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Aquaponics Hydrotron

aquaponics photo

About Us

The Aquaponics Hydrotron, located at the Tarleton Agriculture Center, includes an aquaponics system and several hydroponics systems. The aquaponics system has a 1,750 gallon tank stocked with Mozambique tilapia, a 350 gallon tank with stocked channel catfish, and a 75 gallon tilapia brood tank. The fish water is recirculated under three 4 ft x 8 ft rafts and several towers where leafy plants use the nutrients in the fish water before the water is returned to the fish tanks. Solid waste filtered from the fish tanks is used to nourish freshwater tiger prawns in a 950 gallon tank. Additionally, plants including tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and strawberries are all grown at the Aquaponics facility. 

During labs held at the Aquaponics Hydrotron, students are able to learn about the sustainable nature of growing plants, like lettuce, in a system where the major inputs are fish, fish food, coco coir, vermiculite, plant seeds, chelated iron, and rain water, and where no pesticides or additional fertilizers are needed. Students are also able to learn a wide array of skills at the Aquaponics Hydrotron, such as how to design an aquaponics system, how to germinate seeds and transfer seedlings to the rafts/towers, how to prune plants, how to rear fish, and even how to prepare the harvested fish quickly and simply.

Female student holding plant
Man looking at plants
A group of plants
Man holding water creature
Female student holding fish
Female student holding fish with plants in background