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MrsGsClassroom
08/26/2016, 04:49 PM
Good evening! I am asking for advice, tips, whatever you've got for a middle school club for which I'm the sponsor. We are a 6-8th grade school and also have high school members that are interested in reef keeping and marine biology. I teach 8th grade science and have a 75G mixed reef tank in my classroom that I use as a learning tool. I got so many kids wanting to help/showing interest that I created a school club.

Recently a interior designer in the are donated a 40G tank, sand, rock, water and fish to our club that we set up in the library. It was a running FOWLR tank for 11 years. We updated the equipment and have been letting the tank and its inhabitants acclimate for the last month. My students are wanting to set up a planted marine tank to study the differences in the ecosystems and fish behavior in different settings. Any tips on how to get started? I assume its not as complicated as keeping a reef tank when it comes to water parameters. I would love any advice any of you have to offer. Also My LFS doesn't have much when it comes to marine plants, any tips on there to purchase online that would be willing to work with a school when it comes to pricing (wholesale prices)?


Thanks in advance!

Subsea
08/26/2016, 07:15 PM
You have already started. Look at some of the threads on this forum. It should give you some ideas. Welcome to reef central.

Subsea
08/26/2016, 07:33 PM
Good evening! I am asking for advice, tips, whatever you've got for a middle school club for which I'm the sponsor. We are a 6-8th grade school and also have high school members that are interested in reef keeping and marine biology. I teach 8th grade science and have a 75G mixed reef tank in my classroom that I use as a learning tool. I got so many kids wanting to help/showing interest that I created a school club.

Recently a interior designer in the are donated a 40G tank, sand, rock, water and fish to our club that we set up in the library. It was a running FOWLR tank for 11 years. We updated the equipment and have been letting the tank and its inhabitants acclimate for the last month. My students are wanting to set up a planted marine tank to study the differences in the ecosystems and fish behavior in different settings. Any tips on how to get started? I assume its not as complicated as keeping a reef tank when it comes to water parameters. I would love any advice any of you have to offer. Also My LFS doesn't have much when it comes to marine plants, any tips on there to purchase online that would be willing to work with a school when it comes to pricing (wholesale prices)?


Thanks in advance!

IMO, Gulf Coast Eco-System is the best site for you to go to. The free reference guide link is the most detailed source of growing requirements for macro algae. There on line mail order is second to none. I doubt you could get wholesale discounts but their portions are very generous. You would need very little for the tanks you mentioned.

http://www.live-plants.com/

For a macro algae lagoon type of tank, I would suggest less than 1' of aragonite substrate. It should be seeded with Flrida Drawfth Snails available at GCE. For a decorative macro algae, I suggest Red Grapes (Botryocladia). You might even consider some grape Caulerpa or red Ogo, which are considered delicacies for human consumption in many parts of the world.

Fiver
08/26/2016, 07:57 PM
Check out this guy's planted tank on YouTube:

https://youtu.be/RwFBeCzEgjw

Subsea
08/26/2016, 08:24 PM
What type and intensity light are you presently running? The normal marine aquarium lighting today includes metal halides or HID (high intensity discharge). fluorescents, and power compacts and more recently LED.

To assist you in choosing wisely, it is necessary to get detailed into your lights. Please quantify watts and type of lighting. Another characteristic of lighting is color rendition, sometimes called cool or warm. Reef tanks would emphasis the blue spectrum using 14,000 or higher Kelvin. For macro algae lagoon, I would recommend lighting rendition to be 5000 - 12,000 Kelvin.

MrsGsClassroom
08/27/2016, 12:12 PM
What type and intensity light are you presently running? The normal marine aquarium lighting today includes metal halides or HID (high intensity discharge). fluorescents, and power compacts and more recently LED.

To assist you in choosing wisely, it is necessary to get detailed into your lights. Please quantify watts and type of lighting. Another characteristic of lighting is color rendition, sometimes called cool or warm. Reef tanks would emphasis the blue spectrum using 14,000 or higher Kelvin. For macro algae lagoon, I would recommend lighting rendition to be 5000 - 12,000 Kelvin.

