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!
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.
Sabrina won’t let me touch the fishies Mommy.
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).
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.
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:
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.
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
as taken from the book (found at our zoo): Sea Life Art & Activities
Project 1: A Sea Life Mobile
Water Color paint a paper plate to look like the water.
Color pictures of sea life and cut them out. We found many good ones through Google Image search.
Here’s Mikayla coloring one that required more creativity for a 3rd grader.
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.
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!