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Transcript of Aquaponics
in 4 phases: Fish Excrete waste: Decomposing fish waste creates ammonia (NH3) as a by-product. Ammonia is very toxic to fish. The fish cannot continue to survive in a toxic environment filled with ammonia. So.... Ammonia converted to nitrites: So, a bacteria (that is cultured in the grow beds and the fish tanks) called nitroso-monas sp. ingest the ammonia to grow. Their bodies then convert the ammonia to nitrite ( NO2-). This nitrite is still toxic to fish so.... Phase 3: Nitrites converted to nitrate: The nitrite filled nitroso-monas sp. bacteria are eaten by another bacteria called nitrobacter sp. Those bacteria convert the nitrite to nitrate (NO3). This nitrate is not as toxic so... Nitrates are absorbed by Plants: The plants and/or crops can now absorb the nitrate to use as an organic fertilizer! The nitrate also promotes rampant and faster growth! Ammonia-Nitrate fertilizer: Why is it such a good option?: Ammonia nitrate is such a good fertilizer because there are 3 things required for plant growth. Phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium. Ammonia nitrate contains about 30-35% elemental nitrogen. Using ammonia nitrate as fertilizer on a crop or plant that is situated in soil can be very harmful, though. The soil becomes very acidic over time. Since there is no soil in an aquaponics system, the ammonia nitrate can be easily used as a fertilizer with little-to-no drawbacks. Why aquaponics? -No need for extensive retraining considering there are many farmers and fishers in Nova Scotia
-Water can be recycled
-No soil means no borne diseases
-Works in drought
-Crops can be grown in high quantity year round locally and this reduces shipping What crops and fish can be grown in an aquaponic system? Fish: Crops: -Tilapia
-Goldfish (and other aquarium fish)
-Fresh water prawns
-Tomatoes -Sweet potatoes
-Radishes Different aquaponic systems: The “raft” method The “growing power” model: The "grow bed" model There are numerous different aquaponic systems, but the ones that could be the most beneficial for Nova Scotia would be a “growing power” model, “raft model” or a “media growbed” model. This because all are larger scale methods and would yield the most amount of crops and fish. Virtually all methods require a circulation pump and oxygen pump. Pros: -Excellent for large scale operations
-It has a very high crop and fish yield (a smaller system would yield 100lbs of fish and 925 heads of lettuce, and a large system could yield up to 7,500 lbs of fish and 194,400 heads of lettuce)
-Installed in a greenhouse Cons: -Slightly more extensive filtration method
-Usually only best for growing lettuce or basil. Pros: -Good option if a community wanted to have it’s own aquaponic system.
-They are very easy to build
-parts are readily available
-compost can be very beneficial to this system. Cons: -There can be anaerobic zones where fish are not getting enough oxygen or filtration if the system is not properly monitored
-There is dark water due to compost so you can’t see the fish. Pros: -Excellent option for a larger scale aquaponic system.
-You can make it as big or as small as desired
-Lots of different plants can be grown in one system Cons: -Anaerobic zones
-System requires an occasional cleaning. To conclude.. In conclusion, aquaponics would be an excellent option for Nova Scotia and other northern areas of the world to avoid seasonal food shipping costs, and aid in reducing our carbon footprint. Many crops and fish varieties can be grown in an aquaponic system! Bibliography: Websites used: