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Lidia Robaina, Juhani Pirhonen, Elena Mente, Javier Sánchez, and Neill Goosen

Abstract Fish and feed waste provide most of the nutrients required by the plants in aquaponics if the optimum ratio between daily fish feed inputs and the plant growing area is sustained. Thus, the fish feed needs to fulfil both the fish's and plant's nutritional requirements in an aquaponic system. A controlled fish waste production strategy where the nitrogen, phosphorus and mineral contents of fish diets are manipulated and used provides a way of influencing the rates of accumulation of nutrients, thereby reducing the need for the additional supplementation of nutrients. To optimize the performance and cost-effectiveness of aquaponic production, fish diets and feeding schedules should be designed carefully to provide nutrients at the right level and time to complement fish, bacteria and plants. To achieve this, a species-specific tailor-made aquaponic feed may be optimized to suit the aquaponic system as a whole. The optimal point would be determined based on overall system performance parameters, including economic and environmental sustainability measures. This chapter thus focuses on fish diets and feed and reviews the state of the art in fish diets, ingredients and additives, as well as the nutritional/sustainable challenges that need to be considered when producing specific aquaponic feeds.

Keywords Aquaponic diets · Sustainability · Feed by-products · Nutrient flow · Nutritional requirements · Feeding times


L. Robaina

Aquaculture Research Group (GIA), Ecoaqua Institute, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Telde, Gran Canaria, Spain

J. Pirhonen

Department of Biological and Environmental Science, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland

E. Mente

Department of Ichthyology and Aquatic Environment, University of Thessaly, Volos, Greece

J. Sánchez

Department of Physiology, Faculty of Biology, Regional Campus of International Excellence

"Campus Mare Nostrum", University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain

N. Goosen

Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa

© The Author(s) 2019 333

S. Goddek et al. (eds.), Aquaponics Food Production Systems,


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