Vegetable production in a recirculating aquaponic system using Nile tilapia with and without freshwater prawn  

Photo credit: Kevin Fitzsimmons (USA)

Review: Abdel Rahman El Gamal (Founder of the website)

Note: The information below has been distilled from the reference paper


The photo shows a pilot aquaponic unit installed at, the University of Arizona (Tucson), (USA). The study was conducted and included three species of leafy vegetables that are namely lettuce (Lactuca sativa), Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa pekinensis) and pac choi (Brassica rapa). The two fish species included in the study were Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) and freshwater prawn (Macrobrachium rosenbergii).

The study was conducted in a controlled environment greenhouse comprising of bio-filtration tank, fish tank and a raceway. While tilapia was incorporated in the two treatments, the freshwater prawn was included in only one treatment under the rafts while the other has no prawn to serve as control. Typical water quality parameters were monitored to ensure optimum environmental condition.

The species-related performance of project components of vegetables and fish were evaluated after the 108-day study. While production and growth rate were evaluated in all project components, species-specific parameters in vegetables were evaluated (e.g. circumference of crown, length of leaves and length of roots).

The freshwater prawn grew from about 1.7 to 6.3 g while and depending on treatment tilapia grew from about 310 – 445 g and from 368 – 524 g throughout the study. The reference paper has much more information on the facility description, methodology and outcomes of the study supported by detailed Tables and figures. If you are interested in the subject matter, you may visit the reference paper.


References: Sace, C.F. and Fitzsimmons, K.M. 2013. Vegetable production in a recirculating aquaponic system using Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) with and without freshwater prawn (Macrobrachium rosenbergii). Acad. J. Agric. Res. 1(12):236-250.

Aquaponics in Arizona (facility) Aquaponics in Arizona (lettuce)




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