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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, this week I'll be setting up aquariums in 3 classrooms at my daughters' Burnaby elementary school. One tank for sure will be stocked with endlers and cories. Just seeing what BCA members would suggest for the other 2 tanks. These will either be all 8g Fluval Floras or one may be an 18" cube tank if I can convince the teacher to house a larger class tank.

The criteria for suggested species are:

Hardy
Easy to care for/easy to feed (teachers are not experienced fish-keepers & limited water change capacity)
Preferably colourful or at least have interesting behaviour (ie. breeding)
Can be community or species tank

I have a few ideas, but thought I'd get the community's ideas on what to place in these class tanks.

Anthony
 

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Shell dwellers. Easy, interesting, and small. Have 3 jars of salt, baking soda, and Epsom salt. Do the math on how much water to remove and how much salt to add and water changes are a snap.
 

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Stock Glowlights and Neon tetras to have the experience of "schooling" fishes. Guppies - males - if you want more colour. Both Tetras and Guppies are HARDIER than other species so the kids are less likely to see floaters when they come to class in the morning! Tetras and Guppies are at the lower end of the price scale, so more bang for the buck, as it were. (Schools - Read : Teachers - usually have limited budgets for classroom items like aquariums.) Throw in a some bottom dwellers - like Corys. Although NO substitute for regular maintenance, they are nature's vacuum cleaners.

Finally, I would suggest SAND for the bottom of the tanks rather than gravel or marbles. Debris and waste will "sit on top" of sand which is better than the bits and pieces that will fall down through the gravel/marbles and be harder to clean up.

Stay away from goldfish . . . high maintenance for keeping the tank(s) clean. Also, they grow larger than tetras and neons, so fewer fish could be kept in the smaller aquariums you are setting up. VARIETY adds interest to the tank for the kiddies to watch.

(Note: A single male Betta would be nice extra in a community aquarium, but only IF the tanks were larger or, perhaps, if he were housed in the 8-gallon tank with only a half-dozen tetras.)



:0)
 

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Hey Anthony if these tanks are in the same school I think different biotopes are good ideas. I have set-up several tanks in schools in NV.

Maybe it's my teacher / principal career but I like tanks to provide more than one function:

1) Easy of maintenance & care ... it's great way to introduce students and teachers to regular routines and chores with a great pay-back and keeps the tank going over the years, not just when you are around to help out. I like TomC's suggestion about calculating and monitorng tanks, there is a lot that can be done with that and a real practical math skill.

2) Calming and interesting is a must, at my last school students were brought in just to see the biotope tanks I kept and it helped certain students re-focus. Sometimes going to view the tanks was used as an incentive as well.

3) Teaching and learning, that's one reason I'd suggest biotope tanks, that way it relates to various regions of Earth students are studying as well as tons of math and science. The various tanks I have going now and have set-up for others in the past fit those criteria.

Some students have gotten really fascinated with the hobby and ended up asking for a tank as birthday or Christmas present, others used the school tanks and home tanks for projects and reports.

Suggestions for fish: No matter the tank a busy group of plecos is great, have a cave or two and there will probably be fry

FYI: Helping a friend tomorrow set-up an African Biotope tomorrow after school.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I will be donating all the equipment, supplies, plants & fish because the teachers don't have a budget for class pets (unless its out of their own pockets). Some great ideas so far. I agree that a different biotope would be an asset in this venture. I will likely be setting up an 18" cube after all, as well as 2 Fluval Floras. I'll be resetting the endler tank and look for some long-finned bristlenose to grow out and hopefully breed (maybe with some platies or hardy tetras as dither fish) in the second tank. Still undecided about the third tank but a breeding pair of small colourful cichlids would be cool. I have a breeding pair of kribensis in my riparium, but catching them would be a PITA without tearing it apart.

Every tank will have cories as a cleanup crew.

Any other ideas, please feel free to post on this thread.
 

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You you think you'd like to go with other African River cichlids I have Butterfly cichlids that keep with Congo tetras - a nice combination.
 

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Maintaining the classroom goldfish tank captured my interest and have been keeping fish ever since (35 years ago).

How about convicts. Easy to keep and even easier to breed. Very interesting little fish that don't need extensive tank space
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Actually I'm in the process of buying a larger tank setup so only the original endler Fluval Flora will remain the small 8g size. I have a 25g 18" cube ready to go and may be buying a 15g Wednesday. The smaller cichlids (shellies, kribs & convicts) would be fine in either of the larger setups. I have a breeding krib pair but would be impossible to catch out of the 93g riparium without tearing it apart. There's virtually no market for Convicts so then rehoming the babies later would be a big issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
UPDATE:

Ok so I couldn't get a hold of CL seller all weekend and decided not to waste any more time.

Set up 3 tanks at Brantford Elementary school today.

1 Fluval Flora endler & trio albino longfin cory tank.

A second Fluval Flora will become a cherry shrimp & 6 pygmy cories tank.

18" cube (25g) will be home to a breeding trio of gold barbs, some juv. gold barbs, trio of panda cories & maybe a few juv. kribensis (1.5 months old). Tank has no fish yet but I have 2 HOB filters and added a used sponge filter from my pleco breeding tank. Tomorrow I'll add another used sponge filter from my tank to the shrimp tank to cycle it quickly.

Picked up some nice baby Amazon swords which I've planted into glass jars with hydroton & black gravel from a great member who lives nearby. These will be added to the tanks tomorrow. I will also be upgrading the lighting on one Fluval Flora to LED, then all three tanks will have LED lighting, cycled filters, live plants and be ready for fish &/or shrimp. Once tanks are all finished I'll take pics and post on this thread.

Anthony
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
The 18" cube in Bella's kindergarten class. Sorry the pics posted sideways.

So far stocking is 3 gold barbs and 3 panda cories. Getting some young angelfish from Victor and some donated plants from Stan (another BCA member) soon to add to the tank.

All 3 tanks were cycled using sponge filters from my home aquariums.
 

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