Riverbend brings aquaponics to Plymouth Whitemarsh High School

Colonial School District  |  Posted on

Riverbend’s Aquaponics Greenhouse Manager Mike Barcus, center, explained how aquaponics works and what the students would need to do to take care of the maintenance of the system.

Did you know that by raising fish in a tank, you can have everything you need to nurture a garden? Aquaponics, which combines aquaculture (raising aquatic animals in a tank) and hydroponics (cultivating plants in water), has come to Colonial through a partnership with Riverbend Environmental Education Center in Gladwyne. In aquaponics, the water from the tank is pumped through the system where helpful bacteria breaks down the waste from the fish into nitrates that feed the plants. The filtered water then goes back into the tank. “Aquaponics is interesting,” said Becca Richards, a junior at PWHS. “I think it’s important to learn about where your food’s coming from, where it’s made and all the components that go into that.” Students from one of the school’s science clubs will take care of feeding the fish, testing the water, monitoring how much light the plants get and cleaning the tank.