2021 Research Needs

Hi all,

I wasn’t able to attend the breakout discussions about research. Would anyone be able to briefly summarize the takeaways here? If this thread can generate a conversation, even better!

Sean :mag_right: :fish: :seedling:

P.S. Kudos to the organizers for a stimulating event, as always!

Paul Brown said that he has a list of ideas generated through a survey he ran. Bria and Jon are working on pulling together the slide decks and recordings of the presentations to post on the Aquaponics Association website, so that list you are requesting should be coming soon.

Jennifer Wells


I’m a bit biased but i would love to see lactobacillus fleshed out more research wise along with some challenge trials with E.coli and others i truly believe its the future of food safety for aquaponics along with IMO research in aquaponics have the best value in terms of over head costs and returns on dollars spent. I think there has traditionally been a biased towards design based solutions while ignoring the microbes which have far more financial potential for monetization.


Never fear, LABs is on the list

Paul Brown

Hi Sean,

I attached the slides I was attempting to show in that panel. The takeaways were

There is a new class of young researchers around the world with an interest/focus on aquaponics

There will be others very shortly as there are numerous, high quality graduate student close to finishing their degrees

We should keep the lines of communication open between researchers and the industry

The research areas identified by the research group and members of the Association have a good deal of overlap.

This industry list of needs will be an ongoing component of the Association.

Paul B. Brown, Ph.D.

Purdue University

Department of Forestry and Natural Resources

715 West State Street

West Lafayette, IN 47907-2061


765-496-2422 (FAX)

[email protected]

(Attachment Research needs.pptx is missing)

The Association site did not accept a PowerPoint file, so I will find an alternative way to makes these available to the Association.

Paul B. Brown, Ph.D.

Purdue University

Department of Forestry and Natural Resources

715 West State Street

West Lafayette, IN 47907-2061


765-496-2422 (FAX)

[email protected]

Yes please send a PDF file (File > Export > PDF). Much safer.

Here you go everyone. Paul Brown’s slides of what we need to be doing with our lives :smiley:

Research needs.pdf (102.3 KB)

Member Suggestions

  • Nutrient databases (Open nutrient project)

  • Dietary inputs

  • Microbial ecology

  • Bacterial preservatives

  • Complete understanding of artificial ecosystems (fungi, bacteria, viruses, etc.)

  • Si/Ca/pH and shelf life of plants

  • Species combinations

  • Feed ingredients in diets

  • Feeding rates and resulting flow of nutrients

  • Comparison of inputs/outputs between aquaponics, hydroponics, aeroponics, etc.

  • Alternative water movement options - airlifts

  • Renewable energy and intermittent energy usage

  • Microbial inoculants - Lactobacillic Acid Bacteria Serum

Research Suggestions

  • Additional species combinations for both fresh- and salt/brackish water

  • Nutrient inputs and their impacts on nutritional quality of products

  • Continued improvement in recycling components, additional products from aquaponic systems, and improving sustainability. - More refined/customized ‘Economic modelings and sensitivity analysis

  • Incorporation of complementary cost-effective circular economy concepts

  • ‘Low-tech’ systems.

  • Quality of the plant products in terms of nutrition

  • Impact of coupled aquaponics on off flavor phenomenon observed in RAS systems

  • Low tech aquaponics VS high tech aquaponics

  • Aquaponics made in flow through/outside/village-level


This is great, thanks for everyone’s input and to Dr. Brown for organizing this effort.

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On point captain. It’s all about the bacteria.

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Low tech vs High tech

I do low tech. It’s basically a gravel filter and I’m growing spinach in that filter. I clean out the gravel once in 3 months - dry out that potty and refill my dutch buckets once a week. :slight_smile:

I don’t have any sensor and I do water tests when my plants tell me something is not right.

I would say this is low tech. I would love to chat with any HighTech aquaponics farm please. There’s so much to learn. Thank you.

I haven’t grown rice in this rock filter though. That I grew in DWC - and I remember the water I was losing everyday was astonishing. It was later I read about the research to make stoma cells smaller for rice plants !

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Is there an update to this yet? Are some already researching these? Would be interesting to know if there are more research areas to add as well.

Thank you so much for compiling this information on research opportunities.


Time to start researching! :slight_smile:

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