Electrical wiring of the Aquaponics unit
HQ Electrical have completed the wiring in the unit meaning we have achieved another milestone. Brian and Greg have done an awesome job. The fish now have a pump in the tank providing them with circulating water. We now have very happy fish. It may sound crazy - the fish love playing in the bubbles and moving water - and the students enjoy watching them.
and looking absolutely beautiful as they hang on the netting fence drying their wings.
becoming very dark and transparent - ready to hatch …
Over the past few weeks, students have been keeping their watchful eyes on our Swan Plant. Several caterpillars made the plant their home …
Whaea Margo (Rm 7 teacher) and her students came up to visit the unit this morning to feed the fish and learn more about our project. They also checked out our worm farm and we talked about what the worms eat.
Students check out the worms.
Hunter gives the fish some food pellets while his classmates look on.
Peiter and Angus do the roll while Rebekha records the minutes for the days session. Different students undertake these roles each week.
27th February 2015 - Amanda (Enviroschools Facilitator) joins us for the planning/discussion part of our weekly meeting.
The boys work outside the staffroom during breaks.
Myles and Cooper having been working on the outer housing for the first auto siphon by drilling the holes.
New shade garden - with the removal, last year, of many large trees around the school (they were old, diseased and dangerous), John has been busy redesigning one of our gardens into a beautiful shade area. A path leads into a central area which has large rocks for the students to sit on. It can also be utilized by classrooms for outdoor sessions. Bark chips will be added to the path and shade area with wood shavings being used on the outer areas.
Amelia peeks over the top of the tank to check the fish as the water level is topped up.
Corey has been working on the plumbing - often late at night when it’s cooler in the tunnel. Many of the measurements have been altered to suit NZ products. Plumbing World Taupo are providing excellent support for our project.
A little bit of history found - During a tidy-up session in the Maze, we found this paver made by Arzjah. She was one of the 'designers'of the Maze with the paver being made approx. 9 years ago.
The overgrowth was cleared from these beds and we will plant fruit trees in them.
We started cleaning the toilet areas. Thanks to a donation of paint organised through the Johnson Family, we will be able to spruce up the walls over the coming weekends.
Students have taken on the responsibility for feeding the fish and showing other students our set up.
Myles, Coen and Cooper watch the fish feeding.
Amelia checks the water level during a partial water change. This will be done occasionally until the system is operating and cycling through the grow beds.
On Saturday 21.2.15 Glen and his team came out to give us a hand with a few jobs. The cleaned away overgrowth in the native gardens, turned the bark over in both the playgrounds and removed the over-sized flax plants growing in a very narrow garden in the Aquaponics Unit. They also removed all the 'growth’ in the Unit’s guttering and helped put the netting up to stop birds making their nests in our workrooms.
Vege Beds - Our long hot, dry summer left our beds in a sad state. We have cleaned them out, added chicken poo (thanks Mrs Woolnough) and coffee grounds, then we planted some lettuce, silverbeet, and kale.
Maze - John has given the Brain Maze a much needed trim and tidied up the pathways. By reducing the height of the hedges, the 'child made gaps’ are starting to re-grow.
We have learnt a lot about goldfish this week. Sadly, after the second addition of fish to the tank, somehow the tank became contaminated and we lost a large number of fish. On Saturday we set up our second tank, drained the original tank and transferred the fish in stages into their new home. Everything has now settled down and the fish are happy once again. We still have 60+ fish.
Some of the fish in the 'transition’ pond
Saturday 14.2.15 - Aquaponics Unit
We also started cleaning out the old changing rooms so we can use them as our work and storage rooms.
Cover Repairs - Using a special waterproof tape, we made repairs to the holes made in the FlexiTunnel cover.
Friday 13.2.15 - The fish are settling in well. Tonight while dropping off some new blocks for the grow beds, Amanda spied the fish feeding on evening bugs which had made their way into the tunnel. As it was another very warm day we had left the doors open during the afternoon.
Amanda J., Myles, Cooper and Ms Fitzsimmons successfully completed the 'foundations’ for our first set-up using the nice new blocks and timber. This time we have it correct - everything is even and level. It looks great. Now we can proceed with the plumbing over the next couple of weekends.
Wednesday 11.2.15 A huge thank you to Sue Barclay who is donating a large number of goldfish to our Aquaponics project. This afternoon she brought the first of the fish (approx. 50) to school for us. Myles and Cooper helped put the fish into the tank.
Taupo Pet Shop are supporting us by providing discounts on food for the fish.
Our Enviro Display Board has been given a make-over.
February 2015 - It has been another very dry, hot summer in the Taupo region. Over the holiday break our gardens produced some juicy boysenberries and raspberries along with a good quantity of beans and potatoes. Our tomatoes are starting to ripen and we look forward to some yummy sandwiches and salads.
Our local member of Parliament sent us the following letter for becoming a Green Gold Enviroschool.
We have lined the first fish tank to reduce algae build-up. The water pressure is low in the unit and it took 5 hours to fill one tank in preparation of the fish arriving this week. Taupo’s water supply has chlorine added. The water requires a 'stand’ time before the fish can be introduced.
These photos show the difference the liner has made.
Saturday February 7, 2015
With much excitement, a group arrived today to start the setup and plumbing of the first unit. After a lot of fetch and carrying of concrete blocks, it was discovered that no matter which way we arranged them or combinations we tried - they were the wrong size and type. A lesson learned and thanks to Andrew, the correct bits are on the way. Over the break, the weeds had started taking over the terraced area so we spent some time tidying up.
Amanda and Myles check the growing bed mount levels.