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About MaeganWink

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  1. I'm a bit of an unusual example, but my saltwater tanks are in my classroom. I teach Marine Science and we don't live close enough to the ocean to reasonably go on trips; so the only way students get any kind of hands on experience with Marine Science is through my tanks. It also opens the door to discuss the issue of how the hobby effects the environment, what we can do to reduce our impact, etc. It allows students to be more aware and invested in an environment that some of them may never visit, but can still impact.
  2. That's very sweet, thank you! We have two ocellaris in one of the tanks now, so I think for the moment we're good. Here's a big update, including pictures~ Marine Science Saltwater Tanks Liberty High School Introduction: I teach Marine Science (among other things) at Liberty High School in Fauquier County. As a semester-long project I have students manage 50+ gallon tanks. This is the first semester, so my 3 small groups of students are setting up our first 3 tanks from scratch. The tanks will be passed on and maintained by the next class of students when the new semester starts. This is a student driven project, meaning most of the research, problem solving, and work falls on the students. I am supporting them and doing legwork where they cannot. Funding: $250 from the school, all else out of pocket Tanks: Two 48 x 13 tanks guessed to be 50-55 gallons One 36 x 12.5 tank guessed to be 50-55 gallson All were donated. One has a leak we hopefully managed to patch. Patch successful! Off to the side in storage I have another 50-55 gallon A 40 gallon breeder tank with holes for plumping someone used to top off freshwater A refugium (seems about the same size or larger than the 40 gallon, different dimensions) Current stage: 3 complete tanks Need 1 additional due to increase in students in January, in planning stages for that tank Needed Materials: Sump, piping, heater, coral light Incoming donations: None Previous Donations from: Kyle Gustafson Ms. Merrek (coworker), Overklok, and Waterworld Special thank you too Megan Hill at Capital Aquarium for all her help throughout the process! Invertebrate Friendly Tank Organisms: Peppermint Shrimp x 6 Longspine Urchin Chromis x 2 Firefish Banggai Cardinal Emerald Crab Fighting Conch Scarlet Red Hermit Nassarius Snail x 3 Turbo Snail Puffer Tank Organisms: Valentini Pufferfish Tiger Pistol Shrimp Watchman Goby Fanged Striped Blenny Rainford Goby Coral Beauty Clown n' Friends Tank Organisms: Ocallarius Clowns x 2 Pajama Cardinals x 3 Spotted Hawkfish Molly Miller Blenny Scarlet Red Hermit Nassarius Snail x 2 Turbo Snail x 2 Peppermint Shrimp x 3 Xyenia Green Star Polyp Some other coral that was donated that I haven't identified... I've only had 2 casualties since I first set up. The first was a turbo snail that was munched on by multiple nassarius just a day or so after I got him. The other was the original Coral Beauty lasted about a week and a half before she mysteriously died. Water quality was all fine, but she her body was stuck to a rock when my students tried to remove it. They had to yank pretty hard to get her free. Don't know if she died before or after. Now pictures! I don't have pictures of everything, just snapshots of things I thought my students would fine interesting. The rainford goby, for example, was literally missing for about a week. We upturned everything and couldn't find him. Then he just started showing up on a whim.
  3. MaeganWink

    Help Identifying Live Rock Hitchhikers

    My peppermint shrimp seemed to have made short work of them. Thanks everyone! I found some bristleworms as well. I don't think they are fireworms, though, but could anyone offer a second opinion?
  4. MaeganWink

    Equipment Recommendations

    Don't worry about it, I really appreciate the thought! If in the future you ever go home and want to bring back the light, I could surely use it, but I have a 55 gallon tank I'm still finding a use for so I'm not in huge need of another (I don't think? You never know) Thanks for the clarification, Alan! Yeah, definitely sounds like I should avoid a canister. Also, I found someone who was giving away a 40 gallon tank and a refugium tank. Both have holes already drilled for plumping. I'm going to pick them up this weekend. Perhaps these could work with a sump, like many of you suggested?
  5. MaeganWink

    Equipment Recommendations

    I was talking to someone at the shop where I get my water currently and they suggested using my 55 gallon (since I already have it) and getting a nice canister filter for it. What do you think? Also, I plan on starting with just easier to manage corals, because again, I don't know much about the process and it's meant to be a learning experience for myself and the students.
  6. MaeganWink

