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Aquaponics

These are our 11 sq. ft. Grow Beds The white water rings that used to distribute the water into the beds have been turned into Deep Delivery rings that deliver from the bottom.

What is Aquaponics?

Aquaponics is a hybrid technology combining the best of aqua-culture (growing fish) and hydroponics (growing veggies without soil). It’s completely organic because the fish produce natural fertilizer used by the plants and that means no man-made chemicals.

Aquaculture has been around for a long, long time. The fish that are easiest for novices to grow are Tilapia. Tilapia are tropical fish whose native home is Africa and the Nile River. They are perhaps the oldest farmed fish on the planet as the Egyptians held them captive in natural ponds along the Nile over 4,000 years ago. They are the easiest fish for a new Aquaponic farmer to raise because they are so tolerant and hardy. They are also one of the fastest growing fish, growing from a small fry to over a one pound meal in about twelve months. You raise these delicious fish in a Tank. It only takes 1 1/2 pounds of inexpensive fish food to grow one pound of fish.


The fish tank and the grow bed you see in the photo being held up by our  Instructor, Ms. Ecofriendly, are inter-linked. The water is pumped from the fish tank to the Grow Bed and flows back to the Fish Tank. The fish produce ammonia and with the help of naturally occurring beneficial bacteria, the ammonia changes into nitrate thereby becoming the plants’ natural fertilizer. In turn, the plants clean the water for the fish by absorbing the nitrate. It’s a symbiotic relationship--natures way when left undisturbed by humans.

Aquaponics is so much more than a little spring garden. It’s about providing full-time, self-sustaining food--both the protein and the vegetables--for a family, a community, a world--year round; and it’s a perfect learning device in any classroom from K-12.


How does Aquaponics Work in a Classroom?

Your students aren’t just reading, writing and discussing their subject whether it’s Science, Agriscience, Agriculture or Culinary Arts--they are experiencing their subject. They are participating in the creation of an ecosystem that operates right before their eyes. Students of all ages from grammar to middle to high school find

this interactive experience with an Aquaponics system to be invigorating. Some studies have shown students with an Aquaponic classroom system score higher in math and science because they are more motivated.


An Aquaponics system can be used to demonstrate various principles taught in technology, plant life cycles and their structure, how to make effective use of recycled materials, low-tech/high-yield gardening, ecological issues, biology, chemistry, physics and sustainable farming. A system can be used to demonstrate in real time how the nitrogen cycle works, the parts of a seed, its germination and the growth rate of seedlings. The subjects are endless. Several Culinary Arts students are learning to grow the food their being taught to prepare while supplying their school cafeteria with healthy fish and organic vegetables. This takes the “Farm to School” programs that have been popping up all over the nation to another level.


Not only the students but the Instructors benefit as well. Suddenly your classroom is a laboratory where you can experience hands-on teaching. Some Instructors, mostly on the East Coast, have created entire programs around this technology, erecting massive greenhouses and interacting with their communities to replenish natural marine populations into their natural habitats. The possibilities are almost infinite.


What do you Need to bring Aquaponics into your Classroom?

You need a system; and that’s where Aquaponics USA comes into the picture. Our system designer is an aerospace engineer who designs state-of-the-art, durable, long lasting Food Forever™ Growing Systems we call the FFGS Series. These systems out shine every other system on the market for durability, strong construction and ease of use. But most importantly in these challenging economic times, our Food Forever™ Growing Systems under-price every other system on the market today on a per square foot basis. If you don’t want to do the math; but would like us to prove out this statement, email us and ask for our spreadsheet showing our cost comparative figures. What’s more, you have lots of sizes from which to choose. If you’re space challenged, our Mini-Compact FFGS-7.5 (the number indicates square feet of Grow Bed) is the system for you; but if space is not an issue and you want to grow food for the school cafeteria, then you’ll want the FFGS-40 with a Module 40. These Food Forever™ Growing Systems are not complicated. They can be up and running in short order, present you and your students with a mellow learning curve and come complete with almost everything you need to start your classroom lab. You assemble them, connect to electricity, add water, seedlings, fish; and you have an ecosystem. Aquaponics can be turned into a appropriate Course of Study for several age levels across several subjects. It’s appropriate for Agriculture, Science, Biology, Business (selling food to your own cafeteria) and Culinary Arts just to name a few.

