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Horticulturae 2017, 3(2), 32; doi:10.3390/horticulturae3020032

Growth and Tissue Elemental Composition Response of Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) to Hydroponic and Aquaponic Water Quality Conditions

1
Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
2
Department of Horticulture, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Douglas D. Archbold
Received: 30 December 2016 / Revised: 28 April 2017 / Accepted: 5 May 2017 / Published: 9 May 2017
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Abstract

Spinach (Spinacia oleracea cv. Carmel) was grown in a conventional glass greenhouse under three different nutrient solution treatments. Lighting and temperature conditions were identical. Six growing systems were used to provide a duplicate trough system for each of these three treatments. Six trials were harvested from each system over a two month time period. Two treatments received hydroponic nutrient inputs, with one treatment at pH 7.0 (referred to as H7) and the other at pH 5.8 (H5), and the third treatment was aquaponic (A7), receiving all of its nutrients from a single fish tank with koi (Cyprinus carpio) except for chelated iron. System pH was regulated by adding K2CO3 to aquaponic systems and KOH to hydroponic systems. Comparisons made between treatments were total yield, leaf surface area, tissue elemental content, and dry weight to fresh weight ratio. Dry weight biomass yield values were not different in pairwise comparisons between treatments (A7 vs. H5: p = 0.59 fresh weight, p = 0.42 dry weight). Similarly, surface area results were not different between treatments. The important comparison was that A7 achieved the same growth as H5, the conventional pH with a complete inorganic nutrient solution, despite unbalanced and less than “ideal” nutrient concentrations in the A7 condition. View Full-Text
Keywords: hydroponics; aquaponics; spinach; pH; biomass; nutrient analysis; tissue analysis; temperature hydroponics; aquaponics; spinach; pH; biomass; nutrient analysis; tissue analysis; temperature
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Vandam, D.A.; Anderson, T.S.; de Villiers, D.; Timmons, M.B. Growth and Tissue Elemental Composition Response of Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) to Hydroponic and Aquaponic Water Quality Conditions. Horticulturae 2017, 3, 32.

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