Green Fins, LLC.

Owner: Jennifer Nettles

12704 N Taylor Rd
Oaktown, IN 47561-8311
Knox County

daytime phone: (812) 486-6170

Application Date: 2021-05-25

Applicant Details

Please briefly tell us why you are applying to be part of the Certified Naturally Grown program: *
My husband and I own an Aquaponics business in Southern Indiana. I went through the training at Nelson Pade Aquaponics and noticed they were Certified Naturally Grown. We believe in producing naturally grown food without chemicals and pesticides.
Are you currently third party Certified for your produce operation by any other organization (Organic, Biodynamic, etc)? *
If yes, please note which certification and agency *
Indiana Grown and Produce Safety Alliance
Have you ever been certified in the past? *
Have you ever been denied certification? *
How did you hear about Certified Naturally Grown? *
Nelson Pade Aquaponics
For how long have you been growing aquaponic produce for market? What has prepared you to do this successfully according to CNG standards? *
Since January 2022- I took a class with Nelson Pade, I am a horticulture professor and my husband is a fisheries biologist

General Information

Please check all crops you grow in your aquaponic system. *

Please specify what other crops (if any).
Please check all markets you grow for (this will be displayed on your farm profile to help potential buyers find you). *

Please specify what other markets (if any).

System Design and Management

Please indicate what type of system you use (for hybrid systems, check all that apply): *

If you indicated you use an "other" system type, please specify what other type of system you use here.
If you use wicking beds, describe how the water his handled after it is used in the wicking beds. Does this water recirculate? If not, how is it disposed of?
What materials are used for root support, growing media, tubing and pipes, tanks, troughs, and other materials that come into direct contact with system water? (check all that apply) *

Are there any other materials you use in your system that are not listed above? If so, please indicate them here.
If you use soil or compost in your system, where is it used? Is it used only in the dead-end portion, or also in in the recirculating sections of the system?
If you use compressed grow plugs, what is (are) the product/s name/s? Have you been able to confirm with the supplier that it/they do not contain synthetic nutrients?
If your system contains cement, does it come into direct contact with the water? Please describe how cement is a part of your system.
If you use wood in your system, is it treated wood? Does it come into direct contact with the water? Please describe how wood is a part of your system.
If your system includes IBC totes purchased used, have you been able to confirm with your supplier that they were used only for food grade uses? If so, how have you confirmed this? If not, how do you intend to confirm this?
Please note that while IBC totes can be grandfathered in when they're in already in use at the time CNG certification is sought, CNG standards prohibit the introduction of IBC totes once CNG status is obtained. Please indicate that you understand this restriction on IBC totes by checking the box here. *
Does water circulate at a rate sufficient so that the water volume of the fish tanks(s) recirculates each hour? If it recirculates at a lower rate, please explain. *
Briefly describe how your system achieves appropriate aeration. *
We have a regenerative air pump that supplies air to the high efficiency diffuser air tubing in the lettuce tanks, bubbles stones in each fish tank, and in the degassing tank.
Briefly describe how your system achieves appropriate degassing. *
We have a 180 gallon tank dedicated to aerating the water with air diffusers before going into the lettuce tanks.
Does your system include any of the following: roofing materials, recycled plastics, or plastics that contain BPA? *

Water Sources

CNG standards vary according to water source. Please indicate below ALL water sources you use for your aquaponic system, and answer the corresponding questions.
Do you use Municipal water? *
Does the municipal water contain chlorine? If so, how is chlorine removed? *
The municipal water is only treated with chlorine. At start up, the whole system sat for awhile to degass before adding fish and plants. After start up the water will only be minimally added while being aerated. We do have a 150 gallon tank of fresh back up water that sits for 1 week or more and we can add it as needed.
Does the municipal water contain chloramine? If so, how is it removed? *
Do you have a copy of the municipal water testing results? *
Do you use well water? *
Do you use rainwater? *
Do you use surface water? *
If you use a water source that is not named here, please elaborate.

Water Quality: Nutrients, pH, solids

How do you ensure a good match between stocking density and crop production? *
We will be monitoring the nitrate, nitrite, and ammonia levels along with fish food inputs and how well the lettuce grows.
Please describe how you design and operate your system to provide biofiltration that corresponds to production of fish waste and crops. *
Within the system there are 2 settling tanks right after the fish tanks that will deposit solids out so we can removed them and a mineralization tank with netting to add more surface area to transfer the fish waste to nutrients for the plants.
Do you ever add supplemental nutrients? If so, what materials or products have you used? List ingredients and product names. How much of these do you use? How frequently? *
Do you use worms in your system? *
What materials do you use to buffer pH? *
We started (September) using muriatic acid at first to keep the pH around 7. Since then we haven't had to use any more(in the last month or so). The pH is holding fairly steady. We have pretty hard water that acts as a great buffer.
What methods do you use to prevent the build up of waste solids in your system? *
The fish tanks all flow into settling tanks before moving into the mineralization tank.
Please indicate how often you monitor each of the following:
pH? *
Temperature? *
Dissolved oxygen? *
Ammonia? *
Nitrites? *
Nitrates? *
Use this space if you'd like to share additional information about your water quality and monitoring practices.