Here it is--our Complete Mini Indoor Growing System .  We call it the Plug-In & Grow System that can be assembled in about a half hour and is completely ready to grow leafy green vegetables and fish.  This is the initial offering of this incredible little food growing system that will allow you to grow lettuce, basil, cilantro, spinach, radishes and other leafy green veggies right in your classroom.You can turn your classroom into an “edible schoolroom” in minutes offering your students innumerable learning opportunities for a small investment in money as well as classroom space. When we say this is a complete system, we mean complete. All you need is the water and the fish; and now we’re selling the fish too. Check out our new Live Tilapia page.


Our new Compacts are perfect for turning a not so exciting classroom into a hands-on lab that is an “Edible Schoolroom”.

How else can you get an Aquaponics System?

One way to get a system is to build it yourself; and there are lots of ideas on the internet about how to do this.  Building your system could be a fun quarter’s project all by itself. You could also convert a Hydroponics system into an Aquaponics system or go on a scavenger hunt to acquire some of your components. What’s important here is that you get a system however you can. If it’s through the gorilla construction method that’s just great as long as it works.

The advantage of buying a complete ready-to-go system like the ones you see on this website is you know they’re going to work and they’re going to work well.

Creative Financing Spoken Here:

Because we really want to see schools embrace this amazing cutting edge food-growing technology, we’re open to some creative financing ideas. 

One such idea has to do with a program we call “The Traveling Ecosystem” plan.

This plan would team up schools that are within a few hours drive of each other and arrange a standard 9-week Quarter Time Line that each school in the plan would have to use the system. The schools would then pool their money and pay anywhere from 1/2 to 1/4 the full price as they would be sharing the system with one or three other schools. We would also be open to creating some kind of monthly payment plan.

If you have any ideas that you wish to share regarding creative financing, please email us at: urbanfarmer@aquaponicsusa.com. Also, be sure to call for details about a new Aquaponics Leasing Program.

And you need SUPPORT!

Here’s our plan. We’ve spoken with The Global Schoolhouse who have said they are interested in our proposed project. Needless to say, this project is still in the design stages; but once it is up and running, what we envision is a world-wide network of K-12 schools with Aquaponics in the Classrooms and/or Labs. We want to link up all of these schools so they can share ideas, projects, curriculum and experiences. This would create a network of excited and motivated students communicating with each other through the internet. Thus Aquaponics would branch out to include yet another subject--communication and advanced computer technology.

Go to GlobalSchoolNet.org to explore and become a Member.  This is the place where students are linked “around the world”.

More SUPPORT:

We also plan to create Instructional Videos to get you going in your new Aquaponics Course. These Videos will be placed in the “Private” section of our Aquaponics USA TV Channel and be available for Teachers who are running one of our Food Forever™ Growing Systems. Instructional Videos will be as reasonable as we can make them and created for specific grade levels. This idea is still in the planning stages.


They will cover hands-on planting of seedlings, planting in grow beds, fish care and feeding and much more. The FFGS-20 below is a perfect classroom system. Click on the picture to go to the specification page.

To your left is our FFGS-40 Food Forever Growing System with 44 sq. ft. of Grow Bed space. Just above, you see an 11 sq. ft. Grow Bed full of media called Hydroton. The two bed system at the top is our FFGS-20. It makes a perfect classroom laboratory. Click on the picture, to go to the sell page.

Our Mission:

Our Mission is to make “Aquaponics” a household word. With your help we can do it. Schools are the place to start because your students will educate their parents about this life-saving food technology. Won’t you join us at whatever level you can. Our Home and Affiliate Pages have Subscription Buttons so you can receive our latest email updates. Please let us know if you are a Teacher because we believe you are special and want to acknowledge you; and thank you for visiting:

Introducing Miss Swish, our Video Aquaponics Instructor for Grades 1-3. She will teach your little ones everything they need to know about Aquaponics using her magic chalkboard while keeping their attention with humor and fun.

The “Miss Swish Video Aquaponics Classroom” is still a work in progress. We are hoping to debut her first instructional aquaponics Videos by mid 2014.

