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PostPosted: Mar 10th, '14, 15:44 
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http://www.hydroponics.com.au/aquaponics-myth-or-magic/

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PostPosted: Mar 10th, '14, 16:10 
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Myth or Magic? Neither - it's a fact.

That was my thought before I read the article. Then I read the first paragraph or two and couldn't be bothered with the rest of the hydroponic sales pitch.

Might go back to it later.

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PostPosted: Mar 10th, '14, 16:44 
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It was a good read. I didn't agree on the comment that nutrient solutions in AP are not controllable, its more so that solutions in AP need to be controlled differently because of the fish component and I believe the commercial operations out there are doing good work in this area.

I don't know much about hydro but I didn't see any reference in the article to cost of chemicals or water use/wastage.

The hydro vs AP comparison has been going since forever but a lot more aquaponic science needs to be done before it can be truly go up against each other. Even then, its a hard one to call as they are very different to each other on a market level.

It would be good to hear members view on this one. Nice thread.

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PostPosted: Mar 10th, '14, 17:01 
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I too struggled after the opening paragraphs but it was worth battling on to read it to its entirety.

I also thought it neglected to touch on the environmental impact of nutrient rich waste water being released into the environment, it began to touch on it only as far as to say it was a possible $ saving in AP not having to pay to dump it.

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PostPosted: Mar 10th, '14, 17:18 
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"The grower has very little (no) control over the nutrient content of the solution, apart from a very limited control over pH."

What a load of hogswallop

Quite a biased article in favour of you guessed it, hydroponics

I wish the author did his homework and referenced some work by UVI at least on their yields vs conventional hyrdo


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PostPosted: Mar 10th, '14, 17:25 
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"The absence of much good scientific research is apparent when one examines aquaponics."

The author really hasn't looked hard enough

"The only comparisons of conventional hydroponics and aquaponics that I am aware of are:
• by Wilson Lennard in New Zealand (see Nichols and Lennard 2010), and
• by Panatella in Italy (Panatella et al, 2012)."

Keep looking buddy, as there is more out there than that


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PostPosted: Mar 10th, '14, 17:53 
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Dr. Nicholls is a very clever man and while I do disagree with many of his points he should not be dismissed out of hand.

Rather think about why he is saying some of the things he is saying but at the same time be aware that he has spent a life time studying hydroponics.

Despite there being many studies on aquaponics according to the standards of serious rigorous scientific investigation there is remarkably little comparing AP and HP directly in side by side trials. Even the work done in Canada by Savidov and co. is based on inferred rather than direct comparisons. Not that there work is invalid but it does not meet the standard that Nicholls has set.

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PostPosted: Mar 10th, '14, 18:03 
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I did a little google work to find out more about this Dr Nichols and stumbled across this article. Apparently he was one of the founding members of the ANA (Aquaponics Network Aust).
I must say i was completely ignorant of the relationship between AP, Algae Farms and Oil for Bio Fuels and the massive $ involved. I should be growing algae not lettuce's lol.


http://www.marineteachers.org.au/files/ ... _No,_1.pdf

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PostPosted: Mar 10th, '14, 20:12 
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Mike is a valued hydro individual and I agree with Stuarts comments, his work has been very valuable and should be recognized. Is his views biased?.. maybe. Am I biased when it comes to this topic?...maybe. We all follow our passions and Im guilty of having a little dig here and there but its the discussions, science and development that keeps it so dam cool and interesting. The ever evolving world of aquaponics has much more to give and I think its these topic discussions that are well worth the effort. I can only hope that I can give something back for all I have learnt from others from both hydro, RAS and AP.

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PostPosted: Mar 10th, '14, 20:15 
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Would love to read Ryan's comments on this.


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PostPosted: Mar 10th, '14, 20:19 
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What about your thought Chris?

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PostPosted: Mar 10th, '14, 21:11 
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Charlie...you're making me read too much.lol Mr. Nichols makes some valid points, but IMO is "off base" in a few as well. I think he's accurate in is assertion that if and when AP gets an "organic certification", it would help the economics for growers. I don't agree at all about his assertion that the nutrient values and even PH can't really be controlled. As we all know, Ryan is doing studies where not only he can control the nutrient levels, but individualize levels for specific crops. His conclusion is false as well. There are people(Ryan) earning a living off AP who don't sell anything but produce and don't give tours. As I live only a few hours away for Chatterson Farms, I would love if the latter policy changed.

Very interested in the Omega studies...not sure where that will go?? I don't think tilapia are a good source of Omega 3's- wild or raised. I still have yet to eat any of my fish, although they will be on a plate before too long. Still confident in what they have eaten and not been exposed to.

Keeping in mind he was writing the article for a hydroponic magazine, his views are maybe not to be taken to hard for those involved in AP. That's my take...that and a dollar will get you a cup of coffee.


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PostPosted: Mar 11th, '14, 05:51 
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Ha, found the previous discussion.

viewtopic.php?f=13&t=19561&hilit=mike

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PostPosted: Mar 11th, '14, 07:40 
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A very good article and he made some valid points.
If AP is criticised the reaction should be to improve the system not to dismiss the comments out of hand and it should be remembered that this was about commercial application not for self use.
If you have a dirt garden you don't adopt commercial farming practice (well maybe a little bit). :)


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PostPosted: Mar 11th, '14, 07:46 
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Stuart Chignell wrote:
Ha, found the previous discussion.

viewtopic.php?f=13&t=19561&hilit=mike



LOL, already battled it out.

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