It is upon request that I am posting about the possibility of saltwater aquaponics. It is fully possible, in theory to have a salt water aquaponics system comprised of edible salt water plants and nice coastal saltwater fish. I will stay on the plant base since it is harder to think of plants to deal with salt water. This system could be adopted for use for ocean, sea, and raft survival.
First, I know that some people have had to add salt (NaCl) to their “non-saltwater” aquaponics systems to add sodium (Na+) to their plants because the plants have a Potassium (K) deficiency. In theory you could add salt to your aquaponics system in a potassium deficient system and the plants could use this in it stead. According to a Plant Physiology Companion written by someone at UCLA, you can replace up to 90% of a plants Potassium with Sodium without any less growth! A theory is that the chlorine (Cl-) can combine to create Cl2 gas which will just drift off. Interesting…
I will refocus on saltwater plants, since I think it should be easier to work with, but the above thoughts were important, if someone wanted to do some tinkering around with it.
As for the saltwater plants, it seems to reason that saltwater plants would work very well in a saltwater aquaponics system with nice, delicious, high dollar fish. And if you live on the coast, you may be able to harness the trace minerals and such in saltwater to a saltwater grow bed, and not even worry about the fish. Saltwater plants can be halophytes. Halophytes thrive in saltwater by making themselves saltier that the water around them, forcing freshwater into them.
All of the plants I will list should be researched further by you before you decide to use them. I found many plants, but some did not do well with too much sunlight, so I had to keep them off of this list since it is for a specific purpose. Let’s get started on the plants:
Cordgrass looks like wheat and was used by the Cocopah Indians of the Baja California / Mexico region for years. It is the most abundant grass of the East US shoreline and reaches a height of 10 feet. It is believed that the Indians ground the grass into meal, like corn. It has potential as an edible plant.
Orach is a leafy green plant that is kind of like salad greens that is extremely common on the East US shore as well.
Salicornia bigelovii is a halophyte that can be used to generate oil like sunflower oil.
Spiny Sea Plant (Acanthophora) is 20-30 cm tall and greenish, golden, or purplish brown. Stiff and brittle. It can be eaten fresh or cooked. It helps lower blood cholesterol and prevent blood clots.
Supreme Limu (Aspargopsis) looks like a bunch of tiny pink trees. It is bitter and peppery. It is usually soaked in freshwater overnight to reduce bitterness and salted. Then eaten raw or cooked.
Large wire weed (Callophycus) stiff and rubbery branches look like a feather and are dark red. Cook or dry and rehydrate. It can make jelly that is a mild laxative.
Sea Grapes and Green Sea Feathers (Caulerpa): Sea Grapes are bright green and has grape like branchlets which are tasty. Sea Feathers pretty much describes the shape. They are yellow green in color. Many are eaten raw as well as cooked. Caulerpas reduce high blood pressure and high in many vitamins (A,B1, C, folic acid). Some species of Caulerpa may cause an allergic reaction (dizziness, numbness at tip of tongue, difficulty in breathing) so be careful.
Curly Fishing Line (Chaetomorpha) Looks like tangled green fishing line. It is edible and has vitamins A and C. It is eaten raw in salads.
Reindeer Lime (Codium): There are different types, but it can be eaten raw or cooked and has lots of vitamin A. One type combats onset of tumours and some help remove intestinal worms.
Papery Sea Bubble (Colpomenia) looks a little bumpy, and is goldan or yellow brown. It is hollow. Sea Bubble is eaten fresh or sun dried and added to salads, stir fry or soups.
These are just a few of the plants that I have found. There are more, but a google search could help you find those easy enough. If you REALLY want, you can check out this gem of a book that I found.
As I write tips for your adventures and hear about cool gear, I will let you know all about it!