Fish + Plants = AQUAPONICS
The gray goldfish are tiny, too small to take a picture of, but they look healthy! I can't wait to get some plants growing in there soon. We are still planning on kale, I'm sure it will grow out of control quickly.
It has been a busy spring semester here, so I haven't been the best at keeping up with the blog. But we are on the downhill slide towards the end of the year and we've got some new fish! Duane has been awesome and got us some grey goldfish for the tank and planted some kale (not only a hip and trendy plant, but also super easy to grow).
Fingers crossed we can keep these goldfish alive through the brutal Texas heat to come. Updates soon with pictures, hopefully!
You might notice how beautiful our winter garden is doing right outside of our aquaponics greenhouse...it is a little ironic considering our plants should be flourishing within the greenhouse, but right now there are no plants and no fish.
Sadly, a critter got into the greenhouse (I suspect a raccoon) and ate 2 out of our 3 surviving channel cats. So we were left with 1 last catfish and decided it was time for him to be set free. Now if you follow along with my math, we have 0 fish left, which means that there is no aquaponics possible as of right now.
Notice the black tub in the picture, that is the fish tank that we are bleaching with UV rays from the sun to kill off the saddle-back bacteria that plagued our catfish. We hope to move on to Koi with the help of Texas Parks & Wildlife's Hatchery experts in San Marcos. Supposedly Koi are less prone to bacteria and disease than our Channel Catfish we started with...lesson learned!
We will keep you updated on how this new process goes getting our aquaponics system up and running again with different fish, just don't expect anything to happen before winter break. More like January, a new year with new fish.
Airing on PBS's Central Texas Gardener TV show on Sept. 9th at noon. Or just watch our segment below!
Round 2 of aquaponics is about to start with the beginning of the new school year. We are recruiting new students to our Crockett HS Garden Club to help with the plants this year.
We will keep you updated on our new recruits! Hopefully our catfish will survive the most recent outbreak of "saddle back"...otherwise we are contacting Texas Parks and Wildlife for some more fish.
Our Channel "Cats" (Ictalurus punctatus) are doing well, surviving the brutal Texas heat in their pleasant 80°F water. They seemed pretty happy today when I fed them.
I tested their water to make sure that all the nitrate, ammonia, and pH were at the right levels and sure enough they were textbook.
I can't wait to see my students' faces when they see how much the fish have grown! School is almost ready to start up soon...less than a month!
Duane and I had a great time presenting at the 2016 HSTW conference. Thank you to those who attended one or both of our presentations!
Duane and I are in Louisville, KY presenting at the High Schools That Work 2016 conference tomorrow.
We are very excited to share our passion of our aquaponics project with fellow teachers and administrators, hopefully we can inspire some other cross-curricular projects to start all across the country!
The mural on the back of the greenhouse is constantly being updated. Thank you to Mrs. Nowzaradan and her art class for making the back of the greenhouse (which is visible from the main staircase) beautiful!
Better late than never...but we finally got a blog up and running about our aquaponics system. Probably because it is summer and we have a bit of relief from our daily obligations.
Our surviving 3 channel catfish are going strong even with the brutal Texas heat.
Citronella looking a little sad and suffering from the greenhouse effect inside our beautiful greenhouse (built by our very own Crockett HS construction students!).