General Information on Aquaponics

Calendars:

October’s Calendar: AQUA OCT 13

What is Aquaponics?

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Here is one attempt at a definition:

“Aquaponics is the cultivation of fish and plants together in a constructed, recirculating ecosystem utilizing natural bacterial cycles to convert fish waste to plant nutrients. This is an environmentally friendly, natural food-growing method that harnesses the best attributes of aquaculture and hydroponics without the need to discard any water or filtrate or add chemical fertilizers.”

 -Aquaponic Gardening Community, November 2010

Aquaponics is the combination of aquaculture (raising fish) and hydroponics (the soil less cultivation of plants in water) that grows fish and plants together in one integrated system. The fish waste provides an organic food source for the growing plants and the plants provide a natural filter for the water the fish live in, creating a natural balanced cycle. The third participants are the microbes (nitrifying bacteria) and composting red worms that thrive in the growing media. They do the job of converting the ammonia from the fish waste first into nitrites, then into nitrates and the solids into vermicompost that that are food for the plants.

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What we are doing now in the Aquaponics Program?

Our STEM Aquaponics lab was completed in the Fall of 2012. The initial plants added into the system were strawberries, basil, swiss chard, lettuce, citrus trees, rosemary, and more crops are being transplanted in by the day. Once the plants were added our first stock of tilapia, the fish we will be rearing, were introduced into the system. The plan for our first harvest of crops is to sell our bounty to local businesses and eventually open up our door to the school and community to purchase our products. During the class students are learning how to grow a plant from a seed and studying the different lifecycles of the plant. Students are learning about the different variables that affect plant growth including nutrients, light levels, substrates, water levels, diseases, and pests. Students will also study the biology of fish to understand the tilapia life cycle, reproduction, and essential needs. Using these concepts students will be able to maintain a healthy and productive ecosystem in our STEM aquaponics lab.

*Side note: All Aquaponics Class documents including (syllabus, safety contract, any work done in class) will be under the ‘Aquaponics Class Documents’ tab.

*All Aquapoincs class lectures will be under the ‘Aquaponics Lectures’ tab and so on..etc.

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HOW WILL WE BE GRADED?

Grades

Breakdown of grades:

20% Binder (participation), 20% Labs/Activities,  20% Projects,  20% Exams/Quizzes,  20% Aquaponics Maintenance

1.    Binder/Participation (20%): You will be required to create an Aquponics Binder and keep it organized throughout the course. I suggest that you immediately put any work done in class into your binder to ensure it is kept in order and is not lost. Journals will be checked to assess your progress, to confirm assignments are complete, and to be used as a study guide. Prior to being graded, students will be notified in advance to confirm that their binder meets the provided rubric to receive full credit. Participation is also important in this class and will be included in this category.

2.    Labs and Activities (20%): We will be doing weekly labs and activities, which will comprise the largest portion of your grade. During many of these activities you will work with your peers to gather results or to discuss issues. Please use class time appropriately, be safe in the lab, and contribute to the group. Failure to do so may result in points being lost on the assignment.

3.    Projects (20%): Various projects will be assigned throughout the course. A rubric and project outline will be provided in advance so students have adequate time to complete the work.

4.     Exams and Quizzes (20%): These will be in multiple choice, short answer, and essay format. Students will have 4 Exams throughout the year. One will occur at the semester quarter and one at the end of each semester.

5.     Aquaponics Maintenance (20%):

Grades are updated on the online grade system weekly.

Grading Scale

100-90%                      A                        69-60%                             D

89-80%                        B                        59% and below                F

79-70%                         C

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HOW TO DO CORNELL NOTES?

CORNELL NOTES: you will be using Cornell notes to help you deconstruct your textbook and articles. Attached is a the instructions for how your Cornell notes should be done. We will practice as a class of couple times.

*Word Copy is attached here: cornell notes aquaponics

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HOW TO SET UP MY BINDERS?

Aquaponics Binder Check

Binder checks will be a big part of your ‘Class Participation’ grade. They will be checked every 4-5 weeks (twice every quarter).

Read all requirements and directions of how your Biology binder should be set up. Attached below:

*Word Copy is attached here:Aquaponics Binder Check

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HOW TO WRITE AN INFORMAL LAB REPORT AND A FORMAL LAB REPORT?

  • Informal Lab Reports will be done in your science composition book:

Directions are attached here: Writing an informal lab report

  • Formal Lab Reports will be typed and clipped into your binder. 

Directions are attached here: How to Write a FORMAL Lab Report in Honors Biology

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OTHER IMPORTANT AND HELPFUL DOCUMENTS

Tasks (1-10) for Maintenance Days: Aquaponics Lab Cleaning Procedures – 8.18.13

Notes on technical writing: notes on technical writing

How to write a conclusion: How to write a conclusion

How to submit a “results” or “data analysis” part in your formal lab report: How to submit a Results:data section

Using Excel to Generate Graphs: USING EXCEL FOR GENERATING GRAPHS

Rubric for Formal Lab Report: Rubric for formal lab report

Lab Group Participation Evaluation:Lab Group Participation Evaluation

Turn it in Directions: COMING SOON.

Formal Lab Report Template: Formal lab report template

APA Guide Directions: APA Format Guide Directions