License to krill

Jeff's Classroom Tank Journal

Ibn

Guest
So, I'm not sure if you've mentioned it in another thread or not, but what's the purpose of the tank? Is for educational purposes and in what capacity? Or is it just a tank that you're putting up at work, in this case, a classroom?
 

Jeff Rehling

Supporting Member
the vision is for the students to observe and learn about the marine ecosystem. They are 2-4th grade special education. So yes, educational. I want them to see how the corals propagate and how the fish grow and interact. We will do classroom water testing and show them how the chemistry is important to a successful tank
 

Ibn

Guest
If that's the intent, then I'm in agreement with Bruce in regards to slowing it down as far as stocking is concerned. While I've used Dr. Tim's in the past and dump fish in on day 1, that also accompanied a large bacteria bioload from transplanted marinepure bricks, plates, spheres, siphorax, etc. and a mini cycle of the barren rocks prior to its usage (Dr. Tim's + ammonia addition in a separate bin + regularly testing for nitrogen cycle). Even then, the tanks still went through minor cycles with diatoms and other algae showing up once in the tank.

IMO, it's better to slow it down and take some time to educate the children, as the various mini cycles are taken into account, and to ensure the long term cultivation, propagation, and husbandry of the inhabitants. The fish aren't really going anywhere, and in this day and age, practicing and teaching the children a bit of patience isn't necessarily a bad thing.
 

MolaMola

Supporting Member
You also have to decide what you want in the tank. I decided no zoas/palys. Of course, all corals exude irritating chemicals, but with all the hyperness around my school involving regular allergies and such I decided to eliminate the coral type well known for toxicity. I don't know if you plan to have your students touching the water, but since it's in your room, it could happen. At the moment I have what I think are Rasta zoas someone gave me and they are cool looking, but if I had some kind of paly that spread without my knowledge and was on a coral or rock I asked a kid to frag, there is a small chance it could be bad and that is a risk I do not need to take or have to argue about with a parent. I also vetoed a very cool carpet anemone donation, having been stuck on one of those in the past.

Lucky kids, by the way! Tank can really calm down and also energize some students, general and special ed alike.
 

Jeff Rehling

Supporting Member
FINALLY!!!! Today the tank gets wet! I have to get my brakes replaced and oil changed this morning, and while that's going on, I'm heading to class to add the water and rocks and get this tank cycling! Marco rocks all glued up. Time to plan the fish!

I'm getting two clowns from Kimmie.

I would like to add:

Watchman and Diamond goby's
Purple Firefish
6 line wrasse
Springer/Sapphire Damsel

I will have some corals and a GTBA from Mola!

Questions....

What are your thoughts about this mix, and could the 24 gallon tank handle 8-10 fish? I do have a skimmer and will be doing 5 gallon water changes weekly.

What other fish would you recommend for a classroom tank? I would like very vibrant colors and fun fish.

Also, when do I add the CUC?

I would like to have a cleaner shrimp of some kind for the kids to watch.

Thanks and standing by...
 

Jeff Rehling

Supporting Member
Saturday--filled tank with sand, rocks and water. Added Bio-Spira and let it cook. Came in today and Ammonia is ZERO. Nitrates = 10ppm, Nitrites = zero. I think we're ready for fish?
 

xcaret

Guest
Give it a few days before the CUC; if you notice a bit of algae bloom, then add the CUC.
Put a pinch of pellet food just to help in the cycle.
I bet kids will be thrilled to watch the snails munch on the glass and leave their prints like trails
 

Jeff Rehling

Supporting Member
Morning testing revealed small Ammonia spike from 0 to 0.4. I ran the light all day yesterday for the kids to see, so maybe that's it? started the skimmer this morning and will add more bio-spira tomorrow.

Nitrates are at 10
 

xcaret

Guest
Ammonia spikes might be an indication something is happening there, maybe a small cycle. I don't think the light has anything to do with it. Any indication of ammonia is a concern but if it goes down to undetectable, seems the bacteria is doing it's job.
Get one of those in-tank color changing indicators; don't remember the brand, maybe Seachem? you just place it inside and the color change will alert you but in no way it is a replacement for testing.
 

Jeff Rehling

Supporting Member
Yesterday afternoon the clowns arrived (Thanks Kimmie!!!) and were introduced to the tank. This morning the kids came in and were super happy! Going to let the tank cook over Christmas break, then will start slowly adding more livestock. Thanks to all who've helped.

This weekend I'm picking up a robust stand as my principal is concerned about the tank tipping with my kids fiddling!
 

Cruz Mc5

Supporting Member
Get one of those in-tank color changing indicators; don't remember the brand, maybe Seachem? you just place it inside and the color change will alert you but in no way it is a replacement for testing.
I have 2 of those in my tank right now. Not very impressed so far. Both show very low level of ammonia (.5) yet a real test shows 2.0 ppm.
 

Jeff Rehling

Supporting Member
NITRATE SPIKE!! Ammonia is zero, nitrates up to nearly 50 today. haven't been overfeeding. skimmer is running but isn't producing any skim yet. Best way to lower? I'll change 5 gallons tomorrow
 

Jeff Rehling

Supporting Member
:mad::mad: Added a blenny and snails Saturday after the CFM--came in today to a dead blenny and snails on their backs. Nirtrates = 0, Phosphates between .25 and .5. Added Phosguard today. Also added a BTA from MolaMola...it anchored in a rock and looks generally unhappy, but I did feed it fish pellets by baster today and hoping that cheers her up
 
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