Aquaponics—Sustainable Vegetable and Fish Co-Production

Richard V Tyson, Michelle D Danyluk, Eric H Simonne, Danielle D Treadwell

Abstract


Aquaponics combines hydroponic plant and aquaculture fish production into a sustainable agriculture system that uses natural biological cycles (nitrification) to supply nitrogen and reduces the use of non-renewable fertilizer and water inputs. This paper provides a review of existing aquaponic systems with emphasis on opportunities and challenges to systems sustainability. Preliminary data from a startup aquaponic greenhouse research/demonstration project at UF/IFAS Extension-Orange County’s Exploration Gardens show the potential for growing two vegetable crops concurrently to facilitate the recirculation and re-use of aquaponic waste water. In addition, microbial water quality testing of the aquaponic system water was conducted across three sampling dates. No Escherichia coliwas detected in either re-circulating irrigation or filter-return water samples or from a single sampling of flake and pellet fish feed.


Keywords


hydroponics, aquaculture, biofiltration, ammonia, Escherichia coli, nitrifying bacteria

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283