Aquaponics is the use of water from a fish tank to provide nutrients to plants in a soil-less environment. The rocks cultivate the bacteria that turns the ammonia into nitrates that the plants need, and the plant bed functions as a filter for the fish tank. In this study, with the guidance of Doctor Dudley Burton, Doctor Brook Murphy, we researched the optimal plant density for basil in an Aquaponics system. We attempted to control or measure all the other variables to consider, as to isolate the variable of distance between plants. The water flow was spread through the plant bed through a manifold and placed on the opposite side as the bell syphon to attempt to evenly spread the nitrates, and plants were selected from 5 or 6 different plants and variously placed in the samples. Plastic sheeting was used to hold the distance between plants constant, and net pots were used to place the plants. A light meter was used to measure the light hitting the 4 corners of the plant bed to account for that variable, and the size of the plants from the start was mixed within the samples. The preliminary results were, based on observation only, that basil plants at 8 cm and 12 cm apart would be too crowded to reach maximum growth. The best distance to space basil plants in an Aquaponic system would be 16 cm or 20 cm apart.


Agricultural Education | Aquaculture and Fisheries | Other Food Science | Other Life Sciences | Systems Biology


Dudley Burton

Lab site

California State University, Sacramento (Sac State)

Funding Acknowledgement

This material is based upon work supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of HHMI. This work was administered by the Cal Poly Center for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Education (CESAME) and the Fresno State Science and Mathematics Education Center (SMEC) on behalf of the California State University.



URL: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/star/257


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