Aquaponics Image

    Aquaponics System


     Aquaponics Aquaponics is a combination of hydroponics and aquaculture.  Hydroponics is a method of agriculture that uses water for the production of food.  Aquaculture is the rearing of aquatic animals (ex. fish) for food. In our aquaponics system, the waste produced by farmed fish or other aquatic animals will supply nutrients for plants that are grown hydroponically.  The plants, in turn, purify the water and it is returned to the two of fish tanks.  Currently, our system houses approximately 200 rainbow trout that we raised from eggs.  Our experiences learning about the requirements that salmon, in the 8th grade "Salmon in the Classroom Program," have for life has proven beneficial in our aquaponics development.

    Our recirculating system was built thanks to a grant from the Gratiot County Community Foundation.  Our future plans included developing a larger system using more grow beds for a larger production of food.  We are currently working on planning and designing other systems that can be used in our greenhouse.

    System Earth Science students have set up small-scale models to build an understanding of aquaponics.  Most students created raft type systems to grow plants and raise fish.  They are analyzing the water quality every other day as well as measuring the energy inputs into the system to try and understand how it is cycling matter and energy.  The information that we learn here will help us a great deal as we transition into using our large system.

    Take a moment to watch the following video created by student Emily Sorah about aquaponics. Emily took some time to visually represent the union that occurs between plants and aquatic animals in an aquaponics system.

     At Fulton Schools, we pride ourselves on the local business partnerships that we are developing.  Local organizations have come beside us to help sponsor student learning in a variety of ways.  Many local businesses have sponsored various project both instructionally and financially to help make learning opportunities a reality. We are indebted to these organizations as they help our students develop skills to better meet the work-place requirements of today.  It is our hope that these learning opportunities we serve our partners in the future as our students enter the workforce.


    Earth Science and Environmental Science students have been working throughout the semester to construct our system.  Students are learning some great STEM skills as they use the classroom models to consider the inner workings of our larger system.  They are also using a great deal of engineering and design skills to construct the project.  Below are some images of students working on the system. 

    We had our first harvest of lettuce! Here is a video of our system while we harvested some of it.

    Monitoring and Maintaining pH in our system is going to be very important.  The video below explains why pH is important and how we will go about maintaining appropriate levels as to create an environment where plants, fish, and bacteria thrive.

    The fish for our aquaponics project were provided by...
    Blue Springs Fish Farm

    Trout Eggs  

    A big thank you to Marisource for their donation of a hatching tray for our trout and salmon eggs.
    Marisource  Hatching tray

    Scientific Anglers sponsored a dollar-for-dollar campaign to raise money for the purchase of a large system chiller for our aquaponics system.  Thanks to SA and a few very generous donors we were able to raise the funds needed for that purchase.
    Scientific Anglers  Chiller

     Fish Homeostasis (HS-LS1-3)  Fish Homeostasis Lesson

Aquaponics Construction Resources

  • Greenhouse Project Completion

    Posted by Jeremy Winsor on 12/27/2017
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  • Our Eggs Have Arrived!

    Posted by Jeremy Winsor on 12/19/2017

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  • Constructing a Simple Recirculating Aquaponics System for Classroom Use

    Posted by Jeremy Winsor on 12/9/2017

    The following article outlines the processes involved in creating a simple recirculating aquaponics system for use in classrooms. 

    Constructing a Simple Recirculating Aquaponics System

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  • Model Aquaculture Recirculation System - Information & Design

    Posted by Jeremy Winsor on 12/8/2017
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  • Nitrogen Cycle Lesson Plan for Aquaponics Systems

    Posted by Jeremy Winsor on 8/16/2017

    The following lesson plan can be used to introduce students to the nitrogen cycle and identifying its importance in aquaponics systems.

    Aquaponics Nitrogen Cycle Introduction Lesson

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    Posted by Jeremy Winsor on 7/12/2017


    Aquaponics is a combination of hydroponics (growing plants in a soilless environment) and aquaculture (raising fish in a tank). As a byproduct of respiration, fish excrete toxic ammonia from their gills. In an aquaponics system, the water in the fish tank is pumped to beds where plants are grown in a soilless medium. Nitrifying bacteria colonize in the medium, and convert ammonia to nitrite and then nitrate. The plants can readily absorb the nitrate as a vital nutrient, and the water, which is now free of the toxic ammonia and nitrite, is pumped back to the fish tank. In this paper, we will attempt to simulate nutrient flow in an aquaponics system with a two-dimensional model. For each of the three substances of interest: ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate; a diffusion-advection-reaction equation will be used to determine its concentration within the fish tank and plant bed as a function of time and space. Model parameters will be estimated based on empirical evidence, and we will discuss possible numerical methods that could be used to solve the equations in our model.

    Mathematical Model for Nutrients in Aquaponics Article

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  • Aquaponics Design Manual for a Greenhouse

    Posted by Jeremy Winsor on 6/21/2017

    Manual for designing and constructing an aquaponics system in a greenhouse.

    Greenhouse Aquaponics Design Manaul

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  • Repairing Old Systems

    Posted by Jeremy Winsor on 4/12/2017

    The following article discusses the maintenance of older aquaponics or aquaculture systems.

    Repairing Old Recirculating Systems

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  • Technology Development for Water Quality Analysis

    Posted by Jeremy Winsor on 4/2/2017

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  • Aquaponics in the Classroom

    Posted by Jeremy Winsor on 4/1/2017

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