New Mars Forums

Official discussion forum of The Mars Society and MarsNews.com

You are not logged in.

Announcement

Announcement: We've recently made changes to our user database and have removed inactive and spam users. If you can not login, please re-register.

#1 2015-11-26 19:29:12

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,391

Crops, Aquatic

Spacenut change this if you want to.  I don't want to step on the Crops topic, because I think RobertDyck has a specific focus there in working with domesticated land plants that would go into a normal type greenhouse.

The reason I have opened this alternate topic, is that I feel that for Mars, for a number of reasons aquatic crops might work out rather well.

These typically fall into three categories.  1) Rooted and projecting above the surface of the water, necessary.  2) Floating. 3) Underwater.

So, my first plant is apparently marginally eatable, but a very robust plant that I think could do well in protected water impoundments on Mars.  I suggest that it could be intentionally domesticated to make it more palatable.

http://www.eattheweeds.com/hydrilla/

hysub2-300x200.jpg

Hydrilla

by Green Deane

in Miscellaneous, Plant Uses, Plants, Vegetable

I am often asked can we eat Hydrilla? The answer is no, and yes.

There is only one species of Hydrilla, verticillata. The Hydrilla you buy in the health food store is the same that clogs lakes around the world. Can you take it out of a lake, cook it up, and chomp it down? No… Well, I don’t know of anyone doing that. But you can buy it as a dried powder to add to soups and stews and smoothies. So what’s the difference?

Hydrilla is an Eurasian weed that entered the western hemisphere via Florida sometime in the 1950’s probably through one  aquarium dealer who imported live Hydrilla from Sri Lanka.  It was subsequently found in a Miami canal, and from there it spread.  In fact, for more than a decade no one knew it was Hydrilla. It was mistakenly called Elodea canadensis. However, within 10 years of its discovery Hydrilla became the most troublesome aquatic weed in the state.  (It can expand 1,000 percent a year grow an inch a day.) Florida currently spends about $30 million annually trying to control it.  The strain that was found in Florida was female. Twenty years later male Hydrilla was first reported in Delaware in 1976.

Since that introduction some 60 years ago Hydrilla is now found in 19 states and Washington DC, from the endotrophic waters of Maine, west to wet Washington state. Called the perfect aquatic plant it adapts to a wide variety of climates and water conditions.  Hydrilla can also reproduce four ways: rhizomes, tubers, turions (buds) and fragmentation. It, and Water Hyacinths, are the two most expensive weeds in the world. Because of the economic impact of the species there is a huge amount of information written about Hydrilla as a problem. Historical use of Hydrilla prior to it becoming a “noxious” weed is scant limited to a few references to how it was named and its use in making white sugar (more on that in a moment.)

A search of Chinese literature, for example, shows Hydrilla being cultivated for crab farming, and certain fish farming as well. They eat it. Duck like it, too, and snails. These are all foods the Chinese eat but no mentioning of eating Hydrilla directly. In the Philippines much is made of its nutritional qualities, but again no references found about eating it directly.

As for powdered hydrilla… in north Florida they raise Hydrilla in an isolated lake, sterilize it with pure water and ozone treatment, low-temperature dry it, powder it and sell it to you. The mild earthy-flavored powder is 13% calcium which some writers call the richest plant source of calcium on the planet. It’s also high in B-12 and iron. Further, Hydrilla has been investigated as possible animal fodder.  It has 16 percent more available dry matter for fodder than cattails and no bad chemicals were found in it during the examination for cattle food. In fact in one study when fed Hydrilla cows gave 20% more milk and chickens 14% more eggs, probably related to the calcium content. But what about Hydrilla as food for people?

