Teaching science is interesting and engaging to students when hands-on activities are included. Introducing students to aquarium fish is an excellent way for students to learn about their environment and survival in freshwater.
In order to successfully engage student in this activity, all students take part in caring for the fish.
There are several responsibilities in taking care of fresh water community fish. It’s very easy to maintain after the tank is established. Kids love to take care of pets and this is an exciting way to teach about science as well. It creates a feeling of calm and relaxation as an added bonus.
1. Water temperature – Ideal range is between 78-80 and is kept constant using an electric aquarium heater.
2. pH – Ideal range 7.0 – can be maintained using a pH regulator (I recommend Marineland)
3. Carbon Filter System – carbon filters replaced monthly ( I recommend Penguin Biowheel)
4. Under gravel water filtration system (I recommend Penguin Water Pumps)
5. Light kept on during the daytime and turned off at night.
6. A natural setting such as rocks and plants is an ideal environment for fresh fish . Community fish are great for beginners because they are the easiest to care for. The aquarium in the video above has the following kinds of fish : Neon tetra, giant danio, gourami, catfish, , rasbora tetra, striped tetra, and pleco.
7, Flake food, bloodworms, dried shrimp, bottom feeder wafers and pellets are the kinds of food to buy. Feed only a pinch or two a couple of times a day. Do not give the fish more than can be eaten in five minutes.
8. About once every six weeks, remove 1/3 of the water and replace with the same amount of fresh water that has stood overnight in a separate container . Use bottled water if the water source has chlorine added.
9. Occasionally, it is necessary to use an aquarium gravel cleaner to get rid of excess waste matter under the surface of the gravel.
10. Enjoy your fresh water fish aquarium in the classroom. Your students will really be excited and engaged caring for them. It’s a fantastic, hands-on way to learn about life science.