    Equipment Recommendations

    Thanks for all the suggestions! I'll check out those other RO systems. I honestly don't know what makes one good, so having you guys point things out helps a lot. I will say I am NOT a very DIY person...I tried cutting class to make tops for the current tanks I have (since they don't have any sort of lid) and all I did was cut myself up and not the glass. I'm not sure I'd trust myself to set drill things and other such steps on my own. The students could perform weekly water changes. I would need to get salt, but in theory with an RO system the cost of water would be greatly decreased (It's the school's water bill not mine soo....) The only other issue with not using the 55 tank I have that was donated is I would obviously need to allot money for the different type of tank. @AlanM when is that sale normally at Petco?
  7. MaeganWink

    Equipment Recommendations

    Hello everyone! To start I wanted to say everyone has been very helpful as I've started my Marine Science class with their tanks. They love them and the organisms are doing well. That being said, next semester starts in January and my class goes from 13 students to 20. I have another 55 gallon tank in storage that I plan on setting up so it'll be about 5 students per tank in terms of management. I'm applying to various grants for funding and I wanted recommendations on equipment. Some equipment is meant for all the tanks to use, such as a RO system, but I also want some equipment specifically for the new tank. I was hoping to start a coral-focused tank, but being new to the hobby and especially green in terms of dealing with coral, I was hoping you guys could let me know what type of equipment I'd be aiming for. So right now I know I'd be trying to get an RO system because buying water isn't cost effective with so many tanks and the chemistry department can't supply me with water anymore. I was thinking something like this, but let me know if that system seems off: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0043FYJ8M/?tag=ezpetcareful-20 In terms of other equipment, I heard that coral tanks in particular need things like protein skimmers and such to be successful. I also will obviously need a light that can grow coral, but there are so many brands and types of lights I would greatly appreciate recommendations. While I'll take all suggestions, also remember that anything I can't get grant money for I'd have to pay for myself, so more budget-friendly options are greatly appreciated. Thank you so much in advance!
  8. Will do! I know for short breaks things are running as normal, but I haven't checked for summer yet. I'll be sure to find out. Also, something I'd love help with if anyone is interested: Suggestions on equipment. All my tanks have very basic heaters and filters, but that's it. I plan to apply for grants from different sources so I can hopefully get additional equipment or even upgrade to better equipment. Right now I know I want to apply to get funds for a RO system, since with so many tanks buying water isn't economic and using the deionized filter tends to go through the canister obscenely fast and that's supposed to be for the chemistry department not me...so suggestions on equipment I should aim for would be appreciated!
  9. MaeganWink

    Donations to Schools

    Wow, that's amazing! I'll send you a message. I greatly appreciate you thinking of my class.
  10. I'm aware. The head of our Science Department is trying to get us special permission to get into the school over breaks, not just for the fish, but because other critters are here too. I've been getting my water from a local saltwater store. I've been getting it as fresh, though, because it's my students' jobs to monitor water quality. I don't have an autotopoff. I'm open to suggestions if anyone has them.
  11. I think my ability to edit is gone again, so for now I'll update this way. Tanks are set up and have had fish for a week and a half now. We have a invert-friendly tank, a fish only tank that will eventually have a small puffer in it, and a clown + other friendly fish tank that will eventually have clowns. For now, what's in each tank is as follows. Invert-Friendly tank: Pajama Cardinals (3)(temporary, will eventually go to clown tank) Firefish Longspine Urchin Peppermint Shrimp (3) Nassarius Snail (3) Turbo Snail Scarlet Red Hermit Crab Clown and Friends tank: Spotted Hawkfish Molly Miller Blenny Peppermint Shrimp (3) Nassarius Snail (2) Turbo Snail (2) Scarlet Red Hermit Crab Puffer tank: Striped Fanged Blenny Coral Beauty Dwarf Angel Tiger Pistol Shrimp Watchman Goby The clown tank will be getting a light and coral donation today I think as well, but I'll update about that after I see how things fair.
  12. Hello! Just to start off, thanks to everyone in general for being so helpful! I noticed today that there is something growing from the live rock in one of my students' tanks. I'm trying to make sure it's not something I need to be worried about. I know you can get both good and bad hitchhikers on live rock, so help identifying would be much appreciated! I've attached a picture I took. From what I've been seeing online it looks like it might be a Glass Anemone, but since I'm inexperienced, I wanted to double check.
  13. Thank you! Now I can keep things a bit more up to date.
  14. MaeganWink

    Donations to Schools

    Wow, I saw the date but not the year, I'm so sorry. Way for me to pay attention, goodness. Thanks for pointing that out!