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#1 2005-03-19 15:29:05

Tb0ne
Banned
From: Vancouver, British Columbia, C
Registered: 2005-01-30
Posts: 15

Re: Protien Sources for First Colonies - An idea

[color=#000000:post_uid0]I've read many times that there will be either a strong lack or complete shortage of Protien sources (from animals) in the first Martian Colonies.

My idea is to drill a series of very deep and fairly wide holes into the Martian ground. These holes then would be lined with a layer of material to keep them seperated from the "dirt". Then a building would be built around the holes so that early colonist could access them without space suits.
These holes would then be filled with water and be used like giant Aquariums to grow fish and other types of sea life.

I lack the scientific background to know if such a thing would work, so I'm asking if anyone here could answer such a question.[/color:post_uid0]

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#2 2005-03-20 01:02:33

el scorcho
Member
From: Charlottesville, VA
Registered: 2002-11-01
Posts: 61

Re: Protien Sources for First Colonies - An idea

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Hi TbOne!

I'm not an engineer (yet), but there doesn't seem to be any problem with building something along those lines. Finding the protein, however, may be another story. Part of the "triangle trade" between Earth, Mars, and perhaps the Belt will be of viable protein and nitrate sources to the red planet. Earthly "protein farmers" may breed large numbers of fish or cattle and export either the animals themselves, their embryos, or gametes from animal "donors" for breeding on Mars.

The problem with sending embryos is that they need protein to build new tissue, and since there is no protein on Mars, it has to come from somewhere. If you already know this next part, then I apologize, but protein is made up of amino acids, which are made up partially of ammonia. So...

An ammonia-rich asteroid could be mined for its ammonia, which could be shipped to labs on Mars. There, it could be made into amino acids, which could be used to manufacture synthetic protein.

So the short answer is that such an aquarium-like structure would be buildable, but finding the fish might be an issue.

I'm just going by what i know, so if I'm just way off, someone please let me know. smile[/color:post_uid0]


"In the beginning, the Universe was created. This made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move."

-Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

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#3 2005-03-20 11:12:25

srmeaney
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From: 18 tiwi gdns rd, TIWI NT 0810
Registered: 2005-03-18
Posts: 976

Re: Protien Sources for First Colonies - An idea

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Yes it is possible. A few problems to overcome though.

1. Water pressure in the tube will be lower due to the difference in gravity. this means that water freezes at a much higher temperature than on earth.

2. Surrounding pressures by very cold permafrost glacier that you will probably be living on covers most of the planet Mars. Warm water will disapate heat into the ground. This means the ground is activly cooling your fish-well.

3. Because of the absorbtion of all this cold energy by the fish-well, The inside of the building is going to get very cold So you will need to wear a space suit after all.

4. Fish are only going to feed within a certain temperature range. If you cant achieve that window of opportunity, you are going to wind up with dead fish and no breeding cycle for replenishment.

5. Fish of given species live within certain depth ranges because the water pressure at those depths is critical for their survival.

6. You must provide Oxygen replenishment for your water. Fish, despite thought to the contrary do require a little bit of Oxygen in their Nutrient solution.

If you are going to dig deep holes on Mars to breed fish, it must be to look for geothermal energy. Heat energy is the only thing that will keep your colony alive.

-from alternate post site-[/color:post_uid0]

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#4 2005-04-22 00:06:09

Tb0ne
Banned
From: Vancouver, British Columbia, C
Registered: 2005-01-30
Posts: 15

Re: Protien Sources for First Colonies - An idea

[color=#000000:post_uid0]The type of fish that are commonly "farmed" this way are called Tilapia. They are a fast growing (and i think fast breeding?) type of fish from Africa, although I think there are varieties that can live in colder water.

This "pond" in the First Colony would be sealed from the Martian ground/soil by a thick layer of material (I'm no engineer so I don't know what would be best), probably with piping within its structure to distribute heat throughout the lining and keep the fish pond/well at the desired warmth (The water temp must not go below 50º F). The desired tempurature would be between 82º and 86º F.

As I imagine the first Martian Colony's will run off some sort of Nuclear Power, the power to run this facility would not be a problem.

The first steps would be obtain the fastest growing, fastest breeding and easiest growing type of Tilapia, and then through genentic engineering these attributes would be further increased. Then through the advice of Tilapia aquafarmers (which currently exist in fairly large numbers) a perfect diet could be designed to feed these fish when on Mars.

Ideally some sort of cheap "fish feed" would also be shipped from Earth (when other shipments are coming) to help feed the fish at first. Another important point to remember is these type of fish can grow in Rice fields, if there is enough water and once they reach around 6 inches, can be harvested and eaten. This would further increase the amount of food available to the colonists.

According to my research so far, they eat mostly fresh water plants, so another pond would be constructed (which need not be as warm) where these plants could be grown and be used to help feed the fish.

As the Colony would grow larger and as the food supply became more established to the point where there was a surplus, then I think we would then see the introduction first land animals to use for food. I'm guessing the first type would be birds, such as a genetically engineered variety of chicken. Then probably followed by goats and sheep, but that wouldn't be possible until very large areas of land could be put under greenhouse more easily.

