The Company Evolution

Edgewater LABS

To understand Edgewater Exhibits, one must understand where it has been. Edgewater’s founder, Kristin Mertz, has an extensive history in the aquaculture and aquaponics industry.  Kristin worked for his Father in high school building Japanese Gardens and koi ponds throughout South Florida and later in Pittsburgh.

This early exposure to building systems for koi ponds led to a pursuit of knowledge that burns as bright today as it did 45 years ago.  This pursuit led to enrollment in Mississippi State and later university of Pittsburgh for forestry and wild life management, the colledge of west indies Snt. Croix for marine biology and settling in at Florida institute of technologies B.S. program for aquaculture.  The program consisted of a hands on training in all aspects of working in the aquaculture industry, including building and operating micro algae and zooplankton clean rooms, building and designing all types of fresh water and marine fish farms and labs for culture of aquatic species and plants. 

After college Kristin worked for The University of Miami Experimental fish hatchery, where he worked designing and building experimental aquatic systems and raising a host of new marine species, as well as a stock enhancement program for red drum.  He often worked with visiting professors to design build and implement very specific water quality parameters for animals from the deep sea collection off a submarine, to documenting captive bill fish feeding in enclosed systems.  After the U.M. Kristin started designing and building Aquatic Life Support Systems for the Aquaculture/Aquaponic, Zoo and public aquarium industry.  He is frequently asked to consult with various institutions on aquatic animal and fish health as well as system design and staff training.  His practical and technical knowledge are put to use designing high efficiency and sustainable aquatic systems across the country.

The Farm: The farm was acquired some 20 years ago as a place to apply our trade and and stimulate forward thinking.  It has gone through many iterations over the years, starting as a fresh water fish farm, later a salt water fish and coral farm and now it hosts our Fresh water shrimp and aquaponics system which has worked as a proving ground for our sustainable shrimp, vegetable and fruit production, by recirculating shrimp and fish water through plant beds.  From this sprung our microgreens trials exploring various soilless candidates for production.   And now as our source for making our super sauce.

What is super sauce?  Simply put, it is a lactobacillus serum and “digested fish and shrimp” concentration.  Edgewater Labs produces a serum which is added to whole fresh fish and shrimp to reduce the fish to a useable form.  After fermentation, all of the fish is dissolved, broken down in to a form useable by plants

Why is this important?
  Even if you place a whole fish beneath a plant, the nutrients are not available to the plant until the bacteria break down the fish in to its component parts which are then available for absorption.  Along the way  all manor of bio matter flourishes, both the good and the bad.  Edgewaters process breaks down 100% of the fish in to solution, and more importantly breaks down the fish in to a useable form for the plants to uptake directly.  This process (cold process) avoids cooking off any of the goodies present in the fish which would be sensitive to high temperature.  The process is acidic with a final ph of 3.4 which discourages growth of the bad bugs. As well as the nutrients, the probiotic serum which lives within will rapidly grow within your substrate breaking down nutrients trapped in the soil or solution that are now free for plant absorption. 

This establishes a healthy colony within the soil substrate and avoids ammonia lock.  This will end in a noticeable difference in plant growth, and plant health.  You will have little need for most additives to control nutrient deficiency, and it is all done organically.

Does it smell like fish?  Actually the harvested serum smells like day old Champaign and looks like an amber ale.  The final product has organic molasses added to the serum to act as a food source for the microbes.  Venting the bottle by opening the cap or leaving the cap loose is recommended to avoid build up of co2 from the serums consumption of sugar.  The serum can be refrigerated to extend shelf life, but should be at room temp. for 24 hrs for best results.  The serum will not produce any fish odor or taste in the crop.

Aquatic System Design


Residential Pond/Gardens

The "Sustarium"


Construction & Installation

Start-up & Commissioning

Trouble Shooting

Themed Environments


Current Projects

Our Story





Edgewater Exhibits has honed its expertise in Life Support Systems for over 40 years.
As part of our commitment to Sustainable Life Support we have diversified into Aquaculture/Hydroponic
grow systems for a greener, more resource-efficient future.

Contact Information