As you know I developed and use the I.T.E.M approach to wild foods. Identification, Time of Year, Environment. M is for Method of Preparation. Here’s where the Hydrilla information trail breaks down. I’ve never found any reference in English about consumption of Hydrilla prior to the powdered form.  In theory there should be no problem with eating Hydrilla (beyond the possible problems associated with any aquatic plant such as environmental pollution and some algae.) No special processing is done to make it an edible powder. The entire plant is dried and only water removed. So why isn’t Hydrilla used as human food like a cooked green? Well… edible does not mean palatable. As Dick Deuerling used to say about wild food:  “I only eat the good stuff.”

Here’s one possible reason: The plant is tough and prickly, not as bad as many land plants but noticeably so. In fact one quick and easy way to separate it from two similar looking plants (Elodea and Egeria) is to pull Hydrilla through your hand. Edodea and Egeria will feel smooth. Hydrilla will feel harsh and scratchy. It may simply be that texture kept the plant off the dinner table, that and the fact it can grow with just 1% of sunlight. That allows Hydrilla to inhabit cold dark deep areas of lakes one might not want to bother with if there are other edible plants around.

One tentative down side is when water condition are just right (or wrong depending on perspective) there can be a blue-green algae bloom which can grow on the top leaves of Hydrilla. That cyanobacteria can produce toxic chemicals. And while that is a warning about Hydrilla is should be looked out for on every aquatic plant that one might eat (and that includes seaweed as well.) Always avoid blue-green algae.

In English most pre-1960 references to Hydrilla refer to making sugar or naming it. In sugar making a mat of Hydrilla was placed over crystallized brown sugar. Over the next few days moisture from the Hydrilla would percolate through the sugar lightening its color towards white from brown.  The whitened sugar would be scraped off and a new layer of Hydrilla added.  As for naming the plant…

Hydrilla is fairly easy. It’s from the Greek ύδωρ (EE-dor) or “hydro” in English meaning water thus referring to its water habitat. Verticillata means whorls, as in the leaves. Linnaeus himself named it Serpicula verticillata. Over the centuries it has had many different names. Hottonia serrata, Hydrilla angustifolia, Hydrilla dentata, Hydrilla ovalifolia, Hydrilla wightii, Leptanthes verticillatus, Vallisneria verticillata, and Udora verticillata. One Claude Richard (probably Louis claude Marie Richard, 1754 – 1821) came up with the genus name Hydrilla. As it was a monotypic genus — only one species in it — Linnaeus’ species name verticillata stayed. Thus in time Hydrilla verticillata was dubbed. And while in English we say high-DRILL-ah its botanical pronunciation is: HID-ril-lah ver-ti-ki-LAH-tah.

No, I have not personally tried some. When I find some clean water I will. And special thanks to “Josey” for providing some historical data. To seen an older but good video by the state of Florida on Hydrilla click here.

Green Deane’s Itemized Plant Profile: Hydrilla

IDENTIFICATION: Hydrilla is a submersed plant that can form dense mats. Its stems stems are slender, branched and up to 25 feet long. The small leaves are strap-like and pointed. They grow in whorls of four to eight around the stem. The leaf margins are distinctly saw-toothed. Hydrilla often has one or more sharp teeth along the length of the leaf mid-rib. The midribs of the leaves are reddish in color. Hydrilla produces tiny white flowers on long stalks. It also produces 1/4 inch turions at the leaf axils and tubers attached to the roots in the mud. Tubers are yellowish, potato-like, 1/2 in. long, 1/2 inch broad. They can remain viable for four years. One tuber can produce more than 6,000 new tubers. There are two kinds of Hydrilla in North America, plants with just female blossom and those with male and female blossoms. The easiest way to tell them apart is female flowers consist of three whitish sepals and three translucent petals. Male flowers have three whitish to red petals and three red or brown sepals.

TIME OF YEAR: In North America southern populations overwinter as perennials; northern populations overwinter and regrow from tubers.

ENVIROMENT: Hydrilla can grow in almost any freshwater: springs, lakes, marshes, ditches, rivers, tidal zones with 7% salinity or less. It can grow in a few inches of water, or in water more than 20 feet deep. Hydrilla can grow in low nutrient to high nutrient conditions. It is somewhat winter-hardy though its optimum growth temperature is above 68 F. As mentioned it can grow in only 1% of full sunlight.

