The NCSUS aquaponic system

The North Carolina State University System dates back from the 1980s. At this point inside the university`s grounds, and aqua-vegeculture system was established. It was constructed under a greenhouse floor by using tilapia fish.

The basic idea was to redirect the effluent from fish towards the sand-cultured hydroponic vegetable that were located at the ground level of the greenhouse. After watering the beds, the water was redirected back into the fish barrels.

The person who put the basis of this system was called McMurtry. Based on his research we can point out the benefits of such a system. By using aquaculture in combination with the vegetable production, water and plant nutrients were used wisely. Furthermore, because of this there was observed a reduction on the expenses, which transformed this system in an alternative to the isolation systems.

The sand beds with vegetables were called reciprocating biofilters. This was due to the fact that those were constantly submerged and drained with the water from the fish barrels. The process focused on providing the nutrients needed for the crops to grow healthy. Those reciprocating biofilters turned out to be the best way of equally distribute the nutrients.

The North Carolina State University System underlined the fact that there was a constant need of removing waste that was in excess in order to keep the fish production working. In other words, the water recirculation was meant to filter and refresh the environment for the fish. Both plants and fish benefit from this technique.

There were several researches that revolved around the fish growth rate and the quality of their water. The result was that everything depends on the amount of fish that is put in the water because this determines the amount of waste produced. Anyway, for controlling the water, it was recommended to adapt the fish density and feed process to the time required for a plant to grow.

All this info comes from 1980s and the research was stopped there due to the fact that it reached the point where it was ready for use. Anyway, it is an interesting aquaponic greenhouse system because it has a unique design. By placing one level low the fish tank, you imitate as accurate as possible the natural habitat. This being said, fish species are prone to grow healthier. Adding up, the crops planted in sand benefit from all the nutrients required and it was proved those had an interesting growing rate.

aquaculture, aquaponics