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Hydroponic systems and water management in aquaponics: a review

Published by , 16/10/2017

122 papers published between 1979 and 2017 were reviewed in order to assess the role of the design and management of the hydroponic component on the overall performance and water consumption of aquaponics systems. Although no unequivocal results were found, the nutrient film technique appears to be less efficient than medium-based or floating raft hydroponics. The best system performance, in terms of both fish and plant growth, as well as the highest nutrient removal from water, was achieved with a water flow of between 0.8 and 8.0 L min-1. Data on water consumption in aquaponics systems are scarce, and no correlation was found between the ratio of hydroponic unit surface/fish tank volume and water loss from the system. However, daily water loss was positively correlated with the hydroponic surface/fish tank volume ratio if the same experimental conditions and/or systems were compared. The type of plant species grown was found to influence daily water loss, whereas the water flow (reciprocating flood/drain cycle or constant flow) or hydroponic system type (medium-based, floating or nutrient film technique) had no effect.

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