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Nitrogen Budget in Integrated Aquaculture

When giving thought to designing your integrated agri-aquaculture farm it helps to think of your inputs like money and break up your nutrient into a budget.  This will help you define and refine your inputs and output predictions.  As Nitrogen is the primary nutrient produced though feeding fish in aquaculture we will whip up a “spending budget” for that nutrient to give us a better idea how efficient our system will be at utilizing that Nitrogen input and producing a product output. Setting out a nitrogen budget is much like doing business budgets, how much money you have less how much it costs to create the product you sell.  (COGS).  However there are just a few more assumptions we have to make and the three big assumption are below: Fish assimilation is a very loose number and will vary from species to species and culture conditions and feed type will have an effect on the amount of nitrogen they use for growth and energy and how much they will excrete. Passive denitrification (losses to gas) will vary from design to to design.  Limiting these losses to gas is the primary goal in the design phase to be sure there are limited anaerobic zones in pipe work and in process vessels such as filters. Nitrogen in cell growth is only a temporary loss as in most cases when the microflora die off, that nitrogen consumed will be reprocessed into the system for use again.  However there will be losses which are difficult to measure. This chart below will give you an indication of the various production and losses within a given system and environment.  These help predict the level of plant growth you can expect in an integrated system. As we progress, we will make available to our members a series of calculators that will help with these predictions in your systems.  The chart above is a great place to start your calculations in the mean time.  We may also go through a webinar to discuss this particular topic in the near future. Any questions you may have at this point in time, please drop them below in the comments. Regards Paul…

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