Sustainability and Environmental Studies

Jackson L. Oldham Aquaponics Facility


An integrated agriculture system combining…

Aquaculture – production of aquatic animals, and
Hydroponics – production of vegetables without soil

…in a recirculating system

◊ Fish provide nutrients required by plants

◊Hydroponic component serves as a biofilter

◊Integrated systems increase efficiency of water and nutrient use

System Design

1-2: biofilters; 3-6: fish tanks;
7: clarifier; 8-9: fine particle filter; 10: degasser;
11-12, 14-15: hydroponics units; 13: sump; 16: air pump; 17: purge tank; 18: drain; 19: rain storage

SENS Aquaponics

◊ Beginning Fall 2009, students converted the Ecological Machine wastewater treatment facility into an aquaponics system


◊ Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) and channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) are raised along with oregano and basil.

◊ Solar panels heat fish tanks

◊ Greenhouse gutters collect rainwater for use in system

Design Principles

The design of the SENS Aquaponics Facility is based on principles developed by the Aquaponics Program at the University of the Virgin Islands:

◊ Fish feces and other solids are removed before water enters the hydroponics units

◊ Plants are grown in raft hydroponics systems, which also serve as bio-filters

◊ Optimum feeding rate, 60-100 g fish feed/m2 plant area/day, prevents nutrient accumulation or deficiency


Click on Interactive map to navigate around the Ecovillage 

Commons House Ecological Machine Sustainability and Environmental Studies House Child Development Lab Apartments


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