METHOD OF PREPARATION: Dried and powdered.  Edibility of the tubers, if any, is totally unknown to me.

I have been looking into aquatic greenhouses as you know, and you raised the issue of light.  This plant can grow on as little as 1% of full sunlight.  Of course we would want much more.

Also I have been talking about the used of diving bell greenhouses in Italy filled with air where standard vegetables can be grown.  To do that however the air filled greenhouses need to be counterweighted, and the plastic will be tensioned by the air bubble seeking to get out.

In this case diving bells filled with water, placed near the surface ice will easily get to the best sunlight, and we can hope the enclosure may be heated to the optimal 68 F or higher.  (20 C or higher).  It is not that easy, as you will have to have a 70 mb air film on the top, I think minimum, so the diving bell has to hold that much differential pressure.

Blue green algae blooms are mentioned as a risk where they can attach to the crop, and are toxic, but that only occurs under certain conditions that it should be possible to avoid.

But these diving bells not being over buoyant, it will be possible to pull them down, to the floor of the lake for harvesting.

Last edited by Void (2015-11-26 19:59:08)


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

Online

#2 2019-01-18 21:09:19

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,933

Re: Crops, Aquatic

Aquaponics Basics for a Home Garden System

Aquaponics is a revolutionary and alternative way of growing food that maintains both plants and fish in one integrated system — and with no need for soil.

The fish produce waste, which is converted into fertilizer for the plants. In return, the plants filter the water for the fish, creating a self-sustaining way of both growing plants and keeping fish.

Offline

#3 2020-02-01 18:46:17

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,933

Offline

#4 2020-02-09 18:31:12

Calliban
Member
From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 417

Re: Crops, Aquatic

Soylent Green.
https://www.natureworldnews.com/article … in-air.htm

Seem to remember this being discussed before.  I wonder if we could ferment the stuff into alcohol?  Soylent whisky perhaps?


Interested in space science, engineering and technology.

Offline

#5 2020-02-09 18:42:20

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,933

Re: Crops, Aquatic

Ya logans run movie where the aged where turned into food...

Offline

#6 2020-02-10 20:43:44

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,933

Re: Crops, Aquatic

Using pipeline information

SpaceNut wrote:

The are chlorites but not much in the way of calcium...

So is the canal an open faced trench under the plastic that is stretched and hung over its length or is the over sized pipe partially filled with water solution to which the transport system floats down its path. I would think that the top 3rd of the over sized pipeline would be clear while the other portion can be normal. Hopefully the mass of the water solution could hold the waterway from float due to air pressure such that we would not need to do such heavy anchoring as a surface greenhouse would need. The clear portion would be coated to filter UV and might even have some water tubes to lower the radiation that might get through.

actually there is no need for water at all as the tunnel can be made from basalt or other cast materials to create it. This would amount to a subway for mars for that configuration due to size. One could walk, scotter ect...from location to location under protection and no space suit.

SpaceNut wrote:

Allow solar heating via heat exchanger panels on the surface and allow fish to swim in the water as in fresh and salty for ocean water and grow food in these tunnels that have light coming in through the top part of them. Solar reflect more light and line the area inside to reflect it about inside.

Offline

#7 2020-07-07 07:45:46

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,933

Re: Crops, Aquatic

What sort of plants grow in water and what are the starting requirements as it seems that a minimal conditions are required for a soil greenhouse for plants to get going. Can the out  put of oxygen into the green house from an Aqua garden assist man for building up the needed requirements for the soil greenhouse to be a workable low pressure unit.
We may not need to eat anything from the aqua garden as we are looking to create the system of life support needed for man to survive.

Offline

#8 2020-07-07 08:41:39

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,391

Re: Crops, Aquatic

Well, since nobody else has dived in, I will have a go.

