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 Post subject: Aquaponics in Preschool
PostPosted: Jul 13th, '10, 03:39 
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Location: Puerto Peñasco, Sonora, Mexico.
:wave1: Greetings from Mexico to everyone!!!

I am a Preschool/Kindergarden teacher in a little town called Puerto Peñasco (Rocky Point) in Mexico. Well... is a fishing village but it is starting to feel the effects of over fishing, the government has been trying hard to come up with some solutions and so far they have retired several fishing boats from the Port. Also we are located in a desert area which makes water so important. I began a fairly sizable garden on the ground and on pots. different to the belief or disbelief of many I was able to get awesome crops even out of season... the trick is how and when do you plant and the tons of TLC that you give to the plants. I have also a business, a Cafe where to the surprise of many we do a lot of recycling (which meant tons of savings for us specially with the garbage pick up fees, we have the lowest rate known for a commercial contract) we try to compost, reuse cardboard boxes, etc. and even grow the herbs for tea in a little garden in the back. :flower: And of course the School where I work became very interested in all the projects and gave me the chance to introduce a lot of this to the school program. Like composting, recycling, making paper out of used paper, among other things. So this year I want to do some Aquaponics in my classroom... Last year I bought some fish for the children (6 Betas, 3 Zebras, 3 Koi, 4 Snails, 1 cleaner fish, 1 Cat fish and 1 Gold fish. To my surprise the children were all very responsible and took great care of them. We placed them in different aquariums of several sizes. That is when I came across the aquaponics systems ... :D I was amazed, and I wanted to do it immediately but obviously the school had no budget for it since it is a new school (2009-2010 was our first school year). So I decided to build something using scrap wood (for the base where it will sit) and use some of the fish we already have. It would be fun to do something with the Betas if is at all possible.) Then with all the factors I already mentioned it would be great to show the children and eventually the community how we can perhaps solve a lot of the problems we are having already in the town like bringing vegetables from other areas, water issues due to the fact that we are in a desert, over fishing, among many other things.
So here is the deal... I know what I want to teach the children with it, that part was already approved by the school principal, owner, etc. and how from our little class system it will grow to incorporate the entire school (nursery to junior high school) either having a small system in each classroom or having 3 medium ones. The question is does anyone have any suggestions regarding systems, any advice and if you have a small system could you please show me a picture? We do not have a lot of space in our classroom... about 5 to 6 feet by 5 to 6 feet area right by the window but we get minimum direct sunlight from it. Of course any donations are always welcome!!! lol :lol:

Thank you and if you have any comments, advice or anything to say please contact me.
I shall be adding pictures of the progress.

Amanda. :wave:


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PostPosted: Jul 13th, '10, 07:52 
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Hi amanda, good luck with the project, my wife works with special needs children at a high school and AP is something we can see would work and get the kids interested in something productive, getting approval is the main problem and then funding, funding we will fix by donations, so with approval you have climbed one big hurdle, some small systems can be seen here viewtopic.php?f=18&t=1617&start=0
What we are thinking of for a starter system at the wifes school is in the below picture, these are made by Backyard Aquaponics, the bottom is the fish tank and the top is the growbed, very simple but effective design, small enough for the space you have, not sure on the exact Measurements so maybe Earthbound or Faye could chime in with the info, maybe something similar could be constructed over your way
Image

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PostPosted: Jul 13th, '10, 09:50 
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That was the perimeter fence after the storm front came through.
Here is a prettier picture
Attachment:
10th August 2009 116 (Medium).jpg
10th August 2009 116 (Medium).jpg [ 76.98 KiB | Viewed 2729 times ]

The dimensions of the system are 1160mm x 580mm x 1100mm
and they come in 42 different colours.

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http://backyardfarming.com.au/phpbb3/vi ... f=24&t=119 (Fayes garden) https://www.facebook.com/Botanic.Obsession


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PostPosted: Jul 13th, '10, 10:03 
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Very neat looking systems, I will ask a couple of my schools if they would be interested, and I could set them up for them.

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PostPosted: Jul 13th, '10, 11:25 
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faye wrote:
and they come in 42 different colours.

42 colours :shock: , thats amazing, never ever clash with the neighbors, can you name all the colours faye? :D
Sorry about my choice of pic, is best I could find at the time, but they are a great little system, look at the growth plus they support 10 fish (from memory)

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PostPosted: Jul 13th, '10, 15:07 
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Attachment:
P4130178 (Medium).JPG
P4130178 (Medium).JPG [ 55.42 KiB | Viewed 2668 times ]

Will this do for starters Nocky? All the colours of the rainbow! :)

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PostPosted: Jul 13th, '10, 15:36 
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Rainbows have 7, no?

My son (5) took me as his show and tell a few weeks ago and we simply tested the water out of the AP. The kids were rivited and the teacher is waiting for an invite to look at the fish. I think setting a system up at the school would have many benefits. Kids are happier to eat things they have seen grow. Last week all 3 of them demanded peas for sweets because they had just picked them before dinner. They just ate them out of the pods at the table.
Attachment:
Copy of 04072010158.jpg
Copy of 04072010158.jpg [ 113.64 KiB | Viewed 2649 times ]

That's not him. That's my daughter who's 2 and can be a fussy eater.
They regularly fight over the last carrot, eat capsicum off the bush because I do and share the odd raw corn on the cob.

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PostPosted: Jul 13th, '10, 17:05 
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That is a precious photo Dexter, I sometimes wish my children were that little again.lol

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PostPosted: Jul 13th, '10, 19:02 
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What is the volume of the tank in these Faye?

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PostPosted: Jul 13th, '10, 21:36 
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For my two cents i would recommend a tank that the kids can look into and maybe touch the water, little ones are tactile and want to see the fish as well. Check out the link in my signature below to my classroom system, something small scale like this would be a good start. It's initial glass tank I think would be very suited to a preschool class as with a light it was great for viewing.

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My system http://www.backyardaquaponics.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=5478
School System http://www.backyardaquaponics.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=5011
Backyard Farminghttp://backyardfarming.com.au/phpbb3/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=281


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PostPosted: Jul 14th, '10, 09:33 
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mantis wrote:
What is the volume of the tank in these Faye?


The fish tank volume is around 300 litres, the media bed is 150 litres. The units now have viewing portholes on both sides, that have been slightly enlarged to make viewing easier. They have become very popular with people who want to have a go at aquaponics even though they have a limited area to work with. Surprisingly people are having fun with the bright colours ordering multiples of purple, ideal for a tropical area!

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http://www.backyardaquaponics.com/forum ... a&start=45 (Fayes system)
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PostPosted: Jul 16th, '10, 12:35 
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Wow!!! Thank you all for your responses... they all are great and very helpful.
Nocky and Faye Thanks for suggesting the Backyard aquaponics system the colors look great of course the children would love to have purple or red...but it is a bit out of our budget at the moment.

Dexterk... awesome picture, she looks so cute... we have a nursery section on our school and a system (perhaps once we have done one in my class... I have 4 and 5 year olds which would be preschool 2 and kindergarten) could be put to work there.

Burnsy... your school system is great, the wine rack is a perfect idea and I really liked the coke caps as plugs for the pipe.

I been thinking a lot about the Bettas... is it possible to put one in a mini system ie one pot only for him? Spikes (a crown tail betta) would happily care for one plant... but I do not know if the plant would have some kind of nutrient deficiency since it would be only him...???


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PostPosted: May 21st, '12, 23:29 
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Great aquaponics system in the schools here. You have chosen the perfect system for the preschool time there and will require great care to maintain it for along time.


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