Quick Start

The Biology
The Simulation
The Aquafarmer
The Process of Collecting Data
Stocking Density Experiments
Dissolved Oxygen Experiments
Protein Content Experiments
The Results
Recording Your Data
For the Advanced Problem Solver
PS AquaFarm

Stocking Density Experiment
Robert Kosinski, the author of a similar simulation, wrote, "Stocking density (the number of fish which the culturist puts in per hectare of pond) is the most difficult culturing condition to determine correctly" (1993, 50).  This means, you might want to save this variable until you've examined the other two and identified some optimum values.  The possible range for stocking density is very broad, between 100 and 100,000 fish per hectare.

Having too few fish will mean you simply cannot attain your profit goals.  As the number of fish increases, your profits should go up, but at some point, those profits decline due to the loss of fish, possibly because of disease, lack of oxygen, or even crowding behaviors.  The simulation you are using is designed to appear realistic from a number of these perspectives, so you will see good years and bad years compounded by your best efforts to achieve high profits.  Your best bet initially is to try a wide range of values.  Record your profit results in an Excel file.  It is easy to copy data from the simulation into a worksheet.  Use Excel to create a preliminary graph of those data, plotting your independent variable (stocking density) on the x-axis, and your dependent variable (profit) on the y-axis.  In the area where the profits are highest, you should concentrate efforts to refine an optimum value that will hold over successive years.  Remember, Aunt Pearl wants you to be making a major profit year in and year out.

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