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Aquaponics development: new nutritional challenges for fish and crustaceans

Aquaponics has been the subject of numerous developments in recent years in France and worldwide. A recent symposium dedicated to innovation in aquaponics (APIVA) was held in France at the end of June. This event provided aquaculture professionals with the opportunity to go over recent innovations and to review the pending technical, legislative and economic issues raised by the development of aquaponics systems. Among these, nutrition and fish feed represent a central theme on which AQUA TECHNA wants to conduct its research.

Aquaponics relies on good balance between fish, plants and bacteria

Aquaponics wastes goldfish plantsAquaponics refers to a technique that combines aquaculture and plant cultivation (fruits, vegetables, herbs ...). Fish such as tilapia, trout, perch or ornamental fish can actually be reared in such environments. Aquaponics also allows for high yields and production of quality fruits and vegetables in a small space. AQUA TECHNA has recently attended the symposium dedicated to aquaponics aquaculture. This seminar took place in Guérande (France) as part of the APIVA project (aquaponics, plant innovation and aquaculture). These two days of technical exchanges provided participants with an overview of recent developments in this field.

Aquaponics relies on a good balance between three interrelated components: animals (fish or crustaceans), plants and bacteria. In this context, plants feed on fish and crustaceans’ metabolic effluents in order to grow. In other words, nitrogen wastes excreted by fish are transformed by microorganisms into food for plants. This conversion allows for optimal use of aquaculture inputs and minimal production wastes.

Nutrition and fish feed: key components of aquaponics

Aquaponics plants microorganisms substratesAquaponics methods require a thorough command of aquaculture and horticulture. In such contexts, it is strictly prohibited to use antibiotics or weed killers as these products are a major threat to maintaining the other compartments of the system healthy.

Animal feed constitute a major input of aquaponics. The composition of feed must indeed meet the nutritional requirements of fish and animals reared in these systems. This component must also fit in well with the other compartments of the system. For instance the formulation of certain feed can be, in some cases, adjusted.

Beyond feed formulation, the composition of vitamins premixes, particularly of minerals, must be thoroughly reflected. This alternative works as an interesting way to better match animal residues to plant requirements.


 

Are you looking for technical assistance regarding fish and crustaceans nutrition in aquaponics? Do you need specific vitamin premixes and minerals in order to manufacture your own feed? For further information, please contact us!

 

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