Date of Award

Spring 2019

Document Type

Poster Session

Department

Biological Sciences

Advisor

Rachel Larsen PhD

Keywords

aquaponics, filtration, microbes, efficiency

Abstract

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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