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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Now that all four tanks have been set up, I thought I'd start a combined tank journal to document this new adventure.

I had set up tanks in Felicia's class in the past, but this year several of her past teachers and Isabella's teacher agreed or asked to have a tank set up as a class pet. Over the past week, I set up two Fluval Floras (approx. 8g), an 18" cube, and now a 27" converted glass Ikea vase.

Here's the "tube tank" as I call it.

DONATED empty vase picked up Thursday afternoon from April.

Empty vase.jpg

Add a wood cabinet I picked up for $20 off CL in Surrey.

Empty vase & stand.jpg

Added a branch & black gravel.

Now with branch.jpg

Set up in the classroom.

Tube tank.jpg

Tube tank full shot.jpg

Some of the plants are from Stan (hornwort, java moss, java fern & elodea) and greenmachine (Amazon sword).
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Here are the other three tanks.

18" cube with some plants from my own tanks and some donated by stan6595 (most of the plants in the "tube tank" are also from Stan). Livestock so far are 3 panda cories and 3 Gold barbs. Adding some juv. angels from Victor next week. NOTE: pic taken before new plants added.

18 cube tank.jpg

Cube tank.jpg

Fluval Flora community tank with endlers, 3 albino long fin cories & some juv. gold barbs.

Fluval community.jpg

Fluval Flora shrimp tank with cherries (bought from liquid_krystal), Sakura cherries (bought from CoquitlamBC) and nano Brigittae rasboras (bought from April).

Fluval shrimp & Brigittae rasboras.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks. The "tube tank" is one of my all time favourite tanks. Just happened to have a branchy piece of wood soaking in the koi pond, which fortunately defrosted a couple days ago just in time for me to pull it out and use in the vase. Fit perfectly and the twist looks so cool. Definitely meant to go together IMO. Crazy glued some java moss and java fern on it to give it a more natural look. Added a nice big Amazon sword and some long strands of hornwort & elodea which will hopefully grow even longer and reach the top. The teacher and teacher's aid both love that vase tank and the kids are crazy for it. Tuesday I'll be adding some nice fish to grow out over the next 6 months, such as 3 small angels (marble, platinum & gold), 3 albino congo tetras and maybe my 6 pygmy cories. As the angels outgrow that tank, I'll take them home and replace with new small angels and same with the congos.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'd like to collect a couple more tanks of unusual shapes between 5 to 25 gallons for future school tanks so if you have a cube, tall tank or hex tank taking up space that you're not using or some other equipment or livestock you'd like to donate or sell, let me know please.

OK, now to answer a few frequently asked questions several people have asked me:

Am I paid to do this? (usually the first question people have asked me about) - No, the teachers and school do not pay me for these tanks. The setups are donated to the classrooms for use during the school year. Some stuff has been donated by my friends and fellow BCA members, like a heater from Victor, the vase from April, and some plants & discounted cherry shrimp, but most of the equipment, supplies, plants & fish I take from home or go buy of BCA or Craigslist.

What happens in the summer? - I'm hoping some of the teachers will be able to take the tanks home and keep them there in the summer and I'll bring them back and reset them up in the classrooms in September. If not, I'll take them home, clean them out, keep some in my tanks over the summer or trade/sell the larger fish to pay for small ones in September.

Why? - Because my kids enjoy having tanks in their classrooms and so do their classmates & teachers. Had an epiphany a while back that without our active recruitment of kids into this hobby/addiction, the number of young fishkeepers will continue to shrink each year since kids nowadays are far more interested in video games, surfing the net & social media. Unless they are exposed to living fish & wildlife in their classrooms and/or through their parents, they will grow up not caring too much about fish or fishkeeping. So, hopefully by setting up interesting, beautiful tanks in their classrooms, some of my daughters' classmates & schoolmates will become interested enough in fish to ask their parents for a tank and we will be able to recruit a new generation of fishkeepers.

What's my biggest expense? - Probably gas, cause I've burned through at least 2 full tanks of gas collecting all the equipment & livestock over the last few weeks driving to Cloverdale, Surrey, North Delta, Richmond, Vancouver, North Van, North Burnaby/Burnaby, Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam.

I think we have to be proactive about recruiting young people into enjoying our hobby. By setting up at least one tank with shrimp and nano-fish, I'm letting them know that even a small tank can still be pretty and fun to keep.

The excitement the kids exhibit when I bring in a tank or a new bag of fish is the best reward I can get. The teachers use the tanks as teaching tools as they research the different types of fish and plants living in their class tanks and learn about protecting our ecosystems and water resources. It makes it all worthwhile.

Also, if anyone here wants to start a school tank, feel free to ask and I will make time to explain what is needed and how to do it at a reasonable cost in time and money.

