The aquaponic system is rapidly developing in the world due to its contribution to the conservation of national natural resources, including water, soil and the environment, and in harmony with food security goals. In the present study, the components of tilapia production in both research and home aquaponic systems in two different salinities have been investigated and the quality of the products is evaluated. In the research aquaponic system, in fish farming space of about 15 m3, water salinity 1.1-2.6 ppt, the amount of fish production per unit volume in two breeding periods lasting about 7 months, obtained about 53.3 and 47.6 kg. Amongst 56 types of seeds and seedlings of cultivated plants including vegetables, herbal medicines and fodder, plants with significant production including peppermint, peppermint, mint, green basil, purple basil, spicy bush basil, beet, Swiss chard, various lettuce cultivars, watercress, celery, and summer crops included okra, cherry tomatoes, and common tomatoes. Farmed tilapia fillets had high amount of protein and unsaturated fatty acids. Cooked tilapia fillets in aquaponic system were evaluated from good to very good in terms of sensory factors. Plant products had high amounts of protein and iron, however, the amount of calcium and potassium in several crops was low. Magnesium was very high in plant products. The chlorophyll content of the plant products of the present study was close to the results of other studies under land cultivation conditions. Peppermint, beet, Swiss chard, watercress and celery had the least amount of proline, also, peppermint, beet leaf, Swiss chard was richer in chlorophyll. Lettuce and basil had higher levels of proline, indicating more severe environmental stress conditions. The amount of nitrite and nitrate were less than their permitted level of consumption in plant products. Aromatic compounds of peppermint, basil and fennel were obtained in the range of results of the other studies in soil cultivation, or more than them. In about 7 months, home aquaponic packages with 1m3 fish farming space, 3m3 plant cultivation area, in water salinity about 2.3 ppt, tended to fish production 21.6/m3, peppermint, beet and arugula crop, but production in water salinity 11ppt, obtained 20.9/m3 and Salicornia production. Production in the aquaponic system in our country can play an important effect on the development of agriculture/aquaculture in different climates and areas with limited water resources, production of healthy food, as well as creating home and rural jobs, strengthening national production, expansion of rural economy and tourism industry.
Key words: Aquaponics, Tilapia, Vegetables, Medicinal herbs, Forage
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