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Chapter 9 Nutrient Cycling in Aquaponics Systems

5 months ago

13 min read

Mathilde Eck, Oliver Körner, and M. Haïssam Jijakli

Abstract In aquaponics, nutrients originate mainly from the fish feed and water inputs in the system. A substantial part of the feed is ingested by the fish and either used for growth and metabolism or excreted as soluble and solid faeces, while the rest of any uneaten feed decays in the tanks. While the soluble excretions are readily available for the plants, the solid faeces need to be mineralised by microorganisms in order for its nutrient content to be available for plant uptake. It is thus more challenging to control the available nutrient concentrations in aquaponics than in hydroponics. Furthermore, many factors, amongst others pH, temperature and light intensity, influence the nutrient availability and plant uptake. Until today, most studies have focused on the nitrogen and phosphorus cycles. However, to ensure good crop yields, it is necessary to provide the plants with sufficient levels of all key nutrients. It is therefore essential to better understand and control nutrient cycles in aquaponics.

Keywords Aquaponics · Nutrient cycling · Solubilisation · Microbiological processes

M. Eck · M. H. Jijakli

Integrated and Urban Plant Pathology Laboratory, Université de Liège, Agro-Bio Tech, Gembloux,, Belgium

O. Körner

Leibniz-Institute of Vegetable and Ornamental Crops (IGZ), Grossbeeren, Germany

© The Author(s) 2019 231

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