Seeds, Transplants, and Crop Health

Do you grow some or all of your own transplants? *
What growing media do you use? Please list the ingredients. *
Do you use any chemically-treated or genetically modified seeds? *
Do you purchase some or all of your transplants? *
Describe your primary insect pest challenges AND methods of prevention and control. (Do not answer "none". You MUST indicate actual pest challenges or LIKELY challenges, and you must ALSO indicate how you manage or how you would manage them. If you indicate a product, also specify how often it's used.) *
We will have insect screen on all openings in the greenhouse, sticky traps to monitor pest levels, and use biological insects to control problem pests if needed. Or will pick off larger pests like slugs. We keep all other plants outside the greenhouse and only start with seed. So far, we haven't really had any problems. It may be as simple as removing the infested plants from the greenhouse.
Describe your primary plant disease challenges AND methods of prevention and control. (Do not answer "none". You MUST indicate actual disease challenges or LIKELY challenges, and you must ALSO indicate how you manage or how you would manage them. If you indicate a product, also specify how often it's used.) *
We have fans within the greenhouse to maximize air flow within and through the greenhouse to prevent disease problems. By minimizing insect pests we can minimize diseases too. Also, if there is a disease problem, the plants will be immediately removed from the system.
CNG certification requires the use of certified organic or Certified Naturally Grown seeds whenever available. Please indicate the suppliers from which you source - or will source - your seeds if your application is accepted and you continue the certification process. *
I try to buy all certified organic seed from Johnny's seed. I try to only use the hydroponic approved varieties making purchasing a bit difficult sometimes. I will likely buy from Bakers creek in the future too.
Please indicate, by entering your initials, that you understand that CNG strictly prohibits the use of chemically treated or GMO seeds. *
Please indicate, by entering your initials, that you will as a general rule purchase organically grown seeds, AND that you will only purchase conventional seed when the variety you wish to grow is not available in certified organic or CNG form. For each variety purchased in conventional form, you will identify (and keep records of) at least three commercial organic seed suppliers who do not carry that variety. *

Fish Management

We do not offer certification for fish, but do set some limited standards for fish management where they might affect the produce and or quality of life for the fish.
Does hormonal sex reversal treatment ever occur on-line / within the recirculating system? *
Please describe the practices you use to prevent and treat fish disease.
We plan to maintain a clean system and prevent overcrowding of fish.
Have you ever found it necessary to use antibiotics? *
Please describe what kind of fish feed you use. Is it organically grown? (For aquaponic produce certification CNG standards do not require that the feed be organically grown, but we are interested to know what producers are using and to give credit to any producers who may be using organic feed) *
We get our food from Lakeway Tilapia with our fish. Purina AquaMax is manufactured to be preservative free and as a result has a limited shelf life so we only keep what we will use on site. It is derived from fish meal.
Do you use black soldier fly larvae or duckweed as supplemental feed? *
Do you use any supplemental feed besides BSF larvae or duckweed? If so, describe it here, and indicate how you protect against contamination of your system. *

Protecting Against Contamination

Is your operation partially or entirely INdoors? *
What are the nearby land uses? Are there any that might pose risks of contamination? *
Farming land. We have a 20-40' buffer around us with roll down sides in the greenhouse so we can work with the nearby farmers to limit contamination to our system.
How does your ventilation and air filtration system prevent possible contamination? *
We can roll down the sides of the greenhouse and stop fans at night so the greenhouse is shut when Ariel applications are made
Do you share space (including fish tank, seedling starting, or plant production space) with other producers? *
Is your operation partially or entirely OUTdoors? *

Waste & Energy

These questions will not determine certification status, but are intended to encourage producers to review our recommendations in these areas and to give credit to producers who have made investments in the sustainability of their operation.
How do you dispose of fish solid wastes? *
The fish waste is collected an used in our wildflower and native grass buffer on 2 sides of the greenhouse. This will help reuse and clean the water.
When necessary during system change over, how do you dispose of nutrient-rich water? *
We don’t plan on draining the system but we could dispose of it in our naturalized prairie with native grasses and flowers as stated above.
What measures have you taken to conserve energy, improve energy efficiency, and/or use energy from renewable sources? (This could include system design, siting, insulation, crop and fish species selection, and more.)
We are using a double layer plastic cover to insulate the greenhouse during winter months. We have put up insulation boards on the side walls to help keep heat inside the greenhouse. We also have an in line heater in the water to help during the winter. The lettuce tanks are on the ground to help maintain even temperatures. The fish tanks are on stands to allow gravity fed system into the lettuce tanks. We have LED lights too.

Inspections & Networks

A core requirement of CNG certification is the on-site peer-review. Getting this completed is facilitated if you're a part of a network of aquaponics producers who might serve as your inspector. Are you a part of a network (informal or formal) of aquaponic producers in your geographic area? *


I understand that only the produce, NOT the fish, can be labeled and sold as Certified Naturally Grown. *
I will not label, or in any way lead consumers to believe that produce not raised in accord with CNG standards is Certified Naturally Grown. *
I understand that I have to complete at least one Inspection(s) of another CNG aquaponic producer in my area each year, if there is one within a one hour drive. *
I understand that the inspection I conduct will NOT be of the same producer that inspected me. *
I have reviewed the Certified Naturally Grown aquaponic certification standards, I understand them, and I will abide by them. I understand that if I have any questions I may contact CNG for clarification. *
You may use this space to tell us anything else you think we should know about your operation.