 

Miss

Swish

Recently, Aquaponics USA installed three of the above pictured FFGS-40 Food Growing Systems, each with an extra 120 gallon fish tank, into three inner-city Elementary schools in Tucson, Arizona. You can see videos of those school installations on our Aquaponics USA TV Channel right here. We’ll also be posting a third Video featuring a Video Interview we did with Zotero Citlalcoatl, Youth Farm Project Manager for the Community Food Resource Center and Community Food Bank of Southern Tucson who was the lead on the aquaponics project that placed our systems into these three Tucson schools.

AQUAPONICS USA in Schools: We call them “Edible Schoolrooms”

Davis Bilingual Elementary School is in the Inner City of Tucson, Arizona. It’s an old school that was established in 1901 making it 111 years old. Surprisingly, it’s still in great condition and teaching students in this predominately minority and economically challenged community. Now, Davis Bilingual Elementary School has a state of the art Aquaponics System. It’s our FFGS-40 Food Forever™ Growing System with an extra 120 gallon Fish tank to handle brooding and breeding of Tilapia. Arizona is one of the states that does not have any restrictions on Tilapia, unlike California and Nevada.


Tilapia is one of the most popular aquaponics farming fish for several reasons. They are one of the hardiest fish on the planet, which is a real plus for aquaponics farmers especially when they have never raised fish before. Tilapia can withstand all kinds of water quality issues including low pH, low oxygen levels, and high ammonia and nitrite levels. As a food fish, they are mild, tender and delicious and are becoming one of the most popular food fish on the market today. Blue Tilapia are considered to be the tastiest as well as the hardiest Tilapia to raise. The following series of pictures tell their own story. They have been taken from the Gardening & AquaBioPonics at Davis Elementary facebook page that is located here:

http://www.facebook.com/Davis.Gardening.Aquabioponics

Davis placed their Food Forever™ Growing System in the  Library. They removed carpet and painted the cement floor before we came in to install their system.

Here students are learning how to take the very important water measurements that keep a Food Forever™ Growing System’s water safe for the fish and healthy for the plants. Our motto here at Aquaponics USA is “To Measure Is To Know”; and we recommend at least weekly measurements once a system is established and daily measurements in the beginning.

Here are 3 of those “Edible Schoolrooms” in full swing!

Manzo Elementary School is another Inner City school in the heart of Tucson, Arizona. It’s also an old school that was established in 1939 making it 38 years younger than Davis but still 73 years old. It has also been kept in excellent condition and has a great feel as there is a central courtyard that holds the Chicken Coop from which the chickens freely range and several water catching cisterns. This is the desert so water catchment is important here. These students are also living in the same economically challenged community. The excitement that is being generated in these schools by hands on agriculture projects is contagious; and now, Manzo Elementary School has a state of the art Aquaponics System. It’s another one of our FFGS-40 Food Forever™ Growing System with an extra 120 gallon Fish tank to handle brooding and breeding of Tilapia. Arizona is one of the states that does not have any restrictions on Tilapia, unlike California and Nevada.


Tilapia is one of the most popular aquaponics farming fish for several reasons. They are one of the hardiest fish on the planet, which is a real plus for aquaponics farmers especially when they have never raised fish before. Tilapia can withstand all kinds of water quality issues including low pH, low oxygen levels, and high ammonia and nitrite levels. As a food fish, they are mild, tender and delicious and are becoming one of the most popular food fish on the market today. Blue Tilapia are considered to be the tastiest as well as the hardiest Tilapia to raise. The following series of pictures tell their own story. They have been taken from the Reconciliation Ecology at Manzo Elementary facebook page that is located here:

http://www.facebook.com/Manzo.Ecology

Nicole Ramirez shows the Principal of Manzo Elementary, Mr. Mark Alvarez, how to fillet a Tilapia. The little picture on the right shows those highly efficient gill rakers for sifting small food particles, which make Tilapia gill sifters. Where else would you find the school principal filleting a Tilapia?

Three students munch on celery from their Food Forever™ Growing System. In the small photo, a volunteer from the Southwest Conservation Corps helps a student plant in the Food Forever™ Grow Bed.

Drachman Montessori Magnet Elementary School is another Inner City school in the heart of Tucson, Arizona; but this Montessori Magnet School is contained within a much newer and more modern looking building.  The Montessori teaching model is very different from traditional public school. Maria Montessori based her entire practice on the physical, psychological, and developmental needs of children within stages she called "Planes of Development" instead of setting up a sequential curriculum that gets all areas taught by the end of a student's senior year in high school.  Not only did the specific areas of study plan to fit a child's developmental stages, but the execution of presentation is geared to their physical ability to get the most out of the materials. But in one area, Montessori Schools and traditional public schools both agree. Hands-on experience with a thriving Food Forever™ Growing System offers invaluable opportunities for any learning environment.


