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Aquaponics is a food production system that combines conventional aquaculture, (raising fish in tanks), with
hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in a symbiotic environment. In traditional aquaculture, waste from the
fish being raised can accumulate in the water, increasing toxicity. In an aquaponic system, water from an
aquaculture system is fed to a hydroponic system where the by-products are broken down by nitrogen-fixing
bacteria into nitrates and nitrites, which are utilized by the plants as nutrients. The water is then recirculated back
to the aquaculture system.
Aquaponics helps to eliminate space issues associated with traditional gardening. Plants are placed above the
aquatic system with the roots submerged in nutrient rich water. This type of planting system allows for 10 times
more plants in the same size area. Gardening can be done in small yards or cities.
Aquaponics provides an excellent hands-on demonstration of the nitrogen cycle, water chemistry, plant biology,sustainability, modern growing techniques, waste, pollution and more.
According to The Real Green Revolution by N. Parrott and T. Marsden, the authors found that organic and agro-ecological methods of
growing in the Southern hemisphere produced a dramatic increase in yields, as well as reduced pests and diseases, greater crop
diversity, and improved nutritional content. In the Tigray, Ethiopia, organic crops raised 3-5 times more food than chemically treated
plots; in Brazil, maize yields increased by 20- 250%; in Peru, uplands crop yields increased by 150%.
Farming technology that produces more, in less space, uses less energy, and is pesticide free is the future.
Through hands-on demonstration we will cultivate a fish farm which will hydrate and give nutrients to our plants grown in a soil free
environment. The fish and plants will reproduce to replenish the crops.
This project will cover standards:
Plants and animals, including humans, interact with and depend upon each other and their environment to satisfy their basic needs.
Both human activities and natural events can have major impacts on the environment.
Energy flows from the sun through producers to consumers
Offspring of plants and animals are similar to, but not exactly like, their parents or each other.
Life cycles vary among organisms, but reproduction is a major stage in the life cycle of all organisms.
This aqua ponies project will encourage long-lasting changes with my students by providing an excellent
hands-on validation of interdependence between living things, plant biology, sustainability, pollution, and more.
We will be using the Green Thumb Educational system, an aquaponic grow system.
Website, http://aquaponicslog.com/sys/. log to share findings with others.
Digital camera to document growth.
Our students will be able to teach other students about aquaponics, the importance of sustainability, and how pollution destroys the
interdependence between living things. They will enter their products in the local fair and will facilitate their project by selling the
produce and fish to purchase reading material to extend the activity.