P.S. I only say a Genetically engineer variety of Tilapia because this "type" would NEVER be coming back to Earth and probably would never released into the Martian environment once its Terraformed.

This is what they look like:
http://www.thaifishingguide.com/images....pia.jpg

This is a Tilapia farm pond:
http://ag.arizona.edu/azaqua....ond.JPG

Some information on the Species:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tilapia[/color:post_uid0]

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#5 2005-04-27 11:03:47

CanalBuilder
Member
From: Edinburgh, Scotland
Registered: 2005-04-07
Posts: 13

Re: Protien Sources for First Colonies - An idea

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Just a few quick points.

Proteins don't have to come from animals, they just taste better that way.

After a journey lasting several months, there will be large quantities of human waste available. This can be composted, mixed with courser material and used as a growing medium/fertilizer.

Crops can be grown to feed the crew and any animals they have. This, of course leads to the production of more waste products.

Instead of having fish and plants in separate tanks, keep them in the same tank. Fertilizer will need to be added to maintain the mass balance.

All the elements needed to make life are available on Mars, it's "just" a matter of getting them in the right place in the right form. e.g mars has nitrogen and hydrogen the components of ammonia.

This brings us to the whole subject of terraforming.

Cheers,

Ed[/color:post_uid0]


third star on the right and straight on til morning

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#6 2005-04-28 04:48:38

srmeaney
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From: 18 tiwi gdns rd, TIWI NT 0810
Registered: 2005-03-18
Posts: 976

Re: Protien Sources for First Colonies - An idea

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Fish, Mushrooms and Snails...With Steak and a selection of name brand Veggies six months from the freezer. Plus lots and lots of imported rice. Thus we only have to worry about food poisoning from the local produce.[/color:post_uid0]

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#7 2005-04-29 04:01:21

bdm
Banned
From: Australia
Registered: 2005-03-24
Posts: 8

Re: Protien Sources for First Colonies - An idea

[color=#000000:post_uid0]I think the early colonists will have to forgo animal protein for the most part. A vegetarian lifestyle would have the protein that is needed.

The colonists would need to fix nitrogen so it can be assimilated into proteins. The growing of legumes (along with their symbiotic nitrogen-fixing bacteria) would provide an efficient and natural method of converting gaseous nitrogen into protein.

Mars may be short of the nitrogen that is needed, I don't know for sure. Nitrogen can be obtained from the outer solar system. Titan has gaseous nitrogen in its atmosphere, and Triton has nitrogen geysers. The smaller ice moons of Saturn may have ammonia that can be mined.[/color:post_uid0]

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#8 2005-04-29 10:04:04

srmeaney
Member
From: 18 tiwi gdns rd, TIWI NT 0810
Registered: 2005-03-18
Posts: 976

Re: Protien Sources for First Colonies - An idea

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Dont you love the way Mars is this hungry deficit of resources that if we can only over come, will be what gets us the rest of the solar system? It's like droping a rubiks cube in front of a monkey and watching it lick the colours.[/color:post_uid0]

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#9 2005-06-27 15:14:30

Stormrage
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From: United Kingdom, Europe
Registered: 2005-06-25
Posts: 274

Re: Protien Sources for First Colonies - An idea

[color=#000000:post_uid0]You don't need fish. All you need is an algae called Chlorella.

When dried, Chlorella is about 45 percent protein, 20 percent fat, 20 percent sugar, and 10 percent various minerals and vitamins.[/quote:post_uid0]

We can feed it by giving our waste product. The amazing thing with this is it is a miracle food. It has alot of health benfits and it can remove toxic materials in our body like mercury or uranium.

You can find out more about it here.
http://tuberose.com/Chlorella.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chlorella[/color:post_uid0]


"...all I ask is a tall ship, and a star to steer her by."

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#10 2005-06-30 15:14:07

Josh Cryer
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Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: Protien Sources for First Colonies - An idea

[color=#000000:post_uid5]Good find Stormrage. smile

We just need numbers, if they fit, then Chlorella could make for a simple CELSS system (more adequate for travelling in space in tight quarters, or for a small colony). The process would be similar to Robert Dyck's chloroplast device (in fact, he may have mentioned Chlorella as a potential algae, but I'm not certain, this is the first I've read of it, that I can recall).[/color:post_uid5]


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#11 2005-07-02 01:19:08

srmeaney
Member
From: 18 tiwi gdns rd, TIWI NT 0810
Registered: 2005-03-18
Posts: 976

Re: Protien Sources for First Colonies - An idea

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Algae, fungus, and snails may not be pretty, but considering the twenty billion dollars cost for a purchase & deploy toy with a years earth-food for a single colonist, the Martian colonists are going to want every thing that can be squeezed from it.[/color:post_uid0]

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#12 2005-08-10 12:25:19

Mundaka
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Registered: 2004-01-11
Posts: 322

Re: Protien Sources for First Colonies - An idea

neutral


Macte nova virtute, sic itur ad astra

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#13 2005-08-10 16:52:07

BWhite
Member
From: Chicago, Illinois
Registered: 2004-06-16
Posts: 2,635

Re: Protien Sources for First Colonies - An idea

The Mars Homestead project is doing pretty much exactly what Mundaka proposes.

