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Old 03/26/2014, 11:17 PM   #10
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brandoniscool's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Champaign IL
Posts: 526
Amazing donation from Tampa Bay Saltwater

Hey RC, this is Brandon. For a long time I've wanted my students to take the next step and formally share their reefing skills with interested peers. To this end Awesome Squad will begin partnering with Mrs. Perez's third grade bi lingual class and expanding our reef project through the addition of a new tank set up in their room. With a bunch of my own money and a generous donations from Diablo Corals, Reef Dynamics, Tunze USA, Ecotech and more I had the tank setup but no live rock. Just when I was about to try to find some local dry base rock, Liverock (Richard) from Tampa Bay Saltwater PM's me on Reef Central and generously offered to hook me up with some of his special product.

His donation resulted in one of the most fun and surprising gifts I've ever been given (as it turns out we got a lot more than just liverock). I've only been in a real reef once and have never got to experience the complexity of the life on liverock until his 'ocean in a box' was shipped to me. The last two days have been very exiting.

I am still overwhelmed by everything that is included in his packaged deal and sleepless after spending my free time online reading up to make sure i take good care of everything.

For the next couple of day's I'll be posting and asking questions about what we received. I'll do my personal research on other threads. Please respond to my questions with my students as the audience and explain things in detail and keep your language simple. I want them to also be experts on our new livestock.

A slide show of all of our pictures can be seen on my website here.

Below are some pictures of the highlights.

Luckily some Awesome Squad members were able to come in from break. Tina is one of my most dependable students and the main reef boss (student expert) for my classroom.

My kiddos are hampered by their stubby arms.

We've watched videos on mantis shrimp already and it's awesome to have one of our very own.


Every bag had some kind of cool hitchhiker in it.

It took about 5 minutes for each bag to be opened, it had to be passed around and a million questions asked. It took over 2 hours just to unpack everything.

I made them start writing their ideas down so they would stop peppering me with them.

The urchins were one of the favorites, and apparently they can be hand fed, something my kiddos line up to do.

It was had to be patient while the bags were acclimating.

I know the big hermit crab will be a huge hit. Alex said he wanted to keep him for himself because he was shellfish, yuck yuck

Each piece of live rock was picked up and examined. It took two or three kids to move each one.

This is obviously not rock you can buy at your local fish store. Each one was covered with different kinds of sponges, tunicates, crabs, shellfish and more.

Coral Reef Project
Stratton Elementary
[email protected]

Current Tank Info: Mix Reef
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