Paul Nickerson

Summer Recap: Aquaponics at Messiah College

In Aquaponics on August 25, 2012 at 8:56 pm

As students begin to gather again on campus, it is time to get the system up and running at full capacity so we can began determining crop output per unit fish. Over the summer the fish were fed a diet consisting entirely of sunflower press cake. All of the tilapia are still healthy, some are soon to be dinner.

During the summer the Gro-tech gutter system was taken offline for a short amount of time to be cleaned and re-caulked. It is recently been planted with Thai Basil seedlings. Small pieces of paper towel were used as wicks to keep the seeds moist until they developed sufficient root systems. This was done to combat the drying problem we faced last semester when planting lettuce in the system. (I’ll explain more about the wicks in another post).

Over the course of the summer we also noticed an increase in the amount of solid waste in the water. This is likely due to the nature of the press cake we are feeding the fish. We recently figured out a way to filter this out (which again, I will elaborate on at another time). We are also currently working on building a view box that will allow us to survey the bottom of the fish tank to determine how much food is not being consumed, but is building up in the tank.



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