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Aquaponics combines hydroponics and aquaculture to create a more sustainable and efficient farming process. Fish and plants are reared together in systems that share water. The fish generate ammonia waste that bacteria transfix into a nitrogen product that the plants can absorb and use for food. Aquaponic systems are scientifically complex and must be properly monitored and maintained to ensure success. As a technology company we offer solutions to issues commonly faced by aquaponic growers. These issues fall under the umbrella of system planning decisions, data collection, storage, and analysis, and system maintenance choices.

System Planning in Aquaponics

Aquaponic systems must be planned out in great detail before producers can begin raising fish and plants. Farmers must consider light sources, stocking and rearing densities of plants and fish, water levels, appropriate growing containers and bacteria mediums, system set-up and tank placements, electrical and mechanical needs, and cycling timeline meshing with production timeline. These considerations must be accounted for; otherwise, the producer will run into issues down the line. Aquaponic farmers must plan out system details and functions before introducing fish and plants, as this preparedness will provide producers with the best chances of future success.

Aquaponic AI helps producers during this process with the newly released designer tool. This tool lets producers plan out the physical system, generate information for a plan, and access engineering considerations that contribute to a successful operation. Farmers can design and simulate a system by changing variables, such as dimensions, media selection, filtration systems, water design schemes, and crop choices. The designer tab takes a holistic approach to system creation by allowing growers to develop a system vision and see factors to consider in system planning.

Data Collection in Aquaponics

Many farmers rely on outdated methods of collecting data such as pen and paper or excel spreadsheets. These older methods force farmers to create a spreadsheet to record data. The open-ended nature of this task allows for trackable categories and details to slip through the cracks. Producers might not keep tabs on the necessary components of a successful system or may not know what aspects to track. Aquaponics AI offers producers a ready-to-use spreadsheet outlining everything pertinent to systems called notebooks. Provided notebooks guide data collection while another option to customize and tailor the notebook option to specific farm needs also exists. Our software simplifies the data collection process through user-friendly, industry-specific software.

Data Analysis in Aquaponics

Many aquaponic producers suffer from increasingly busy schedules and might not have time to regularly and properly analyze system data. Aquaponics AI removes the struggle of maintaining spreadsheet analysis by automatically generating graphs based on the recorded data. Farmers using our platform can avoid figuring out how to use complex data analysis programs or formatting data inputs to achieve meaningful results, graphs, and tables. Aquaponics AI only requires farmers to input system data into specific, predetermined notebooks or utilize remote sensors that automatically collect data. This software generates easy-to-understand and read graphs that appear on the user dashboard. Producers can immediately observe trends occurring within systems, apply the data appropriately, and maintain healthy aquaponic systems.

Data Storage in Aquaponics

Producers commonly struggle with appropriately storing data and frequently rely on paper copies or digital versions linked to a single computer. Paper copies are often lost or damaged, and in the event of a computer malfunction, the data is gone. Aquaponics AI offers a solution to these issues by allowing producers to access and input data into the account anytime using any platform (e.g., desktop, laptop, tablet, and smartphone). The data syncs to the cloud using a secure server, which means that the data is accessible anytime and anywhere. Aquaponics AI protects the data in the event of a computer malfunction or if the hard copies go missing (or water is splashed on your paper notebook).

System Maintenance in Aquaponics

Farmers commonly encounter issues concerning the maintenance of systems and keeping them running at peak performance. Issues such as declining water quality and plant and fish disease outbreaks are common to the industry. Aquaponics AI helps address and alleviate these issues through preventative data collection and analysis measures. This company allows farmers to monitor important system aspects such as water quality and alerts producers to problems before they cause adverse effects on the aquaponic system. Frequently experienced water quality issues include nutrient abnormalities that can trigger algae growth and nutrient deficiencies in plants. Aquaponics AI helps farmers track nutrient cycling and water quality parameters through notebooks and automatically generate graphs to ensure that levels are ideal for plant growth. Aquaponics AI also offers resources to help diagnose disease outbreaks in plants and fish and nutrient deficiencies in plants. This software helps disseminate information to involved parties through the group sharing feature, which means that there could be faster response time when addressing issues. If sensors are integrated, farmers can leave for the day knowing that the software will alert them to any situations that arise overnight. Or if the growspace does not have connected sensors if alerts are created within the platform at any time when a team member manually inputs activity or data into the software the team will be informed via email and push notification to the accounts mobile device.

Aquaponics AI strives to address and alleviate common problems for aquaponic farmers by adding a digitize solution to their next-gen farm. These solutions include important farm activities such as system planning, data collection, storage, and analysis, and daily maintenance tasks.

Julianne Grenn

M.S. Graduate Student

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