Spearmint (Mentha spicata) cultivation in decoupled aquaponics with three hydro-components (grow pipes, raft, gravel) and african catfish (clarias gariepinus) production in northern Germany

Ulrich Knaus, Julia Zimmermann, Samuel Appelbaum, Harry W. Palm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Mint (Mentha spicata) was cultivated in different hydroponic components: grow pipes, a raft and an ebb-and-flood gravel substrate system irrigated with aquaculture effluents from intensive African catfish (Clarias gariepinus) production under decoupled aquaponic conditions in northern Germany. The spearmint grew well and plant heights above ground were not significantly different between the gravel (57.7 ± 13.1 cm), raft (58.0 ± 17.7 cm) and grow pipe components (63.6 ± 9.9 cm). Root lengths and root fresh weights were two-fold and four-fold higher in raft (64.3 ± 20.5 cm; 42.8 ± 29.9 g) and grow pipes (59.4 ± 15.2 cm; 41.3 ± 25.7 g) compared with gravel substrate (29.7 ± 7.8 cm; 9.4 ± 9.4 g; raft = grow pipes > gravel). Spearmint leaf number was significantly higher in the grow pipes (770.0 ± 224.4) than in the gravel substrate (499.8 ± 228.4) with intermediate values in the raft. Significantly highest mean fresh biomass was found in the raft (1275.6 ± 33.4 g), followed by grow pipes (1042.0 ± 35.8 g) and gravel substrate (686.3 ± 98.2 g; raft > grow pipes > gravel). M. spicata, under aquaponics, grows best in grow pipe and raft components. An increase in pipe diameter for the grow pipes and a reduction in the channel height for the raft components could optimize aquaponic culture conditions for both industrial production and the hobby sector in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Article number305
JournalSustainability
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2022

Keywords

  • African catfish
  • Aquaponics
  • Floating raft
  • Gravel substrate
  • Grow pipes
  • Hydroponics
  • Spearmint

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