Basil and Nile tilapia Production in a Small Scale Aquaponic System

Introduction

Aquaponics combines the culture of aquatic animals and the cultivation of plants in recirculating systems, integrating aquaculture and hydroponics in a soil-less system (Racocy et al., 2004). Toxic ammonia produced by unutilised feed, fish faeces and excreted urea is oxidized by nitrifying bacteria (microbial breakdown) (mainly by ╬Łitrosomonas and Nitrobacter spp.) into vital and usable nitrate for plants (Cebron and Garnier, 2005). Plants absorb nitrate and other nutrients, permitting purified water recirculate back to fish tanks. Aquaponics promotes an innovating system as a solution to possible environmental impacts of aquaculture (Tyson et al., 2011), shortage of drinking water, climate change, loss of soil fertility and biodiversity. Aquaponic system vitality and prosperity is based on fish, plant and bacterial interactions and welfare. The interrelatedness between these are highly complex and are in direct association with water quality (Yildiz et al., 2017). Aquaponics food products are chemical-free (no use of hormones, pesticides/fungicides or antibiotics).

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