Although it is probably radiation overkill, I might think to start by having a Starship embedded in the subsurface.
(See post #35 in this link): http://newmars.com/forums/viewtopic.php?id=9526&p=2

So, I am thinking of a pool of water at a higher elevation in the ship(s).  Artificial lighting, and Duckweed.  The hoped for benefits may be;
-Radiation protection.
-Aesthetic.
-Evaporation and condensation, for potable water.
-Possibly the water in the pool can be used for showers, and bathing.  Perhaps the Duckweed would absorb contaminants from the water.
-Food.

There may be a pathogen risk involved, so that has to be thought out.

While I understand that it would be a energy drain, one thing nice about "Indoor Gardening" of this sort, is that you can give the "Crop", bright days, and cloudy days, depending on how much spare electrical power is available.

From post #1 of this topic:
http://www.eattheweeds.com/hydrilla/
Quote:

Hydrilla can also reproduce four ways: rhizomes, tubers, turions (buds) and fragmentation.

So, no bees or moths required to reproduce it.


If you read through it, it can be seen to have many characteristics which may suit Martians.

It is not a domesticated plant, but I think with selective breeding and genetic engineering it's draw backs (Prickly, not a great taste), could be improved on.  I am guessing that if domesticated, it could be a main.

Most fresh water plants need to access open air.  I think this one can propagate by several methods.

Where it might be possible to create a ice covered fresh water lake, I anticipate that this could be grown inside of a transparent/translucent bag, suspended in the cold water.  It tolerates a wide range of temperatures.  Tolerates low light levels.  However it may be important to elevate the interior of the bag's temperature somewhat above that of an ice water lake.

An interesting trick could be to heat it with simple solar devices.  The profile of a fresh water lake, has the ice as lightest.  32 degF/0 degC water a bit heavier than that and 39 degF / 3.88888889 degC water the heaviest.

So, you could have the pressurized water bag near the bottom of the ice.  As heat leaked out of it, it would warm up the water, and that water would get heavy and sink to the bottom.  (Unless it gets heated above 39 degF / 3.88888889 degC.  During much of the day, and also during the night, heat from the bottom waters could be vented to the Martian sky.  Could you generate electric power that way?  If the installation is large enough.

So, this method might fit in for a "Moat-Lake" in Korolev Crater, and probably elsewhere.

For salt water there are some "Plants" in the Ocean that some people eat, and that don't flower above the water line.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edible_seaweed

Of course we can contemplate air filled underwater greenhouses of various kinds. I will bring up this again.
http://www.nemosgarden.com/

One thing I think they have not addressed yet.  Underwater Heliostats.  The Martian light is already attenuated relative to that of the Earth.
Then it will need to pass through a transparency, then a water column.  So, it may be rather useful to put a mirror below that that can sun follow, and point at the garden.  This could also be useful for the moat-lake for Korolev crater, where we might hope to simply add more fresh water to the lake from ice reserves, to compensate for sublimation of ice.

But of course it also would work for lakes that have greater surface protection than that.  The mirrors will need a good cleaning method, as critters will want to grow on them.

Done.

Last edited by Void (2020-07-07 13:44:34)


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

Online

#10 2020-07-08 16:35:30

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,933

Re: Crops, Aquatic

Sort of a continuation of the first post...

Void wrote:

And then what are the options for aquatic plants?

This is taken from Crops, Aquatic.
http://www.eattheweeds.com/hydrilla/
Quotes:

Hydrilla became the most troublesome aquatic weed in the state.  (It can expand 1,000 percent a year grow an inch a day.) Florida currently spends about $30 million annually trying to control it.  The strain that was found in Florida was female. Twenty years later male Hydrilla was first reported in Delaware in 1976.