So Drachman Montessori Magnet Elementary School has a state of the art Aquaponics System; and it’s another one of our FFGS-40 Food Forever™ Growing System with an extra 120 gallon Fish tank to handle brooding and breeding of Tilapia. Arizona is one of the states that does not have any restrictions on Tilapia, unlike California and Nevada.


Drachman is the second Montessori School to purchase one of our Food Forever™ Growing Systems as the Montessori High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin is also the proud owner of one of our systems. We expect to be getting photos of High School Science students using their Food Forever™ System to study the Nitrogen Cycle, measure water quality, plant growth and lots of other scientific experiments that can take place in a living Aquaponics Lab including the brooding and breeding of Tilapia. When all is said and done, we expect to be selling many more of our Food Forever™ Growing Systems to High Schools than Elementary Schools as what is possible in these more advanced High School Aquaponics Labs can go way beyond what’s happening in Elementary Labs due to the maturity and readiness to learn of the more advanced students of Science.


The following series of pictures tell their own story. They have been taken from the Ecology at Drachman Montessori Elementary facebook page that is located here:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ecology-at-Drachman-Montessori-Elementary/159432864137895

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This is the FFGS-40 Food Forever™ Growing System being installed in a Multi-Purpose Room at Drachman. Zotero Citlalcoatl, Youth Farm Project Manager for the Community Food Resource Center and Community Food Bank of Southern Tucson, who was the lead on the aquaponics project, sits in the background.

Three students proudly share the lettuce they have grown in their Food Forever™ Growing System.

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Emma helps move the new baby Tilapia into the Fish Tank while Keandra provides assistance by making fish faces.

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A student is about to pour the gold fish into the Fish Tank. They were used as the water quality test fish before the Tilapia arrived.

A student group works to maintain their Food Forever™ Growing System. They tested the water quality and fed the gold fish.

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Here you see the Librarian, Cheryl Gerkin, turned Aquaponics instructor, and Julian Barcelo overseeing the children’s observation of the fish in the  320 gallon Fish Tank.

Dr. Aecio D’Silva seen peering into the Fish Tank here is a world renowned Aquaponics expert. He is a Consultant, Professor and the CEO of Moura Enterprises and a worldwide reference in Integrated Sustainable, AquaBioPonics and AquafuelPonics Systems and Humanitarian programs. Right now he is being a Humanitarian and helping the Davis Elementary School Teaching Staff and students learn all about Aquaponics Growing Systems, which he calls “AquaBioPonics”.

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ASK US ABOUT THE GREAT FUNDING OPPORTUNITY FOR SCHOOLS

760-671-3053

A GREAT FUNDING OPPORTUNITY FOR SCHOOLS IS AVAILABLE.

760-671-3053

And don’t forget about the  GREAT FUNDING OPPORTUNITY FOR SCHOOLS! 760-671-3053

And don’t forget about the  GREAT FUNDING OPPORTUNITY FOR SCHOOLS! 760-671-3053

Also make sure you check out our Bundled SCHOOL PACKAGES HERE:

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Designed with small spaces in mind. Our Mini System, FFGS-EZ15 is a perfect Learner system for your classroom. Click the picture for details. These are deep media Grow Beds that offer 15 sq. ft. of growing area. This system can be placed against a wall or in a corner. The beds are deep, durable and strong.

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You need more than an Aquaponics System--you need Curricu-lum.

The above Free Report lists several resources for Aquaponics Curriculum and others are being written as I create this page. We have a proprietary list of resources we supply every school that purchases one of our systems.

FFGS-C5

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Go to the following pages for bundled

SCHOOL PACKAGES:

Plug-In & Grow Page

Mini System Page

FFGS-20 Page

FFGS-40 Page

FFGS-80 Page

Go to the following pages for bundled

SCHOOL PACKAGES:

Plug-In & Grow Page

Mini System Page

FFGS-20 Page

FFGS-40 Page

FFGS-80 Page

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https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/11783342/AUSA_School_Price_Sheet.pdf