Good day, My Name is Rikalize Reinecke, and I am 16 years old.
I am the owner of this lovely Aquaculture and Aquaponics Farm in South Africa just outside Pretoria.
I have started this Farm in Jan 2014, when I was 12 years old. After watching the movie Dolphin Tale, I was so inspired that I just wanted to start with my own fish farm. My dad said I could only do it once I was qualified. I went on a Aquaculture Farming Management course in Grahams Town by Aquaculture Innovations. After completing the training course my dad said he will help me build a small farm. I started with 1000 fish in Jan 2014.
My Farm now consists of four facilities. A Hatchery-quarantine facility, Aquaponic and grow out Facility, and DAPS facility and a pure Aquaculture facility –Alpha System that works in symbioses with each other.
I mainly Farm with Tilapia (Oreochromis Mozambique’s) and currently have round about 35500 fish in my system. Since July 2018 I also do Catfish hatching and grow out.
My fish production for 2017 was 6.1 tons of Tilapia..
On the Aquaponic side, the Aquaponic facility has a 450 square meter footprint. The Aquaponic Facility is mainly an extension of the biological filter as my stocking densities grew to such an extent that the installed basic bio filter could not handle the intense density, The need to install more bio filter surface area inspired me to do Aquaponics instead of installing fixed bio filters.
In my two Greenhouse tunnels my team and I plant 22 different species of plants. I do make use of 4 different aquaponic techniques. E.g. NFT-nutrient film technique, aggregate or flood and drain, Vertical trickling, and DWC-deep water culture.
I have produced 2.86 tons of produce from these tunnels last year (2017) although they were not yet optimal in production as all construction and connections was not completely finished. We constantly keep on expanding and optimizing the facility and layout of the system to get to optimum production. My entire Facility is now accredited as a “LIVING LAB” by two Universities.
I harvest my fish and plants weekly and supply to restaurants, deli`s butchery’s, and distributors, and also my own shop. This shop is the very first aquaponic product and equipment shop in South Africa. Search – Aquaponics Direct
My second aquaculture facility that has been in production for a year now is producing at full capacity.This Facility will be able to take my fish production to 1000Kg per month with in the next 4 months. In this facility I do only pure Aquaculture and no Aquaponic`s and make use of the newest filter technology system by combining anaerobic and aerobic units to be able to filter 25kg of solid bio waste per 24hr cycle.
In this facility I will stock catfish as well as Oreochromis Mozambique`s.
My goal for this year is to further expand on renewable energy and focus solar power to minimize my footprint and energy consumption. I would also be hosting a fulltime aquaculture engineer for Belgium who will help me and the industry in developing an app and more smart farming technologies to be able to optimize my veggie and fish production.
Now that my shop is open, a lot off focus will be put on promoting the products and the products produced by Aquaponics, as well as equipment you might need to start your own system, form hobbyist to commercial
My long term goal is to get more and more involved in planning selling and mentoring, and consulting on concepts like mine in in and around Africa to help to provide a sustainable food production systems (like my “Lappies” system) and facilities and help the people in Africa and to make a difference.