Microbial diversity in different compartments of an aquaponics system
Aquaponics is a solution for sustainable production of fish and plants in a single semi-closed system, where nutrient-rich water from the aquaculture provides nutrients for plant growth. We examined the microbial communities within an experimental aquaponics system. Whereas the fish feces contained a separate community dominated by bacteria of the genus Cetobacterium, the samples from plant roots, biofilter, and periphyton were more similar to each other, while the communities were more diverse. Detailed examination of the data gave the first indications to functional groups of organisms in the different compartments of the aquaponic system. As other nitrifiers other than members of the genus Nitrospira were only present at low numbers, it was anticipated that Nitrospirae may perform the nitrification process in the biofilm.