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Old 10-06-2012, 07:37 PM   #31
ryu1
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I will be redoing parts of my tank and may have some val, crypts and windelov java fern avail. If you still need more plants and varieties. Pm me.
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Old 10-10-2012, 03:26 PM   #32
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Talking

Day 1: Substrate

And it's begun! I had my first talk with the kids today. It's been five years since I last taught a class but I got up and talked about DIRT for 10 minutes. The kids were able to explore particle size, porosity, bacteria, plant feeding, hiding places for small critters. They helped to mix MTS with lava rock, and then proceeded to add it all to the tank. I guided them a tiny bit on aquascaping but dang, they did fine by themselves.

Many many many thanks to the people who donated substrate and driftwoods to this project. The class had a blast and are very excited to see how their tank will progress. Thanks a million to Heartnet, Joraan and msjinkzd. I didn't get a picture of the original bucket and substrate from msjinkzd but here it is in the tank:
(that's me in the background, tying someone's shoe lace *waves)







I didn't get as many pictures as I would have liked because we needed all hands on deck, lol. There were some mixing mishaps and hands were pretty dirty, overall very exciting...it was a ton of fun...for them!

They did most of the scaping, chose where to pour the gravel and river stones. It's like they are already experts. I have hills, cliffs, depth, drama.... I love the 5-yr old aesthetic.
Look at how lovely that is? That's the front view.


Here's the final. Needless to say, they, and I, really loved the way it turned out.
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Old 10-10-2012, 03:36 PM   #33
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look great
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Old 10-10-2012, 03:38 PM   #34
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Next session will be on Plants, and I have no idea how I'm going to have them interact/or plant the tank. I think I should do it myself but I want them to own this tank too. Any suggestions would be hugely appreciated.
(And just an FYI, if there are any teachers out there that want a lesson plan for this age group, I wrote one and am perfectly willing to share. Let me know.)

My current lesson plan:
Why do animals need plants?
[food source, O2 source, roots provide structure, wood for houses, etc]

Why do plants need animals? What do plants eat?
[food source, CO2 source, provide mobility]

What are bacteria?
[very small animals]
-some can make you sick
-some help your stomach to break down food so that your blood can use it
-some live in the dirt to help break down mulm and animal poop, which is food to a plant
-can plants go find food? No, food has to be brought to them

Introduce in brief: The Nitrogen Cycle
Animals eats > everyone poops > bacteria eat/break down the poop > bacteria waste = plant food > porous substrate catches nutrients from water column and brings it down into the substrate level for root exchange > plants eat the bacterial waste


Plant Identification [Provide samples to manipulate]
Break into smaller groups
Suggested Equipment: Magnifying glasses, catch tray, water, plates
Ex. (direct observations)
-mosses - java moss, Fissidens, moss balls (surface area, dense hiding, egg nest)
-bladderwort - subwassertang, pellia, riccia (no roots, no stem, no 'leaves')
-epiphytes - java fern, anubias, bolbitis (slow growers, branch growers, thin roots)
-floaters - water lettuce, duckweed, frogbit, pennywort (non-dirt feeder, who eats these?)
-algaes - green spot, black beard, hair, staghorn, cladophora, green fuzz
-root feeders - swords, lily, Sag subulata (large root systems, large plants)
-stem cuttings - hygrophilia, myriophyllum, najas (tall, fast growing, propagation ease)

Small groups can help with plant placement in the tank. Plant the tank.

Fill or spray with water.

Discuss water conditioner: drinking-water contains Chlorine to kill off bacteria that would make us sick. However, this would also kill off the bacteria that the plants need as well as any other animals that need to live in the water. So a water conditioner is added to neutralize the Chlorine and protect the bacteria colonies, as well as the fish, worms, snails, shrimp, etc.
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:37 PM   #35
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If you would like an albino bristle nose let me know. I have 3 I'm going to bring to the auction Friday. And I definately have some java fern with bba for the kids.
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Old 10-10-2012, 11:52 PM   #36
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D'you know, the amount of adults who have an aquarium and don't understand what you have beautifully summed up in half a page is ... staggering? I mean, I could forgive it if they weren't interested in aquatics, but somewhere along the line, they purchased the tank and the lives within ... and they seem utterly stunned to find that their ignorance doesn't somehow magically shield them from the consequences. I'm so glad that you are taking the time to teach these kids these basic but very important lessons.

On a lighter note, I would like to point out that their tank looks much better than mine do I have no sense of aesthetics and know better than to try and make something pretty.
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Old 10-11-2012, 01:43 AM   #37
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technically bacteria are not animals XD but I doubt that will matter much to a kindergartener



cant wait for more pics!
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Old 10-11-2012, 11:46 AM   #38
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what a great start! This is a fantastic project you are doing.
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Old 10-11-2012, 12:46 PM   #39
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Aw, thanks everyone!

furnfins: I'm so tempted, but will turn down your offer... I love vegetarians. And thanks for thinking of me with the bba! HA! I will bring the repashy!

aokashi: you know, I mashed it in my head for days and couldn't come up with a good way to explain a single-celled organism with free flowing dna to a 5-yr-old. So instead, I showed my daughter a video and she called them little animals... XD I'm going to ask the teacher to play this video on day of.

chibikaie: I can always send my daughter to your place, she can give you tips, you can put her to work. LOL! She was so excited and teaching all her classmates...she's a Virgo, ykno? And thanks, that's how I feel about it too.

msjinkzd: it really couldn't have been done without you. Those slopes and this level of fun wouldn't exist but for your generosity <3 Thank you so much. From the classroom's teachers too. They were stunned when I told them about how generous the local aquarists have been. This is a community built tank!
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Old 10-11-2012, 02:26 PM   #40
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I think you're doing such a great job with these kids. And at this age
they retain and learn so much. I bet you make little aquarists out of
many of them At least they're learning the right way.
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Old 10-11-2012, 04:16 PM   #41
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virgos are the best

It was my pleasure
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Old 10-11-2012, 09:50 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msjinkzd View Post
virgos are the best
I do love Virgoes. I am surrounded by them. They keep me grounded.

I filled the tank afterschool yesterday:


Close up of Mattenfilter mod, I should have cut only the nook out of the foam. So I had to wiggle it up a little to stay above water level. The outflow was extended with a cut up piece of plastic, one of those glass hood extenders.


Child labor


Here are ALL the plant donations, including my own. Just dumped into the tank. Must have been about 10 sprigs of camboma in there, lol.


I took pics of it planted, but it was just too dark. I will wait until tomorrow.
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Old 10-11-2012, 11:39 PM   #43
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ah to be a child again. lots like so much fun and learning along the way.
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Old 10-12-2012, 12:02 AM   #44
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Looks great! I love these kind of threads!

If you need anything shoot me PM and I'll see what I can do.
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Old 10-12-2012, 12:38 AM   #45
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*happy*
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