Aquaponics Program

The First Academy now offers an Aquaponics Greenhouse where students and teachers can come for hands on learning. The Aquaponics Facility opened in April 2019, allowing teachers of all grade levels to bring their students to learn about Biology, Marine Biology, Chemistry and much more. When the school believes the program is ready, The First Academy intends to offer a for credit Aquaponics course.

Fish, such as Tilapia, are excellent sources of food and work as an integral part of the Aquaponics system. As a sustainable environment, it’s important that you select a more hearty fish, as if the oxygen levels aren’t perfect, fish such as Tilapia can come to the surface for air.

September 15, 2016

Concept Pitched

Concept Initially Pitched

March 4, 2018

Concept Approved and Grants Written

Concept Approved and Grants Written

May 20, 2018

Aquaponics Equipment Ordered

Equipment for Aquaponics System

May 28, 2018

Aquaponics Team Assembled

Team Assembled

July 17, 2018

Greenhouse Ordered

Greenhouse Ordered

July 29, 2018

House Leadership Meeting

Students Praying at Chapel

July 29, 2018

Aquaponics Master Class

Fish Tanks for Aquaponics

September 10, 2018

Pavers, Plumbing and Footers

Aquaponics Pavers and Floor

January 22, 2019

Greenhouse Assembled

Greenhouse Assembled

January 30, 2019

Power and Water Service

Power and Water Service

March 16, 2019

Fish Added to System

Fish Added to System

March 19, 2019

Plant Nitrofication

Plant Nitrofication

April 26, 2019

Grand Opening

Grand Opening

Aquaponics FAQ

What is Aquaponics?
In short think of Aquaponics as raising fish and plants in one system that rejuvenates each other. The third element, bacteria, assists in converting wastes into food for the plants.

What does an Aquaponics Curriculum look like for The First Academy?
The Aquaponics Curriculum is under development.

What equipment will make up our Aquaponics Facility?
The First Academy’s Aquaponics Greenhouse is made in Texas and assembled onsite. The walls and roof offer a variety of acrylic and shade that allow appropriate amounts of sun and rainfall inside. Inside is the Family Plus Aquaponics System by Nelson and Pade which supports up to 450 lbs of fish and 4500 heads of lettuce a year.

How big is The First Academy’s greenhouse?
The greenhouse sits on pavers 40′ deep and and 16′ wide.

What plants and marine-life will be inside?
Initially Blue and Nile Tilapia and Lettuce are in the trial. Various teachers have expressed interest in sharing the sidewalls for botanical projects.

What does The First Academy do with the vegetable and plant harvest?

Check back soon for our missional support aspects of the Aquaponics program.

Can I help support The First Academy’s Aquaponics program?
Absolutely, The First Academy is looking for community partners to help support The First Academy’s Aquaponics program. Long term goals include making the facility self-sustained with technology such as Solar and Automation Systems, as well as a Generator. Interested in partnering with The First Academy to support this mission?

Ava growing aquaponics

The First Academy would like to thank Green Sky Growers and Valencia College for access and permission to use their facilities for photography and educational purposes.
  • Facts at a Glance

    • 21,102

      Volunteer hours given by the Upper School Students last year.
    • 1,460

      Alumni since 1986.
  • The First Academy is Accredited by:

    • Florida Council of Independent Schools
    • Florida Kindergarten Council
    • Southern Association of Independent Schools
    • AdvancEd Southern Association of Colleges & Schools
    • Council on Educational Standards & Accountability
    • Association of Christian Schools International