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ECF Aquaponik-Farmsysteme

Planning, Construction & Operation of Aquaponics Farmsystems

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Your visit to the ECF Farm in Berlin, Germany


Welcome to the ECF Farm in Berlin, where you’ll learn more about ECF aquaponics technology and our innovative system components. What’s more, here you can observe the most essential working procedures of a commercially operated farm – and taste the freshly harvested food yourself.
Feel free to previously visit the website of our ECF Farm Berlin.


Your ECF business case


We develop an individual business case in which we calculate the economic feasibility of your project idea. The components of this case are the base estimates of your location, the project-specific system draft, including the ground plan, the calculation of the investment and opera-ting costs as well as the calculation of profitability. More information about our business case approach can be found below. The price for an individual business case calculation is € 15.000,- plus travel.


Your turnkey farm


All construction services are provided by ECF from a single source.

Throughout the entire duration of the project – from the idea to the turnkey system – you have a single contact person by your side who brings together all the information for you. If you wish, we can also support you in your search for suitable employees and train them at our own farm in Berlin.



Commission ECF Farmsystems with the individual project development and profitability calculation of your system. The price for an individual business case calculation is € 15.000,- plus travel.


You may have many questions at the conception of your project idea, such as the investment and operating costs or the profitability of the system. Our ECF business case has the answers. During the planning and construction of numerous projects, we have been able to compile a criteria catalog which we leverage for all new projects. Beginning with the intention and scope of your project, we draft a concept and calculate your project idea in the following steps:


Ground plan, technology, production
Using the base estimate as a foundation, we develop – in coordination with you – the first draft of your farm. This encompasses the ground plan, a compilation of the individual cultivation methods and the customized production plans for vegetables, herbs and fish.


On-site visit by experts
Our experts analyse the conditions of your site – on site. Then, in cooperation with you, we develop an initial concept based on the size and location of your farm. We take any existing infrastructure into account, such as existing buildings and greenhouses.


Costs and earnings
We then take this draft as a basis to calculate the project-related capital expenditure (CAPEX) of your farm as well as the annual operating expenditure (OPEX). The figures are then placed within the context of your expected earnings from the sale of the food.




Our business cases to date have been developed for:

Food producers, companies, retailers, wholesalers, project developers, investors, energy corporations, architects and entrepreneurs who are considering the opportunity of producing food in a resourcefriendly way on their own premises.

Contact us!
We look forward to meeting you either in person or on the phone. +49 30 7551 48 40.

All the results are brought together in your personal ECF business case. The detailed case of your farm project serves as a basis for your decision-making and the realization of your own farm. The document supports you, for instance, in your communications and dealings with potential sales partners, investors and authorities, and when it comes to applying for grants. In addition to project-related system drafts and calculations, your case also informs you of the aquaponics production process from ECF in extensive detail.
We would like to point out that the ECF project study is not architectural planning according to HOAI. The results do not represent approval planning or implementation planning. The results of a planning study are for orientation only and are not a binding cost estimate.


Three factors are particularly important when it comes to the commercial operation of an aquaponics farm system: the system technology, the specialized personnel and the marketing.

The system technology must enable the calculated amount of food to be produced, the specialized personnel must be able to maximize the food production, and the marketing and sales concept must position the products and amount on the market at a good price.

Nicolas Leschke - Founder & CEO of ECF Farmsystems


ECF Farmsystems is the general contractor for the construction of your farm.

Our experienced team supports you all the way – from the project idea to the turnkey system. During the construction process, we work according to the German Fee Schedule for Architects and Engineers (HOAI), which lays down fixed prices for stages of service. You have a contact person throughout the construction period who can inform you at any time of all the measures being taken. We can also support you during the start of production and beyond. The costs of the ECF business case are credited to the construction costs.



ECF can serve as the general contractor and support or take over all construction relevant steps in relation to pre-planning, draft planning, permit planning and construction planning.


ECF takes on the task of project manager, overseeing the coordination, organization and documentation during construction. As a result, costs, deadlines and quality remain under control.


ECF supports you during the start-up of your farm. To ensure a smooth “warm start” of your system, ECF can train your future farm staff at our own ECF Farm in Berlin even during the construction process. They can learn all the
important ins and outs of working with the system components. If you wish, your staff can also gain experience in the sale of food.


