Aquaponics farming-techniquc
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Aquaponics farming-techniquc

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Aquaponics farming-techniquc Aquaponics farming-techniquc Document Transcript

  • Effect of Aquaponics system on yield of Polyhouse cucumber (Multistar Variety) Ranajeet Shanbhag, Vigyan Ashram, Pabal Dist.Pune , e-mail : Ranajeetpallavi@gmail.com Abstract: A Vigyan ashram, in India, is exploring aquaponics agriculture in Indian conditions mainly to increase productivity of agriculture per unit area of land with less water. An experimental study was conducted to study “Effect of Aquaponics on polyhouse cucumber cultivation” during Feb - May 2013 in Vigyan ashram, Pabal. Trial showed that aquaponics treatment produced 18.25 %, more yield over control treatment. This was observed that aquaponics treatment produced higher average number of fruits per plant as compare to control plot. Fish growth in the system was satisfactory with 25 gm weight gain per month. This experiment showed the potential of aquaponics system in India. It also brings out some more research issues viz selection of proper soil media in aquaponics, meeting nutrient deficiency from organic source, deciding water flow rate for different crops etc that need to work on. Key words: Aquponics , polyhouse cultivation, Ammonia(NH4) , Nitrite(NO2) , Nitrate(NO3). Introduction: Aquaponics is, farming technique in which water from aquaculture is used to grow crops and extra water returns back to the fish tank. When this water circulated near root zone, nitrogen fixing bacteria (manly nitrosomonas and nitrobactor) convert ammonia (NH4) into nitrite (NO2) and then to nitrate (NO3) form. By these, plants get nutrients as fertilizer and nitrates been less toxic to fish; fish grows better than normal aqua farming. By this integration of fish farming and agriculture, one can get maximum output. Aquaponics cycle.
  • Research conducted at University of Florida showed that cucumber crop can be successfully adopted with aquaponics system. This is estimated that 45.300 Kg (100 pound) of fish will produce sufficient nitrogen for 4050 lettuce or 540 tomato plants when they are fed with 3 % of their body weight. (Richard Tysno, University of Florida – 2013). Vigyan ashram has done several experiment trials on terrace garden by coupling it with aquarium system on small scale (Photo attached) in 2011-12 (www.wordpress.com/vigyanashram ). These trials showed that vegetable like spinach, tomatos, brinjal (egg plant), and vine crops can be successfully grown in aquaponics system under Indian conditions in per unit area with less expenses on plant nutrients. Aquaponics terrace gardening model Farmers in Maharashtra state are constructing farm tank to store rain water, therefore it is thought of installing an integrated model of farm tank and polyhouse farming. Objective of study: 1. To test feasibility of aquaponics (fish + crop production) in farm tank and polyhouse farming. 2. To compare performance of crop of aquaponics system with control crop. Problem and Innovation: Vigyan ashram has farm tank of 40 lac lit capacity (55*30*5 meter) , lined with plastic paper to prevent percolation of water. This is estimated that there are more than 35000 such farm tanks in Maharashtra state so far. Rain water or excess water from water source is generally filled in such farm tanks and can be used for agriculture purpose, in water deficient period. Following are few problems with such farm tanks as –   It requires large area so land under farm tanks cannot be used for agriculture purpose. For small famers this is major loss, as big part of their land become unproductive. As these farm tanks are lined with plastic paper, ammonia (NH4) and other salts contents in water increases, which limits fish farming with normal aquaculture system. It is thought that fish can be grown in to such farm tanks in combination with aquaponics system. To reduce ammonia generated in farm tank, water is supplied to crops in polyhouse. The excess water is
