An Ocean Threat and a Solution
OUr Learning Aquaponics System
Synergetic FLows and Cycles
"Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else."
Leonardo da Vinci
AQUAPONICS is a food growing system that joins two different ways of growing food:
Aquaculture – growing aquatic life for food (fish, muscles, algae)
Hydroponics – growing vegetables, herbs, and fruits in water instead of soil
A downside to a hydroponics system is the plants do not have the nutrients and microorganisms they would have in the soil. And, aquaculture systems have problems getting rid of large amounts of "concentrated biotic waste" (fish poop). When the two ways are combined, the weakness of each system benefits the other and creates something more! This is called a Synergetic Process.
Aquaponics connects the nutrient needs of the plants with the water quality needs of the aquatic life. Fish poop contains lots of ammonia, and if it builds up in their space, it becomes toxic. Healthy bacteria in the system change the ammonia into a form that plants love and need to grow. As the plants pull the fixed ammonia out of the water, the fish have their water cleaned. (This is called the Nitrogen Cycle; Learn more about it HERE)
The principle of aquaponics mimics the natural world's ability to create balanced Ecosystems, Energy Flows, and Nutrient Cycles. Observing, participating, and learning with an aquaponics system brings big concepts into a growing mind.
Watch and Learn
These videos are listed chronologically as we grow our organisms, science and math connections, and learning. You can follow and watch the system come together or look for specific learning ideas.
Cuyler and Torrey are in 3rd and 1st grade, but the videos cover concepts that apply to higher education levels as well.