At ECF you are in good hands, even after operations have begun. We offer optional support that goes beyond the start of production, such as:

  • Remote maintenance and analysis
  • Support discussions regarding the system, production, sales and marketing
  • Materials sourcing
  • Support in the development of certifications




1 OXYGEN REACTOR: For enriching the water with technical oxygen

2 FISH BASINS: For rearing fish for everyday consumption

3 AUTOMATED DRUM-FILTER: For filtering solids

4 MOVING-BED BIO REACTOR: For the nitrification of ammonium into nitrates

5 UV FILTER: For preventing organic pathogens

6 ECF MONITORING TECHNOLOGY: For intelligently controlling aquaculture and hydroponics

7 HYDROPONICS SYSTEM: For producing vegetables, fruits and herbs

8 CATCH TANKS: For storing water



Unlike in conventional aquaponics, in which fish and plants are produced in a common water circulatory system, we leverage two circuits in ECF aquaponics and operate them jointly: the aquaculture circuit for fish and the hydroponics circuit for plants. This offers three decisive advantages: The pH values can be optimized for two different, individual circuits. Substitute nutrients can be added to hydroponics to provide important minerals for plants, without harming the fish.
And each circuit can be shut down independently from the other for cleaning and maintenance purposes, which minimizes production risk. What’s more, we naturally reuse the water in ECF aquaponics and put the fish excrement to use as fertilizer for the plants. Other functions can increase resource efficiency, such as the exchange of CO2-rich and warm air from the aquaculture into the greenhouse or the use of rainwater recovery.



ECF aquaponics is an innovative, high-performing system which enables the resource-friendly and commercially viable production of fish, vegetables, herbs and fruit.

The heart of the system is the ECF monitoring technology. It serves as a “smart connection” to analyse and efficiently control all the processes of aquaculture and hydroponics. Within the system’s aquaculture circuit, innovative filter units, measuring systems and oxygen enrichment allow for the best water quality, healthy fish growth and optimal yield. The excrement from the fish provides a nutrient-rich water, which is then used in the hydroponics circuit for growing vegetables and herbs. Thanks to the use of type-specific cultivation methods, commercially interesting types of food can be flexibly produced.



Intelligent success factor
The ECF monitoring technology is the combination of innovative measuring and control units, synchronized and programmed with the know-how of ECF Farmsystems. As part of the ECF monitoring technology, real-time measurements
of relevant parameters come together. Based on defined requirements, the values are compared and a control signal is sent in real time to the unit in question in either the aquaculture or hydroponics system. The result is an optimal
aquaponics production environment and a high standard of resource efficiency. To ensure the production process, the ECF monitoring technology also includes remote maintenance and alarming.



Tailored fish production
The ECF aquaculture circulatory system consists of a system-specific number of fish basins, the most modern filter system and oxygen reactors. The components are mainly made of BPA-free plastic. The ECF monitoring technology calculates the optimal pH values, water temperatures and food amounts. The resulting increase in the fish’s well-being boosts their immune system, lowers their mortality rate and enables a continually stable harvesting volume without compromising size or quality.



Optimized cultivation method
Within the ECF hydroponics circulatory system, the cultivation method is selected which is best for the plants you’ve chosen to grow: ebb and flow systems, drip irrigation, nutrient film technique (NFT) and deep-water culture/
raft/floating (DWC). These systems can be supplemented by the use of assimilation lighting (e.g. LED). Water amounts, nutrients and watering rhythms are continually monitored and controlled via the central ECF monitoring
technology to ensure high-performance production.





The complete ECF aquaponics farm
Operate aquaponics fish and vegetable production in the city or in the countryside. Produce high-quality food in the resourcefriendly ECF aquaponics system – depending on the location and size of your farm, you can save up to 7 per cent of your operating costs compared to individual production thanks to savings in water and fertilizer. In an urban location, you can also aim for higher profits by selling the food directly on site. The sustainable and transparent production also increases customer loyalty.


Your plant production + AQUACULTURE
Expand your existing greenhouse to include ECF aquaculture. For example, by using unviable greenhouse sections which would otherwise require investment in new heating systems, fertilizer systems or infrastructure. The expansion of your field of business with the production of high-quality fish for everyday consumption reduces your operating costs and optimizes the utilization of your workforce through rotations between plant and fish production.


Your aquaculture + HYDROPONICS
Link ECF hydroponics up with your existing recirculating aquaculture system. Produce vegetables, herbs and fruits with the nutrient-rich wastewater and eliminate the denitrification step. Produce in a sustainable way and optimize
your operating expenditure. What’s more, this diversification has the advantage that both production processes are very similar, which means you can rotate your staff and ensure efficient utilization of human resources throughout the year.


