Aquaponics Update: Solar’s First Tilapia Harvest

Recently members of the Solar team harvested approximately ten tilapia from our greenhouse aquaponics system.  Our South American Nigerian tilapia were caught in a net and then placed into a fresh water detoxification tank for around 24 hours. This process helps to clean waste out of the tilapia’s systems. After the detoxification process was complete, we euthanized the fish by placing them into a cold water tank filled with ice cubes with a temperature of around 36° F this technique also enhances the flavor of the fish. Only fish that measured between ten and twelve inches were harvested to allow smaller fish to mature.

The harvest was a great learning opportunity for our team. During the process, all of the fish were removed from the main tank and our greenhouse experts were able to weight and measure the remaining fish in the tank to track their progress.

During the harvest, our experts discovered that that the breeding within the tanks has produced fry that have now grown to be a few inches in size. These fry are in addition to the babies that we welcomed in a June during a noticeable birth. However, it is possible for the tilapia’s births to go noticed in the tank.

Solar implemented the aquaponic system in 2015. This system uses the byproducts of fresh water shrimp and tilapia is utilized as a fertilizer for various plants in our greenhouse. The aquaponic structure was created from multiple tanks and connected through a custom designed pump and piping system.

Our experts will now continue to monitor the remaining tilapia and shrimp in the tanks as well as conducting regular evaluations to ensure that the system is thriving and that the project will continue to be successful. Make sure to check back for more updates on our tilapia and our aquaponic system.