We are currently running your "run of the mill" LEDs that were donated with the tank. I recently wrote a grant in order to upgrade some of our reef tank equipment and we will be taking our 8 bulb T5 set up from the 75G reef to the 40G planted. Personally I think 8 bulbs may be overkill for a 40G but I could be wrong. Any suggestions on the types of bulbs to get for the planted tank? Or if I should go in another direction?

MrsGsClassroom
08/27/2016, 12:13 PM
Fiver, My students showed me that channel. Its what convinced me. They want seahorses as well but I'm unsure about that haha

Subsea
08/27/2016, 12:39 PM
We are currently running your "run of the mill" LEDs that were donated with the tank. I recently wrote a grant in order to upgrade some of our reef tank equipment and we will be taking our 8 bulb T5 set up from the 75G reef to the 40G planted. Personally I think 8 bulbs may be overkill for a 40G but I could be wrong. Any suggestions on the types of bulbs to get for the planted tank? Or if I should go in another direction?

A 75G tank should have 4' lamps. Eight 4' T5 bulbs would be 432W which is intense lighting over a 75G tank. More light is not necessarily better. Sea horses are messy eaters and intense lighting would fuel nuisance micro algae. What is the footprint of your 40G tank and its height?

MrsGsClassroom
08/27/2016, 01:05 PM
A 75G tank should have 4' lamps. Eight 4' T5 bulbs would be 432W which is intense lighting over a 75G tank. More light is not necessarily better. Sea horses are messy eaters and intense lighting would fuel nuisance micro algae. What is the footprint of your 40G tank and its height?

Its a drilled 40G breeder so its 36' x 18' x17'. 17' being the height.

Subsea
08/27/2016, 02:36 PM
Its a drilled 40G breeder so its 36' x 18' x17'. 17' being the height.

Are the T5 lamps that were on the 75G tank 4' long?

MrsGsClassroom
08/27/2016, 02:50 PM
Are the T5 lamps that were on the 75G tank 4' long?

Yes sorry

Subsea
08/27/2016, 03:08 PM
Because your 40G breeder is 3' long, the present bulbs on your 75G would hang over sides.
Four would be enough light. If you had the money, I would recommend going with LED.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/54w-81w-108w-Blue-White-Strip-LED-Aquarium-Bar-Light-Lamp-Fish-Tank-Reef-Coral-/151738447189?var=&hash=item235450f555:m:mZ7oeQDw84CSOALHeJPK_WA

Get two of these 81W strips at $46 each.




Did you see the 75G tank when it was lite up with eight T5?

MrsGsClassroom
08/27/2016, 04:30 PM
Because your 40G breeder is 3' long, the present bulbs on your 75G would hang over sides.
Four would be enough light. If you had the money, I would recommend going with LED.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/54w-81w-108w-Blue-White-Strip-LED-Aquarium-Bar-Light-Lamp-Fish-Tank-Reef-Coral-/151738447189?var=&hash=item235450f555:m:mZ7oeQDw84CSOALHeJPK_WA

Get two of these 81W strips at $46 each.




Did you see the 75G tank when it was lite up with eight T5?


Are you suggesting adding the LED strips to the T5 fixture or going all LED?

In reference to your last question that is the current set up for my reef tank in my classroom. We have a mixed reef that does well under the 8 bulbs T5. There are two cords and each is on a different timer. All 8 are only on for about 1-2 hours in the middle of the day.

Subsea
08/27/2016, 04:40 PM
I am recommending only using LED, mostly because of the heat. Two 3' LED strips at 81W each.

MrsGsClassroom
08/27/2016, 05:26 PM
I am recommending only using LED, mostly because of the heat. Two 3' LED strips at 81W each.

Ok. Thank you so much!!

