Not included:

  • The customer is required to assemble the system.
  • The Customer is required to supply their own drain plumbing and the plumbing from the air blower (provided) to the tanks that require air.  These runs of plumbing are not included or drawn out because each system location is unique.
  • To save you money on freight, we do not include straight pipe and high density polystyrene 4′ by 8′ by 1.5″ sheets (for the raft tank and media bed frames). You will need to purchase this locally.
  • The Food safe plant rafts are not included in the system price

Greenhouses for Aquaponics and Indoor Farming

Nelson and Pade, Inc.® offers budget-friendly, freestanding  greenhouse packages. These greenhouses can be used in cold, moderate and warm climates and will protect your crops from extreme weather conditions.

Learn more about our Greenhouse Kits


Determine your Net Profit and ROI for your Commercial Aquaponics Farm

Ok, so…the question everyone asks is, “How much can I earn?” There are a lot of variables in that equation (climate, location, infrastructure, utility costs, labor costs, marketing methods, management abilities, etc), but we can give you some guidance.  You can easily determine your estimated gross income by taking the number of heads you’ll grow x the price you will sell at, plus the number of pounds of fish x the price you will sell it at.  Our customers around the country typically sell their premium lettuce for $3-4/head retail or $2 -2.75/head wholesale and whole tilapia for $3-5/lb.  A ball-park guestimate (and reported to us by growers) for operational expenses is between $.90 – $1.40/head.  The difference is your net profit.

As a general rule, when our patented Clear Flow Aquaponic Systems® with ZDEP® are used in a commercial aquaponics farming venture, there is an ROI (Return on Investment) of 3-5 years from when the system is started.

We can provide detailed, project-specific start-up cost, operational cost, income and ROI projections for your business in our Project Planning service.


Success in Aquaponics

Nelson and Pade, Inc.® offer the Aquaponics Success Package for any customer purchasing Clear Flow Aquaponic Systems®.  This a great opportunity to to get started and be successful in aquaponics.

Optional Equipment

We offer all of the supplies you need to keep you system running…fish food, grow cubes, pest controls, etc.
Aquaponics Store

Learn more

Attend our Aquaponics Master Class®.


FSA Loan Program

The FSA is so supportive of aquaponics, they specifically list it as one of the sustainable methods that they will provide Micro Loan funding on.

From the FSA website:The USDA FSA has a MicroLoan program to meets the needs of small, beginning farmer, niche and non-traditional farm operations, such as truck farms, farms participating in direct marketing and sales such as farmers’ markets, CSA’s (Community Supported Agriculture), restaurants and grocery stores, or those using hydroponic, aquaponic, organic and vertical growing methods.”

Learn More about the FSA Micro Loan program

The FSA offers has other loan programs to assist new farmers in getting started.

Learn more about other FSA funding options for larger ventures


Looking for a larger system?

Check out our complete line of Commercial Systems, which include our patented ZDEP® (near Zero Discharge/Extra Production) system.

Call us at 608-297-8708 or email info@aquaponics.com for more information.