Nutrient supply of plants in aquaponic systems

Andras Bittsanszky, Nikolett Uzinger, Gábor Gyulai, Alex Mathis, Ranka Junge, Morris Villarroel, Benzion Kotzen, Tamas Komives

Abstract


In this preliminary article we present data on plant nutrient concentrations in aquaponics systems, and we compare them to nutrient concentrations in “standard” hydroponic solutions. Our data shows that the nutrient concentrations supplied by the fish in the aquaponics system are significantly lower for most nutrients compared to hydroponic systems. Nevertheless, plants do thrive in solutions that have lower nutrient levels compared to “standard” hydroponic solutions. This is especially true for green leafy vegetables that rarely need additional nutritional supplementation. It is concluded that in the highly complex system of aquaponics, special care has to be taken, via continuous monitoring of the chemical composition of the circulating water, to provide adequate concentrations and ratios of nutrients, and especially for the potentially toxic component, ammonium. If certain plants require nutrient supplementation, we consider that one based on organic substances would be most beneficial. However, protocols for the application of such nutrient amendments still need to be developed.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.19040/ecocycles.v2i2.57

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Copyright (c) 2016 Andras Bittsanszky, Nikolett Uzinger, Gábor Gyulai, Alex Mathis, Ranka Junge, Benzion Kotzen, Tamás Kőmíves

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ECOCYCLES
ISSN 2416-2140
DOI prefix 10.19040