Hydrillas roots, photo by Alison Fox
Hydrillas roots, photo by Alison Fox

Since that introduction some 60 years ago Hydrilla is now found in 19 states and Washington DC, from the endotrophic waters of Maine, west to wet Washington state. Called the perfect aquatic plant it adapts to a wide variety of climates and water conditions.  Hydrilla can also reproduce four ways: rhizomes, tubers, turions (buds) and fragmentation. It, and Water Hyacinths, are the two most expensive weeds in the world. Because of the economic impact of the species there is a huge amount of information written about Hydrilla as a problem. Historical use of Hydrilla prior to it becoming a “noxious” weed is scant limited to a few references to how it was named and its use in making white sugar (more on that in a moment.)

A search of Chinese literature, for example, shows Hydrilla being cultivated for crab farming, and certain fish farming as well. They eat it. Duck like it, too, and snails. These are all foods the Chinese eat but no mentioning of eating Hydrilla directly. In the Philippines much is made of its nutritional qualities, but again no references found about eating it directly.

The mild earthy-flavored powder is 13% calcium which some writers call the richest plant source of calcium on the planet. It’s also high in B-12 and iron. Further, Hydrilla has been investigated as possible animal fodder.  It has 16 percent more available dry matter for fodder than cattails and no bad chemicals were found in it during the examination for cattle food. In fact in one study when fed Hydrilla cows gave 20% more milk and chickens 14% more eggs, probably related to the calcium content. But what about Hydrilla as food for people?

And this one has an encouraging factor, the tolerance of cool dark waters.  But also a warning about being poisoned by blue-green algae:
Quote:

It may simply be that texture kept the plant off the dinner table, that and the fact it can grow with just 1% of sunlight. That allows Hydrilla to inhabit cold dark deep areas of lakes one might not want to bother with if there are other edible plants around.

One tentative down side is when water condition are just right (or wrong depending on perspective) there can be a blue-green algae bloom which can grow on the top leaves of Hydrilla. That cyanobacteria can produce toxic chemicals. And while that is a warning about Hydrilla is should be looked out for on every aquatic plant that one might eat (and that includes seaweed as well.) Always avoid blue-green algae.

So, for this one we don't need an air filled enclosure, or perhaps a concentrating mirror.

So, far I don't know what it's tolerance of salt is.  But it can be in a fresh water bag if necessary.

More:
https://www.lakegeorgeassociation.org/e … /hydrilla/

This sort of suggests that salt tolerance may exist:
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a … 5200004064

The video here suggests that the plant can grow in all types of water, so, I guess salt water then.
http://plants.ifas.ufl.edu/plant-direct … ticillata/

So, I am thinking that this plant will be ideal.
In fact I think that a open bottom water bag with heated water inside would work ideally, as it is likely that the plants could be continuously extracted down to a diving bell, when the bag is crowded.  Thinned out so to speak.

I think the plant could be improved as potential human food by selective breeding, and genetic engineering.  Be carful what you let loose from that on Earth.

------

Duck weed would likely grow in a heated open bag, and could be continuously harvested, but of course it needs a air pocket, and perhaps more light.

Done.

Void wrote:

Oxygen.

If Hydrilla can grow that fast, how much Oxygen?

And if people don't eat it, do other things with it.

Grow mushrooms?  There is a certain potential to perhaps engineer mushrooms to have qualities we like better.

Maybe a bit less cruelty than keeping animals.  Um....The mushroom actually lives underground.  We only eat its reproductive organs.  Same as apples so don't get grossed out.

Ferment the Hydrilla for Methane?

Maybe various things.  Feed birds that lay Eggs?

I am wondering how it comes to have Vitamin B12.  That's supposed to be from bacteria, I thought.
Nutrition:
http://www.eattheweeds.com/wp-content/u … erview.gif


Done.

Offline

#11 2020-07-08 17:15:58

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,391

Re: Crops, Aquatic

Yes Spacenut.

I am not a vegan or vegetarian, but there are reasons to drift in that direction.

Chickens have been discussed by others previously.  Eating unfertilized eggs, does not cause me any issues.

With an abundance of Hydrilla, perhaps that could be a big part of their diet.

