Friday, December 26, 2008

Close Call

I came in tonight to check on the tank and feed the classroom pets. After running the tests I found the pH had jumped to 8.8 and my ammonia was 2.0-3.0 ppm. I quickly reduced the pH and added the stress-zyme. When I first came in and turned on the lights they were all on the bottom...very still. After I reduced the pH and added the stress-zyme they became more active. I'm not sure if it was because of the pH reducer or the fish getting used to light but they looked a lot better than when I got here.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Groton Update

Here's a quick update on our trout. Here are 2 pictures at 6 weeks of development. All yolk sacs have pretty much been absorbed into the fish and most are now actively feeding on fish food from the top. The above picture is of our lone deformity. We had 5 fish die since the beginning but this one had a mutation where (from what we can decipher) the yolk sac was enclosed within the fishes belly. This skin did not recede as the yolk sac did, leaving this bubble. The bottom represents a typical healthy Brown Trout. Anyone else experience any developmental deformities?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Hello Trout Teams!
During November, I polled each of our classes on how many trout fry they thought would survive to be released in May. Remember how you voted? Well, I've added up the results for 170 STUDENTS WHO RESPONDED, and out of about 100 eggs, delivered on October 30, here's how many you think will survive! -Bill F.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Monday December 1, 2008

Well, it has been some time since we lasted posted anything. There continues to be lots of activity in the tank. The water levels, PH, and ammonia levels have been looking fine for some time. Last week, Mr. Brooks dropped the breeding net to the bottom so the remaining fish could freely move in the tank. Many alevin had escaped. We found one dead fish and Mr. Brooks put it under a microscope for us to look at. We have also begun to feed them the fish food too.

We have made these observations:

-The fish are freely swimming in the tank chasing food and eating food off the surface.
-Some fish like to float in the bubbler and move up and down in the bubbles/facing current.
-The fish have developed fins.
-They have lost the egg sac
-There is spots and bars on the sides of the fish now.
-There is a yellowish, fuzzy build up on the intake pipe of the filter system...thats all for now.
Trout Team III

Monday, November 24, 2008

About a dozen trout have escaped from the basket into the interior of the tank. They are going between the top and bottom easily, and look strong! Ph remains at 8.0, ammonia, nitrate and nitrite, at 0. That's all from 4th grade at South Hill

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Tank Stats in Groton

Water Temp: 42.9 F/5.9 C
pH: 7.6
Ammonia: .5 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate: 0 ppm

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Questions from Cayuga Heights

Here are some pretty good questions from Mrs. Rubin's 2nd grade class at Cayuga Heights school- anybody up for tackling some of these? The answers will require a little research!
1. How do alevins get out of the basket?
2. Will they lay eggs when they get older?
3. How do they feed off the yolk?
4. Would they ever eat each other?
5. Why do they change? (from stage to stage)
6. How can we tell if it's male or female?
7. Do they have different markings in winter and summer?
8. If so, how do they change colors?
9. How do they get out of the egg?
10. Do the alevins have teeth?
11. Do the eggs sink or float?
12. Does the female mate with many males or just one?

Groton Update

We've been studying cells in class and took some killer video of red blood cells in action as they distribute oxygen to every body cell in our fish. We noticed that our fish are really starting to develop their distinct black splotches. We've also come up with a study as the fish develop. We've been running our tank around 45 degrees F to see if it slows down our fish's metabolism. We are closely monitoring the yolk sacs to see if ours lasts longer than the other schools participating.

Thursday November 13, 2008

Hello All,

Bill came out to our classroom yesterday. He showed us a PowerPoint presentation on the trout eggs we have, where they came from and what we will expect in the future. It was exciting. This morning we started working on developing stream habitat drawing to give our alevin a better scene to look at rather than a blue wall.

Tank Report: Today, the temperature on the chiller was 53 degrees and the digital thermometer read 53.4 degrees. The ammonia and ph levels were good. The pump and filter were working poperly. We haven't found any dead trout yet. We have caught a few alevin escaping the breeding net and disappearing into the gravel. One of us noticed that a small group of alevin were huddled in the corner where the outflow pipe comes out.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hello Everyone!

I visited Mr. Brooks' 3rd Grade class at Enfield this morning, and I've got to say- these kids know about trout! I bet they are going to challenge all of us with some pretty complicated research questions and observations.

As is happening in most of our classrooms at this point, some of the alevin at Enfield are "swimming up" and getting more active- a few have even escaped the hatch basket. As our alevin begin to use up their yolk sacks, each class is going to need to determine when to begin using the powdered trout food provided for the program. If we start feeding them too soon, it could adversely effect their natural development (making them less healthy); if we wait too long, some could become undernourished.

