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Nathan Cochran
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Constructing Fish Tanks in High Tunnel Greenhouses


This video was shot at the Kentucky State University High Tunnel Complex. High tunnels are relatively simple greenhouse structures commonly used to extend the growing season of crops. In this video Dr. Andrew Ray describes some large fish tanks that have been constructed with wooden frames and rubber liners. The fish tanks are being used to grow tilapia, with the goal of getting market-sized fish in one growing season in Kentucky. Time-lapse and underwater video footage help to illustrate Dr. Ray's points.


Welcome New Visiting Professor at Aquaculture Research Center, Kentucky State University

Dr. Ehab El-Haroun is a new visiting professor at Kentucky State University's Aquaculture Research Center. Prior to his visit to KSU, Dr. El-Haroun was working as a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Center for Nutrition Modeling, University of Guelph, Canada.

Dr. El-Haroun has completed a Doctoral degree in fish nutrition modeling from the University of Guelph in 2011 and Masters of Science from Cairo University in Fish Nutrition & Physiology.

He is now working at KSU in the Aquaculture Nutrition Laboratory under the supervision of Dr. Vikas Kumar. His research revolves around nutrition, physiology and genomics of fish and shellfish.

Dr. El-Haroun's research goal is to develop a nutritionally balanced, environmentally sound and cost effective diet for commercial fish and shellfish culture.

Photo by Charles Weibel


Fred Gonzales Starts His Thesis Research Project

Kentucky State University Aquaculture graduate student Fred Gonzales led a team of students and researchers in stocking six replicate aquaponic systems for a food safety study. The research is Fred's thesis research project and will run for around six weeks.

Tilapia are weighed and distributed between each aquaponic system. Lettuce seedlings were transplanted from a grow media and planted in the aquaponic system using grow grips.

The fish, plants, and water were sampled and processed in the microbiology lab later that afternoon. The focus of this study is to look at the effects of a probiotic cocktail on food safety indicators within aquaponic systems.

Photos by Charles Weibel


Water Quality Workshop For Farmers

Ohio State University Extension will be hosting a water quality workshop for fish farmers on Saturday, August 6, 2016. Topics to be covered include:

• Understanding and interpreting WQ
parameters necessary for fish production

• Understanding your water quality analysis report
from the South Centers

• How does poor WQ affect your wallet?

• Hands-on testing of key WQ parameters

• Fish WQ management in RAS/aquaponics

• Plant and pest management in aquaponics

• Hands-on aquatic weed identification and
treatment options

Click here for complete Flyer/Agenda


Fish Farming Workshop

On June 28, 2016 Mr. Richard Bryant and Dr. Sid Dasgupta collaborated with the UK Cooperative Extension Service and various community-based agricultural organizations in Kentucky to provide a Fish Farming Workshop. This workshop was funded by the USDA NIFA Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Development Program (BFRDP). The goal of the BFRDP program at KSU is to teach and assist returning veterans, African-Americans, and limited-resource beginning farmers to start food production and marketing. It was designed to inform beginning farmers about the possibilities of small-scale marketing. There were a total of 22 attendees in the audience and topics covered beginning aquaculture, aquaculture in decomissioned water treatment plants, catfish aquaculture at a small scale, water quality measurements, and tilapia aquaculture in ponds and tanks.


Dr. Sid Dasgupta, Richard Bryant, and Alejandro Velasquez recently published an article in World Aquaculture Magazine titled, "Local Food Markets For Catfish In Kentucky."

Click here for the complete article


Kentucky State University Students Traveled To The University of New England To Attend Recirculating Aquaculture System Design Short Course

KSU Aquaculture staff, Janelle Hager and students, Fred Gonzales, Joe Pate, and Doug Blair traveled to the University of New England in Biddeford, ME to take part in a three day short course for recirculating aquaculture system design. Dr. Ebling and Dr. Timmons hosted the short course and conveyed principles guiding indoor fish production. KSU students were equally excited to hear how these principles can be used in aquaponics system design.


Dr. Andrew Ray Presents at the Frankfort Kiwanis Club

Dr. Ray gave a presentation for the Frankfort Kiwanis Club titled "Aquaculture's Present and Future Roles in Food Systems, and the KSU Aquaculture Program." The presentation gave an overview of the aquaculture industry and gave a variety of examples of research, teaching, and extension activities performed in the Aquaculture Division of Kentucky State University.


