Excellent free ebook (technical paper) I found when searching around yesterday, looks like a wealth of info to tap into for those wishing to test out the benifits of Aquaponics. For those who don’t know is a symbiotic integration of two disciplines: aquaculture and hydroponics. A symbiotic relationship between plant and fish, the waste from the fish feeds the plants and the plants in turn clean the water for the fish.
The growing technique is excellent for those hoping to avoid lots of expensive chemicals, it’s also a labour-saving technique too. In times of dwindling supplies of water and arable land worldwide this production system can really help us reduce water consumption on food production and enhance our food security.
The book discusses three groups of living organisms (bacteria, plants and fish) that make up the aquaponic ecosystem. It presents management strategies and troubleshooting practices, as well as related topics, specifically highlighting the advantages and disadvantages of this method of food production. The publication discusses the main theoretical concepts of aquaponics, including the nitrogen cycle, the role of bacteria, and the concept of balancing an aquaponic unit. It considers water quality, testing and sourcing for aquaponics, as well as methods and theories of unit design, including the three main methods of aquaponic systems: media beds, nutrient film technique, and deep water culture.
South-west plants share fungal symbiosis for nitrogen uptake
An investigation into nitrogen transfers between plants has found that different species can share nutrients through fungal interactions.
The study looked into numerous nutrient-acquisition strategies of plants to determine if nitrogen transfers between native plants exist in nutrient-poor soils in south-west Australia.
We’ve had this question [of] how is it possible that our ecosystem has so many species when the soils are so poor?” co-author Professor Erik Veneklaas says.
“What we’ve shown here is that it is the balance between positive and negative interactions that could help species survive together and in a way collaborate whilst they also compete.”
Lead author and UWA’s François Teste and his team found that plant species connected by both arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) and ectomycorrhizal (EM) fungal interactions benefitted most from nitrogen transfer between plants.
AM interactions penetrate plant roots allowing nutrient intake, whilst EM interactions form sheaths around the roots of plants rather then infiltrating them.
This is an “Urban Aquaculture” system or at least what he’s calling it, at first glace it looks like what most are now calling Aquaponics. Just found it an interesting little bit of information for those unfamiliar with the concept or processes involved. Bit of animation may help explain it a bit better to some too.
I do wish to say though that when they are using indoor lights for the plants I question if that energy could be gotten from solar panels or better yet have the plants under glass instead.
Professor Martin Schreibman says our oceans have been overfished beyond repair. If we’re going to keep eating fish and chips, tuna tartare, and all those omega-3 fatty acids, we may have to rely on aquaculture. Schreibman is working to bring those fish farms into the city.
I like the idea of fish being produced locally in our cities but this is also a system that could truly be setup in countries that are impoverished and help feed starving people around the world too.