Growth and Nutrient Removal Efficiency of Sweet Wormwood (Artemisia annua) in a Recirculating Aquaculture System for Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus)
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The maintenance of optimal water quality for fish production is one of the major challenges in aquaculture. Aquaponic systems can improve the quality of water for fish by removing the undesirable wastes and in turn produce a second marketable crop. However, there is no information on the growth and nutrient removal capability of Artemisia annua in aquaponic systems. This study evaluated the effeect of plant density on water quality, the growth of A. annua and Oreochromis niloticus in a small scale aquaponic system in Kenya. The aquaponic system consisted of three treatments representing different plant densities (D1: 48 plants/m2, D2: 24 plants/m2 and D3:0 plants/m2). The high plant density system contributed significantly (p < 0.05) to the removal of all nutrients. The removal efficiency of ammonia was significantly higher in D1 (64.1 14.7%) than in D2 (44.5 6.8%) and D3 (38.0 12.1%). Nitrates and nitrites were inconsistent, whereas phosphorus increased gradually in all treatments. The productivity of plants was higher in D1 than D2. Fish growth rates were significantly higher in D1 (0.35 0.03 g/d) and D2 (0.32 0.02 g/d) than in D3 (0.22 0.04 g/d). The results show that A. annua can be cultivated in aquaponic systems due to its nitrogen removal capabilities.
- Natural Sciences