Our focus for the past couple of weeks has been bacteria, with the end game of understanding the microbiology of our aquaponics system. This week we pulled it all together by testing the water quality within our aquaponics system. Students examined the ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels to determine if the nitrifying bacteria were doing their job. Lower, Upper, and Middle school came to the same conclusion, ammonia was slightly high, but nitrites and nitrates were at perfect levels.
So when posed with the question on how to lower the ammonia, the consensus was to help the nitrosomonas bacteria. Relating to what they learned about bacteria, it was decided that we should increase the temperature of the water in the tank to reach more optimum conditions for the bacteria to do their job. A tank water heater is on the way. We will retest the tank in 3 weeks to see how our system responds to the change in temperature.
That is science in action!