But stepping down, to a lower level of morality, we might allow some types of critters to feed on the Hydrilla, and the chickens to eat them.

Crickets, worms?

If starvation were to loom for the humans, then the food chain could be shortened.  In Desperation, humans might eat crickets and Hydrilla meal.  But I am looking for abundance, not marginal living.

One thing about Hydrilla and Chickens to eggs.  The shells are the result of concentrating Calcium from the waters I believe.  Could be a useful source of Calcium and food.

------

A person could ask...Are you doing the Cricket a favor by offering it a temporary life?  All Crickets die, as it is.  So, nature does not seem to worry about it.

Perhaps someday we will run on electricity.  But then will the electrons be unhappy for their fate??? smile
What about photons?  Don't they have rights???

smile


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

Online

#12 2020-07-08 18:40:54

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,933

Re: Crops, Aquatic

Those chickens will need to look like this
scuba-chicken.jpg

Offline

#13 2020-07-08 18:43:13

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,391

Re: Crops, Aquatic

I did not see your post until Spacenut.  Very clever smile

------

There can be a relatively humane way to kill bugs, and meal worms.

They should quickly freeze if put in a freezer, but perhaps a timed vacuum would add to the decency.

I will imagine that most creatures do not enjoy being eaten alive.  And they would not like Acidosis.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acidosis

I understand that a buildup of CO2 is a very painful way to die.

I believe that for Apollo, if they skipped off of the atmosphere, they would not wait for Acidosis, they would vent the atmosphere at a relatively slow rate, and pass out and then die.  Explosive decompression would be very painful, so slow is the better way.

So, I presume that the way to be relatively moral would be to make the bugs and worms pass out.  And also freeze them.  Perhaps cold brine would quickly kill such small creatures, but I don't imagine they would be happy.

These things do matter to me.  I would not want to be eaten alive, have Acidosis.  Freezing is supposedly not too bad in it's last stages, but the first stages are miserable I expect.

Then excess could be stored in cold underground chambers.

Done.

Last edited by Void (2020-07-08 18:46:56)


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

Online

#14 2020-07-08 19:23:08

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,933

Re: Crops, Aquatic

Currently your topic Converting Slabs of ice into seas. Brine Resources. is more about the construction attributes and I think that I will look at other water fresh and salty that would grow when completely covered.

We have talked about a terrarium in the water for soil plants to grow in using scuba gear so lets see what else we can do in a full water environment for food growth.

1439291528313105.jpg

https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable … rden-italy

I her water from fresh and salty sources for the purpose of growing food and making radiation shielding from So here is some salt water resources that follow.

That said we can How to use seawater to grow food – in the desert

Wow a horse with no name
p06lss8c.jpg

Back to the ocean
514bPqss2CL._SX300_QL70_.jpg

List of Underwater Ocean Plants

Offline

#15 2020-07-08 20:57:49

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,391

Re: Crops, Aquatic

I think it would be exciting to have a place where some of those plants could grow.

Doing nuclear reactors, we have no season or dust storm limitations.  At the poles we have cold and water ice in abundance.

So, maybe at the bottom of a deep ice covered reservoir, a roof of stainless steel, with dimples for air bubbles and lamps.  Under that a temperate or even tropical waters depending what you want to grow.

The water and ice above that stainless steel roof might still work with penetrating sunlight, but most likely cold water.

Just a stab at it.

Done.


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

Online

#16 2020-07-09 20:15:32

Calliban
Member
From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 417

Re: Crops, Aquatic

According to this site, hydrilla is a highly nutritious superfood.
http://www.eattheweeds.com/hydrilla/

The reason it has not been eaten traditionally, is that it is spiky, with abrasive leaves that make it difficult to eat.  For direct human consumption, it is typically dried and ground into powder.  It has an earthy flavour.

