Fish production, biofiltration, and hydroponics were linked in a closed system of recirculating water. Fish tanks were stocked with channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) and the fish were fed daily. A revolving plate-type biofilter was used. Three field varieties of tomatoes (Lycopericon esculentum) were planted in outdoor hydroponic tanks. Three production units were operated during the 1976 growing season. All significant water quality variables were monitored. Performance was evaluated in terms of water quality, vegetative and fruit production of the tomatoes, and growth of the fish. Fish survival was high, but growth was below maximum because the temperature in the system was below optimum. The average loading rate of fish for the three units at harvest was 31.5 kg/unit, 489 g/tomato plant, 1.9 kg/m2 of hydroponic area, and 691 g/m2 of biofilter surface. Excellent water quality was maintained. The biofilter satisfactorily converted the waste to nitrate-N and phosphate-P and the hydroponic system removed these end products from the water. Nutrients were periodically added to supplement the nutrients from fish waste. Tomato yield was approximately twice that either demonstrated or expected in field production of the same varieties, and the hydroponically produced tomatoes were of better quality than the same varieties grown under field conditions.
© by the American Fisheries Society 1978
Published in Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, Vol. 107, Issue 1 (January 1978) at doi: 10.1577/1548-8659(1978)107<92:UOHTMQ>2.0.CO;2