Zachary Miller- Hope
University of New England
Zach has a M.S. in marine science and is currently a lecturer in the aquaculture and aquarium science department at the University of New England. His past research has focused on the use of seaweeds in aquaculture feeds and antimicrobial properties of seaweed extracts. Most recently Zach has helped to establish two student-run RAS systems – growing rainbow trout in an aquaponics system and transitioning the adults to a fully saline system for grow out.
Mineralized fish waste solids enhanced with seaweed as a fertilizer in Aquaponics
Aquaponics is the marriage of recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) and hydroponics, a method of growing plants in a soilless medium. A focus of aquaponics production systems is to maximize the utilization of all nutrients that enter the system. Solids captured from fish waste can be aerobically digested in RAS water and reintroduced to the system to retain soluble essential vitamins and minerals. The present study investigated the addition of Sugar Kelp (Saccharina latissima) to the aerobic digestion. Preliminary results have shown improved crop growth and plant coloring fed seaweed-enhanced digestion compared to trials using solely digested solids or tap water alone. It can be hypothesized that the trace vitamins and minerals provided by the kelp replenish depleted nutrients and potentially target additional plant needs. In addition it targets another niche market for underutilized seaweed crops in the United States.