Aquaponics is an excellent way to teach kids about the environment and sustainability. It also has many benefits for their health. This article will discuss what aquaponics is, why it is a good learning tool for kids and some of the best aquaponics systems for children. We will also provide tips on how to get your kids excited about aquaponics.
What is Aquaponics, and How Does it Work?
Aquaponics is a food production system that combines raising aquatic animals with hydroponics. In this system, water from the fish tank is pumped into the grow bed, where plants are grown. The plants then act as a natural filter for the water, cleaning it before returning to the fish tank. This cycle creates a closed-loop system that is very efficient and sustainable.
Why is Aquaponics a Good Learning Tool for Kids?
Aquaponics is a great learning tool for kids because it is a hands-on way to teach them about the environment and sustainability. It also shows them how their actions can positively or negatively impact the ecosystem. In addition, aquaponics is a great way to get kids interested in science and engineering.
The three main concepts your kids will learn from building and caring for an aquaponics system are:
- Basic science and biology: maintenance of an aquaponics system requires regular water checks, and there are pH, ammonia, and nutrients involved. Learning and understanding how the fish waste was converted into nutrients for the plants will show them the basics of biology,
- Understanding where and how their food comes from: Understanding the importance of eating healthy foods and growing their food will make kids appreciate healing eating habits.
- Life: There is an essential natural life cycle for both fish and plants in aquaponics.
Here are some benefits your kids will get from learning about aquaponics:
Taking care of the fish and plants in an aquaponics system will give kids a sense of responsibility. From fish feeding to testing the water quality, kids would know it will be up to them to keep the fish and plants alive.
Besides having homework from school, household chores, and playtime, your kids will have to ensure that there is time to care for the system.
Knowing they have contributed to your aquaponics system's success will help kids gain a great sense of confidence in themselves, which they can apply to everything they do.
Learning how fish and plants grow in nature will help kids appreciate nature, the importance of life, and caring for our environment.
Sense of Accomplishment and Pride
Having a successful aquaponics system and knowing they have contributed to its success will give kids a sense of pride. Your kids will have a project that will benefit them for life with more knowledge of science and life and the symbiotic of plants and fish or other animals.
Great Bonding Time
An aquaponics system requires regular maintenance and care, which will take a few minutes a day. This can be a great opportunity to spend quality time with your kids while doing something productive. It is an excellent screen-free activity that you can do together to take a break from technology.
Where Can Kids Learn About Aquaponics?
Now that you know all about the benefits of aquaponics for kids, you may wonder where they can learn more about it. Luckily, there are several ways to get your kids interested in aquaponics. You can start by teaching them the basic concepts at home. There are also many books and websites that explain aquaponics in a kid-friendly way.
In addition, there are several hands-on learning opportunities available, such as internships and apprenticeships on organic farms or community gardens that use aquaponics. Finally, many schools are starting to incorporate aquaponics into their curriculum, so check with your child's school to see if they offer any classes or programs on the subject.
Easy Aquaponics Setup for Kids
There are many aquaponics systems that you can set up at home. But, if you're starting out, we recommend keeping it simple. You have the option of buying a ready-to-use aquaponics system or do-it-yourself your own system. If you're planning to DIY, below is a list of supplies you will need to get started:
- A fish tank
- Grow beds (we recommend using plastic storage bins)
- Water heater (optional)
- Grow media
- Fish food
Now that you have all the supplies, you're ready to set up your system. Follow these easy steps:
1. Fill the grow beds with your chosen grow media and then add water. The water should be about an inch from the top of the gravel.
2. Hook up the pump to the fish tank and turn it on. The pump should circulate the water from the tank to the grow beds and back again.
3. Turn on the pump and let it run for a few hours to ensure everything works correctly.
5. Place the plants in the grow beds. Make sure they are evenly spaced out.
6. Feed the fish once a day. You can either use pellets or flakes. Always remember to remove any uneaten fish food to avoid water quality problems.
And that's it! You're now ready to start growing your own food. Just remember to check the water level in the grow beds every few days and add more if necessary. Also, be sure to clean out the fish tank every month or so to prevent algae growth. With a bit of care, your aquaponics system will provide you with fresh, healthy food for years to come.
Ready to Use Aquaponics Systems
This mini aquaponic aquarium includes everything you need to start your aquaponic system. This mini aquaponics system is for kids who want to learn aquaponics.
This 10-gallon AquaSprouts Garden is a self-sustaining aquarium & aquaponics kit for the home, office, or school.
This kit is great for beginners in aquaponics who are looking to take their first step in the world of aquaponics. The kit comes in a "Single Grow Bed System" or "Double Grow Bed System." This complete kit includes a grow media, pump, a digital thermometer, plumbings, and a Master API water test kit. If you're a total beginner, this kit is excellent because it also comes with instructions and 5 hours of short aquaponics online course. This home system kit is ideal for kids and adults who want a hassle-free start to aquaponics.
Tips on How to Teach Kids Aquaponics
If you want to teach your kids about aquaponics, there are several things you can do to make it more fun and engaging. Below are some tips:
- Make it hands-on: Kids learn best when actively involved in the learning process. So, be sure to set up a small aquaponics system that they can help with. This will allow them to see firsthand how the system works and how their actions can impact the environment.
- Use visuals: Kids are also very visual learners. So, in addition to setting up a system, be sure to show them pictures or videos of aquaponics systems in action. This will help them better understand how the system works.
- Make it relevant: Be sure to offer hands-on learning opportunities, using visuals, and making it relevant to their interests.
- Have fun: Make it a fun experience for the kids and the whole family.
Aquaponics is a great way for kids to learn about sustainability and the environment while also getting interested in science and engineering. There are many aquaponics systems that you can set up at home, so check out our easy setup guide. And, if you want to make it more fun for your kids, be sure to use our tips on how to teach them aquaponics. With a little bit of effort, your kids will be experts on aquaponics in no time!