The feasibility of using planted biofilters for purification of recirculated aquaculture water in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam was assessed. The plant trenches were able to clean tilapia aquaculture water and to maintain good water quality in the fish tanks without renewal of the water. NH4-N was removed efficiently in the plant trenches, particularly in the trenches with Canna glauca L., probably because of plant uptake and nitrification-denitrification. Plant uptake constituted 6% of N and 7% of P in the input feed. Approximately 1.0 m3 of water was needed per kg of fish produced, and 370, 97 and 2842 g fresh aboveground biomass of Ipomoea aquatica Forssk., Lactuca sativa L. and C. glauca, respectively, were produced. The leafy vegetables provide some extra income besides fish products, whereas C. glauca provides nice flowers and contributes to a significant nutrient removal with annual uptake rates of 725 kg N and 234 kg P ha-1 year-1. This research demonstrates that integrated recirculating aquaculture-hydroponics (aquaponics) systems provide significant water savings and nutrient recycling as compared with traditional fish ponds.
Aquaculture Research, 2014, Vol 45, Issue 3, p. 460-469