Date of Award

Spring 2019

Document Type

Poster Session


Biological Sciences


Rachel Larsen PhD


aquaponics, filtration, microbes, efficiency


Farming practices have always been labor intensive and required a great deal of resources including space, nutrients, heavy equipment, and a great deal care. Hydroponics sought to remedy this with its space saving, small scale-high yield strategy. However, this brought problems of a more sensitive system that requires constant testing and regulation of chemicals and minerals. The addition of an organic fertilizer from fish and filtration system comprised of a community of microbes reduces the taxing rituals of aquaponics and recategorizes the system as Aquaponics. In aquaponics, the plants receive their nitrogen from a the ammonia produced by fish in a tank. This ammonia is converted into usable nitrogen by a series of collection tanks comprised of various microorganisms. Using community genomic sequencing and chemical analysis of isolated locations throughout the aquaponics system we observed which microbes are likely to have a positive influence throughout the system and what intra-microbial challenges they face. Identifying the microbial community and its organismal elements provides for a more precise level of tuning within an aquaponics system with the goal of identifying an optimal micro-macro species relationship that offers maximum system efficiency.



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