Commercial Facility Based on the Universityof the Virgin Island’s Aquaponic System
The four sh tanks are each 10 feet in diameter and fourfeet high and hold 2,060 gallons of water. Each shrearing tank contains 22 airstones. The total volume forthe four sh tanks is 8,240 gallons. Each tank can holdeither 600 Nile tilapia or 1,200 red tilapia. The stockingrate determines the nal size at harvest for Nile tilapia(1.8 lbs) and Red tilapia (1.1 lbs) after a 24-week growt
period. The berglass tanks cost $1,870 each, totaling$7,480 (before shipping).The six hydroponic tanks in this system are four feet wide,100 feet long and 16 inches high, holding 3,000 gallonseach. The hydroponic tanks consist of a poured concrete wall that is four inches thick ($7,000) and a plastic linerto retain water ($2,751 including installation materials).Each hydroponic tank contains 24 airstones. Polystyrenerafts oat on the surface of the water to support the plants, which grow in containers (net pots) that are partially submerged in the culture water. The six hydroponic tankshold a total of 72 rafts at one time. The rafts have varyingnumbers of holes for the net pots depending on the plants being grown; optimum planting density varies among thedifferent plant types ($2,922 includes rafts, net pots, paintand templates). The estimated cost for constructing thehydroponic tanks is $12,673.The ltration components in the UVI aquaponic RASinclude two clariers, two pairs of lter tanks, a degassing
ince the 1980s, the University of the Virgin Islands (UVI) AgriculturalExperiment Station in St. Croix has been conducting research on recirculatingaquaculture systems (RAS). Much of the UVI research is conducted using acommercial-size RAS that incorporates aquaponics. Aquaponics is the practice of growing herbs and vegetables in water from a RAS system that has sh growing ina connected tank. Through years of research, the staff at UVI has established anaquaponics RAS that is made of easily procured material and is simple and efcientto run. Using an eighth of an acre for production, the staff raises sh and producethat is sold at a farm store located on campus. The system includes four sh tanks,six hydroponic tanks and ltration tanks to support good water quality and growthfor both the sh and plants.