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GaryD

Organic Hydroponics

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Hi,

Hydroponics is usually based on the use of inorganic compounds.....but it is possible to do organic hydroponics.

In fact, the plant growing side of the average aquaponics system is organic hydroponics.

I've been researching organic hydroponics and I happened across the following on Wikipedia.....

Studies for establishing organic hydroponics have been conducted for long time. Kennedy Space Center had studied organic hydroponics for crop production in space [2].

It was necessary to develop the method to generate nitrate from organic fertilizer via ammonification and nitrification, because most of crops are nitrate-phylic but not ammonium-philic.

It is easy to generate ammonium from organic fertilizer by saprophytic microorganisms. However it was difficult to degrade organic fertilizer to nitrate efficiently because the growth of nitrifying bacteria, such as the obligate chemolithoautotrophs Nitrosomonas spp. and Nitrospira spp., is particularly inhibited by the presence of organic compounds (Jensen 1950; Quastel and Scholefield 1951; Rittenberg 1969; Smith and Hoare 1977; Krummel and Harms 1982; Takahashi et al. 1992; Stutte 1996; Xu et al. 2000; Tomiyama et al. 2001).

What that means, in simple terms (and in an aquaponics context), is that having fish poop in your grow beds is prejudicial to the nitrifying bacteria upon which the system depends.

I've been saying the same thing for almost the entire time that I've been associated with aquaponics. My understanding around biological filters is a product of my training as a wastewater treatment operator......but it's good to see that so many researchers have come to similar conclusions around organic hydroponics.....and, by extension, aquaponics.

Gary

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Glad to know the scientists, agree as well. However I'm not sure how they couldn't as this is just reasonable thinking even with a basic knowledge of nitrogen cycle. :P

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Hi Pugo,

Glad to know the scientists, agree as well.

I think the scientists have understood the nitrogen cycle for a long time now. It's only practitioners of aquarium shop voodoo (ie CHOP 2) that seem confused.

Gary

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