Biological Sciences: Marine Biology - MS
Research Topic: Evaluating the Toxicity of Potassium and the Ameliorating Effects of Sodium on Rainbow Trout (Oncorrhynchus mykiss) in RAS
I am evaluating the toxicity of potassium on rainbow trout (Oncorrhynchus mykiss) and whether it can be offset by maintaining an ionic balance with sodium. This research has major implications for aquaponics or the integration of recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) and hydroponics. Since sodium is phytotoxic, sodium bicarbonate cannot be used to buffer integrated systems. Instead, potassium carbonate or bicarbonate are used both to buffer pH and account for potassium limitation. The toxicity of potassium salts has been evaluated in the past on bluegill (Lepomis macrochiris) and fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) and offsetting effects of conjugate cations has been suggested. My research aims to look at the effects of potassium on a commercially viable species and to further understand the offsetting effects by looking at cation ratios.