Fish

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by JaimeMarie, Mar 14, 2010.

  1. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Mar 14, 2010

    I'm thinking about getting fish for my classroom. Halpey put the idea into my head. So now what type do I get? Goldfish, there are 100 different types of gold fish. I think I would go with either Comet or Common. They seem easy to care for. Or should I go with a beta?

    What do I do with them over week long breaks? Summer, do they come home with me, or find a student to take care of them over the summer months?
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2010
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  3. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    I'm sure certain goldfish are better than others. All I remember is how terribly "messy" they are. The bottom of our tank had TONS of their mess and it didn't look good at all. A once-a-week cleaning was not enough.
    Needless to say, we got rid of ours.
     
  4. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    I've heard Beta fish have a pretty good life span. Another teacher I know has a big glass vase with rocks in the bottom and one fish. It doesn't smell at all, but I don't know how often she cleans it. You can get a feeder for a week on those breaks-it just lets some food go each day. I would take it home over the summer. I'm not sure a family is really going to be able to take care of it and the child would probably really feel badly if it died while in their care.
     
  5. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Goldfish are harder to take care of than they might seem. They produce a lot of ammonia, so their tank needs to have a good filtration system or you have to change the water frequently.

    Go for a betta. They're really beautiful. They come in all sorts of bright colors and shapes. I think that the crowntails are the prettiest. Besides that, bettas are really tough little fish. Their bodies are different from other fish and they pretty much have lungs in addition to gills. This lets them breathe air, which means that they can live in water that isn't oxygenated (which is why you often see them in vases and whatnot).

    I have a betta in my classroom (and two at home!) and they are among the easiest pets I've ever taken care of. Bettas are great to keep at school because it's not a problem for them to not get fed over the weekend. Experts recommend that you give your betta a day or two off every week from feeding in order to let their digestive systems settle down. The weekend is perfect for that!

    They eat 5-6 betta pellets or 5-6 freeze-dried blood worms once per day. I don't usually feed mine over the weekend or three-day weekends. Those weekend feeders don't work with my fish because mine won't eat anything that's not floating on the surface of the water. I take mine home on breaks longer than three days. I just plop him into a little half-gallon travel tank that I bought at Petsmart for like 10 bucks, but he'd do fine in just about any container.

    One thing to keep in mind is that bettas are not meant to be contained in those tiny containers that they sell in pet shops. Bettas don't need tons of room, but they need more than a few cups of water. I recommend getting a 2-gallon tank. I have three of these ones (the taller one) for my fish: http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2752291

    Every time you do a water change, just make sure that you add a few drops of water conditioner, which is readily available at all pet stores.

    I also recommend getting live plants for the tanks. Bettas like to perch on the leaves (like birds!).

    Oh, and bettas jump! Make sure you have a lid on whatever container you keep him in.
     
  6. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Mar 14, 2010

    Say I did decide to get a fish. What do I need to support them?
     
  7. halpey1

    halpey1 Groupie

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    My co-worker who has goldfish says the KEY is having a filter... the filter keeps the water clean. You just change the cartridge on the filter once a month or so... he's been doing it for years. What he does is he 'raffles' them off to a student at the end of the year to keep (with parent permission of course). Then in the fall, the new class gets new fish. During weeks off, he has a small glass bowl for a student to take it home in... if nobody wants to or can take it home, he takes it home. He says a week in the bowl is just fine for them. As for what KIND of goldfish, he says the regular orange ones are best. If you limit your 10 gallon tank to no more than 2 or 3, the filter will do wonders... that's what I've seen my co-worker done and I'm hoping to replicate it.
     
  8. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Mar 14, 2010

    Thank you Halpey.

    Did you put on the form that you were going to raffle them off to students at the end of the yr?
     
  9. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Hey wonder if the grant allows lizards. That would be kinda cool.


    Never mind now they wouldn't. Just looked them up the ones that enjoy being handled that don't get HUGE also carry bacteria, so the school would say no.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2010
  10. halpey1

    halpey1 Groupie

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    I didn't put that on the form... I wasn't sure at that point what I'd do with them... I'm still not positive. I might take them back if the person just wants to 'fish-sit' over the summer. :)

    I looked at lizard, but they seem like a lot of upkeep, with the heater and most of them needing live food. I'm looking for easy and live food isn't easy in my book. :)
     
  11. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    I agree. Ok now working on writing the last part. Geez what did you get me into. hahahahaha.
     
  12. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    When I was a teaching assistant, one of my duties was to stop by the local pet store on the way to work and pick up live crickets. Ewww-and I always felt badly for the crickets-I know circle of life and all, but getting scooped up in a bag for a lizard lunch didn't seem right to me.

    Have you seen this? I have one, but I haven't used it yet.

    http://www.cptoys.com/cgi-bin/cptoys_cgi.sh/WService=cptoys/cptoys.com/school/product.htm?stateInfo=bxlUijdllxbjaEmO7917|3&dept_id=&pf_id=ECL-18&parent_id=&qty=1
     
  13. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Mar 14, 2010

    One-time purchases:
    Tank with light, lid, and filter. (Bettas like stagnant water, so it should be a filter that doesn't agitate the water too much.)
    Rocks for decoration
    Live plant
    Fish net

    Buy every few months (or longer):
    Food
    Water conditioner and stress coat


    That's pretty much all I have for my bettas.
     
