Phosphorus Dynamics, Mass Balance and Mineralization in Aquaponics Systems
Authorda Silva Cerozi, Brunno
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis study involves tracing inputs, partitioning, and outputs of phosphorus (P) through an aquaponics system. A mathematical model was developed to describe the dynamics of phosphorus in an aquaponics nutrient solution, and to maximize P use efficiency and minimize P waste. We assessed the influence of pH on the availability and speciation of phosphorus in an aquaponics nutrient solution. By using Visual MINTEQ, a freeware chemical equilibrium model for the calculation of element speciation, solubility equilibria, and sorption for natural waters, it was discovered that high pH values favor the formation of calcium phosphate complexes, decreasing the concentration of free phosphorus in aquaponics nutrient solutions. In addition, the mineralization of organic phosphorus in aquaponics systems was evaluated using treatments with phytase supplementation to fish diets, and incorporation of a microbial inoculant in the aquaponics nutrient solution. Overall, dietary phytase and microorganisms promoted phosphorus mineralization and enhanced phosphorus utilization in aquaponics systems. In the end, we conclude that aquaponics systems can keep the same growth performance and quality of vegetable crops grown in conventional systems when the availability and dynamics of phosphorus are well managed.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Soil, Water & Environmental Science