Research Article Open Access

Use of Barley for the Purification of Aquaculture Wastewater in a Hydroponics System

A.M. Snow and A.E. Ghaly


Barley was examined for its ability to remove nutrients from aquaculture wastewater. The effects of seed sterilization using ethanol and bleach and seed density on germination and plant growth were investigated. Surface sterilization of barley seeds had a negative impact on germination. Increasing the ethanol concentration and/or the bleach concentration reduced the germination percentage. Barley seeds were first germinated in water in the hydroponics system. The seedlings then received wastewater from an aquaculture system stocked with Arctic charr. During the experiment, the crops grew rapidly and fairly uniformly and showed no signs of mineral deficiency or disease. The average crop height at harvest was 25.5 cm and the yield varied from 25 to 59 t haˉ1, depending on the seed density. The hydroponically grown barley was able to significantly reduce the pollution load of the aquaculture wastewater. The TS, COD, NH4+-N, NO2--N, NO3--N, and PO43--P reductions ranged from 52.7 to 60.5%, from 72.9 to 83.1%, from 76.0 to 76.0%, from 97.6 to 99.2%, from 76.9 to 81.6% and from 87.1 to 95.1%, respectively. However, the effluent produced from the hydroponics system had slightly higher levels of TS (420-485 mg Lˉ1) than the 480 mg Lˉ1 recommended for aquatic animals. A sedimentation/filtration unit should be added to the hydroponics system.

American Journal of Environmental Sciences
Volume 4 No. 2, 2008, 89-102


Published On: 30 April 2008

How to Cite: Snow, A. & Ghaly, A. (2008). Use of Barley for the Purification of Aquaculture Wastewater in a Hydroponics System. American Journal of Environmental Sciences, 4(2), 89-102.

  • 42 Citations



  • Aquaculture
  • wastewater
  • hydroponics
  • barley
  • sterilization
  • forage
  • pollution