Aquaponic Education in schools is taking off around the world but its not often you see a new hybrid technology installed that combines two very different aquaponics systems – floating raft and gravel media together in the one system.
This aquaponics system pictured was recently installed at Freshwater Christian College near Cairns, Queensland.
It features Murray Hallam’s new FloMedia system that he devised that allows you to grow a variety of plants in the one setup.
Murray says he’s been testing his Flomedia technology for over a year and the response has been sensational. To make his fish tanks more accessible to the school kids, Murray created a fish viewing windows in his 2 x 1250 litre fish tanks.
The fish tanks are hooked up to 4 x media beds and 2 x raft beds. Murray says the fish tanks have half a dozen large Jade Perch in one tank and some ornamental Goldfish in the other tank. On top of the windowed fish tanks are smaller fingerling tanks which children can get a closer look and feed a variety of smaller decorative freshwater specimens.
Murray Hallam was recently honoured with an award from the Science Teachers Association of Queensland. Murray says the teachers were “on fire” and incredibly enthusiastic about aquaponics. He says the feedback was so positive, teachers were explaining to him how aquaponics education can fit into the school curriculum.
Apart from learning life skills, teachers say Aquaponics can be integral to teaching students about Physics, Animal Husbandry, Water Chemistry, Horticulture , Aquaculture, General Science, Electronics and practical skills. They also get to eat fresh vegetables at the school canteen thanks to the fast growing salads the system produces.
Murray says his FloMedia system is powered by his CHOP2 method which he revealed and explained in his DIY Aquaponics DVD.
CHOP2 allows the home builder to allow his tanks to be built on uneven ground and individual grow beds regulated independently with nutrient flow.
It also makes life easier for the various auto-siphons that regulate oxygen flow to his gravel grow-beds.
Murray says developing the dual system of aquaponics food production using FloMedia means heavy nutrient feeding plants like cabbages and tomatoes can be grown and supported in his gravel media bed systems while lighter feeding plants like lettuce and basil can be grown on floating raft. Combing the two systems together seems like a stroke of genius. Sorting out the water flow and pump issues is where Murray’s FloMedia technology solves these problems. Murray says that there is no better way to grow lettuce than in Floating Raft.
The only problem he says, is that for an average family running floating raft, they will grow so much lettuce, they wont know know what to do with it all.
Practical Aquaponics Educational FloMedia kits.....An ideal solution for a school system.