Sunday, September 25, 2011

Aquariums In The Classroom!

As I said previously, I have been focusing on setting up a classroom science center. Part of that process has been deciding exactly what living things I would include in this center. Call me crazy but I really wanted to move beyond furry pets... I have already had that experience and I was looking for something a little different this time around. I kind of wanted to give examples of pets that were manageable to teachers who would ordinarily not consider a pet in the classroom at all. Through many conversations with friends, family and coworkers I kept coming to the same old point... the Beta fish. It just did not seem so darn exciting but it did fit some important criteria. Beta fish are cheap, they can live in a very small space, they can live in the classroom all year and maintenance is a snap.
It was not until I visited my local Petsmart that I started to get a little excited. I was able to give them my pet criteria and find out all of the options. Once I heard and saw some of my non furry options, I kind of got excited. I already knew the main pet I wanted to get but now I was really interested in a Beta fish, go figure. I quickly moved from a fish in a cup to an aquarium after my first glance at Bluebonnet my Beta fish.
I was able to get Bluebonnet for around $5.00 leaving me some funds to purchase a proper small aquarium for my new fish. 
As I was setting this aquarium up, I was thrilled to realize that it has a light. I was able to purchase this starter aquarium for $24.00. Now I was very excited and went on the hunt for some accessories. Beta fish need a place to hide so I was able to get this decoration for $4.00.  
I needed some gravel and I was glad that I had some options here. I was able to get glass stones for $2.00.
And finally, I got a few plastic plants to provide another place for my Beta fish to hide. I got three at $1.00 each.
The pet care associate talked me through each item I needed and I was able to ask tons of questions. And I just had to ask... what else can live with a Beta fish? Everyone says nothing can live with a Beta but that is not true... Now I could not wait to see what else I could get. My Beta will soon have friends. 
Here is my favorite addition, my yellow Mystery Snail. And I am sure going back for another one! This guy moves in the aquarium and you never know where he will end up.
And we have a White Cloud fish that is very, very active. The addition of the White Cloud really livened up the Beta! And last we have a tiny sucker fish to keep our tank clean. I love the ease of this small aquarium, the accessories that you can get to customize it and the variety of different living things that can live together in a small 2.5 aquarium. I would have to say for my secondary pet, I love this as much as the first. This little tank set up offers a year of observation and notebooking for young Kindergarten Scientists. I am thankful for Petsmart for sponsoring my classroom pet and walking me through the steps to help me learn about pet care and habitats that I can share with my class. I would recommend this as a wonderful and very manageable pet addition to any classroom. 

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