Biological responses to hydroponic and aquaponic conditions
Aquaponics is the combination of aquaculture with hydroponics where nutrients from a recirculating fish rearing system support a plant culture system. There has been significant discussion, in particular within the hydroponic community, on how aquaponics quantifiably compares to current, commercially practiced, hydroponics and how the nutritional aspects change when not in the inorganically optimized solution known to hydroponic growers. Our objective was to provide foundational data quantifying biomass and tissue elemental concentrations for hydroponics, aquaponics, and intermediary water quality conditions that may provide further insight into any plant and rhizosphere dynamics. The first two papers are divided into part Part I and Part II. Part I investigates the solely inorganic hydroponic comparisons of the water quality aspects impact upon the key response variables, while Part II compares the conventional hydroponics to a recirculating aquaponics system. The third paper provides key metrics and design variables that will be of use to the rapidly developing aquaponics industry including sizing ratios of the fish to plant area and nitrification rates on the natural root hairs in comparison to inert surfaces. Lettuce was used as the model crop throughout due to its consistency at all life stages and its significant presence in hydroponic operations while Koi were chosen for their hardiness in a large range of water quality parameters, which provided flexibility and security to current and future planned experiments.
Hydroponic and Aquaponic biological responses
Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
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