I wonder if hydrilla could be mixed with flour and used to make bread? Maybe it would be useful as a thickening agent for sauces.  This is one crop that probably does not require artificial lighting, even under several metres of water in the Martian far north.  Much as wheat has become the staple of the western diet, finding it's way into most processed foods; so hydrilla will serve a similar function in the Martian diet.  If it can grow without supplemental lighting, it may be cheap enough to feed to animals on Mars.  Void's idea of using it as a source of energy for mushroom pproductions interesting.  I also like the idea of turning it into alcohol - it is 20% sugar by weight.  So we should be able to use it to make booze.

This site is full of praise for hydrilla as a human food.
http://www.thehealersjournal.com/hydrilla-powder/

However, looking at the list of nutrients and vitamins provided by just 4.75grams of powdered hydrilla, I wonder if bulk eating of this plant might overdose human beings.  Specifically, 4.75grams provides over 100% RDA of vitamin A.  This particular vitamin becomes a severe toxin if ingested in excessive quantities.  So we may find we need to limit the amount of hydrilla included in the Martian diet.

According to Wiki, long term vitamin A poisoning can occur in an adult if 25,000IUs are taken daily for a period greater than 6 months.  This is equivalent to 22grams of powdered hydrilla.  So I cannot see this being a high volume food, although it is excellent in small quantities.  The problem could be mitigated by reducing the amount of vitamin A in the hydrilla by controlled oxidation, which destroys vitamin A.
https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/ch … /vitamin-a

Last edited by Calliban (2020-07-09 20:51:16)


Interested in space science, engineering and technology.

Offline

#17 2020-07-09 21:19:02

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 18,933

Re: Crops, Aquatic

One plant that we do that with is spinach and algae but there must be others.

Offline

#18 Today 09:49:20

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,391

Re: Crops, Aquatic

I am glad that members continued with this.  It is sometimes productive to repeatedly review something already established.  I think the subconscious works on it even if you have put your mind to other things for a few days.  Then when you come back you can look at it from a different vantage point.  And then when you review it again, you may also discover details you missed.  Here is one.

http://www.eattheweeds.com/hydrilla/
Quote:

ENVIROMENT: Hydrilla can grow in almost any freshwater: springs, lakes, marshes, ditches, rivers, tidal zones with 7% salinity or less. It can grow in a few inches of water, or in water more than 20 feet deep. Hydrilla can grow in low nutrient to high nutrient conditions. It is somewhat winter-hardy though its optimum growth temperature is above 68 F. As mentioned it can grow in only 1% of full sunlight.

So, it has just some salt tolerance.  That is not a show stopper.

Calaban also identified, a potential vitamin "A" problem, but also mentioned a possible method to reduce it's content in a food processed from Hydrilla.
So, thank you.

Spacenut said this:

One plant that we do that with is spinach and algae but there must be others.

I believe that RobertDyck also has done a lot of work on low pressure farming of plants, I think Spinach.

I will briefly toss out a speculation, on farming Algae, and Hydrilla, and all water plants that do not have to emerge from the water.  I am wondering how much we can defy, the pressure limits with these.  I think Spinach, suffers from dehydration as I think Robert discussed it.
But the water plants perhaps will not so much.  However, as the pressure is dropped, you have to also drop the temperature, so generally low temperatures slow down metabolism, which is not a desire in general.

But back to Hydrilla.  I now see two main farming methods.
1) Processed sunlight, using a pressurized and warmed transparent bag.
2) Artificial lighting.

I think that for both of the above Hydrilla may be a great pick.

In the case of a pressurized bag, we want to get it as high up in the water column as possible, which means lower pressures, but I am thinking it is very likely that a plastic bag can be pressurized greater than the surrounding water.  There is little risk, as if the bag pops, then at worst you salvage what you can from the "Crop".  And with a bag, if you are working with a salty body of water, the water in the bag can be fresh.  I think that for this a minimum workable ice layer might be desirable.  Rather than ice 10 to 13 feet thick, maybe much less ice.

