Backyard Aquaponics

Teacher Designing a project or class
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Author:  hawaiinewbie [ Jan 19th, '07, 06:28 ]
Post subject:  Teacher Designing a project or class

Hi all. I am a high school science teacher and am in the process of designing either a course or projects in aquaponics. Does anyone know of any good resources that would help me? Or any type if suggestions or advice?

Thanks all!

Author:  Jaymie [ Jan 19th, '07, 06:33 ]
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lotsa teachers on here, plenty of discussions on school systems. Have fun with it

Author:  hawaiinewbie [ Jan 19th, '07, 08:56 ]
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Ooops yeah i should have looked at that section. Thannks for not flaming me.

Author:  janethesselberth [ Jan 19th, '07, 09:54 ]
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We're generally harmless and friendly here. We might tease you, but no flames.

Author:  bhsx [ Jan 19th, '07, 12:28 ]
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Don't listen to Janet, she's the meanest of the bunch!
I'm sure you'll find the site innumerably useful. I know you're in HA, and I haven't found a ton of information for your climate; but I'll dig into what I've found...
That's the one I was thinking of off the top of my head. It's a pretty intense (though not "intensive") setup.

Author:  janethesselberth [ Jan 19th, '07, 20:46 ]
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ooo. knife to gut. Arrgggh. gurgle. (collapses dramatically, stage left)

:D :D :D

There are actually curriculum available for sale, but with the folks here, I think some of the teachers would share their thoughts.

I wish we had stuff like this when I was in school.

I thought it would be cool to track the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate as my system cycled up. I was going to do a graph and everything. I had my girls (4 and 6.5 years old) dutifully helping me read the test strip for about 3 days. Then it was just more interesting to feed the fish. When they get a little older perhaps.

But that does suggest a cool lesson plan. Demonstrate the nitrogen cycle, but maybe do fishless cycling by using a few drops of pure ammonia in a tank of water each day. Measure and plot the readings. Include a pH reading for fun and color in the chart at the points that the fish would be ill or dead. Cycle different tanks with different ammonia loads to demonstrate how you can pull this off with low fishloads, but higher loads get you dead fish.

Author:  RupertofOZ [ Jan 19th, '07, 21:05 ]
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lab fish ???...

shhshhh Janet .... PETA is everywhere :glasses5:

Author:  janethesselberth [ Jan 19th, '07, 21:22 ]
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-fishless-...I tell ya...-FISHLESS- cycling. (please don't hurt me, Mr. PETA)

Author:  michael_Ferrini [ Jan 20th, '07, 03:48 ]
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I got my start in this as a teacher. I worked at alternative ed though so I didnt have to make my project fit into NCLB standards. Truthfully, there is no aquaponics curriculum that has been written in alignment with state standards. Nelson and Pade published a teacher friendly desktop aquaponics book for sale on thier website that is a good classroom resource, but in all honesty you will get more here than anywhere else. We are actually doing it. Some of us for many years, and some of us teachers or former teachers.

Author:  michael_Ferrini [ Jan 20th, '07, 03:51 ]
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Janet, i have more posts than you :tongue: ...but not for long....

Author:  Axl [ Jan 20th, '07, 04:37 ]
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Janet, i have more posts than you ...but not for long....

Pst (no you don't) :lol:

Author:  michael_Ferrini [ Jan 20th, '07, 05:03 ]
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I ca't keep up with her...maybe Jaymie

Author:  hawaiinewbie [ Jan 20th, '07, 05:08 ]
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Micheal, I too do not have to follow standards. I work at a private school so I pretty much free to do as I please. Well kinda. I will look into that resource, thanks!


Author:  steve [ Jan 20th, '07, 07:06 ]
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Hnewbie, Joel also has a very good aquaponics manual that you can buy, it contains all the concepts and plans for the systems he set up, along with a DVD of his systems. Many of the forum members have it and it would be a worthwhile resource for you. PM Earthbound, or email him.


Author:  johnnie7au [ Jan 23rd, '07, 09:27 ]
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Hi Gregg,

To start with, last year at school I set up the following:-

1) Rearing tilapia in wheelie bins - feed trials. At the school farm using air-lift bucket filtration..

2) A yabbie tank - in a classroom.

3) Juvenile goldfish and koi tank.

4) A Tilapia aquarium with autosiphon in a classroom.

5) Cichlid tank with autosiphon in a classroom.

I have managed to obtain many many fish as donations. Some equipment as donations and over 40 secondhand aquariums kindly donated.

Now all I have to do is get a dedicated fish room together and include aquaponics.

It is the last week of the school holidays here at the moment. I have been looking after these fish at home using 5 wheelie bins, plastic tubs airlify bucket filters and autosiphons. etc. etc.

You must be able to have access / take care of the fish over the holidays ... also be aware that "little fingers" messing around with air-lines and adding of chewing gum, pens and other items can adversely affect the fish.

Also some of the kids can kill the fish with kindness through over feeding.

It is important that water changes are frequent ... I do 25 % per week in tanks without plants.

Animal ethics comittee makes keeping vertebrates difficult here.

I find that the use of fish has a calming effect in the classroom.

Many concepts and ideas can be taught on a theoretical and practical level using aquaculture and aquaponics as an overall theme. Anything from photosynthesis, pH, measurement of water quality, siphons, respiration, ecology, energy, nutrition, solar, potential, electricity, bahaviour , carbon, nitrogen cycles, anatomy, reproduction, using microscopes, chemistry, fertilizers, even experimental investigations using azolla, nematodes, daphnia etc. etc as a subject .. the list is endless...

Kids must however be able to apply these ideas to more general (non- aquaculture) contexts as well.

School web page.

Hope that this helps...

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