Aquaponic Sludge Mineralisation & Desalination Loop – EAS2017

Two weeks ago, we have attended the Aquaculture Europe 2017 conference in Dubrovnik. I (Boris) presented our latest findings with respect to sludge mineralisation in aquaponic systems. It is a challenge to treat fish sludge within aquaponic systems to reduce the quantity of waste. Even more important is the objective to recover the valuable nutrients that are trapped in the sludge. Nutrient recovery by sludge mineralisation constitutes a great opportunity to complement the hydroponic nutrient solution in a sustainable manner.  Read more

Cooperation with desertfoods Namibia

In a previous article, we have pointed out the challenges and opportunities of aquaponic food production systems in Namibia and other (semi-) arid regions around the world. We are proud to announce to be a partner of the desertfoods aquaponics project in Namibia that we will tackle together with desertfoods Namibia PTY, Göteborgs Universitet, Wageningen University, University of Namibia, and IGZ.

A 12.000 m² climate-controlled greenhouse will be build in the Namib Desert East of Swakopmund next year. It will be expanded by another 32.000 m² after 3 years. This will be a great step towards increasing the food security of Namibia as well as the practical implementation of decoupled multi-loop aquaponic systems. The start of production expected to take place mid of 2018 with an annual output exceeding 543 metric tons of vegetables (tomatoes, sweet peppers, lettuce) and 63 metric tons of tilapia fish. Read more

namibia

Namibia – climate smart solutions to enhance food security

Climate change and the increase in the phenomena of droughts require drastic measures in terms of innovative agriculture approaches to maintain food securities in countries with water stress. Wageningen University (i.e. the author of this post, and Prof. Karel Keesman) wrote this strategic report that addresses the necessity and potential of the implementation of multi-loop aquaponic systems in Namibia. We are still looking for commercial farmers who want to join us on our journey into the future of agriculture. Read more

aquaponic lettuce seedlings

Cracking the Aquaponics Code: Outperforming Hydroponics by 39%

Aquaponics is a trending topic, but this finding on plant growth performance could be path-breaking for further aquaponics development. The Developonics team has published a new paper in the peer review journal Water (MDPI) with the title Lettuce (Lactuca sativa L. var. Sucrine) Growth Performance in Complemented Aquaponic Solution Outperforms Hydroponics. The results were beyond our imagination. Read more

Experimental Aquaponic Setup using supernatant from anaerobic remineralization practices

The Potential of Anaerobic Remineralization in Aquaponic Systems

As you guys might have noticed, we are currently running an experiment on the anaerobic remineralization potential of RAS-derived fish sludge. In order to clarify open questions regarding the impact of anaerobic effluents on plant growth, we have conducted a small experiment. In that experiment we compared the lettuce growth (as well as shoot:root ratios) for lettuces grown in RAS water that has been supplemented with either anaerobic or aerobic fish sludge supernatant.  The experimental setup can be seen in Figure 1. Read more

lettuce grown on RAS and hydroponic water

Lettuce Growth Experiment

Today, Simon has started a lettuce growth experiment together with Tycho Vermeulen in Bleiswijk, the Netherlands. We are going to assess to what degree micro organisms in RAS water have an impact on lettuce growth by adding it to a hydroponic solution. The control group is a standard hydroponic nutrient solution for lettuce. We expect this experiment to take 8 weeks, and publishing the results somewhen mid of next year. Cheers!

Decoupled Aquaponics – The Future of Food Growing?

There is lots of discussion going on on the internet and within academic worlds, whether decoupled aquaponics has a general advantage over conventional recirculating aquaponic systems. Figuring this out was our objective in the last years and led to the publication “Navigating towards Decoupled Aquaponic Systems: A System Dynamics Design Approach“. Following the KISS principle, I will briefly outline the main points of the publication and discuss them a bit in non-academic jargon (excluding the paper’s abstract). Read more

COST Aquaponics Training School Belgium

COST Aquaponics Conference and further Plans

Yes – we are still alive, and no – we did not forget about posting on Developonics. We are currently just busy with publishing our research as well as already planing new aquaponics related projects. What else have we done? In March, Simon has been presenting the model on decoupled aquaponic systems that he developed at the COST Aquaponics Conference “Research Matters”. Unlike in one-loop recirculating aquaponics systems, decoupled two- or three-loop systems (i.e. comprising of a RAS & hydroponic system, or RAS, hydroponic, and remineralization system respectively) follow the principle of a one-way nutrient flow. This makes it possible to ensure optimal conditions for both fish and plants; i.e. the fish are held in optimal RAS conditions, and the hydroponic water can be supplemented with macro- and micronutrients to ensure an optimal nutrient solution. Read more

Digestion Experiment at ZHAW

Simon, Boris, and Zala are currently preparing some aquaponics experiments at ZHAW in Wädenswil (Switzerland). Two of them comprise sludge digestion for nutrient and water recycling. We hope to see the performance of both digster types on the nutrient dynamics on the system. The results will be published in a open access peer-review journal. Below some pictures of motivated young scientists. 🙂

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Visit at Urban Farmers in Basel

Today, Zala and Simon have visited Urban Farmers in Basel. While cooking fresh tilapia and tomatoes from the aquaponics system, ideas have been exchanged with Andreas Graber and Ranka Junge.

 

Simon and Zala at Urban Farmers

Simon and Zala at Urban Farmers