A Machine-Learning-Based IoT System for Optimizing Nutrient Supply in Commercial Aquaponic Operations. Academic Article uri icon


  • Nutrient regulation in aquaponic environments has been a topic of research for many years. Most studies have focused on appropriate control of nutrients in an aquaponic set-up, but very little research has been conducted on commercial-scale applications. In our model, the input data were sourced on a weekly basis from three commercial aquaponic farms in Southeast Texas over the course of a year. Due to the limited number of data points, dimensionality reduction techniques such as pairwise correlation matrix were used to remove the highly correlated predictors. Feature selection techniques such as the XGBoost classifier and Recursive Feature Elimination with ExtraTreesClassifier were used to rank the features in order of their relative importance. Ammonium and calcium were found to be the top two nutrient predictors, and based on the months in which lettuce was cultivated, the median of these nutrient values from the historical dataset served as the optimal concentration to be maintained in the aquaponic solution to sustain healthy growth of tilapia fish and lettuce plants in a coupled set-up. To accomplish this, Vernier sensors were used to measure the nutrient values and actuator systems were built to dispense the appropriate nutrient into the ecosystem via a closed loop.

published proceedings

  • Sensors (Basel)

author list (cited authors)

  • Dhal, S. B., Jungbluth, K., Lin, R., Sabahi, S. P., Bagavathiannan, M., Braga-Neto, U., & Kalafatis, S.

citation count

  • 13

complete list of authors

  • Dhal, Sambandh Bhusan||Jungbluth, Kyle||Lin, Raymond||Sabahi, Seyed Pouyan||Bagavathiannan, Muthukumar||Braga-Neto, Ulisses||Kalafatis, Stavros

publication date

  • January 2022