In October of 2015, Solar implemented an aquaponic system where byproducts of fresh water shrimp and tilapia are utilized as fertilizer for the plants in our greenhouse. The aquaponic structure was created from multiple tanks and connected through a custom designed pump and piping system. The tank hosts both male and female tilapia to allow for breeding to repopulate the tank with little interference. Recently, one of our greenhouse experts discovered that one of the tilapia in the tank had given birth to around 150 fry. With the help of the tilapia and shrimp our experts have been able to grow a multitude of crops such as tomatoes, beans, peppers, cucumbers, lettuce, carrots, basil, and other herbs. The crops growing in the aquaponic system are harvested every 60 days. There are many advantages to using an aquaponics system including eliminating toxic run-off, uses only 1/10th of the water of soil-based gardening, gardening chores are dramatically decreased, and doesn’t rely on dirt or toxic chemical solutions to grow plants. As they grow and mature both the shrimp and tilapia will be harvested, after this process is completed our experts will check the pH, ammonia, and other compound levels in the tanks to make sure they are stable for the next group of tilapia and shrimp. Water quality becomes the top concern before introducing more wildlife into the system. Once all of the compounds are at the required levels, we will restart the system. Our experts will now continue to monitor the fry and the other tilapia in the tank as well as conducting regular evaluations to ensure that the school is thriving and that the project will continue to be successful. We are very excited to welcome these new fish to Solar and look forward to continuing the aquaponics process, be sure to check back for more updates on our tilapia and our aquaponic system.