Agriculture in Egypt is facing dramatic changes that affect its productivity, and accordingly the Egyptian economy. Egypt started in the 1930s, expanding agricultural land through land reclamation projects. Many of these projects did not perform as expected or planned due to lack of water and other challenges. While land reclamation and conventional agriculture techniques have a lot of technical, social, and economical problems in Egypt; soilless agriculture and aquaponics are being successfully used in other regions for urban food production as a sustainable solution. Aquaponics is a technique that integrates fish and crop productions by bringing aquaculture with hydroponics (soilless planting) together into one system. Although aquaponics has shown promising results in different regions worldwide, there are questions that need answering about the most suitable type of aquaponics for food production in Egypt. Aquaponics have been investigated in this work in order to identify its potentials, hence recommend the suitable aquaponics systems for Egypt. The thesis shows that aquaponics is an ally or alternative to conventional agriculture and land reclamation in Egypt. In this thesis, two different Aquaponics systems were tested in an experiment, in the American University in Cairo, to determine which system design will be more efficient and productive for use in Egypt on a larger scale. The production and crops variety were more promising in the Integrated Aqua Aegaculture System than the Deep Water Culture aquaponics system. The elemental analysis results of water and plants samples, from both aquaponics systems, show that the Integrated Aqua Vegaculture system has more potential than the Deep Water Culture system, especially in Egypt under certain boundary conditions.

Degree Name

MS in Sustainable Development

Graduation Date


Submission Date

January 2018

First Advisor

Sewilam, Hani

Committee Member 1

Bos, Arthur

Committee Member 2

Suloma, Ashraf


169 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis


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Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Not necessary for this item


Prima facea, I am grateful to Allah for the good health and wellbeing that were necessary to complete this thesis. I feel so grateful to all the people who taught me that life is a marathon not a sprint, who make me learn that I never stop learning and working. I wish to express my sincere thanks to my mother who made me who I am now. I thank her for her continuous prayers, generosity and perseverance, Mehair Ezz El Arab I cannot thank you enough ever. I also thank my lovely beloved wife Maha Ragab, and my adorable sister May Samy El Essawy for their patience, love and unlimited support. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to my advisor Prof. Hani Sewilam for the continuous support of my M.Sc. study and related research, for his patience, motivation, and immense knowledge. His guidance helped me during the research and writing of this thesis. I could not have imagined having a better advisor and mentor for my M.Sc. study. A very special gratitude goes out to everyone at the Al Alfi foundation for helping and providing the funding for the fellowship, work and experiments for my M.Sc. study. Besides my advisor, I would like to thank Dr. Ashraf Selouma and Dr. Peter Nasr for their insightful comments and encouragement, and unlimited support. My sincere thanks also go to the Center for Sustainable Development team in AUC, the team that I could not have finished my thesis without their help including Yomna El Awamry, Mohamed Khaled, and Nadine Gomaa, Ignacio Marcovecchio, Dr. Omar Elhosseiny and all CSD members in AUC. My sincere thanks also go to my friends Iman Abaza and Basil Khattab, for helping and supporting me, and letting me know about this outstanding master degree program in AUC. Also thanks to all my friends in Maadi; May Khattab, Noha Korashy, Mai Sarwat and Yasser Shawki. Special thanks to the dearest Nathalie Roman for everything, also Riham Kabbani, Dr. Amr Sobhy, Dr. Heba Ahmed, Lobna Salem, Mostafa Abdel Fattah and my dears Shaza Adel and Nevine Bannouna for all the support and backup that they always give me. I want to thank the TriNex team in Montpellier, Aachen University, Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Cairo University, Alexandria University and of course my home, The American University in Cairo. Finally, I want to thank Rabea Gomaa for his outstanding efforts in the aquaponics’ experiments and my dear Leo.