I am also excited about artificial lighting.  Just now I am thinking "Diving Bells".  At the bottom of the diving bell, we could have artificial lighting for plant growth.  Perhaps some ledge platforms to stand on.

Really great flexibility for use.  You could have large bags of Hydrilla growing.  You might want to promote growth with strong lighting and temperate water temperatures.  But if you wanted to use the diving bell as a swimming pool for recreation, you could push the bags out of the strongly lighted area to allow that.  Swimming would be both exercise, recreation, and a part of hygiene.  You might swim, and then have a rinse in cleaner water.  The Hydrilla should be expecting night periods without any light anyway.  You might also have floating platforms where you could grow potted vascular plants of many kinds.  In that case the Hydrilla would be below that and would use the scraps of light that would come to it. 

The Hydrilla can grow in just 1% light, so that might work.  Also, for Hydrilla, because of that you could throttle the lighting load for the Hydrilla against other power needs.

Duck weed might also be a part of this.  You could throttle it's need for light, by simply harvesting most of it when power needs dictate it be done.  Then you could keep a couple of small aquariums of it for seed.

Again with duck weed, you might have plastic bags of Hydrilla below the duck weed, to scavenge photons.  With duck weed, I guess, you could also push it into a container temporarily if you want to swim.

------

Because of the vitamin "A" problem that Calaban revealed, it might be good to try to use the Hydrilla as feed for other livestock.  We discussed Chickens and Crickets at some point.  I believe I mentioned Mushrooms


Mushrooms would be something you could grow during dust global dust storms, provided you had sufficient Oxygen reserves.  And it will beneficiate soil.

And then there might be a possibility to obtain things from the Hydrilla.  I am wondering about fiber.  Also does it have sugars?  Probably some.  Then you can use yeast perhaps to create alcohol.

And perhaps ferment Methane.

Here are some more nutritional claims: https://www.consciouslifestylestore.com … ticillata/
This does not specifically mention fiber, which is what I was looking for, but I suppose we do not want constipated Martians if we can avoid it.

Quote:

Rapidly Detoxify Your Body of Harmful Wastes and Toxins: Experience the Clarity
Hydrilla has a gentle cleansing effect on the digestive tract, removing waste buildup and toxins as ell as helping promote regular bowel movements.

This one talks about using fermented Hydrilla as fish food: http://www.ijstr.org/final-print/mar201 … Growth.pdf

Here we may have something about fiber: https://biocontrolfornature.ucr.edu/pdf … illata.pdf

That's about it for now.

Last edited by Void (Today 10:47:20)


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

Online

#19 Today 10:28:55

tahanson43206
Member
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 2,874

Re: Crops, Aquatic

For Void re #18

Bags of water with plants .... that sounds (to me at least) like something a school teacher or parent could suggest as a science experiment for young people.

I understand this is not something an adult would consider actually doing, but perhaps your vision can inspire someone to pursue the idea on behalf of young folks they might know.

In that case, can you offer any advice on what a science experiment might look like?

How would you measure the before/after variables, using affordable techniques?

(th)

Offline

#20 Today 10:38:50

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,391

Re: Crops, Aquatic

I think this might be close to what you would want:
https://biocontrolfornature.ucr.edu/pdf … illata.pdf
There is an interesting table of growth methods, and it also includes fiber.
While that might be good for digestion, I am wondering if the fiber could be extracted to make things like paper and twine, ect.

I think they want to kill Hydrilla though.

I am thinking that since Hydrilla cannot grow in sea water, it would be relatively safe to grow it in large bags of fresher water in the sea.  Bring the bag near the surface in good weather, move it down in bad weather.  If the Vitamin "A" problem can be treated, perhaps lots of hungry people could be helped.

You would want to be careful not to introduce it as a pest to various places though.

For Mars, though, I don't think we care.

I see that Spacenut has some in N.H.

Done.

Last edited by Void (Today 10:45:49)


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

Online

Board footer

Powered by FluxBB