1Faculty of Agronomy, Vietnam National University of Agriculture, Hanoi 131000, Vietnam
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Aquaponics combines two technologies, recirculating aquaculture systems and hydroponics in a closed system. The nutrients recycled from fish tanks supply nutrients for vegetables grown in hydroponics, however in some cases, the nutrient levels may not be sufficient for the optimal growth and yield of plants. In this study, two experiments were conducted to understand the effects of supplemental organic nutrient solutions on plant growth and yield in climbing perch-water spinach aquaponics. Experiment 1 (Exp.1) was conducted to evaluate the effects of three types of leaf-based organic fertilizers on the growth and yield of water spinach, namely self-extracted organic nutrient solution (OE), and two popular commercial foliar organic fertilizers, Hydro Fulvic (OF1) and TCN HUME (OF2), with the dose of 1%. Exp.1 showed that supplementation with the self-extracted solution significantly increased the growth and yield of water spinach but did not change the quality of water spinach in terms of the Brix values and nitrate residue content compared to the control. However, the self-extracted solution showed less effectiveness than the two commercial fertilizers in this experiment. Therefore, we conducted experiment 2 (Exp.2) to determine the suitable concentration and potential use of this extract for water spinach in aquaponics. The results of Exp.2 indicated that the concentration of 2% was the most economical and effective to provide supplemental nutrients for water spinach in the climbing perch-water spinach system. The study suggests that self-extracted organic nutrient solutions can be effectively used for growing water spinach in aquaponic systems.
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