I just joined this forum to learn more about aquaponics. I am a teacher looking to build a set up for a long term project with 8th graders next year. I have done some research about this and see that tilapia are often used in the fish portion of the system. I am wondering if other aquatic vertebrates would also work, specifically turtles. I already have two red eared sliders and thier tank easily gets green with algae due to the high levels of nitrates. However, I am concerned about salmonella contaminating the entire system. Is this a valid fear or would the bacteria be filtered out through the process? If possible, I'd like to have the students eat what they grow at the end of the semester. Maybe we can grow non edible plants and then salmonella won't be an issue at all?
The reason I want to use turtles specifically is because they have outgrown the tank they are currently in. I'm trying to hug two birds with one arm, but I don't know if it will work or if it is safe. I'd love to hear from someone who is more experienced that I am with aquaponics.
From what I remember, aquatic creatures that are cold blooded don't often harbor pathogens and diseases that affect warm blooded mammals. Usually contaminations such as e.coli or salmonella occur when the food has come into contact with infected material post-harvest.
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