Pets in the Classroom ~ Caring for a Classroom Aquarium
Pets in the Classroom is all about the special bond between people and pets, as well as the learning opportunities that such a bond creates. Caring for classroom pets helps teach students responsibility, and students can have fun taking an active role in their pet’s life. Fish are great beginner pets, and there is a large variety of species and aquariums to choose from.
When you do start your search for a tank, look for one that is sized appropriately for your needs. Rectangular tanks are one good choice for maintaining water quality and fish health, but your pet retailer can recommend various shapes and sizes to suit your classroom space.
Whichever tank you decide on, some simple maintenance is required. Weekly 10-15% water changes are necessary to provide your fish a clean home. You may want to use a siphon to remove 10-15% of the water and any gunk that collects in the gravel. This is a fairly quick process, though you might have to scrub some of the algae from the sides of the tank.
Once you have taken the old water out, it is time to replace it with new de-chlorinated water. Adding a de-chlorinator to your water before you introduce it to the tank is important. This chemical additive will condition the water to a level that is healthy for your fish. Your Pets in the Classroom grant can be used to purchase all of the necessary supplies to maintain a healthy tank from your local pet supply store.
Keeping your tank in good condition is easy and something the whole class can take part in. Setting up a checklist of these tasks for your students is a great way to teach them the process and get them involved. You might consider having them on a weekly rotation working individually or on teams. They’ll quickly learn that their fish depend on them, and they’ll feel proud and confident looking after their new friends. Pets in the Classroom will help you get started by providing you with the funds to purchase everything you need to keep your classroom aquarium in top shape.