Team Gomelsky Publishes Two Aquaculture Articles

Dr. Gomelsky and his team recently published two articles in new issues of North American Journal of Aquaculture. The first article describes ploidy variability and viability of fish obtained from triploid koi females. It is typically considered that triploid fish are sterile. However, triploid
koi females, which were obtained at the Aquaculture Research Center at Kentucky State University, developed large ovaries and appeared to be fertile. The data presented in the article shows that fish obtained by crossing triploid koi females with normal diploid koi males are aneuploids and
have intermediate ploidy between diploid (2n) to triploid (3n) level. This indicates that triploid females produce aneuploid eggs with unbalanced chromosome numbers.

Read Full Article Here

The second article describes inheritance of red eyes in koi. Red eyes is a trait typical for albino fish or other animals. However, data presented in this article shows that trait "red eyes" in koi is under control by not albino but by another demelanization mutation. In experimental progenies red-eyed fish with black (melanin) pigmentation on body were identified. Also, crossing of red-eyed koi with wild-type colored common carp resulted in appearance of fish with black eyes and light body color. These studies were supported by USDA Evans Allen and State's Program of Distinction funds.

Read Full Article Here


Fluorescein Dye to Reveal the Effects of Routine Collection of Weight and Length Data from Largemouth Bass

Ayra Burney-Moorehead, Dr. Ken Semmens and Charles Weibel investigated the use of Fluorescein dye to reveal the effects of routine collection of weight and length data from largemouth bass. Routine handling may damage the surface of the fish in a way that cannot easily be observed.

The dye does not penetrate undamaged surfaces, but will penetrate and adhere to damaged areas. When exposed to UV light, it is possible to reveal damage that cannot ordinarily be observed in a living animal. In this experiment, Ayra evaluated three different dye concentrations.

photos by Charles Weibel


Aquatic Weed Control Demonstration With The Use Of Koi

On Thursday, June 23, 2016, Drs. Gomelsky and Durborow loaded a live haul tank with koi for client Rocky Allen to stock in his aquaculture ponds for an aquatic weed control and prevention Extension demonstration. Rocky farms bass, tilapia, minnows and red claw crayfish in Oldham County, KY.


KSU Students Help With Mussel Conservation And Research

On Friday, June 10th, Ariel Jones who is with the Summer Apprenticeship Program (SAP) joined the mussel research team to set out silos filled with mussels in Beech Fork close to Bardstown, KY. This site was chosen as a reference stream because it still has a good mussel population and during the last year's research by Dr. Wendel Haag, mussels appeared to grow well at Beech Fork.

Joining at this site to help set out the silos were; Dr. Wendell Haag from the U.S. Department of Forestry, Scott Watts and Fritz Vorisek from the Center for Mollusk Conservation, Christopher Lyvers a KSU undergraduate, Dr. Bob Durborow from KSU Extension, and Lesley Sneed a graduate student at KSU. Lesley's thesis research involves 28 sites around Kentucky with these silos that contain juvenile mussels grown by the Center for Mollusk Conservation. The mussels were born in December of last year and average 4mm in size. Each silo contains 25 mussels and each site has a minimum of three silos. The silos are left in the streams over the summer and then retrieved at the end of August. During this time, water samples will be collected at each site and analyzed by the Kentucky Division of Water. The Stream Institute of University of Louisville has installed Sonde meters at two sites, which will monitor water quality measurements. In August, each mussel will be measured, weighed and analyzed. These mussels are being used to access the water quality of streams that used to have an abundance of mussels present but in recent years those populations have declined.


High Tunnels Stocked With Tilapia

Dr. Ray and his team stocked the KSU High Tunnel Aquaculture Tanks with tilapia on May 31 and June 1, 2016. These fish were purchased from a hatchery in February when they were 0.5g. They were then raised in nursery tanks in the Aquaculture Production Technology Building, and stocked at the High Tunnels at about 40g each. They stocked 1,155 fish into each of 12 tanks at the tunnels where they will be grown to market size. The team is predicting that they will harvest the fish at about 570g each or 1.25 lbs. in late September. Some of the research questions being addressed include how can low-cost recirculating systems be utilized in high tunnels for fish production, what are the costs and potential profit of such an operation, and how can fish and plant production be intergrated in high tunnels?

Photos by CharlesWeibel


U.S. Farm-Raised Fish and Shellfish Publications Available for Education and Promotion

The National Aquaculture Association (NAA) has developed a variety of fact-based, high-quality, full-color brochures. These publications communicate to consumers, buyers, chefs and health care professionals the quality, value and wholesomeness of U.S. farm-raised fish and shellfish as well as the federal and state regulations that govern production, handling and processing.

New Brochure - Locally Farmed Seafood: Safe & Sustainable encourages consumers to buy locally farmed fish and shellfish for their safe, wholesome and nutritious benefits, environmental sustainability, and the positive impact on local economies.

