Tilapia and tomatoes farmed together in a sustainable setting

argylesock says… Here’s an interesting idea. Tilapia (Oreochromis spp.) is a popular farmed fish in the States, and it could catch on here in Europe too. I don’t quite understand the mention of ‘chemical removal’ to get rid of ammonia. Which chemicals? Anyway, I suppose that’s where the nitrate comes from – a valuable by-product indeed. In case you don’t know: ammonia and nitrate are compounds of nitrogen. Nitrogen is essential for making proteins. So all organisms need nitrogen. That’s why crops are sometimes fertilised with nitrate, and ruminant livestock are sometimes fed ammonia.

The Coastal House

fis.com reports: 

The Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries in Berlin is growing tomatoes and fish together, since it has been found that dirty water from the fish tanks can provide nutrients to the tomato plants. The goal is to grow vegetables and farm fish in zero emission conditions.

A few hundred tilapia are being raised in a dozen fish tanks in a greenhouse together with numerous tomato plants. The temperature is kept at 27 degrees Celsius.

The fish are kept humanely, says Werner Kloas, founder of the greenhouse: each tank contains just one school of fish, which is a similar density to that found in their natural habitat. And the tomatoes are planted in mineral wool instead of soil.

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About argylesock

I wrote a PhD about veterinary parasitology so that's the starting point for this blog. But I'm now branching out into other areas of biology and into popular science writing. I'll write here about science that happens in landscapes, particularly farmland, and about science involving interspecific interactions. Datasets and statistics get my attention. Exactly where this blog will lead? That's a journey that I'm on and I hope you'll come with me.
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5 Responses to Tilapia and tomatoes farmed together in a sustainable setting

  1. EqFe says:

    The Maya integrated raising fish among their veggies as do rice farmers just a brilliant idea especially with a fish that grows as fast as tilapia.

  2. Eqfe says:

    I think that we have discussed the fact the Tilapia is a fish that has been subject to a great deal of selective breeding. I first encountered in in Fordham Univeristy in 1976 in a similar setup as this. The veggies were fertilized with animal manure from the Bronx Zoo, which was a next door neighbor to Fordham. The problem with Tilapia then was that although it grew fast, it was a fish two small to filet. Now Tilapia provides nice size filets.

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