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Effect of a Parabolic Screen Filter on Water Quality and Production of Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) and Water Spinach (Ipomoea aquatica) in a Recirculating Raft Aquaponic System

Authors:

Jason J. Danaher ,

Auburn University, Fisheries and Allied Aquaculture Program, 203 Swingle Hall, Auburn, Alabama, 36849, US
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Charlie R. Shultz,

University of the Virgin Islands, Agricultural Experiment Station, RR 1, Box 10,000, Kingshill, United States Virgin Islands, 00850, US
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James E. Rakocy,

University of the Virgin Islands, Agricultural Experiment Station, RR 1, Box 10,000, Kingshill, United States Virgin Islands, 00850, US
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Donald S. Bailey,

University of the Virgin Islands, Agricultural Experiment Station, RR 1, Box 10,000, Kingshill, United States Virgin Islands, 00850, US
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Lasiba Knight

University of the Virgin Islands, Agricultural Experiment Station, RR 1, Box 10,000, Kingshill, United States Virgin Islands, 00850, US
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Abstract

Aquaponics is an integrated fish and plant recirculating production system. Solid fish waste must be removed from the production system to maintain optimal water quality parameters for fish and plant health. The University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) raft aquaponic system’s primary treatment device for solids removal is a cylindro-conical clarifier; however, alternative mechanical filtration devices such as a parabolic screen filter (PSF) may offer advantages. The objectives of the elevenweek experiment were to compare water quality parameters, Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) production and water spinach (Ipomoea aquatica) production in a raft aquaponic system using either a cylindroconical clarifier or parabolic screen filter for primary treatment of solids in the waste stream.

The water quality results showed no significant differences (P > 0.05) between treatments for temperature, oxygen, pH, alkalinity, EC, TAN, NO2-N and NO3-N, macronutrients and micronutrients concentrations, with the exception of copper and zinc. There was no significant difference (P > 0.05) between treatments for the total suspended solids (TSS) concentration entering either primary filtration device; however, there was a significant difference (P ≤ 0.05) between treatments for TSS concentrations exiting the primary filtration device. The PSF treatment had a significantly higher (P ≤ 0.05) TSS concentration exiting the unit and a significantly higher (P ≤ 0.05) TSS concentration in the secondary treatment device (net tank) compared to the clarifier.

There were no significant differences (P > 0.05) between treatments for Nile tilapia production, average weight, survival, or feed conversion ratio. There were no significant differences (P > 0.05) in water spinach production or plant tissue analysis between treatments. In conclusion, the PSF used in this experiment performed less effectively in removing TSS compared to the clarifier, would require more labor to clean and would not be recommended for use in a larger raft aquaponic system. In addition, water spinach assimilated dissolved fish wastes well and grew vigorously in the raft aquaponic system.

How to Cite: Danaher, J.J., Shultz, C.R., Rakocy, J.E., Bailey, D.S. and Knight, L., 2011. Effect of a Parabolic Screen Filter on Water Quality and Production of Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) and Water Spinach (Ipomoea aquatica) in a Recirculating Raft Aquaponic System. International Journal of Recirculating Aquaculture, 12(1). DOI: http://doi.org/10.21061/ijra.v12i1.1353
Published on 01 Jun 2011.
Peer Reviewed

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