Saturday, February 18, 2012

Raising Red Drum (Redfish)

Baby Picture
17 Feb 2012

Our Aquaculture Lab out at Cedar Key School is morphing into a REAL aquaculture learning center finally.
The kids and I have carpentered, plumbed, cleaned, and toted to get to this point.

The point being ... we have life!
Even though there are tools on the counter and parts of it still look a little like a remodel job at the midpoint, we have begun raising aquatic critters.

Two students are raising red drum, aka "redfish", fingerlings. The picture above is part of our "before" records so that we can track the growth over time.

We also weighed the little redpups, but I don't have that info with me at the moment.

One student is raising freshwater tropicals that just happen to be items on the FFA Aquaculture Contest. This is way she can support her fellow FFA members while still learning hands on aquaculture with me.

Another student is setup to raise clownfish and we have a major clownfish producer here in Florida that is going to help us out with some culls that need a good home.

One student is up and running and just needs to make up her mind on her aquacrop ... before her teacher does.
Sometimes it's hard to make a choice.

As a group and across several classes, we will once again be raising Macrobrachium rosenbergii, the giant freshwater prawn. The 300 gallon nursery tank is bubbling and just awaiting their arrival.

A recent grant means we can expand the prawn operation and use aquaponics to filter the water as well as grow wetland plants for restoration projects. That is my goal anyway.
 I am finalizing my grant shopping list now. I plan to recycle this grant money into the local economy since it is coming from tax money. That way I don't waste precious grant dollars on shipping costs from out of state companies.

 Example: A single polyethylene aquaculture tank bought from an aquaculture supply company has a $230.00 freight cost. That's not the cost of the tank, only the cost to get it shipped.

For that shipping cost alone, I can buy a poly livestock water tank from the local farm supply store. I get more bang for my educational bucks and the tax supported grant funds go back to the local folks who paid the property taxes in the first place.

I call that win-win.

Back to the kids ...

One young lady is raising a "Honey Comb" moray and would like to raise a few other types of  fish in the same tank, so her challenge is the obvious one.
She has already bonded with her moray in a way that makes me smile every time I see her talking to it through the glass.

I understand fish love.


Thunder said...

Cool stuff! I like the idea of not only teaching the kids about aquaculture, but also the giving back to the community end of it too!

Pablo said...

You are the teacher they're going to remember, the one who changes their lives!

threecollie said...

Love those stock tanks, as you know. lol

Sayre said...

Makes me wish I were back in high school - but only if I lived in Cedar Key. MY high school didn't have anything like that!

tai haku said...

"major clownfish producer" eh? now I'm intriguedly googling mariculturists I know of in Florida to work out who that could be....

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the kids are on the right path and excited and love it that you are keeping the $$$ local.

Ericka said...

very cool.

all we did in high school was dissect critters; we never got to raise them.

nicely done!

Miz S said...

Perfect school for you. That was a good call, all around.

Floridacracker said...

I like the give back too!

Thanks, but I've come to realize that CKS is full of memorable teachers. Memorable kids too.

Yes, we both have an appreciation for the flexibility of stock tanks.

Neither did mine!
Maybe I'm compensating!

First hint: The company name has only 3 letters.

I hope so! Thanks for the encouragement.

I still do that, but I have moved much more toward live observation.
So much more interesting!

Miz S,
We are Pre-K through 12. Should I alert you if any early elementary jobs come open?

Aunty Belle said...

oh the excitement over this project bubbles up in this post! What lucky students.

Clever how you "upcycle" the grant $$... moray luv? Uhmmm, I ain't on board wif' that. FISH love? sure. MORAY???

Great post!

Floridacracker said...

Excitement ... mine or the kids?
He's just a little moray ...

Caroline said...

The aquaculture in our classroom consists of my tank full of guppies and Spike, the betta, yours sounds like such fun.
I love the fact that you have a moray raiser, I remember visiting the Miama Seaquarium as a 10 year old kid and thinking the pea green moray there was the thing of nightmares and the creepiest creature on the Planet. Good for you, Girl!

tai haku said...

So you'll be headed out to Ft Pierce region then?

Related topic, this is awesome:

Jacki said...

This post brought a smile to my face. Anything that helps alleviate the nature-deficit disorder that is running rampant these days is okay with me!