Aquaculture and Hydroponics

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Examining the Beneficial Symbiotic Relationship Between Aquaculture and Hydroponics:

Examining the Beneficial Symbiotic Relationship Between Aquaculture and Hydroponics A. Hopkins (BO)-Botany Page 1

Table of Contents:

Table of Contents Title………………………………………………………………….p.1 Problem……………………………………………………………p.3 Purpose……………………………………………………………p.3 Hypothesis……………………………………………………….p.4 Materials………………………………………………………….p.5 Overview Picture and Video……………………..……..p.6-7 Procedures, Summary..…………………………………...p.8 Sample Size and Trials………………………………………p.9-11 Procedures, Details………………………………………….p.12-24 Data…………………………………………………………………p.25-46 Conclusion……………………………………………………….p.47 2

Problem:

Problem What is the effect of using waste produced by different species of tropical and coldwater (freshwater) fish on the growth of plants in an aquaponics environment? The purpose of the experiment is to determine if the different type of fish vary in the plant production. 3 Purpose

Hypothesis:

Hypothesis If the nutrients, the plant growth and productivity are related to the species of tropical and coldwater fish used in an aquaponics system, then changing the species of fish inhabiting the aquaponics system will change the nutrients in the waste water and the amount of growth and productivity of the plants. 4

Materials:

Materials Six (6) aquariums 18.9 liter aquarium Hood and lighting Aquarium gravel Decoration (Rocks, Plants) Filtration and Aeration Pump Thermometer Net Water Test Kit Water Conditioner Fish Food(s) Power Strip Six (6) Grow Beds Plastic container 15 cm tall and 20 x 20 cm wide 2 cm diameter plastic drain tube Drill with drill bits. Silicone Caulk Grow bed stand Small (20mm) Gravel Seeds for each type of plant Lettuce Peas Spinach Rye Grass Garden bean 5 Six (6) Pump Systems Flexible plastic tubing Water pump Timer Fluorescent Light

Complete Aquaponics Systems:

Complete Aquaponics Systems 6

The System:

The System 7

Summary of Procedures:

Summary of Procedures There are an extreme amount of precise steps for this project. The summary of the procedures includes: Setting up your aquariums. Setting up your grow-beds (the area in which the plants are growing in). Setting up your pump system for the cycle of the plants and the fish. Providing the necessities for the fish(feeding the fish, testing water quality, changing intolerable fish water, checking temperature, et cetera). Last but not least, measuring the grow-beds. 8 Click Here to Aquarium Assembly

Discussion of Sample Size and Trials:

Discussion of Sample Size and Trials I plan to have one trial in my experiment. I plan to have sample size of five different species of fish and four types of plants. Each species of fish will be housed in their own aquarium. Each aquarium will be attached to a grow bed. Each grow bed will contain the five types of plants. This provides the experiment six water quality analysis samples. This provides the experiment twenty-five plant growth and productivity test series. 9

Variables:

Variables Independent Variable The independent variable in this experiment is the species of tropical & coldwater fish used to provide the waste water which will be provided to the plants for nutrition. Dependent Variable The dependent variables in this experiment are the nutrients in the waste water and the plant growth and plant productivity of the plants using the waste water. 10

Control and Constants:

Control and Constants Control Group The control group will be a grow bed with all four plants. The grow bed will not be attached to an aquarium. The grow bed will be provided plain tap water instead of waste water. Constants The constants in the experiment include the fish food. All fish will be fed the same food at the same feeding cycle. All grow beds will be provided the same amount of light and volume of waste water. All five aquaponic systems will be built to the same design. 11

Procedures:

Procedures Assemble the Aquariums Repeat the following for six tanks of fish. One tank will contain no fish. The sixth “no fish” tank is the control. Thoroughly wash the aquarium gravel, rocks, and ornaments. To wash the gravel, put it in a colander over a plastic pan or bucket and add water. The gravel should be stirred and then drained. When the water stays clear after stirring and is free of debris, the gravel is clean. Adding Water - Fill the aquarium approximately one-third full. Pour the room temperature water onto a plate or saucer sitting on the gravel so it will not disturb the gravel. Add one teaspoon of water conditioner per 37.8 liters of water. Connecting Air Lines - Connect the air line tubing from the air pump to any outlets located inside the aquarium, such as undergravel filters, air stones, or decorations. 12 Click Here to Aquarium Assembly

Procedures (cont’d):

Procedures (cont’d) Assemble the Aquariums Decoration - Decorate the aquarium with rocks, ornaments and plastic plants. These should be arranged in such a way that the equipment will be concealed or at least will not detract from the appearance of the aquarium. Add the rest of the water - Fill the aquarium to near the top. Leave some air space between the water and the cover. Pour the water in such a way that you do not disturb the gravel. Filter, Thermometer and Heater - Fill the outside filters with filter materials, locate them according to the manufacturer instructions and make certain the siphon is free of air. Secure the heater as directed by the manufacturer’s instructions and place the thermometer as far away from the heater as possible. Make sure you can easily read the thermometer. 13 Click Here to Aquarium Assembly

