• Titre: Challenges of Sustainable and Commercial Aquaponics
  • Auteur: Goddek, Simon; Delaide, Boris; Mankasingh, Utra; Vala Ragnarsdottir, Kristin; Jijakli, Haissam; Thorarinsdottir, Ragnheidur
  • Date de publication: 2015-04-10
  • Résumé: The world is facing a number of serious problems of which population rise, climate change, soil degradation, water scarcity and food security are among the most important. Aquaponics, as a closed loop system consisting of hydroponics and aquaculture elements, could contribute to addressing these problems. However, there is a lack of quantitative research to support the development of economically feasible aquaponics systems. Although many studies have addressed some scientific aspects, there has been limited focus on commercial implementation. In this review paper, opportunities that have the potential to fill the gap between research and implementation of commercial aquaponic systems have been identified. The analysis shows that aquaponics is capable of being an important driver for the development of integrated food production systems. Arid regions suffering from water stress will particularly benefit from this technology being operated in a commercial environment.
  • Lien: http://orbi.ulg.ac.be/

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  • Titre: Navigating towards decoupled aquaponic systems: A system dynamics design approach
  • Auteur: Goddek, Simon; Espinal, Carlos; Delaide, Boris; Jijakli, Haissam; Schmautz, Zala; Wuertz, Sven; Keesman, Karel J.
  • Date de publication: 2016-07-12
  • Résumé:
    The classical working principle of aquaponics is to provide nutrient-rich aquacultural water to a hydroponic plant culture unit, which in turn depurates the water that is returned to the aquaculture tanks. A known drawback is that a compromise away from optimal growing conditions for plants and fish must be achieved to produce both crops and fish in the same environmental conditions. The objective of this study was to develop a theoretical concept of a decoupled aquaponic system (DAPS), and predict water, nutrient (N and P), fish, sludge, and plant levels. This has been approached by developing a dynamic aquaponic system model, using inputs from data found in literature covering the fields of aquaculture, hydroponics, and sludge treatment. The outputs from the model showed the dependency of aquacultural water quality on the hydroponic evapotranspiration rate. This result can be explained by the fact that DAPS is based on one-way flows. These one-way flows results in accumulations of remineralized nutrients in the hydroponic component ensuring optimal conditions for the plants. The study also suggests to size the cultivation area based on P availability in the hydroponic component as P is an exhaustible resource and has been identified one of the main limiting factors for plant growth.
  • Lien: http://orbi.ulg.ac.be/

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  • Titre: Lettuce (Lactuca sativa L. var. Sucrine) Growth Performance in Complemented Aquaponic Solution Outperforms Hydroponics
  • Auteur: Delaide, Boris; Goddek, Simon; Gott, James; Soyeurt, Hélène; Jijakli, Haissam
  • Date de publication: 2016-10-19
  • Résumé: Plant growth performance is optimized under hydroponic conditions. The comparison between aquaponics and hydroponics has attracted considerable attention recently, particularly regarding plant yield. However, previous research has not focused on the potential of using aquaponic solution complemented with mineral elements to commercial hydroponic levels in order to increase yield. For this purpose, lettuce plants were put into AeroFlo installations and exposed to hydroponic (HP), aquaponic (AP), or complemented aquaponic (CAP) solutions. The principal finding of this research was that AP and HP treatments exhibited similar (p > 0.05) plant growth, whereas the shoot weight of the CAP treatment showed a significant (p < 0.05) growth rate increase of 39% on average compared to the HP and AP treatments. Additionally, the root weight was similar (p > 0.05) in AP and CAP treatments, and both were significantly higher (p < 0.05) than that observed in the HP treatment. The results highlight the beneficial effect of recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) water on plant growth. The findings represent a further step toward developing decoupled aquaponic systems (i.e., two- or multi-loops) that have the potential to establish a more productive alternative to hydroponic systems. Microorganisms and dissolved organic matter are suspected to play an important role in RAS water for promoting plant roots and shoots growth.
  • Lien: http://orbi.ulg.ac.be/

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  • Titre: Plant and fish production performance, nutrient mass balances, energy and water use of the PAFF Box, a small-scale aquaponic system
  • Auteur: Delaide, Boris; Delaye, Guillaume; Dermience, Michael; Gott, James; Soyeurt, Hélène; Jijakli, Haissam
  • Date de publication: 2017-08
  • Résumé: Aquaponics is an integrated farming concept that combines fish and hydroponic plant production in a recirculating water system. This food production system promises a reduced environmental footprint when compared to conventional farming systems. However, questions regarding its sustainability remain and there is a lack of data on its performance. A small-scale aquaponic system named PAFF Box (Plant And Fish Farming Box) consisting of a ship container topped by a greenhouse was studied. Plant yield in ebb-and-flow and deep water culture (DWC) hydroponic beds, lettuce, basil and tilapia production capacity and water and energy consumption were investigated. Additionally, all macro- and micronutrient mass balances were analyzed in order to give a better picture of their dynamics and recycling ability. Thanks to the daily inputs of tap water, and 42g of feed per m2 of plant beds, DWC beds showed 3 to 10 fold higher plant yields than ebb and flow. The production of 1kg of vegetable in DWC consumed 244L of water and 84.5kWh of electricity and 1kg increase of tilapia consumed 278L and 96.2kWh. The system was very efficient in water use for fish production but alternative solutions for warming the water and fine-tuned pumping setup are required to decrease energy needs. Key nutrients such as potassium, phosphorus, iron, copper, zinc, manganese and molybdenum, remained low in solution. Nitrate, calcium, boron and sodium concentrations increased quickly and only water exchange could control their accumulation meanwhile a low daily water exchange rate of 3.6\% implicated a high nutrient loss in the environment. In the willingness to decrease aquaponics environmental footprint, this study indicates that improved designs could be explored such as decoupled aquaponic systems.
  • Lien: http://orbi.ulg.ac.be/