Are you looking for a hobby to share with your kids? Why not try a project that will be fun, educational, and best of all, teach your kids’ life skills that will set them up to be successful when they grow up? We’re talking about aquaponics, the easiest way to introduce and teach your kids to nature.
By growing an aquaponics garden at home (backyard or indoors), you are allowing your kids to see the magic of mother nature and where food comes from daily.
If your kids understand where their food comes from and has a hand in growing it. They will become more independent, eat healthier, and their appreciation for nature will grow.
Benefits your kids will get by growing an aquaponics garden
- It teaches kids how plants grow and how we can grow our food.
- Raising fish teaches kids about pet care and shows them a glimpse of the life of what life might be in the ocean.
- Lets you spend quality time with your kids and family outdoors.
- Introduce your kids to science and basic chemistry as they monitor nitrogen levels in plants and fish.
- Give your kids an understanding of nature and life cycle.
- It teaches responsibility and takes pride in caring for the ecosystem.
Recommendations for Kids' Aquaponics
- Choose fish that are readily available, hardy, and easy to care for like goldfish, guppies, angelfish, or other common varieties available from your local aquarium or pet store.
- Choose fast-growing robust plants with low nutrient demand like leafy greens such as lettuce, spinach, and herbs. You can start your plants from seed in a grow cube or loose in the growing medium in your grow bed. Tiny seeds can be sprouted by placing them between two paper towels that are kept warm and moist. If you transplant your plant from the soil, be sure to thoroughly wash away all the dirt surrounding the roots and wash the leaves to remove any pests or insects.
- If you’re growing indoors, install a small lighting system. To extend the growing season, improve fish observation, and demonstrate the requirement for the light of plants.
- Feed fish with small feedings unless you have a large tank. Do not feed more than the fish can completely consume in 5 minutes. Most tropical fish are fine with dry flake fish food.
- The water level in the tank will slowly decrease in time as the plants absorb some water, and some evaporate. Every few days, refill the tank with clean and dechlorinated water. To dechlorinate water, allow the water to sit for 24 to be sure chlorine has dissipated from the water.
Backyard Aquaponics for Kids
Most backyard aquaponics is do-it-yourself systems. A DIY backyard aquaponics system is a great way to supplement learning opportunities to teach your kids on science, technology, and how to repurpose things into something creative and usable. Working together to set up and maintain your aquaponics system provides a wonderful bonding experience for the whole family.
DIY Backyard Aquaponics System Ideas for Kids
1. Simple Aquaponics Setup
This very simple improvised aquaponics set up is excellent for beginners. The system is made of recycled materials from soft drink bottles, yogurt cups, PVC pipes, and a 13 gallons water container lined with plastic and a submersible pump. Lettuce is planted on a clay grow medium. This setup will be an excellent experiment for kids.
2. DIY Goldfish Aquaponics System
This small project is suitable for your balcony, garage, or a small garden. This system uses a 120 gallon DIY wooden crate made of thick plywood and plastic pond liner.
This system uses a pond pump with a capability of 125-300 gallons per hour and a PVC removable spray bar. The water is pumped from the tank to the grow bed through a self-made PVC pipe and drained through a simple PVC drain covered by a filter box to prevent the substrate from clogging the pipe. Lava rock, gravel, and clay pebbles are used as the grow media for the plants.The wooden crate gives the system a beautiful natural look and rustic feel. This is great for environmentally conscious people who want to have their small system
Indoor Aquaponics System for Kids
Indoor aquaponics systems are another way to teach your kids the importance of ecosystems through raising fish and growing plants together. An indoor system is easier to manage, and it brings the benefits of aquaponics without space, time, and materials needed for a backyard setup. There are lots of choices in an indoor aquaponics system, you can purchase pre-made aquaponics system kits, or you can start a small DIY system with a few goldfish in an aquarium. You can turn a basic aquarium into an effective setup to grow houseplants, vegetables, or herbs inside the house.
DIY Indoors Aquaponics System Ideas for Kids
1. DIY Aquaponics System for 10 Gallon Fish Tank
This aquaponics video is part 1 of a DIY indoor aquaponics system for a 10-gallon fish tank. This DIY aquaponics system was built using materials found in local stores and amazon that came in under $50. Watch this tutorial and get ideas on how to start your DIY aquaponics system.
2. Easy Indoor Aquaponics System
For a small indoor aquaponics system. This setup uses a 29-gallon aquarium fish tank and four goldfish. The corner 375-gallon pump pumps the water from the aquarium to the grow bed containing Hydroton expanded clay pellets as a growing medium. A standard aquarium meshy material acts as a filter.
The system uses an automatic programmable timer that turns on and off every 15 minutes to flood the grow bed. The system also uses additional lighting for both the tank and the grow bed and improvised cardboard wrapped in aluminum foil as a light reflector. You can be resourceful in finding materials for your system.
Aquaponics System Kits for Kids
Purchasing an aquaponics system kit is one option that you can use in starting and teaching aquaponics to your kids. With aquaponics system kits, you only need to add the fish and plants. You can use a large, higher-end aquaponics kit that can grow large amounts of plants. If you are looking for something a little smaller, you can choose aquaponics system kits that are designed to fit on your countertop. Check out these aquaponics system kits that may meet your needs
1. Springworks Microfarm Aquarium Topper Aquaponic System
Springworks aquaponics system is a self-sustaining system for the home, office, or school. This aquaponics system kit is excellent for kids to grow small garden plants like basil, oregano lettuce, strawberry, and herbs. This system includes a 10-gallon fish aquarium, grow bed, pump, tank lid, lights, and all the necessary fittings for an aquaponics system. Growing is made easy with this ready to grow and plant set up. You only need to install it, and you can instantly start cultivating your choice of plants
2. Mini Aquaponics System: Back to the roots Water Garden Aquarium
This mini aquaponics kit is a simple and compact aquaponics starter kit and will perfectly introduce you and your kids to the wonders of aquaponics gardening. It’s well-built and easy to set up a system. The fish tank can hold a few small fish, and the grow bed on the top can have three slots for growing plants. You can place this kit on your countertop or anywhere with ease, and all you need to maintain is feed the fish.
Through aquaponics, you can teach your kids about chores, responsibility, growing their food, eating healthy, and supplementing their school education. Even a small DIY indoor or outdoor system can provide a ton of information and opportunity to your kids. The best part of it is you learn and have fun learning aquaponics together.