U.S. Farm-Raised Seafood and Food Safety describes non-voluntary and voluntary federal and state food inspection and safety programs and the incredible nutritional values of farm-raised fish and shellfish.

U.S. Farm-Raised Fish and Shellfish Q&A answers commonly asked water quality, sustainability, drug and chemical use, diet and food safety questions with science and regulatory facts.

U.S. Farm-Raised Fish and Shellfish for a Healthier & Happier Life provides in-depth nutritional information for children, teens and adults as well as the health benefits of consuming fish and shellfish during pregnancy. The facts concerning Omega-3 fatty acids, mercury and PCBs are also presented.

United States Aquaculture: Fact & Fiction corrects erroneous perceptions concerning fishmeal, food safety, drug and chemical use, Omega-3 fatty acids, mercury, environmental effects, sustainability, PCBs, and eco-labels.

Each of these attractive, educational publications can be previewed at:



Dr. Boris Gomelsky Publishes Video On Koi Breeding



Dr. Boris Gomelsky and KSU Aquaculture graduate students spawned koi in the hatchery this Spring. Video was recorded, edited and posted onto YouTube. This video demonstrates the process of koi artificial breeding and includes stripping of eggs and sperm from koi broodstock, and artificial fertilization of eggs. In order to remove adhesiveness, after fertilization eggs are placed in McDonald incubation jars where they are vigorously moved in water/milk suspension by air bubbles for 50-60 minutes. Then air flow is substituted with water flow for further incubation of eggs.

Video edited by Charles Weibel




Kentucky Aquatic Newsletter Spring/Summer 2016

The new edition of the Kentucky Aquatic Farming newsletter has been released. You may view this edition by clicking the link below.

Kentucky Aquatic Farming Newsletter Spring/Summer 2016


Aquaculture Research Center Picked As One Of The Seven Wonders Of Frankfort

KSU's Aquaculture Research Center

"I would humbly nominate the KSU Aquaculture Research Center as one of the 7 Wonders of Frankfort," said James Tidwell, Chair of the University's Division of Aquaculture. "The program and facility are unique in the Commonwealth and recognized nationally and internationally." Combined research efforts by KSU and Alltech are seeking ways to lessen reliance on marine resources and to help reduce negative environmental impacts. The global population is also projected to pass 11 billion by the end of the century, so this joint research is also seeking new ways to feed the World."

See more at: http://m.state-journal.com/2016/04/16/45442/#sthash.N69rFCVn.dpuf




Scale-Transparency and Red-Eye Mutations in Koi


Dr. Boris Gomelsky, KSU Aquaculture Professor, describes two mutations in koi and demonstrates mutant fish from experimental progenies.

Video edited by Charles Weibel



Growing Marine Shrimp in a Biofloc System


This video was shot during a harvest of the indoor marine shrimp production system at Kentucky State University's Aquaculture Research Center. Dr. Andrew Ray describes some of the benefits and concepts behind biofloc-based aquaculture. The video serves as an introduction to this relatively new and exciting topic which can be used to grow marine shrimp in practically any building, allowing fresh, whole, jumbo shrimp to be grown near and sold to a variety of inland markets.


Dr. Jim Tidwell on GCTV with Bill Miller


Dr. Jim Tidwell, Chair of Kentucky State University's Division of Aquaculture and past-president of both the US Aquaculture Society and the World Aquaculture Society, discusses how to deal with dwindling fish supplies and overfishing.



Aquaponics - An Integrated Fish and Plant Production System





Alltech-KSU Research Alliance Focus on Aquaculture Sustainability



To learn more about aquaculture & agriculture sustainability and the research alliance between Alltech and Kentucky State University, click on the link below.






Water Quality Workshop for Fish Farmers

Ohio State University Extension

Saturday, August 6, 2016

OSU South Centers

1864 Shyville Rd., Piketon, OH 45661

Click Here for the Flyer/Agenda






Aquaculture Online Courses

Pink Button Water Quality Management
Water chemistry as it relates to aquaculture and recreational pond management.


Brown button Fish Reproduction & Spawning Techniques
This course includes recorded lectures and practical demonstration videos. Instructor: Dr. Boris Gomelsky

Green ButtonFish Genetics
Emphasis is on practical applications in Aquaculture and Fisheries. Instructor: Dr. Boris Gomelsky boris.gomelsky@kysu.edu

Blue ButtonPrinciples of Aquaculture
This Internet class features video lectures over PowerPoint slides. Instructor: Dr. Jim Tidwell james.tidwell@kysu.edu

red button Fish Diseases
This course taught by Dr. Robert Durborow


Yellow Button Survey of Production Methods
This Internet class features video lectures over PowerPoint slides. Instructor: Dr. Jim Tidwell james.tidwell@kysu.edu



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