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School Aquarium Maintenance

by Karen Randall

[Editor's note: This article has been reprinted at the request and with permission of the author.]

Daily

This must be done in the classroom, by teacher, aide or supervised children Should take no more than 60 seconds.

Feed fish
Quick tank check

  • Are lights running?
  • Is filter running?
  • Temperature between 74-80?
  • Check for sick or dead fish (dead fish must be removed).
Weekly IF NECESSARY - This can be done by someone in the classroom or by a volunteer; Should take no more than 5 minutes.

Clean front glass inside and out. (Once the tank is established, every two weeks is usually fine)

Bi-weekly Plan for a volunteer to do this unless the teacher wants to learn to do it themselves Should take about 1/2 hour, slightly less on small (10 gallon) tanks.

25% water change
Trim plants (planted tanks only)
Vacuum gravel (non-planted tanks only)
Clean algae off glass
Fertilizer (planted tanks only)
Clean outside glass and dust covers etc.
Change yeast reactors (planted tanks only)

Monthly

By the same person who does bi-weekly maintenance.

Clean filter

What happens over the weekend and vacations?

Unless there are fry (babies) in the tank that you really want to raise, a tank of healthy, well fed fish and plants can easily go for a week to 10 days without food. With fry, we will have to make arrangements on a case-by-case basis for vacation periods.

What do we do at the end of the year?

Teachers can take tanks home.
Volunteer parents can take tanks home.
Tanks can be broken down and re-started next year. (fish and plants traded in to pet store.)
If a tank is not easily reproduced, we may be able to find volunteers to service it through the summer.
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This page was last updated 26 December 1999