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Irises for bioremediation (poop beast)

 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 20474
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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From acres usa magazine:

Scientists from the Agricultural Research Service lab at Tifton, Geogia, are trying to find a way to filter nutrients out of a fishery's wastewater so that the water can be returned to ponds for reuse.  The wastewater is pumped into 340-gallon tanks, each of which has a 10-foot-square floating mat of nutrient-sucking vegetation.  Of the 12 plant species being tested (including bermuda grass, bulrushes, canna lillies and bamboo), the nutrient hungry iris is the best performer so far.  The plant material can be harvested as needed and tested for nutrient content.  It can then be transplanted or used as energy-producing feedstock or compost.



 
rose macaskie
Posts: 2134
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i always wonder if some deserts aren't poor in nutrients because i know htat places that lack them become barren so redistribution of nutrients, manures north south in the northern hemisphere could be a good idea, but expensive. like the desert in texas of the extreme desert forum, could have got that bare from over pasturising that has a more dramatic effect where there is less water and a there fore more instable system could be greatly bettered with nutrients. You would have to make sure it wasn't to salty before adding more salty prodcuts to it.
  national geografic program on chinese giant gerbals says they stroe vegetable matter uns¡der ground that woild be another thing that was important in deserts burying vegetable matter out of the suns reach so it benefited the soil and plants more . do prairie dogs or other american animals do this. agri rose macaskie. 
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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do you know what kind of iris they are..i have several types that i grow here..and am going to be dividing several of them..many of them are planted on the sides of our drainfield slope..i hope to move a lot of them to the edges of our pond...and if they are good filters..i might put them on the south side..where there would be more pollutants coming from the ROAD side of our property in run off in the spring.

i have lots of siberian iris and i think they would do well as they love wet areas..i also have lots of other kinds..
 
Daniel Zimmermann
Posts: 121
Location: Sacramento
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The plant material can be harvested as needed and tested for nutrient content.  It can then be transplanted or used as energy-producing feedstock or compost.


Given a choice I want a plant I too can eat.
 
Max Kennedy
Posts: 480
Location: Kirkland Lake, Ontario, Canada
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Antibubba wrote:
Given a choice I want a plant I too can eat.


Many edible plants have been raised using aquaponics.  Some of the more nutrient intense are   
    *  tomatoes
    * peppers
    * cucumbers
    * beans
    * peas
    * squash

Most leafy vegetables such as lettuce, bok choy, watercress and chives have also been successful but are not as efficient at removing nutrients.  The Iris's are primarily looked at for their ability to clean the water quickly.  If you have the space for either long travel of the water so it passes many plants or small flows such that residence time is increased you can grow just about anything this way.
 
Dave Miller
pollinator
Posts: 416
Location: Zone 8b: SW Washington
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There is one iris that is invasive in the PNW - Yellow Flag Iris (Iris pseudacorus). 



See http://www.nwcb.wa.gov/weed_list/Class_C_weeds.htm

Please do not plant this along lakes, streams or rivers - the seeds & rhizomes will be carried downstream, eventually crowding out the native streambank vegetation, likely leading to scenes like this:
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