  • again collected and returned to farm tank. Crop growing beds in polyhouse system will convert ammonia in to nitrite / nitrate and therefore water in the farm tank remains suitable for fish farming. Experiment: Experiment was designed with 2 set of treatments as aquaponics plot and control plot. For aquaponics treatment plants were supplied water from plastic paper lined farm tank of approximately 90000 lit (3190.00 Ft3) capacity and containing 12 Kg of fish. This water was pumped from fish tank and after filtration (disc filter) given to planting bed through in-line drip system. Excess water from aquaponics beds was collected through drainage line fixed to each bed and sent back to fish tank. Whereas for control treatment normal water (without fish), was supplied separately. Cucumber seedlings (Multistar Variety) were planted in 22 * 12 M polyhouse at spacing of 2 * 1 ft. Seedlings planted in plastic beds (troughs) with drainage facility. As growing media soil and FYM combination was used @ 3:1 ratio. In the past, researcher tried different variety of fish like Rohu ( Labeo rohita) , Mrigal carp (Cirrhinus mrigala), Pangasius Hypothalamus in aquaponics. By trial & error method, Pangasius breed of fish was found most suitable for aquaponics. Therefore it is decided to use the same in this experiment. Fish was regularly fed with fish feed with 32 % protein (Approx) @ 2 % of their weight. Apart from initially applied FYM, plants were not given any organic / in-organic fertilizers. Water & soil analysis was done periodically for testing Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate and Dissolved oxygen levels etc. Diagram - Experimental design - aquaponics
  • Results and Discussion: Cucumber yield: Aquaponics treatment showed beneficial effect on vegetative growth and total yield of cucumber crop as compare to control treatment. Total number of cucumbers per plant and total yield per plant was significantly more in aquaponics treatment than control. Table 1 revealed that total yield of aquaponics treatment was 177.20 Kg as compare to 149.84 Kg of control treatment, which was 18.25 % more than control. This was also found that, initial vegetative growth, number of flowers were at par in aquaponics and control treatment but in latter stages control treatment yield reduced with higher percentage of mortality (Graph I). Table 1: Yield of cucumber for Aquaponics and control treatment Harvesting kg /row Date 21.03.13 27.03.13 30.03.13 7.04.13 11.04.13 Row's 17.04.13 21.04.13 28.04.13 8.05.13 18.05.13 27.05.13 Total Aquaponics A 3.12 5.072 0.595 2.52 2.136 1.236 4.592 2.098 0.826 0.902 5.072 28.169 B 1.933 5.678 2.671 3.826 0.853 4.707 1.078 3.95 1.449 0.664 5.678 32.487 C 0.66 4.184 2.034 4.227 0.558 5.236 4.47 3.256 1.983 1.991 4.184 32.783 D 1.215 4.845 2.08 2.741 1.497 4.347 2.248 3.188 0.706 2.34 4.845 30.052 E 0.631 4.991 3.241 2.761 1.718 4.973 1.678 2.848 1.656 2.258 4.991 31.746 F 0.763 4.872 3.444 2.688 2.882 3.691 3.046 1.856 1.987 2.981 4.872 33.082 G 0.795 5.602 3.959 4.662 3.364 2.92 3.8 1.682 2.87 1.106 5.602 36.362 Total 9.12 35.24 18.02 23.43 13.01 27.11 20.91 18.88 11.48 12.24 35.24 177.20 Control H 1.207 4.105 4.536 4.798 2.251 3.418 2.735 1.354 0.645 0.236 4.105 29.39 I 1.192 4.088 2.262 2.585 4.147 0.75 1.671 1.456 0.106 1.642 4.088 23.9865 J 1.227 1 5.55 2.453 3.442 1.404 2.471 0.548 1.1 0.869 0.8 20.864 K 1.409 6.15 3.183 5.229 2 1.852 1.021 0.695 0 0.089 6.15 27.778 L 0.918 1.505 4.534 4.021 2.185 1.588 2.722 2.002 0.215 0.263 1.505 21.458 M 0.543 1.839 2.825 2.089 2.071 1.354 0.772 1.686 0.07 0.279 1.839 15.367 N 0.292 1.12 1.994 1.432 0.907 1.213 2.4 0.317 0 0.198 1.12 10.993 Total 6.79 19.81 24.88 22.61 17.00 11.58 13.79 8.06 2.14 3.58 19.61 149.84 Graph- I: Yield per row of Aquaponics and control treatment Yield per row (Kg) Yeild comparision 40.00 35.00 30.00 25.00 20.00 15.00 10.00 5.00 0.00 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Aquaponics 28.17 32.78 32.49 30.05 31.75 33.08 36.36 Control 29.39 23.99 20.86 27.78 21.46 15.37 10.993