Robert Dyck recently made a somewhat worrisome observation. The surface of Mars might be covered with asbestos.

Ouch!


Give someone a sufficient why and they can endure just about any how

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#14 2005-09-05 10:22:50

Mundaka
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Registered: 2004-01-11
Posts: 322

Re: Protien Sources for First Colonies - An idea

The Mars Homestead project is doing pretty much exactly what Mundaka proposes.

Robert Dyck recently made a somewhat worrisome observation. The surface of Mars might be covered with asbestos.

Ouch!

Have you heard any more about this? I went to their website but didn't find any reference to asbestos. This would be terrible! :cry:


Macte nova virtute, sic itur ad astra

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#15 2005-09-05 11:09:52

Mundaka
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Registered: 2004-01-11
Posts: 322

Re: Protien Sources for First Colonies - An idea

All this talk about protein and snails and rabbits just did it so I burned rubber over to the local organic grocery and got some talapia fillets. Cooked them in butter and olive oil with a little garlic salt and black pepper and its good

Now where can we finds lovely, scrumptious coneys . . . eh precious?


Macte nova virtute, sic itur ad astra

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#16 2008-02-16 11:16:40

Richard_a
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From: USA
Registered: 2008-02-16
Posts: 4

Re: Protien Sources for First Colonies - An idea

It looks like the first colonists on mars won't have many great choices of food!  lol

algea and fungus really doesn't sound too tasty.

but i guess theyr'e not going there for the food.
pioneers always have to struggle with difficult conditions, wether it's another continent or another planet...

Ritchie from TheReefTank

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#17 2008-02-16 12:08:05

Terraformer
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From: Logres
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,363
Website

Re: Protien Sources for First Colonies - An idea

On another forum (RedColony) the suggestion was to grow Shellfish. They only need a shallow tray of water to grow in and don't need much care.


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#18 2008-02-24 06:52:58

srmeaney
Member
From: 18 tiwi gdns rd, TIWI NT 0810
Registered: 2005-03-18
Posts: 976

Re: Protien Sources for First Colonies - An idea

On another forum (RedColony) the suggestion was to grow Shellfish. They only need a shallow tray of water to grow in and don't need much care.

All shellfish are sensative to the radiation you would be exposing them to on the trip, they require temperature and nutrient control - crays, yabbies (freswater shellfish) require a lot of attention once you remove them from an environmental range they can move around in when something changes to undesirable.

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#19 2008-03-28 10:55:22

louis
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From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 6,927

Re: Protien Sources for First Colonies - An idea

SR Meaney -

I was one of the advocates of shellfish on Red Colony.

Two counter points I would make:

1. We wouldn't be taking live shellfish with us. I imagine we would be taking frozen embryos or whatever the shellfish equivalent is.  Freeze them in a lead lined container. That should be enough radiation protection!

2. Why are you choosing the most difficult examples?  Mussels and limpets are not so difficult .They are quite happy to clump and filter. They are farmed artificially already on earth. It's not a problem.

We aren't trying to offer a sea food menu. One or two easy to raise species is all that's required to add some protein and variety to the diet.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#20 2008-03-28 11:04:30

zhar2
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From: london-uk
Registered: 2008-03-17
Posts: 106

Re: Protien Sources for First Colonies - An idea

Why not chickens, they are tasty and require little space and are easy to keep.

But it would easier and more efficient to have vermiculture farms, the earthworm meat can then be proccesed into various meat products (burgers, corned"worm", worm sausages and etc..)

Plus worms could also be used to process colony waste.

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#21 2008-03-28 12:43:00

louis
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From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 6,927

Re: Protien Sources for First Colonies - An idea

"Easy to keep" is a relative term. They need to be penned and cleaned out by humans, unless you are going to invest in quite heavy machinery. They can't really be fed on nutrient solution as far as I know - so you have to take along grain or grow it. It's just a bit too complicated for a first mission but obviously they will be candidates for extension of animal farming as the colony develops.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#22 2008-03-28 12:51:27

zhar2
Member
From: london-uk
Registered: 2008-03-17
Posts: 106

Re: Protien Sources for First Colonies - An idea

What about the worm farms?

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#23 2008-03-28 13:02:28

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 6,927

Re: Protien Sources for First Colonies - An idea

I guess you need proper soil don't you? I'd prefer to work with nutrient solution. Also - don't worms taste pretty disgusting!


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#24 2008-03-28 13:16:03

zhar2
Member
From: london-uk
Registered: 2008-03-17
Posts: 106

Re: Protien Sources for First Colonies - An idea

Oh no, ive eaten worm (some sort of earth worms) burgers and its quite tasty (like beef but not exactly).

Plus its quite versatile, and wormeries are different to soil, the bulk productions requires very little space, they can use as nutrients the non edible biomass production from farms and they are very higenic in industrial production.

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