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
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
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
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!
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
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.
In chemical engineering, processes are procedures encompassing mechanical, chemical, physical, electrical and biological steps to create a product from one or more substances. Decades of research and development have led to detailed knowledge of processes that shape our world today: from sawing off a piece of metal, to creating carbon nanotubes, everything that is industrially produced today comes from sets of very specific and controlled steps (i.e. process control (PC)).
Aquaponics -being an emerging field that deals with live organisms that can often be poorly understood-, can benefit from systematic engineering approaches found in process and chemical engineering disciplines. These approaches generally entitle breaking out a large process (a full aquaponic system in this case) into smaller sub-processes that can be studied both in isolation and in interaction with others. Read more
We are currently running an experiment on specific nutrient uptake of lettuce grown in hydroponic, and both one and two loop aquaponic nutrient solutions. To guarantee that all relevant data is available after the experiment, proper data logging is an often underestimated factor. The excel logging file can be used and adapted by everyone for personal usage. You can find the aquaponics logbook in our new section “Tools”. The tool can log pH, light, air temperature, air humidity, water temperature, volume, EC, N-NO3, N-NO2, TAN, P-PO4, K, S-SO4, Ca, Mg, Cl, Fe, Mn, Cu, Zn, B, Mo and converts ppm (mg/L) to mmol/L automatically. It also allows you to log how much acid/bicarbonates you added to your system for pH adjustment purposes.
Simon Goddek‘s and Boris Delaide‘s publication in the peer review journal ‘Sustainability’ summarizes the challenges of “aquaponics”, that is combining fish production (aquaculture) and out-of-ground crop production (hydroponics), in particular nutrient recycling advantages and knowledge gaps concerning nutrient forms and flows. Hydroponic systems allow precision controlled dosage of both water and nutrients (macronutrients, in particular N, P and K, and micronutrients) to crops, as a function of their growth and needs. This is more difficult in aquaponics, where the nutrient supply is a function of the fish production. Nutrients and micro-nutrients therefore should be monitored and supplemented where necessary for plant needs. Read more