Procedures (cont’d):

Procedures (cont’d) Assemble the Aquariums Starting Aquarium Equipment - Plug in your air pump and power filter. Check the air outlets and adjust the settings. Make certain that water is flowing properly through the power filter. Adjust the thermostatic heater to the proper temperature, checking periodically. Wait until the temperature stabilizes. Adjust the heater as appropriate to stabilize the temperature. Important: Do not switch on the heater when it is not immersed in water in the tank. The heating element can malfunction and overheat and the glass tube can shatter if placed in water while hot. Check the Conditions and Temperature After a Few Hours Adding Fish to the Aquarium - The fish will arrive from the vendor in plastic bags. Immediately float the bags in the aquarium for 15 minutes. This allows the water temperature in the bag to slowly match the water temperature in the aquarium. DO NOT pour the water from the bag into your aquarium, as the water may contain some contaminants that you don't want in your tank. Rather, over a bucket or a sink, pour the fish into a net. Then immediately place the fish into your aquarium. 14 Click Here to Aquarium Assembly

Aquariums:

Aquariums 15 Click Here to Grow-Bed Assembly

Procedures (cont’d):

Procedures (cont’d) First Feeding and Control - It is advisable not to feed the fish until they have adapted themselves to their new environment (1 to 2 days). Watch your fish closely. If they are hiding in corners, "standing around”, or showing pale colors, it is possible that something is out of order. Recheck the following: Is the temperature correct? Was the water too fresh? Are the lights and color of the gravel too light? Does the decoration offer enough hiding places for the fish? Are the fish healthy? 16

Procedures (cont’d):

Procedures (cont’d) Assemble the Grow Beds Repeat the following for six grow beds Drill a 2 cm hole in one side of the plastic container. The hold should be bottom of the container. Insert the drain pipe into the hole. Caulk around the drain pipe and hole. Place the container on a stand next to the aquarium. The drain pipe should drain into the top of the aquarium. Insert gravel into the plastic container to a depth of 10 cm. Plant seeds in the gravel. The seeds should be planted such that each plant fits in a quarter section of the container. 17 Click Here to Grow-Bed Assembly

Grow-Bed:

Grow-Bed 18 Click Here to Pump System Assembly

Procedures (cont’d):

Procedures (cont’d) Assemble the Aquaponic Pump Systems Connect flexible tubing between water pump and aquarium. Connect flexible tubing between water pump and grow bed. Plug electric cord from pump the wall. 19

Pump System:

Pump System Water Pump Grow-Bed Tank Tube Grow-Bed Tube 20

Procedures (cont’d):

Procedures (cont’d) Daily Operations Check that all the fishes are present and in good condition. Make sure that the water temperature is correct. Feed the fish once per day. Detailed procedures for the amount to feed are included with the food supply and provided by the vendor at the time of purchase of the fish. Those procedures will be included here after purchasing the food and fish. Cycle the water through the grow-beds using the pump system. Daily Measurements Plant Growth Measure the height of the plants Observe color of the plants 21

Procedures (cont’d):

Procedures (cont’d) Weekly Operations Remove any dead plant leaves or material. Prune back any fast growing plants in the tank. Siphon off any detritus from the tank floor Test the water quality with the master test kit. Detailed procedures for testing the water quality are included with the test kit. Those procedures will be included here after purchasing the test kit. Weekly Measurements Water Quality (Ammonia, Nitrates, Nitrites, pH, General Water Hardness and Carbonate Water Hardness) 22

Plant Productivity :

Plant Productivity 23

Procedures (cont’d):

Procedures (cont’d) Analysis and Conclusions Develop graphs and tables of the data for comparison, Write conclusions and recommendations. Compare the hypothesis to the conclusion. 24

Data Week 1 Day 1 (Measurements in cm):

Data Week 1 Day 1 (Measurements in cm) Tank Garden Bean Pea Spinach Lettuce Control 9.5, 9.1, 3.6 - - 2.0, 2.2 Barb - 2.8 - 2.9 Molly - 0.4 - 3.1 Goldfish - 1.1 - 0.2 Guppy - - - 1.2, 0.9 Tetra - 0.8 - - Each plant size is measured, multiple numbers in a cell indicates size of each plant 25

Week 1 Day 1:

Week 1 Day 1 Only the largest plant is graphed 26

Data Week 1 Day 2 (Measurements in cm):

Data Week 1 Day 2 (Measurements in cm) Tank Garden Bean Pea Spinach Lettuce Control 21.3, 24.4, 5.6 - 2.8 3.1, 2,9, 1. Barb - 5.1, 2.6, 0.6 - 1.4 0.6, 3.6 Molly - 2.6, 4.4 - 3.9 Goldfish - 3.6, 4.5 - 2.2, 1.2 Guppy 4.9, 4.2 2.6, 1.9, 4 0,4, 1.1 3, 2.8 Tetra - 2.9, 4.1 0.8 - 27

Week 1 Day 2:

Week 1 Day 2 Only the largest plant is graphed 28

Data Week 1 Day 3 (Measurements in cm):