  14. ~mrs.m~

    ~mrs.m~ Comrade

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    Mar 14, 2010

    Cassie,
    Thanks for the info about the betas. I've been thinking of getting one sometime.
     
  15. Kat03785

    Kat03785 Rookie

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    Mar 25, 2010

    Bettas are great but you can only have one in a tank or they'll fight. We had a field trip to a pet store and just asked for fish that were hearty and were easy to care for. Make sure you go to a reputable pet store so you get healthy fish!
     
  16. Kindergarten31

    Kindergarten31 Cohort

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    Go with a Betta. They are vrey easy and beautiful. I've always had one in my classroom. BUT don't make the mistake I did. It was during cold/flu season and I was putting on hand sanitizer regularly. I cleaned my betta tank, fillled it with water and then put the plant back in, anchoring it on the bottom. I put my betta back in and within 2 hours he was dead. I think I had so much hand sanitizer (with alcohol) on my hands that I contaminated the water and killed my poor fish. Ohhh, the guilt!
     
  17. dolphinswim

    dolphinswim Companion

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    I have a 10gal with two gold fish (common) and one beta. I also have live plants (the fish eat them on long breaks with no food from me) and snails (to help cut back on waste). I don't change water only add when it gets low. On long breaks I will drop in a couple of weekend feeders but other than that established fish can survive 2 weeks with no food. Summer time the tank comes home with me and the fish (not the beta) get thrown in the fish pond and I start with new the next year.

    I always start with the feeder gold fish so the kids can watch them grow...and I get about 10 cos I always lose half the first week...
     
  18. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Keep in mind, that as a parent, I would be not too happy if my child brought home any pet as ours or to keep over the summer. I know my daughter would be the first to volunteer-and we are NOT pet people. But she loves all animals and couldn't say no. I could see myself calling the teacher and bringing it back-we just can't take care of them.

    The best pet I've ever had in the classroom? A Venus Flytrap. No maintenance except for a little water now and then, the kids thought it was sooo cool, and when it died we didn't feel the least bit bad about it.
     
  19. busybeeZ

    busybeeZ Rookie

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    I tried goldfish (among others) to no avail. On one of my 'fish buying' trips (there were SEVERAL) I decided to also buy a bamboo shrimp. He has outlived all of the fish and is SUPER easy to care for. Plus, he's always someplace different in the tank and the kids LOVE to look for 'shrimpy'. As a bonus, he SHEDS HIS SKIN! It's so cool (ok, now I sound like kindergartener). The kids love to look at it with the magnifying glasses!:wub:
     
  20. Sheila

    Sheila Comrade

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    I have had them all!!! Fish, lizards, snakes, guinea pigs, rats, mice, hamsters, frogs and all sorts of insects. My favorite by far has been my lizard but to do moving to a new room this year I was unable to bring her in. My kids had a job every morning to prepare her salad and under my supervision they fed her worms. It was a wonderful way to introduce youngsters to the proper husbandry ways of keeping a reptile.

    Bettas are the best fish for the classroom. Males need to be kept by themselves but females can be kept together. Truly they are the dogs of the fish world. When my students go to feed Angel she wags her tail! I have mine in a critter keeper with rocks and plants. One year I was fortunate to have a 20 gallon tank with seven females. It was a beautiful tank!

    Honestly, the frogs that I have now have been the best! I ordered them from Insect lore five years ago and they are still going strong!

    Only once did I ever send home an animal with a student. When the mom brought the hamster back and said how neat it was to watch the dog bat the hamster ball around the room that was the first and last time! They always come home with me now.
     
  21. gigi

    gigi Groupie

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    We had a beta fish and it was a great classroom pet. We also had guinea pigs, and interested parents/students would sign up to take it home for weekends or vacations.
     
  22. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    Resurrecting this thread:

    I'm getting a betta for my classroom. I have everything picked out and will go pick them up on Tuesday. I've never been a fish owner, so I'm a little nervous about doing something wrong. I keep reading about 50% and 100% water changes. How do I do that?
     
  23. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    When I had a beta fish, I used to keep a jug of water at room temp. and add the chemicals to it. Every week or so I would put the beta into a cup with some water from the bowl and clean the bowl out. I would dump the jug of water in and add the beta back into the bowl.
     
  24. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    Thanks Jaime!
     
  25. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    So Percy has been in the classroom since last Tuesday. He's in a nice 5 gallon tank (it was $5 more than the small 1.5 gallon one), and is finally eating his betta pellets. He was spitting them out and I was worried. I've also given him some baby shrimp, which he gobbled down pretty fast. He's constantly moving when he can see me. He likes to watch me when I'm doing things in the room, and will swim to whichever side of the tank I'm nearest. I've got to get pictures downloaded to share. I can't seem to get a picture that does justice to his actual colors. They're such a pretty blue, with dark red in his fins.
     
  26. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    Last edited: Aug 1, 2010
  27. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

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    Percy's cute! I had a fish, however he didn't last. I also killed a plant they said was unkillable. I don't think I'm meant to have live things in my room...
     

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