Dr. Hennen Cummings got his STEM Discount ticket for the Putting Out Fruits Conference September 20-22 at Kentucky State University. Are you a teacher or community grower? Learn about our STEM and Community Discount!
Dr. Cummings teaches college students aquaponics in the Hydrotron which is an 1800ft² greenhouse that has 1750 and 350 gallon tanks with Mozambique tilapia. The fish water is recirculated under three 4’ x 8’ x 2’ deep water culture (DWC) tanks with rafts. Each raft tank has five vertical lettuce grow towers that receive water from the raft and drain back to the same raft.
Tiger prawns in a non-flow through (decoupled) 950 gallon tank process larger solid waste filtered from the fish water. The system uses 2” net pots, BeaverBoards, GroPockets, Mexican scuds, wicking beds, a 250 gal swirl filter at a 2.0 gal/min flow rate, clarifier, mineralization tank with bird netting, and a degassing tank.
Solid fish waste is composted with sugar and heavy aeration and bottled for use as potted plant fertilizer. There are 4 outside IBC media bed stacked systems with catfish, koi, tilapia, gambusi, and redear shellcrackers. Students learn to fillet fish and prepare a health meal during labs using Rex butterhead lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, strawberries, nasturtium, onions, and prawns which are all grown in or next to the Hydrotron.