Depending on where you look, you can find advice for beginning the feeding process anywhere from 7 - 31 days after the eggs hatch. How old are your alevin? Many factors influence how soon an egg hatches, and how soon an alevin is ready to begin hunting for food. What factors can you think of? For a pretty complete description of the brown trout life cycle, check out This website from the United Kingdom has a lot of useful info, and links to photos from rivers around the world!

When you decide to start feeding your trout... keep us posted!

Monday, November 10, 2008

CHES 2nd Graders Receive Their Trout Eggs

On October 30, 2008, Bill delivered our trout eggs. Some had already hatched into alevins. A week later, all the eggs had hatched. We pulled 5 dead eggs out of the hatching basket.

Monday November 10, 2008

Good Morning Bill,

Thanks for the response to our frosted tank questions We discussed it during our morning meeting today. The heat was on when we came to school today and the tank was clear. We think your theory was a good one. Today the temperature on the chiller was 53 degrees and 51.5 on the tank thermometer. The ph level is still at 7.6. The ammonia level is at .25. The water is clear and at the correct level. Both the pump and bubbler were working fine.

Some of our Observations for today; an alevin was attempting to get of the egg. When one of our group members was trying to remove an egg from the breeding net, the net tipped and released some alevin into the tank. They swim quick and fast. Once it disappeared into the gravel, we couldn't find it. We thought the were about 1.5 cms long

Friday, November 7, 2008

Friday November 7, 2008 An important question(s)

Today the tank looked like a frosted window.Can anyone tell us why and what to do? Today the temperature was 52.5 degrees.The pH level was 7.6 and the ammonia level was 0.75.The water was clear and at the correct level.The pump was working and there were no dead trout. We saw one baby stuck in the egg this morning. That was pretty cool. Avery, Bailey, Auburn, Devon

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Thursday November 6, 2008

Today the water temputure 52 and was 51.4 on the thermomiter. The p.h was 7.6 .The pump and bubbler were both working good. There was only one dead egg in tank that we took out. The ammonia is 0.50. We will be making mortality predictions soon.

The Brown Trout group

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Today Bill was in the give an introduction to the Groton students. Here are some images taken today of our brown trout. The top shows the alevin stage of development, which all of our trout are currently in. You can see the yolk sac, which is the the source of 100% of the fish's food supply right now for the next couple weeks. The bottom photo shows red blood cells traveling through capillaries, delivering oxygen and nutrients to all of the body cells.

Mr. Brooks' Class

Wednesday November 5,2008

Today the temputure on the chiller was 52 degrees and was 51.5 on the thermomiter.The p.h. level was 7.6.The water was clear and at the correct level.The pump and the bubbler were working good.There were no dead trout in the tank. We removed some eggs.

We are pretty excited because this is the second time I've had some type of pet in the classroom and the trout are much more exciting than mealworms- Devon

I am hoping to learn more about trout and how they live.- Auburn

I'm excited to see how big they grow.- Bailey and Avery

Brown Trout Group,

Bailey,Devon,Avery and Auburn.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Trout Delivery Day

Hello Everyone!
Well, I'm happy to report that our brown trout have been delivered, and each of our six classes now has about 100. It was a busy day for us, and for our trout. When Michael arrived at Enfield Elementary, coming directly from the DEC hatchery in Bath, NY, only a few eggs had hatched. But, several hours later, when I transferred the last batch into the aquarium at Groton Middle School, just about all the eggs had hatched!

I expect that all of the living eggs will hatch within the next day or two, and each class will need to carefully remove any unhealthy eggs before teh end of the day today. Certainly remove any remaining eggs on Monday. Empty eggshells may be left to float in the tank. As they quickly decompose, they will encourage the establishment of important bacterial cultures that will help to keep the water clean.

Remember, you trout have just hatched and are living off their yolk-sacks. They may not swim around too actively for the first few days, so don't be alarmed! Just make sure they've got a cold, clean, low-light environment and they'll be fine.

The second grade classes at Cayuga Heights Elementary got a chance to see eggs and alevin up close as they participated in a lively discussion with their TU mentor, Chris Stuhl. I know there are some pictures from that event out there- I'd love to see them!

Everyone- keep us posted on happenings in your aquariums...
Bill F.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Groton Trout

Here is the Groton 7th grade setup. Today we took pH readings in each class and are hovering around 8.0. Looking forward to Friday...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Hey! I've just set up our "official" blog! Wahoo!