Revitalization + New utilization concepts
Integrate an ECF aquaponics farm project into the development of your property. Create an innovative concept to revitalize your location and make it more attractive. The reuse of business parks, industrial wasteland, existing empty lots and buildings to produce fish and vegetables in a resource-friendly way is a sustainable alternative for urban planning developments with low traffic density. Lots difficult to sell can be given a boost and in highly frequented areas, they can even be expanded to include restaurants and cafés.


Resource efficiency thanks to synergies
Use aquaponics in conjunction with a building – in the form of rooftop greenhouses, car park roofing or indoor farming. Profit from the project-related synergies, such as heat recovery for the building, existing channels of distribution, rainwater cisterns and basins or human resources. We will gladly examine for you the opportunity to use existing buildings at your location.


Sustainable use of resources
Profit from the use of the heat loss in your company as well as from the use of power plants, combined heat and power plants and biogas plants. Operate an ECF aquaponics farm system coupled with your production site and reduce the farm’s operating costs by up to 10 per cent. Funding through the German Act on Combined Heat and Power Generation (KWKG) and the German Renewable Energies Act (EEG) can have an additional positive effect on your operating costs.




#1 // ECF Farm Berlin

Urban Farming, in the middle of Berlin

  • Initial startup: 2015
  • Plant size: approx. 1.800m2
  • Aquaculture production: Perch
  • Hydroponics production: Basil
  • Consumer: Food retail market
  • Website

#2 // Rooftop farm ecco jäger (CH)

Building integrated farming

  • Initial startup: 2016
  • Plant size: approx. 1.100m2
  • Aquaculture production: Trout
  • Hydroponics production: Lettuce & Herbs
  • Consumer: Hotels/Restaurants/Catering
  • Website

  • #3 // Rooftop farm BIGH Brussels (BE)

    Circular economy in the heart of Europe

  • Initial startup: 2018
  • Plant size: approx. 2.400m2
  • Aquaculture production: Hybrid Striped Bass
  • Hydroponics production: Lettuce & Herbs
  • Consumer: Food retail, restaurants, direct
  • Website
  • a-few-brief-words-on-sustainability

    A few brief words on sustainability

    Environmental protection and animal safety are now of such everyday concern that businesses have long begun to react with solutions.

    Under the changing conditions of globalization, climate change and raw material scarcity, as well as a stronger consciousness among consumers regarding environmental issues and responsibility, the demand for regional products from independent growers is rising. The industry and retailers have recognized consumers’ “back to nature” desire and are responding with continually expanding sustainably grown food options. Aquaponics production brings high-priced, authentic food to the market, which improves the environment by adhering to the highest standards of environmental and animal protection, resource efficiency and transparency and the non-use of hormones, pesticides and antibiotics. This sustainability, in turn, serves as a unique selling point in the marketing of products.



    Intelligent reuse
    Seventy per cent of the freshwater used by mankind goes towards agriculture and its further processing. ECF aquaponics farms enable food to be produced using up to 90 per cent less water compared to conventional agriculture. Thanks to the use of circulatory systems, a high efficiency of water consumption is achieved – and this is then doubled through the twofold utilization of water for both fish and vegetable production.


    CO2 optimization in the production process
    Up to 34 per cent of the world’s carbon emissions come from agriculture and the processing of agricultural products. Long cooling chains and often long transport routes also have a negative impact on the carbon footprint. In ECF aquaponics farm systems, the CO² from the aquaculture circulatory system is channelled to the plants, where it serves as additional fertilizer and is turned into oxygen. This results in an improved carbon footprint for the production site.


    Nature’s efficiency
    Fish is one of the most sustainable providers of animal protein, as it is an excellent utilizer of feed. The production of one kilogram of fish requires just 1.2 to 1.4 kilograms of feed in ECF aquaponics farm systems. In contrast: the production of one kilogram of beef requires eight times more feed. As the production of feed requires a high consumption of resources and results in high carbon emissions, the production of fish makes a sustainable contribution to environmental protection.


    Contact us

    Please note the following information before contacting us:
    Unfortunately we do not offer jobs & internships at the moment.
    Guided tours of ECF Farm Berlin are generally no longer offered.
    Due to capacity constraints we are unable to offer guided tours of study-accompanying and school work. Sorry!

    ECF Farmsystems

    ECF Farmsystems GmbH, Bessemerstrasse 20, 12103 Berlin, Germany // Google Maps

    Business Cases

    Nicolas Leschke // Founder & CEO // +49 30 7551 48 40

    Press & Office

    Christian Echternacht // Founder

    ECF Farm Berlin

    Carsten Mehl // Plant Manager at ECF Farm Berlin
    Address for delivery & pickup: ECF Farm Berlin, Bessemerstrasse 20, 12103 Berlin //