Here is another great resource that discusses how agriculture can impact our water, and what people are doing to work towards improving it. NPR has recently filmed a documentary to discuss these sensitive but important issues. You can access the link here:
The equipment is in, and we are busy getting geared up for the TIC training sessions next month! Lindsey and I spent Monday adding the materials to each aquarium so they will be ready to go. Can you tell how excited we are?
In preparation for the start to our program, I thought I would share this great watershed activity:
This would be a great way to start the conversation on watersheds and take a hands on approach. Continue to check our blog frequently, I will try and add interesting facts and fun activities as often as I can.
Also, a reminder for our seasoned teachers in the program, please take the time now to check your supplies as you may need to reorder. Instructions on where to reorder were sent out in a previous email, but let us know if you need any assistance!
The start of the 2016 Trout in the Classroom program is almost here! I would like to begin by saying I am very excited to work with you all this year, as I have recently accepted the position as your Trout in the Classroom coordinator with Lindsey Chizinski. I had the opportunity to work with Tori Mullins, the previous coordinator, closely for several months. Some of you may have met me at this previous years field trips to Aksarben Aquarium. I am excited to continue her work with the teachers that participated previously, and look forward to meeting and working with all the new teachers we are fortunate to have in the program this year.
Please let me know if you have any questions prior to getting started. We look forward to seeing you at our upcoming trainings!
As the TIC season winds down, there are a few things that we need to wrap up!
1)Post-tests. If you have not done so, please administer the post test and get those in to me. If you are attending a field trip, you can bring them along and hand them off on the day of.
2) If you are NOT attending a field trip, you need to get in touch with me about your next steps for your trout.
3) End of the Year Clean Up
Here are the end of the year clean up instructions! Essentially, you want to drain, wipe down and air dry everything. The only thing that you will be replacing for the 2016-2017 season are the water chemicals (NovAqua Plus, NiteOutII and Special Blend) and the carbon filters. The rest of your equipment can be cared for and then put away until next fall!
You need to also refer to your Equipment and Care Manual right here. This will walk you through the entire process!
The trout rearing season is well under way! Over all there have been minimal complications and things are going well for most of you! If you are having some difficulties with high nitrites and HAVE NOT tried replacing your chemicals, that is something you might want to consider. A couple of our classrooms have had luck with lowering their nitrites with fresh chemicals.
Keep an eye out in the mail for your field trip packets coming out in the upcoming weeks! Though it’s only the beginning of March, many of you have testing coming up and I’m sure that the time is going to fly by!
As always, keep the questions coming!
I’m starting to get reports of trout that are swimming near the surface! That’s excellent! I’ve got about 20 or so who are swimming up near the surface, and the rest are content to stay under the pump for now. It’s quite comical to lift the pump up and watch them all emerge out of nowhere!
Many of my trout still have just a little bit of a yolk sac left, though. Even the trout at the surface have some belly left. Some are blatant (you can actually see the orange of the yolk left) and others are a little further along (they’re just a little rotund).
PLEASE be patient when feeding your trout. They most likely will not be eating normally for a little while…they still need to learn how to feed. Remember where high ammonia and nitrite levels come from… Much of the food in the beginning will go uneaten, so feed sparingly. Make sure that you’re watching the trout as your feeding them so that you can gauge how much you should be feeding and if they’re actually eating it or not!
Pearl stopped by the office yesterday for an afternoon of cuteness!
As you may be noticing (hopefully!), your alevin might be becoming more active! Some of them might be swimming around the hatching basket semi-proficiently while others might be swimming in endless circles.
Your alevin are at the point where you can release them from the hatching basket if you have not done so already! Before you release your trout, you might want to consider removing the perpetual circular swimmers! They will most likely not survive, and they do become quite hard to find once they get down into the gravel.
You can gently dump the basket over so that the alevin can swim out and be on their merry way!
At THIS point, you can remove the basket from your tank and let it air dry and store it for next year! You should be testing your water quality daily and keeping track of that. If your numbers are in range, all you need to worry about is ADDING water if your levels drop, which they will.
I would say in about a week you will be able to being feeding your trout. They should be swimming adeptly when you start feeding and their yolk sacs should be fully absorbed. Keep in mind that they have not ever eaten before! Feed sparingly in the beginning until they get the hang of it. It will save you lots of trouble with water quality in the future if you can minimize the amount of food waste hitting the gravel!
That is all that I can think of for now! If you have any other questions please let me know and I will come back and update this post!
EVERYONE has officially received their trout eggs! I couldn’t be happier with how yesterday went and though I do have some business for you in a bit, I want to say thank you! Your excitement and enthusiasm is abundant!
Now that you have your eggs, there are a few things to remember… some are not going to survive! So is life, errr, I guess so is death🙂 You’ll need to keep an eye out for the dead eggs and remove them promptly so that they don’t spread fungus to your healthy eggs. That’s where your turkey baster comes in handy!
You’ll want to continue your water quality testing as well. If your parameters were on target before the arrival of your eggs, they should remain there until the eggs hatch. Once the eggs hatch the embryonic fluid will cause a little spike but it typically will resolve with a 5 gallon water change!
Below are the hatch date calculations for MY numbers. Remember that you will need to sub in the temperature of your tank if it is not the same as mine! There are also TWO completed worksheets attached. If you received your eggs on 1/12, use those numbers and sub in your tank temperature if it is not 54 degrees. If you received your eggs on 1/13, use those numbers and sub in your tank temperature if it is not 54 degrees.
As always, feel free to email me if you have any questions! And take lots of photos because time flies!
Many of you (I hope all of you) are well underway in your tank cycling process! Below you’ll find answers for some of the more frequently asked questions as of late.
If your tank water is cloudy…you’re doing it right! The cloudy water is a sign of the bacterial bloom. You’ve provided the bacteria with ammonia (fish food) and they are hungry! The bloom might last anywhere from 7-21 days.
My tank is currently quite cloudy and the ammonia is reading at around 3-4 ppm. Nitrite levels are elevated as well, I think about 1 ppm. I’ve stopped providing fish food and will continue to test the water quality to watch for the levels to return to normal. I will not be adding more Special Blend, now will I be changing water. Simply practicing patience, and I know you all have plenty of that!🙂
Your ammonia and nitrite levels do not need to get very high in order to provide for the bacteria. If you have seen them spike up around 1-2 ppm, you can stop adding food and give the bacteria a chance to do their jobs without overwhelming them.
You will not need to do a water change until after you’ve received your eggs, either so hold tight on that. I’ll keep you all updated on what you should be doing next!
Remember to take a step back and think about what’s happening in your tank. It will make all of this a lot less scary! You’re doing great, and no two years will every be the same with your aquarium. Understand it the best you can and make judgement calls. We have faith in you!