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Awesome Aquaponics

Have you heard of aquaponics? If not, we’d be happy to show you how it works!

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Aquaponics combines an aquarium with a hydroponic garden. Hydroponics is “the process of growing plants in sand, gravel, or liquid, with added nutrients but without soil.” In our new aquaponics cabinet, the waste produced by our fish is recycled into some of the nutrients that the plants in our hydroponic garden need. We plan to use this hydroponic garden to provide food for our turtles, uromastyx lizards, and millipedes.

 

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When you visit us, you will probably notice the very bright grow lights first. These keep the plants in the garden happy and healthy. When you get closer, you will discover that there is a viewing panel you can lift to see the roots of the plants as they grow. The fish in the aquarium who help fertilize the garden are sailfin mollies.

 

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As always, we had help in bringing this idea to life. Andrew Simmonds, a local carpenter, created the beautiful cabinet that houses the aquarium and hydroponic garden. Chris Arthur at Blue Ridge Hydroponics helped us assemble the garden and the connections between the garden and the aquarium. And we couldn’t have succeeded without Honeytree Foundation, who sponsored the exhibit. The museum staff who helped to design this exhibit were Derek Kellogg, Guy Byrd, and Mark Hodges.

Thank you, HoneyTree Foundation!honeytree-web

 

 

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