Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) Production Under Aquaponic System Using Different Substrates Wins BEST THESIS AWARD

FEED-Scholar-Sunshine-Gaerlan.png06 August 2018, Bacnotan, La Union.  One of FEED’s scholars, Sunshine Gaerlan, studying her Bachelor of Science (BSc) at Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University (DMMMSU) North La Union Campus (NLUC) won the BEST THESIS AWARD of DMMMSU-NLUC 2018 with her thesis on “Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) Production Under Aquaponic System Using Different Substrates“. Sunshine also successfully passed the 2018 Licensure/Board Examination for Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering administered by the Professional Regulation Commission last week of August 2018.

Thesis Abstract

This study aimed to determine the production of tomato under aquaponic system using different substrates. It was conducted at Lipay Proper, San Gabriel, La Union from October 10, 2017 to February 17, 2018. Four treatments were used in the study namely the beach sand, rice hull, mixture of 50% rice hull and 50% crushed gravel, and crushed gravel.

Analysis of Variance was used to determine the effects of the different substrates on the production of tomato. Highly significant results was obtained on the height of tomato, number of fruits, weight of ripe fruits, number of marketable fruits, and weight of marketable fruits with treatment 4 (crushed gravel) as the best. On the other hand, the fish gained 120.50 grams from the initial average weight of 8.50 grams and a final average weight of 129.0 grams. 

Economic analysis showed that the highest total of expenses and highest gross income were computed in crushed gravel with 172,527.66 pesos and 375,750.00 pesos, respectively which has also the highest net income of 203,222.34 pesos.

Keywords: aquaponic, media filled bed, substrates, tomato, tilapia


Due to the increasing demand for food because of population growth and need to save freshwater, policy-makers in the Philippines are cognisant of this prediction and are responsive to address the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations’  call to change the country’s age-old agricultural practices. The call is to shift to new paradigm of adopting advanced technologies and practice new techniques to increase agricultural productivity in the country.  As such, the Congressional Commission on Science and Technologies and Engineering (COMSTE) challenged the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to cause the immediate advocacy and top-priority implementation of smart farming systems.  Smart farming entails the application of new production practices to intensify agricultural production while utilizing and wisely conserving the earth’s resources.  These technologies include those that are employed in other countries which are potentially adoptable in local condition.  One of these technologies is aquaponics – the raising of fish and growing vegetables in one infrastructure and system (Tangonan, 2012).

Thus, this study was conducted to adopt the principle of aquaponic system and to assess the production of tomato under aquaponic system using different substrates.


Based on the results gathered in the study, the following conclusions were drawn:

  1. The different substrates has significant effects on the production of tomato in terms of height, number of fruits, weight of ripe fruits, number of marketable fruits, and weight of marketable fruits.
  2. The best substrate for the production of tomato under aquaponic system is crushed gravel in terms of the growth, yield and profit.
  3. There is a growth in the weight of fish under aquaponic system.
  4. Greater production and profitability is achieved using crushed gravel.

Read Full Thesis Abstract here: THESIS-Sunshine-Gaerlan-2018 (pdf, 893 kb)

About Sunshine Culbengan Gaerlan

Sunshine Culbengan Gaerlan was born on January 15, 1993 in Lipay Proper, San Gabriel, La Union. She is a Philippine citizen, married to Rolly Dan C. Garland with two children: Rhoillyne Sundanz C. Gaerlan and King RD C. Gaerlan. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Engineering from FEED’s LIVING LEGACY Partner  Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University North La Union Campus, from the Institute of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering in Sapling, Bacnotan, La Union this past August 2018 after successfully defending her thesis.

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Update FEED Logo 2In 2015, the Philippine government submitted to the United Nations the country’s commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The country committed to reduce its carbon emissions by 70 percent by 2030. The carbon dioxide reductions will come from the sectors of energy, transport, waste, forestry and industry.

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