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Growing Food & Growing Industries with the miniDOT® Clear Logger

Image of the miniDOT clear logger with the words "Growing Food and Growing Industries with the miniDOT Clear Logger" with a graph that measures temperature and dissolved oxygen

From the dawn of civilization, most agricultural practices have hinged on a few simple ingredients – seed, soil, water and sunlight. This classic combination remains at the helm of food production today, but recent developments in agricultural technologies may soon see soil supplanted entirely by science. While still in their industrial infancy, fields like hydroponics and aquaculture are posed to feed future generations in the face of ever-increasing resource scarcity. Hydroponic and aquaculture farming practices are solutions rooted in sustainability, but a different type of scarcity — i.e., financial constraints – may bar small-scale farms from supporting or participating in the industries’ evolution.

The United States Department of Agriculture defines hydroponics as the technique of growing plants using a water-based nutrient solution rather than soil, whereas aquaculture generally refers to the practice of farming seafood. In both processes, the accurate measurement and management of dissolved oxygen, temperature and other attributes are essential to a crop’s success. Recently, the Aquasend team sat down with one farmer whose experience in both large-scale hydroponics and small-scale aquaculture influenced his decision to use the miniDOT® Clear Logger, which he believes has the most accurate and economical means of achieving continuous monitoring.

Clear & Compact Continuous Monitoring

In one hydroponics operation, the farmer explained that two miniDOT® Clear Loggers helped him prove a long-held suspicion of cycling inadequacies. By placing the loggers on opposite ends of a single tank, the farmer demonstrated inconsistencies in the water quality that had not been reflected by the facility’s fixed monitoring system. Another time, the farmer took advantage of the miniDOT® Clear’s compact, portable design and secured it to one of the many slow-moving rafts hosting seedlings. In doing so he managed to accurately monitor water conditions where they mattered most to the plant’s growth and further refine the facility’s production process.

Graph of miniDOT Logger temperature and dissolved oxygen

Fig. 1 – Dissolved Oxygen, Saturation and Temperature charted from logger deployment.

When the farmer began his aquaculture operation specializing in shrimp, he brought his miniDOT® Clear Loggers along. Shrimp, like most aquaculture crops, spend the entirety of their lifecycle in water; the quality of which largely dictates the length and nature of that lifecycle. Farmers seeking to raise healthy crops while also maximizing their return on investment must strike a near-perfect balance of careful management in dynamic tank environments. The farmer described the nursery stage as the most crucial point in his operation. When minutes make a world of difference and accuracy is a matter of milligrams, the miniDOT® Clear Logger bridges the accessibility gap between small farms and continuous monitoring technology to provide farmers with greater peace of mind.

The miniDOT® Clear

The miniDOT® Clear Logger’s clear plastic housing contains a real-time LCD of dissolved oxygen (DO) and temperature levels in virtually any water system. Its oxygen-sensing optode utilizes a fluorescence method to determine DO concentrations in mg/L and its custom sampling frequency can be set anywhere from once per minute to once per hour, with data recorded to the logger’s internal SD card. Powered by two AA lithium batteries for easy in-field replacement, in-house calibration supports long-term continuous deployment and minimizes downtime.

Aquasend has supported the aquaculture, hydroponics and aquaponics industries through innovative, creatively functional and durable products since 2017. Aquasend continues to advance products that are equipped to succeed in challenging water quality applications.

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