In the Journal, “Aquaponics: Toward a Sustainable Water-Based Production System”, researchers monitored plant growth performances of lettuce exposed to hydroponic, aquaponic, and complemented aquaponic solutions. Their aim was to determine if a complemented aquaponic solution produced a higher yield than and a more fruitful alternative to hydroponics or conventional aquaponic systems.

When the lettuce was exposed to the three elements, hydroponics and aquaponics had an equal plant growth of (p > 0.05), but the complemented aquaponic solution had a growth rate of (p ≤ 0.05), an increase of 39%.

Increases in plant under complimented aquaponic solutions growth suggest hidden nutrient deficiencies in the plant, preventing maximum production.

To identify nutrient requirements, we begin by conducting a water quality analysis and plant sap analysis. Using a data consultant such as AquaBuddy,  we then interpret the health of your system by comparing believed target values within the water column to the plant sap in young and old leaves. Comparing these three data points, we can determine the efficiency of uptake of the nutrients and how they are deposited throughout the plant, allowing us to identify hidden nutrient deficiencies and then adjust our target rates in the water column by supplementing the nutrients required for optimal growth.

By viewing the graph below, we see that in order to create a complemented aquaponic solution on a 20,000 sq/ft scale, the cost is $0.07 per sq/ft, theoretically yielding an increase of 39%, resulting in a cumulative profit increase of 38.4%

The study’s conclusion suggests a notably higher lettuce yield when treated with a complimented aquaponic solution. This finding helps dismantle hydroponics’ reputation as a more productive, higher yield producing grow method, meaning that aquaponics could outperform hydroponics when nutrients are appropriately administered.

To read the full journal, click here.



Recent Post

The Future Starts Now

Interested in working together? Please fill out this brief survey. We would love to speak with you!
ConnectLearn More