Sunday, April 26, 2015

Flow Charting at Caroline Elementary

One of the great things about Trout in the Classroom is the broad range of day-to-day applications it can support.   Anna Chapman, at Caroline Elementary, recently took advantage of her students' aquarium monitoring responsibilities to practice creating a flow chart with her class.  Very cool!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Aquaponics at Cayuga Heights

They're growing some giant trout at Cayuga Heights Elementary this year, but all that eating means the trout are creating quite a bit of waste.  Over the past few weeks, the water have been getting cloudy, and waste has been starting to build up.  Regular water tests by the students indicates high ammonia, nitrite and nitrate, and increasingly acidic water! 

Of course, in a natural system, there is no unused waste, and nitrogen compounds are normally used by plants.  As luck would have it, the 4th grades at CHES are just completing their "Structures of Life" unit, which involves growing and studying seeds.  So, on Friday, April 17, we started an aquaponics project on the Cayuga Heights Elementary trout aquarium with help form Planted Earth Hydroponics of Ithaca!  The waste produced by our trout will feed a small garden on top of the tank!

Students plant beans and peas sprouted during "Structures of Life"
into ceramic growing medium.
April 20 - After three days, the filtering action of the hydroponics media
(in the black tray) seems to be clarifying the water.  Sprouts are taking off,
April 23 (day 6) - Water continues to clear.  Ammonia and Nitrite have decreased
from 10ppm to nearly zero.  Be amazed; we are!
 Stay tuned for updates!