Data Week 1 Day 3 (Measurements in cm) Tank Garden Bean Pea Spinach Lettuce Control 26.6, 31.7, 8.3 - 2.1, 3.1 3.7, 3, 1.3 Barb - 6.4, 2.2, 0.8 - 1.4, 3.5, 2.3, .3 Molly - 5.1, 7.5 - 3.8 Goldfish - 6, 5.3 - 2.1, 1.5 Guppy 14.1, 11.6 5.1, 5.2, 6 3.1, 2.4, 0.6 1.2, 2.9, 2.8 Tetra - 6, 4.1 - - 29

Week 1 Day 3:

Week 1 Day 3 Only the largest plant is graphed 30

Water Quality Analysis (10/15/10):

Water Quality Analysis (10/15/10) Fish Ammonia ppm (mg/L) General Hardness ppm (mg/L) Carbonate Hardness ppm (mg/L) pH Nitrite ppm (mg/L) Nitrate ppm (mg/L) Neon 0.5 30 120 8 0 0 Guppy 0.5 30 180 8 0 0 Goldfish 0.5 30 180 8 0 0 Molly 1.0 30 120 8 0 0 Barb 1.0 30 120 6 0 0 31 All Water Quality Elements are Excellent.

Water Quality Analysis (10/27/10):

Water Quality Analysis (10/27/10) Fish Ammonia ppm (mg/L) General Hardness ppm (mg/L) Carbonate Hardness ppm (mg/L) pH Nitrite ppm (mg/L) Nitrate ppm (mg/L) Neon 0 30 180 6.5 10 160 Guppy 0.5 30 180 7.5 10 160 Goldfish 0 30 180 7.5 10 200 Molly 0 0 120 7.5 10 160 Barb 0 0 120 7.0 10 80 32 All Water Quality Elements are Superior. The nitrogen cycle is progress, improving the quality of the water.

Water Quality Analysis (10/31/10):

Water Quality Analysis (10/31/10) Fish Ammonia ppm (mg/L) General Hardness ppm (mg/L) Carbonate Hardness ppm (mg/L) pH Nitrite ppm (mg/L) Nitrate ppm (mg/L) Neon 0 0 120 7.5 10 80 Guppy 0 30 180 8.0 10 80 Goldfish 0 0 80 7.0 10 160 Molly 0 0 80 8.0 10 80 Barb 0 30 120 7.5 5 40 Plants planted on this day 33 All Water Quality Elements are Good.

Water Quality Analysis (11/11/10):

Water Quality Analysis (11/11/10) Fish Ammonia ppm (mg/L) General Hardness ppm (mg/L) Carbonate Hardness ppm (mg/L) pH Nitrite ppm (mg/L) Nitrate ppm (mg/L) Neon 0 0 80 6.5 1 40 Guppy 0 30 40 7.5 3 40 Goldfish 0 0 80 7.0 5 80 Molly 0 30 120 7.0 5 80 Barb 0 0 80 7.0 10 80 Control 0 0 80 7.5 0 0 34 All Water Quality Elements are Superior. Plants are 11 days old.

Before and After: Ammonia:

Before and After: Ammonia Perfect 35

Before and After: Ammonia:

Before and After: Ammonia The change between when the plants were planted and when the plants were growing was tremendous in the fact that the plants did not add any ammonia, though that it stayed the same. The matter of the change was excellent. 36

Before and After: General Hardness:

Before and After: General Hardness 37

Before and After: General Hardness:

Before and After: General Hardness The general hardness didn’t change much. The Barb tank lost all general hardness after the plants were planted. The Molly tank gained 30ppm (mg/L) general hardness after the plants were planted. 38

Before and After: Carbonate Hardness:

Before and After: Carbonate Hardness 39

Before and After: Carbonate Hardness:

Before and After: Carbonate Hardness The Goldfish tank showed no change with the addition on plants. The Molly tank showed a rise in carbonate hardness. All other fish tanks showed improved carbonate hardness. With the Guppy tank improving about 80%. 40

Before and After: pH:

Before and After: pH 41

Before and After: pH:

Before and After: pH Except Goldfish, all tanks showed a decrease in pH. The Goldfish tank did not change. The Neon tank went slightly basic (less than 7). 42

Before and After: Nitrite:

Before and After: Nitrite 43

Before and After: Nitrite:

Before and After: Nitrite The nitrite level went down significantly, except the Barb tank. The Barb tank’s nitrite level nearly doubled. 44

Before and After: Nitrate:

Before and After: Nitrate 45

Before and After: Nitrate:

Before and After: Nitrate Each tank saw a 50% reduction in nitrate level except the Molly and Barbs. The Molly tank made no change. The Barb tank increased by 100%. 46

Conclusion:

Conclusion To an extent my hypothesis was correct – changing the fish type changed the plant growth and plant productivity. However All of the tanks produced some excellent growth for different plant types. None of the tanks produced excellent results for all of the plant types. Changing the species of the fish changed the plant growth and plant productivity differently with different plant types. It seems some plants prefer different types fish and all plants like the fish waste. 47

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