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Hatchery BuildingThe UF/IFAS Tropical Aquaculture Laboratory is located in Ruskin (Hillsborough County), Florida. The property includes a 4,000 square foot office and diagnostic laboratory; a two-bedroom, bunk-style dormitory (fully furnished); an 800 square foot quarantine building; three 2,100 greenhouses; a 5,000 square foot hatchery/nutrition laboratory; and over 700 square feet of storage.  The hatchery includes three replicated rooms which can house several hundred small aquaria, with each room on a separate light and climate control system.  In addition, these rooms are each supplied with 3 separate water sources (well, rain, and reverse osmosis), allowing for easy manipulation of water quality, temperature, and photoperiod for spawning trials. 

TAL Aerial ViewThe main office building is located on federal property and belongs to the National Weather Service.  The University of Florida, Hillsborough County, and the National Weather Service have a long-term license agreement to utilize this building for its current purpose.  Within this building is a full service fish disease diagnostic laboratory which serves the ornamental aquaculture industry.  

The Labís adjacent fish farm has a total of 50 ponds, two of which serve as retention ponds.  The ponds are in ground, water table ponds, measuring approximately 30' X 70', typical of existing Florida ornamental aquaculture industry ponds.  All ponds are equipped with aeration and well water.  Currently, 24 ponds are covered with greenhouse structures which serve both for bird-netting and plastic (winter cold protection).

All tank systems on the farm include recirculating and flow-through water supply, with access to well water, softened water, and reverse osmosis water. The variety of water allows for manipulation and testing of varying water quality parameters during research.

Hatchery building

Hatchery building vat system and rain water storage tank

Aquaria research system

Spawning room

Ponds with bird netting and plastic covering (winter protection)

Greenhouses containing production and research systems

Greenhouse vat system

Diagnostic laboratory


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Last updated October 02, 2012.
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