Credit: Edwin Gomez (Colombia); Edwin_biologia@yahoo.com
Aquaponic is the integration of hydroponic plant production into recirculating aquaculture systems. These photos show an experimental project for a small-scale aquaponic system in a greenhouse in Colombia. This system is simple in regard to construction, cleaning and management. Results are encouraging towards potential applications in rural communities especially in regard to improving the nutritional status to poor families in addition to providing some cash.
In regard to fish feeding, artificial feed is used with 40% protein content in the early stage of fish growth, declining to 30% protein in the final grow-out phase.
The uncovered tank (1-m3) is the component whereas fish is grown. Common carp or ornamental fish have been evaluated in this system. The tank of fishes water is pump to two components the clarifier and mechanical filter, these allow the suspended solids removal which may affect the roots of plants. The 1-m3 bio-filter is a facility in which nitrifying bacteria transform the excess ammonia to nitrite-nitrate. The plants used the nitrate as a principal nutrient, the photos show the plants (gourmet lettuce) in floating raft system. The small-scale aquaponic have allowed a production of 28 Kg/ m3 of fish and 25-30 plants (lettuce, oregano and basil).