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Re: Class project

Actually, yes.  First recommendation is the use of a Hagen AquaClear 
filter, as it comes with a reusable sponge for mechanical filtration and 
carbon in a media bag for chemical filtration.  To clean, simply remove 
the media, remove the sponge and squeeze in a bucket of container of 
tank water to clean.  Don't have to buy lots of expensive cartridges, 
easy to clean also.  Recommend putting on a sponge prefilter to trap the 
majority of grunge before it enters the power filter - one of the best 
that I have used is to get a replacement sponge for an Aquaclear 500 and 
cut a slit for the intake tube.  Works great and is cheap and reusable.

Second: you might want to think about what you are going to feed the 
little darlings (the fish, not the kids).  Suggest a second tank for a 
live food culture, such as daphnia (I can send you a starter culture if 
you need one - they multiply like crazy if put into a container of green 
water), along with good quality frozen foods.  I recommend Hikari, as my 
darters like their frozen bloodworms, but keep in mind that most frozen 
food is mostly water so frequent, small feedings are necessary, unlike 
flake food which packs a lot of nutrition in a small package that only 
needs to be dispensed once a day.

The use of live food sends an important message to kids that wild 
creatures eat other wild creatures, illustrating the realities of the 
food web.  It also helps to dispel the myth that food originates from 
supermarkets, where it can be bought without having to face the 
realities of food production, i.e., that veal cutlet came from a calf 
and the steak came from a living cow, pork chop from a pig, etc. One 
does not get a carton of milk and a package of steak by walking up to a 
cow and opening the door on the side and taking out pre-packaged food.  
All food comes from living organisms which must die in one way or 
another to provide food for other organisms.

While this may at first not seem to apply to non-lethal food production 
(i.e., dairy products) it is true nevertheless that the calf that was 
born causing the cow to produce milk probably ended up as a hot dog or 
veal cutlet and the grasses and other foods that the cow eats to produce 
the milk die.  This doesn't count the animals that died as part of 
forage production (haying, pesticide spraying on feed corn, etc.).  All 
life necessitates the death of something else so that the energy and 
nutrients can be assimilated into the food web.

>From owner-nfc at actwin_com Thu Sep  3 19:29:09 1998
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>Date: Thu, 03 Sep 1998 21:17:52 -0500
>From: Bill Flowers <bloomin at indy_net>
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>  To all I need some input. I justtalked to my boy's 6th grade science 
>about setting up a 10 gallon native fish tank. She is all for it. I 
>collected some young darters and minnows from a creek in Illinois that 
>almost dried up. These are to young to identify yet. I was thinking of 
>up a tank with these fish in it. The kids could watch them grow and at 
the end
>of the year id the fish. The kids could observe the interactions of the 
fish and
>write a class report about what they observed during the year. They 
could submit
>the report to the NFC to see if we could put it on our web page. This 
was my
>first idea. Any suggestions?
>     The thing I am trying to figure out is the right type of 
filtration to put
>on the tank. I am fond of the outside filters but would like to keep it 
>the cleaning the tank would be simple and relatively clean process. Any
>   A Fish Addict,
>    Bill Flowers

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