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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Our Class Pets

A new school year means new class pets, especially when you have a science-minded family.  I have been researching "self-feeding" ecosystems for several months and decided to put on together for our classroom.

I started with real lake silt from a nearby lake.  The silt contains microorganisms, which help keep the ecosystem stable.  The grass pieces came from the same lake, but I want to replace it soon with duckweed or a similar aquatic plant.  The plant matter provides oxygen and food for the ecosystem.  Next, it was time to add the animals.


From our local pet store, I added four live animals.  The male guppy as been named "Bubble Guppy" after the TV show.  The two shrimp and snail haven't been named at all.  In our ecosystem, the fish provides the waste matter for the shrimp and snail to eat.  The snail and shrimp will also eat algae, dead plant matter, and bits of fish food.  I think the only thing I will need to add to the tank is a bit of fish food every once in a while.  I also have the necessary supplies to do half-tank water changes as needed.  This is an experiment for me as well as for the kids.  We'll see what happens.

Last summer, our pet was a tree frog.  You can read about the things we learned from him at this blog post.  Next summer, I'd like to grow tadpoles.  Or perhaps hatch butterflies.  Oh, so many fun possibilities when you have a nerd family.

Follow my Pond board on Pinterest!

Update: The system failed!  Frowny Face!  Perhaps we'll try again another time, but Dragonfly is really pushing for a frog again.  Or chicks- she's flexible.

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