Peace,

Anthony
 

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RE: . . . "the number of young fishkeepers will continue to shrink each year since kids nowadays are far more interested in video games, surfing the net & social media . . ."
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True and such a shame! GOOD for you, sir, for taking the time, expense and effort to promote this hobby to the youngsters.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you ****. My kids have grown up with home aquariums all their lives and love fish, corals, and animals/nature in general. I worry about all their classmates who do not have this type of exposure at home. If each generation becomes more disconnected from nature and more interested only in electronic addictions, then that is a bad thing, IMO. Now that I think about it, every kid/teen who I know kept their own aquariums at home also stayed out of trouble and away from gangs, drugs, etc. So this would be another major side-benefit if more young people take up our fish addiction.

My next school tank will hopefully be an African cichlid (Auratus or Demasoni) tank, cause I want to make it possible for the kids in this school to do a tank tour and check out all different types of systems so they can find something that really grabs their attention. By giving them different shapes of tanks, different mixes of fish/shrimp/plants, hopefully some of the kids will become interested in starting their own tanks at home.

I'm even going to talk to the Principal about maybe setting up a show tank in their main entryway.

My main worry at this point is trying to figure out what to do this summer if none of the teachers can or are willing to take the tanks home with them and bring them back in the fall. I don't know if I have space at home to store all the tanks & livestock.

If anyone knows how to load up videos from smartphones onto BCA please let me know. I have some cool short videos but can't seem to get them uploaded.

Also, if anyone knows a source or local breeder of inexpensive colourful African cichlids like Auratus & Demasoni, please let me know that as well.

Thanks,

Anthony
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Dou, thanks for the offer. I will need to figure out what to do about the summer break, that's for sure. Unfortunately, in past years, the school completely shuts down at the end of June since they don't offer summer classes at Brantford.


I may have to simply take it down each summer.

Or perhaps leave it running but take home the fish and plants. Maybe run it on a timer with lights on for just a few hours so heat, evaporation and algae are not major issues and only stock very hardy low light plants. Hmmm.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Here's a pic of my little kindergartener (on the right) & her friend. Their class tank is in the background and you can see how interested the kids are in their class pets. I've actually had lots of parents commenting on the tanks and saying how much their kids enjoy having the fish in their classrooms, so maybe we'll have more fish-keepers from the school in the near future.

Bella & friend.jpg
 

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Seen these setups in person and commend Anthony for all the work he's put into them. They look great and all the students interact well with their fishy friends. A pleasure to see all young people taking interest in fish and aquariums. Ha ha loved the questions I got when we added a few new residents.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Had our first casualties today unfortunately. 2 of the 3 panda cories in Bella's & 1 of 2 pandas in Felicia's class tank were found floating this morning.

I'll wait a few days to see if any others are affected before I look at replacing the cories. Darn.
 

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Sorry to hear of your loss. Hopefully the wee ones take it well. I lost a rasbora the night I brought them home but luckily my 3 year old has a hard time counting past 5 so 7 looked like eight to her.

Hope it's nothing serious bubbling up in your tanks. It has to hard maintaining something like that. best if luck!
 

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Sorry to hear about the losses. How did the little ones take the losses? Hope they weren't upset

Had our first casualties today unfortunately. 2 of the 3 panda cories in Bella's & 1 of 2 pandas in Felicia's class tank were found floating this morning.

I'll wait a few days to see if any others are affected before I look at replacing the cories. Darn.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
A little sad but nothing too extreme. Several came up to me to tell me. That was cute. Replacing them next week most likely. Everything else in both tanks look fine. This is a long weekend coming up so not a great idea to add fish say on Friday and then not feed or see them till Tuesday. I'll leave any new additions till Tuesday morning.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Forgot to mention, the teacher asked me to come in and give a half hour lesson Thursday afternoon (2:30-3:00) to Felicia's class to teach them about fishkeeping. Felicia took a bunch of videos of all our home aquariums tonight on her iPad. I'll bring some food samples, a HOB filter, a heater and maybe some test kits & digital thermometer to show the kids what goes into having an aquarium and keeping fish alive and healthy. Should be fun. Last summer, for Felicia's birthday, I had her whole class walk over to our place for a bbq lunch/birthday party, then I did a "walking tour" of our organic garden/backyard orchard and a tank tour inside our home. That involved feeding, entertaining and educating 20 kids, teachers and several parents who came along for the food (jk) for 3 hours, so tomorrow afternoon's 30 minutes should be fun.

Anthony
 

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Correct me if I am wrong . . . but it is my understanding that PANDA cories tend to be a little less hardy than some of the other cories out there. Maybe replace with "julii cories" instead?
 
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