Basil, Ocimum basilicum, yield in northern latitudinal aquaponic growing conditions

Marie Abbey, Neil O. Anderson, Chengyan Yue, Michele Schermann, Nicholas Phelps, Paul Venturelli, Zata Vickers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The need for yield research is increasing with the popularity of aquaponic food production systems where plants and fish are grown together in a recirculating system. Our objective was to compare the yield of three basil cultivars (“Elenora,” “Genovese,” “Nufar,” Ocimum basilicum) in four configurations (greenhouses: floating raft DWS, ebb & flow, A-frame; warehouse: floating raft; 1–8 tank replications/treatment) as well as a soilless control to establish a baseline for aquaponic producers in northern latitudes. We also tested whether basil yield varied among fish types: yellow perch, Perca flavescens, goldfish, Carassius auratus, tilapia, Oreochromis spp., and koi, Cyprinus carpio. Fish tank water temperature, nitrite, and alkalinity levels differed significantly over seasons (summer, winter). There was a significant decrease in basil production in all aquaponic systems that used koi (greenhouse, warehouse). No significant difference in basil yield was found among greenhouse and aquaponic systems for perch, tilapia, or goldfish nor among the basil “Elenora,” “Genovese,” and “Nufar.” Considerable variation occurred in yield although most of it occurred in fresh weights, being reduced significantly in dry weights. The effects of growing koi fish on reducing aquaponic production of basil is noteworthy, although future research is needed to the exact cause.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-94
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of the World Aquaculture Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 15 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We acknowledge the undergraduate student workers who helped maintain the aquaponic systems and aided in harvests. This research was funded by a grant from the University of Minnesota Global Food Ventures MNDrive and the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors. Journal of the World Aquaculture Society published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of World Aquaculture Society.


  • Carassius auratus
  • Cyprinus carpio
  • Oreochromis spp
  • Perca flavescens
  • goldfish
  • greenhouse production
  • koi
  • tilapia
  • warehouse production
  • yellow perch


Dive into the research topics of 'Basil, Ocimum basilicum, yield in northern latitudinal aquaponic growing conditions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this