Friday, January 16, 2009

In class we're doing bacteria investigations around the classroom and one group wanted to see if a deceased trout carried anything....and here you have it. It wasn't as bad as some of my counter-tops. Ewww.
Time for Some Fresh Food!

Exciting activities are in store for the coming months- first up is our living food experiment. Colleen Kearns from Cornell's Lab of Evolutionary Biology & Ecology is ready to bring in zooplankton samples for trout feeding experiments. (Daphnia pulex is pictured to the right. Click on the image for a video link!) Will our trout recognize living food? What will affect their feeding rate? We need to schedule classes anytime after January 25 and before the winter break, so please contact me.

We'll have a chance to study the plankton, themselves, and get up-close and personal with the foodweb. It a great opportunity for projects that your students might want to share at upcoming events, such as Ithaca Fishing Day, in late March, or Earthday. There is even talk of creating a marching aquatic foodweb for the Earthday and Ithaca Festival parades!

Finally, we're seeing some high mortality rat a couple of schools. From what I've read, this is not unusual- and the benefit of having a network of schools is that we can help each other out. So, if any class feels they can spare a few trout fry, I will be available to facilitate the re-adoption process. Let's share the wealth!


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Enfield Update

Hey All,

 We meant to write an update last week but most of us have been devastated by the loss of fish during break.  Everything in the tank was running properly and the water readings were great.  I came in the day before xmas eve to feed the fish only to find a major fish loss.  The filter stopped working which caused the ammonia levels to soar off the charts.  It took several days to get the ammonia levels down and get the filter operating.  We would gladly accept any other donations of fish from schools who might think they will have too many for the size of the tank 

We completed some sketching, colorization and trout identification in the U.S. with Mr.  Brooks and Mr. Andrews twice before break.  Currently, we have about 10 fish left.  They are well over an inch (we measured them through the glass during math).  Their spots are darker and more defined.  We have noticed that some of the fish still have a small bump on their stomach. 

Mr. Brooks' third grade class

Thursday, January 8, 2009

update from South Hill

WE have @34 fish at last count. We lost 6 over the 2 week break. The ones we have look BIG (easily an inch). Current readings are pH 8.0, ammonia .50, nitrate 0, nitrite 0. Should we do anything to raise nitrate, and lower ammonia? Thanks!