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aquaponics

 
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ceti331



Joined: 27 Aug 2011
Posts: 304

PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:37 pm    Post subject: aquaponics Reply with quote

Aquaponics - apparently this idea is to cycle nutrients between hydroponics & fish farm.
i'm skeptical it could help much, but I haven't researched much...

anyone got any opinions or info on how usefull it might be ?

how different is it from cycling human 'fertilizer' into hydroponics, if its' about plant-animal symbiosis. or how different is it from catching fish that exist in symbiosis with marine plants. or eating plankton as predicted in Soylent Green Smile

My main conviction is 'peak oil will cause population crash due to food shortages' - easy for me to beleive because i think of energy & food as interchangeable. i want to make sure I understand all alternatives to our current systems
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kenneal - lagger
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Joined: 20 Sep 2006
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Location: Newbury, Berkshire

PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aquaponics require the pumping of large quantities of water around the place so this will become increasingly uneconomic as fuel prices rise: same goes for multi storey food farming. Healthy plants require a wide range of micro nutrients and I'm not sure that we have enough knowledge to provide a plant with these artificially.

It's my health and that of my family and I will make the decisions on that matter. My decision is to grow as much of our own food as possible in as organic a way as possible. Others can make up their own mind.
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It is very, very, very serious indeed. This is the big one!" Professor Tim Lang, APPGOPO, 25/03/08. And he was talking about food, not oil or the economy!
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ceti331



Joined: 27 Aug 2011
Posts: 304

PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kenneal wrote:
same goes for multi storey food farming.


I've always thought this was just balmy. whats the supposed advantage, given that there's only so much sunlight coming in? trees grow tall to out-compete eachother, but with agri we flatten. the floors of the towers would shadow eachother.

so are the calculations that make people say 'aquaponics!' skewed by fossil-fueled conditions?

Any links or posts debunking these two ideas are of great interest to me. (IMO, you can't improve much on plants, really, our modern techniques are just ways of using fossil-fuel energy)
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vtsnowedin



Joined: 07 Jan 2011
Posts: 2401
Location: New England ,Chelsea Vermont

PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ceti331 wrote:
[(IMO, you can't improve much on plants, really, our modern techniques are just ways of using fossil-fuel energy)
A little bit better then that I think. The Egyptians brought water from the Nile to dessert land and did quite well with it for centuries. No fossil fuel there. Understanding what a plant requires and making sure it lacks for nothing is the recipe to high yields. Using fossil fuels to provide nutrients in the form of natural gas derived fertilizer or water pumped from deep wells using Diesel engines is of course converting oil to food but using knowledge to provide plants with the water ,nutrients and sunlight they need is not necessarily tied to fossil fuel. Aquaponics is possibly a way to optimise what we know with what space and resources are available. Being in water all the time should check off that requirement and adding the fertilizer needed based on a chemical analysis of the water should be a precise and efficient task. Providing a matrix to hold the plants as a substitute to the soil that normally does that job is probably the weak link and as you have said above there is only so much sunlight falling on any given location. Assuming your pumping the water with solar powered pumps that would conveniently work best when the plants were in sunshine there is a possible higher net profit from a aquaponics set up vs. the same ground planted traditionally but it would take case studies to prove or disprove that.
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kenneal - lagger
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Joined: 20 Sep 2006
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Location: Newbury, Berkshire

PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2011 3:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ceti331 wrote:
kenneal wrote:
same goes for multi storey food farming.


I've always thought this was just balmy. whats the supposed advantage, given that there's only so much sunlight coming in? trees grow tall to out-compete eachother, but with agri we flatten. the floors of the towers would shadow eachother.


They would be providing artificial light as well: more fossil fuelled power.
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It is very, very, very serious indeed. This is the big one!" Professor Tim Lang, APPGOPO, 25/03/08. And he was talking about food, not oil or the economy!
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CountingDown



Joined: 23 Aug 2008
Posts: 447
Location: Adrift in the UK

PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have one of the largest domestic Aquaponics systems in the UK, capable of holding 100kg of fish at a time. Designed properly, a system such as this uses less than 1kWh of electricity a day, and produces a huge amount of veg (we have a 14'x28' polytunnel for the veg.

More details available on the blog.

More coherent answer after I've had a bit more sleep!
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Mark



Joined: 13 Dec 2007
Posts: 615
Location: NW England

PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

andrew-l wrote:
We have one of the largest domestic Aquaponics systems in the UK, capable of holding 100kg of fish at a time. Designed properly, a system such as this uses less than 1kWh of electricity a day, and produces a huge amount of veg (we have a 14'x28' polytunnel for the veg.


Andrew has kindly shown me round - very impressive it is too Wink
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ceti331



Joined: 27 Aug 2011
Posts: 304

PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the extra info, all very interesting & i'd like to know more..

ok, so you claim we might be able to provide more precise nutrients for our manipulated organisms (agriculture) than our already artificial context of farms. (i.e. plants evolved for a specific nutrient mix that their natural habitat provided).

and the claim is aquaponics is engineering a better symbiosis between the fish & plants?

I'm still skeptical, e.g. how different could it be to feeding on marine ecosystems (fishing & eating seaweed).. or what about crop-rotation & alternately using land as pasture (plant-animal symbiosis) isn't that what the nutrients are mostly about. also "humanure" instead of FF fertilizers

how much of being able to setup aquaponics system itself (piping water around .. ) is down to the fossil-fuel age.
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