Grade 5G Sharing and Learning Blog

Aquaponics inquiry


4G have been taking care of the aquaponics system at YIS.  Now mid way through the year our fish began to die. This has been extremely distressing us. On the 20th of January we had our 2nd fish death and decided we needed to take some action.  We decided to drop what we were doing and try to find out what was going wrong. Students used books, the library, they interviewed specialists on skype, they experimented, they researched on the computer and they spoke to adults around the school. We all had the same question in mind ‘Why are our fish dying?’  Later students were responsible for presenting to the group what they had found out.

I would like to highlight two of my students, one Korean and one Israeli. Both students began English at the beginning of the school year. They were able to use youtube to access multimedia that is very visual, this allowed them to gain an understanding of the system, then form their own ideas and opinions about the problems. My point being that language does not need to be a barrier to inquiry.

Action taken as a result of the research was- The fish were put in quarantine and treated for Ick (students realised that if they treated them while in the system then the medicine would kills the plants.

– Students learned how to test PH & Amonia levels. They then created a weekly schedual to test and monitor levels

– Students planted more plants so the plants could more easily keep up with the fish waste. Thus keeping the amonia levels under control.

– Students discovered the perfect amount of food to give fish and now monitor this carefully.

– Students added some sea shells the system in an attempt to control the PH levels.

– Students added a heater to the system to encourage bacteria growth.

Students eventually came to the conclusion that it was probably many problems with our system that killed the fish. 






  1. What about illness?

  2. I made a poster about the plants we could use for the aquaponics system. When we were trying to find out stuff I was also finding out about everything else that is connected to aquaponics. I mostly found out about worms. I learned that the worms can help to eat the fish poo.
    I also found out that there are two types of fish that are the best to use in an aquaponics system.
    To find out this information I used the computer, I used youtube to find out most of the information.
    I learned how the plants survive without soil. They survive on the fish poop.

  3. Aquaponics

    I found out about fish anatomy

    I found out about the fish structure and what ick disease does to the fish’s insides. I still have Allott to learn about fish anatomy and disease however I did find out many things. I found out that a normal fish would have seven fins and some have eight, some even have nine but the average is seven. Six would be a very unusual fish. I learnt how to draw the internal and external anatomy. This study was very fun.


  4. I was sad that our fish were dying but I had fun finding information and I searched about PH with Manami.

  5. Aquaponics So Far…

    My part in helping the fish was finding out what plants are fit for the Aquaponics system.

    I found out what plants to use for the Aquaponics system. I made a list. (Although I forgot what I did with it) Here are a few plants Cucumber & tomatoes and many more.

    How and where I got Info.

    I got my information on my computer on the website below.

    I am now finding out more about herbs that will grow in the system that can be used for medicine.


  6. I answered the question “How does an aquaponics system work?”
    I found out more about how the aquaponic systems work. I also found out more about the fish. I found out that the fish poo is used as food for the plants. The plants eat the poo and the water becomes clean for the fish. This is happening all the time its like a circle.
    I found my information on the Internet, by asking my classmates, books and some information, I all ready knew.
    I did a poster on Comic life who contains all the information.

  7. My group and I read books and searched for information. My group also went to the cafeteria, library and Mrs. Czubak’s room.

    My group and I found out what was happening to the fish. They were sick. My group and I went to Mrs. Czubak and she said the fish had a disease called ick. Ick starts when the water gets cold.

    We bought some medicine but first we had to take the fish out and put them in a bucket to treat them because if the plants drink the medicine the plants will die.

    My group and me got information from books, computers, miss. Czuback , my mom and, Mr. Stew.

  8. Yuichiro and I searched for information about plants for our aquaponics system. We found out some information about fish food. You shouldn’t feed them too much because then the fish will get a stomach ach like us. We learned that when you feed fish you should feed them the amount so that after 3 minutes there is no food left sitting in the tank. They should keep eating for all of that 3 minutes. We found the information with little videos and short clips on youtube we also found websites.

    • The fish are getting better now. We went to Homes to buy plants and a thermometer. We walked to Homes. Jae Hyun and I bought a thermometer. Koki, Rio, Chloe, Mr. Geddes and Mrs. Kumamoto bought the plants. Jae Hyun and I came to pet shop and buy a thermometer but We didn’t know a thermometer in Japanese so we went back to place that were the plants group and came over and over and over and finally we got a thermometer. Mr. Geddes also came in that time. We went to buy then we went back to our class. Jae Hyun and I ran to came back to school.

