Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Our New Pet

Last year, you may remember our adventures raising caterpillars to butterflies. Well, we decided to put the tank to use again this year…. for some fish! The whole science and prep work is quite a lesson. We started ALL WRONG!
FISHIES
First we shopped Walmart and came across the pet isles. The fish were cheap -  30 cents to 2 dollars each. A very spontaneous purchase. Since we were headed to Pizza Hut for our Book It rewards dinner, we grabbed a few items and came back the next day for the fish. We bought 4 goldfish, 3 catfish and 1 ghost shrimp for our 10 gallon tank. They shouldn’t have allowed it.
FISHIES
Sabrina won’t let me touch the fishies Mommy.
FISHIESFISHIES
No sooner did we get them home, we realized you need 1 gallon of water per inch of full grown fish. We had 10 gallons to work with (10-12 inches) and we bought 66.5 inches of fish!!!! And the lady told us rocks weren’t necessary, WRONG! They grow essential healthy bacteria. We found out there was a Pet Smart in the area, and we went there for advice and a few more tank decorations (incl rocks).

100_3237

We took the fish back to Walmart, and waited until our tank heater warmed the water for tropical fish. Went to PetSmart now a third time to get the fish. Bought 1 Molly, 2 Guppies, 1 Mickey Mouse and 1 Ghost Shrimp. About 9 inches of fish when grown. Planning to come back later for more.
Sea Life ScienceSea Life Science
Sea Life Science
THEY ALL DIED! They all got returned (a 4th and 5th trip), a long complaint list, and a manager who decided to get us our fish for free… WHEN the tank is REALLY ready for fish. Excellent customer service when something is wrong. Turns out an aquarium, if new, needs to cycle out the ammonia, nitrites and nitrates before the fish can be added. Read more here:
http://www.fishlore.com/Beginners.htm
http://www.fishlore.com/FirstTankSetup.htm
http://www.fishlore.com/NitrogenCycle.htm
Aquarium Nitrogen Cycle
See, quite the science project. We bought a water testing kit to know when our water is ready. It’s A Freshwater Master Test Kit. Look around and print out the online page for a price guarantee at your local store.
Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Freshwater Master and Mini Test Kits - PetSmart
So while we wait the 2 weeks or so, here’s what we’ve been doing. Including a lot of research on caring for fish.
SEA LIFE PROJECTS
Sea Life Art & Activities: Creative Learning Experiences for 3- To 7-Year-Olds (Williamson Little Hands Series)
as taken from the book (found at our zoo): Sea Life Art & Activities

Project 1: A Sea Life Mobile
Sea Life Science
Water Color paint a paper plate to look like the water.
Sea Life ScienceSea Life Science
Color pictures of sea life and cut them out. We found many good ones through Google Image search.
Sea Life to Color - PreKSea Life to Color - K
Sea Life to Color - Gr2Sea Life to Color - Gr3
Here’s Mikayla coloring one that required more creativity for a 3rd grader.
Sea Life Science
Afterwards, punch holes in plate and sea creatures. Tie them as a mobile to hang from your ceiling. I found it easiest to tie a big knot and pull it through the plate (from white side to painted side) then tie onto your sea creature.
Sea Life Science
Sea Life Science

It brightens up our school area. Thanks for reading!
*I may add the rest here as we complete each project. So come back to look at more!

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Thank you for reading about our family. I look forwards to sharing ideas, joys and struggles. God Bless you in your journey!

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