  • Effect of aquaponic treatment on number of fruits (average) harvested per plants, also shown significant difference between two treatments. Table 2 shows that, aquaponics treatment has yielded 9.3 fruits per plant where as in control treatment it was 7.7 fruits / plant. Graph 2 shows that numbers of fruits were significantly more in all rows over a period of harvesting. Table 2: Number of fruits harvested per plant Number of fruits harvested per plant Number of Plants 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Rows 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 Total Average Aquaponics A 19 7 16 9 14 8 7 9 7 8 3 12 3 10 7 6 6 8 8 10 15 192 9.1 B 11 15 11 6 6 8 10 9 8 6 17 11 8 10 8 18 9 15 4 12 6 208 9.9 C 19 16 7 16 24 19 17 20 11 7 5 10 5 6 8 5 6 5 6 10 17 239 11.4 D 2 12 9 9 6 6 7 6 14 10 7 3 9 7 9 9 5 13 8 4 9 164 7.8 E 9 9 11 6 11 9 4 2 9 8 9 7 10 3 7 9 10 12 6 6 6 4 11 178 7.7 F 13 16 12 15 8 12 9 9 10 7 9 7 6 7 10 7 6 9 12 3 9 5 1 9 211 8.8 G 11 7 9 11 9 8 9 8 10 21 16 13 9 11 11 6 9 8 11 6 6 15 10 19 253 10.5 0 9.3 Control H 8 7 7 14 8 12 9 6 8 10 13 11 8 9 10 13 13 10 11 9 10 7 4 217 9.4 I 5 4 4 5 3 5 6 5 3 5 4 7 7 10 8 7 10 14 12 12 9 14 7 166 7.2 J 10 2 5 9 7 11 9 5 4 8 3 9 6 6 12 9 10 9 8 5 9 4 8 176 7.3 K 9 7 8 7 12 13 9 8 13 15 8 11 8 8 4 1 13 4 7 5 6 5 181 8.2 L 12 10 7 9 11 11 8 10 14 11 5 6 6 12 9 15 1 5 7 7 4 4 194 8.1 M 11 9 5 8 6 7 6 5 10 4 5 11 4 10 1 8 2 1 2 115 6.1 N 10 5 6 10 2 9 9 8 9 7 6 7 5 8 5 88 7.3 7.7 Graph 2: Average number of fruits per plant per row Fruits / Plant 12.0 10.0 8.0 6.0 4.0 2.0 0.0 1 2 3 Aquaponics 4 5 Control 6 7
  • Fish Growth: During trial fish very high fish mortality was observes, which was mainly because of fluctuating water dissolved oxygen levels and high NH4 levels. But fish growth was satisfactory and grown up @ 25 gm / month during 4 months of trial (Table 4). Table 3: Fish growth record Fish added Survival after 4 months Mortalit y 100 30 Initial average wt (Gm) 70% 2 After 4 month average Wt (Gm) Wt gain / month (Gm) Initial average length(Cm) After 4 month average Length (Cm) Length gain / month (Cm) 103 25.25 6 23 4 Remark Very High mortality but Satisfactory growth Difficulties faced: During this trial following were the important difficulties observed as –     High water & soil EC – Water EC @ 1.70 S/cm2 and soil EC 1.57 S/cm2 was observed which was very high for cucumber crop, this might have affected over all nutrient mobility. The trial was conducted in summer season and higher temperature during cucumber growth(@ 45 C), which resulted in higher percentage of fruit drop, fungal disease and mite attack. Low water circulation rate and high fish mortality - In-line drip irrigation system used for system with discharge rate of 4 lit / hr. This rate might be insufficient for proper completing aquaponics cycle. Nutrient deficiency – This was found that in the fruiting stage nutrient deficiency signs of micronutrients especially boron was predominantly observed. Percentage of incidence was high in control plot as compare to aquaponics. Summary: Trial conducted on cucumber crop showed that, aquaponics bed produced significantly more yield as compare to control beds. The results revealed that, when farm tank water having fish was circulated as irrigation water for plants, nitrogen and other nutrients from fish waste can be efficiently used as plant fertilizer. This system not only helps to produce (crop + fish yield) more yield per unit area but also can be efficiently used in water scarcity area. Selection of proper growing bed with drainage system, growing media with proper irrigation method and selection of fish species as per water quality would be important criteria while adopting aquaponics system under Indian context. As in aquaponics water and nutrients are recycled within close system, it can help farmers to achieve maximum production per unit area of their field with lower input cost. Acknowledgement: We are very thankful to Department of Science & Technology (SEED Division) and Mr. Diamond meghaji for their support and guidance for carrying out this experiment.
  • Plastic bed (Troughs with drainage system) Cucumber plantation ( 1 month old) Cucumber plantation (2 month old) Cucumber plantation ( Aquaponics Vs Control ) Pangasius Fish growth after 4 months Pangasius Fish growth after 4 months.