  9. Takumi and I were finding out about fish food. We found out about the good foods for fish. A good food has hoshi-hikari init. This makes the digesting system of the fish work better. We went to the library and the cafeteria to get information about the fish temperature. We made a poster that has information about the food.

    The project was fun and every session was exciting.

  10. I had searched for information about worms. I also searched for what a healthy fish looks like. I searched for information about the sickness called ick.

    I have found out why the ick started.

    I searched on books and the internet.

  11. I found out the information from the internet, books, classmates and Mrs. Karr. I worked with Kalea.

  12. The articles I found tell you how to keep the fish healthy

  13. I looked at books at the library that were about the disease ick. I also looked up how to cure ick.

    What I found out:
    The fish had a disease called ick and I also found out how to treat the disease. To treat the disease with medicine we had to put the fish in separate buckets. Because if the fish are in the tank when we put the medicine on them the plants would all die.
    I also found out more about the best kinds of plants for aquaponics. I learned that the best ones are the ones that are already used to living in only rocks.

    How I got my information:
    I asked lots of teachers and read lots of books about why fish die.

    Where I got my information:
    *2nd Grade Classroom (Mrs. Cubacts room)

  14. My group and I found out more about fish and
    why the fish were dying. We were not sure why because we found that it could be many things. The first opinion was that it was too cold. The other opinions were that they were fighting, they got too much food or maybe they were bored because there is nothing in the tank that is interesting for them.

    I got my information from books, the internet and the library. I found out information about ick. Ick is white dots that can come on you’re fish. It is caused by changes in the water temperature. We asked Mr. Stew and miss. Czuback, they also had some ideas for us.

  15. Aquaponics

    I worked with Daniel (my partner) of aquaponics. In aquponics
    we found videos about how aquaponics systems work.

    I found one video of how aquaponics works. I learned that the water is pumped up to the plants then it goes back down to the fish tank. The plants are cleaning the water because they eat the fish poo. The fish poo is good food for the plants.

    I found information on korean google.

  16. Pingback: Aquaponics inquiry by class 4G in Yokohama International School in Tokyo | Aquaponics in Action | Scoop.it

  17. What a fantastic video. You guys are doing such fantastic work and learning so much on your own. Your solutions to the problem were really excellent and I am sure that they will help the fish a huge amount.

    How are the bacteria doing? 😉 I know you can’t see them, but there are billions of them in your aquaponics system now – I hope that they are all doing ok in the cold weather!

    You guys are really amazing!

    Japan Aquaponics

    • Did you know that we have a Aphid problem and i figured out how to get Aphids out. They are attracted to yellow so we put some yellow things near the system so they would go there rather than on our plants..Yes the aquaponics are doing good i am new so u did not see me in the vid we have got lots of new fish about 30 altogether.bye bye Brady

      • Oh no! Aphids are a common pest – they like all the healthy plants I am afraid! That is a great idea for using the sticky yellow traps… you can also spray them with some water that has a tiny bit of washing up liquid in it… and you can also put some sticky tape on your finger and then just touch the aphids to make the stick and pull them off the plants.

        Keep up the great work!

  18. It was so interesting to watch this video and read these blog posts. Congratulations on the way you have all researched this issue so thoroughly. it seems to me that you have learned an enormous amount and you have also communicated your learning very powerfully, I have fish too and I am always wondering about the right conditions needed to keep them healthy! I wonder if you have been able to apply this learning to other situations? You have so many skills you could put to use! Congratulations – I hope it is OK for me to recommend this blog to other teachers and kids who are interested in how to be great inquirers?

    • Hi Kath, just a quick note to let you know that yes we would be happy for you the share the post. Also a big thanks for the work you did with us at YIS. The students might get back to your other questions. Thanks again! Geoff

    • visit one day, we will share more information and we will share our posters and our problems. I had hope you come to see us, it would be very interesting. I hope you liked our video.

  19. Pingback: What does Inquiry look like in ELC and Elementary? |

  20. I feel bad for the fishes because they died . . .

  21. I found useful water plants to make water clean!!! I also found out that frogs can help the system too!

  22. Pingback: What does Inquiry look like in ELC and Elementary? | Learning Hub ES

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