Subsea
08/27/2016, 05:40 PM
Tell me more about the library tank. Also when designing a tank biotheme, it is necessary to get compatiable livestock. John Tullock's book, The Natural Reef Aquarium describes a pivitol species as one such biotheme. If you use sea horses as your pivitol species, many other fish would be eliminated because they would outcompete the ponies for food. A Coral Banded Shrimp would make a good companion in a Sea Horse tank. As you get more experienced, I would also recommend feather duster and other filter feeders, like flame scallops and sea apples.

MrsGsClassroom
08/28/2016, 04:27 PM
Tell me more about the library tank. Also when designing a tank biotheme, it is necessary to get compatiable livestock. John Tullock's book, The Natural Reef Aquarium describes a pivitol species as one such biotheme. If you use sea horses as your pivitol species, many other fish would be eliminated because they would outcompete the ponies for food. A Coral Banded Shrimp would make a good companion in a Sea Horse tank. As you get more experienced, I would also recommend feather duster and other filter feeders, like flame scallops and sea apples.


As I did research on the seahorses I knew that was not for us. I would love to provide the students with the experience but it would be too much with the tank not being in my classroom.

Since this is educational for the students (fun for me) we try and stick to a very "strict" bio-theme. Our 75G reef tank is limited to Indo-Pacific species- it get the students researching and thinking before they say "I want a Hawaiian feather duster" just because it looks cool.

Our tank is a 40G breeder, 36x18x17, drilled. We will have a 10G sump which my students are in the process of DIYing. We currently run a canister filter since we don't have a refuge or skimmer on that tank. As soon as they get the sump built and pick out a skimmer we will no longer use the canister filter.

As of right now we are using LEDs- just run of the mill, I believe the person who donated the tank purchased them from PetCo. Although we have access to a 8 4' bulb T5 fixture when we upgrade our 75G to radions. We could possibly purchase a different fixture like the Kessel singles since we have some grant money coming in.

Current livestock that was donated with the tank is 1 ebili angel, 1 copper banded shrimp, 2 picasso clowns, 2 pajama cardinals, 1 orchid dotty back, 1 yellow watchman goby, 1 snail and a few hermits. I'm not opposed to moving/transfering any of the fish although if possible I would like to keep the clowns in the tank; they are super flirty and get a lot of attention from our student population- in fact they were donated by one of our school custodians.

Subsea
09/23/2016, 02:59 PM
As I did research on the seahorses I knew that was not for us. I would love to provide the students with the experience but it would be too much with the tank not being in my classroom.

Since this is educational for the students (fun for me) we try and stick to a very "strict" bio-theme. Our 75G reef tank is limited to Indo-Pacific species- it get the students researching and thinking before they say "I want a Hawaiian feather duster" just because it looks cool.

Our tank is a 40G breeder, 36x18x17, drilled. We will have a 10G sump which my students are in the process of DIYing. We currently run a canister filter since we don't have a refuge or skimmer on that tank. As soon as they get the sump built and pick out a skimmer we will no longer use the canister filter.

As of right now we are using LEDs- just run of the mill, I believe the person who donated the tank purchased them from PetCo. Although we have access to a 8 4' bulb T5 fixture when we upgrade our 75G to radions. We could possibly purchase a different fixture like the Kessel singles since we have some grant money coming in.

Current livestock that was donated with the tank is 1 ebili angel, 1 copper banded shrimp, 2 picasso clowns, 2 pajama cardinals, 1 orchid dotty back, 1 yellow watchman goby, 1 snail and a few hermits. I'm not opposed to moving/transfering any of the fish although if possible I would like to keep the clowns in the tank; they are super flirty and get a lot of attention from our student population- in fact they were donated by one of our school custodians.

https://www.amazon.com/Lightimetunnel-trade-Waterproof-Aquarium-Lighting/dp/B015FI8BN4/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1474660320&sr=8-4&keywords=led%2Breef%2Baquarium%2Blighting%2B48%2Binch&th=1

Use two of these at $52 each for a total of two 81W LED.