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WAMAS Tank of the Month


Tank Of The Month

February 2008

Cedar Lane
Elementary School

Congratulations Cedar Lane, on being selected tank of the month.

About the Tank

System Information
  • 33 Gallon trapezoidal
  • Center overflow
  • Acrylic sump

  • Single 175W MH 10K
  • Magnetic ballast
  • Considering accent flourescents

  • Mag 9 Split 4 ways
  • Considering more powerheads

Experience in hobby

How long have you been doing this?

The tank was set up in late September 2007. It took about a month to get the tank fully stocked. The tank will have to be broken down for every summer, and taken care of by a WAMAS member or a promising student until next fall. Hopefully this will continue for years to come.

Tank setup and equipment

Tank is approximately 33 gallons, 5 sided, with another 10 gal sump. Tanks has a center overflow with modified Durso. We had to stuff some foam in the overflows to reduce some of the splashing sounds that was drowning out some of the "soft" readers in the class. Lighting is a single 157W metal halide on a magnetic ballast. The lights are on from 8am -3pm during the school day circulation is a Mag 9 pump return split to both sides of the tank, and a single Maxijet 1200 for in-tank circulation. A homemade ATO provides freshwater evaporation replenishment with float switch in the sump.

Aquascaping is somewhat limited with such a vertical tank. Live rock was chosen and stacked with this vertical nature in mind.

Where did you get your equipment?

Equipment and livestock was donated from various WAMAS members, as well as donations from the LFS, Fins and Feathers. The names of these donors are listed in the Cedar Lane tank thread in the K12 section of the website.

What else do you think need or would like to have for your tank?

We would like to add a few more cleaners, and maybe a wrasse or other community fish like gobies. The kids love everything in the tank, but fish tend to interest them more than colored sticks.

The tank could also use a skimmer, but this is hard when costs need to be kept to a minimum. The tank gets weekly water changes, but there could be more inhabitants if we employed a skimmer.

  • 1 False Percula Clown
  • 2 Bangaii Cardinalfish
  • 3 Blue-Green Chromis
  • 1 Very shy Yellow Watchman Goby

What is something that you have learned from having the tank in our class?

New types of fish that I had never heard of.
We learned that if a female [clown]fish dies, then the female's husband can turn into a female.
Watchman gobies do not like light.
The ocean is filled with awesome things.
Skunk cleaner shrimp clean fish of parasites.
Anemones are alive and wiggle.
The shrimp stays in one place, and when fish come it eats the bacteria off the fish.

Do you invite other classrooms in to see your tank project and learn form it as well?

I teach 6 science classes. Each class is an hour and a half, and I see 3 classes per day. Every class does the same lessons and activities.

Which creature in the tank is your favorite? Why?

Clownfish- He's always the center of attention. He does cool things and its cool how he turns into a female. Because he is from the movie and he is so cute.
Chromis- I love his bright colors.
Skunk Cleaner Shrimp- He looks funny and does funny things. He jumps off the reefs to get his food.

What maintenance and tasks are shared amongst the students?

Students are responsible for feeding, cleaning the glass, and water evaporation. They also inspect the health of the animals, and test water parameters such as salinity.

A WAMAS member brings RODI water and does a water change weekly. Every 2 weeks or so carbon is changed out and run continuously. Water changes and carbon are important to maintain the tank since there is no protein skimmer on the system (yet).

It was a challenge to feed the tank over the Holiday break. An auto feeder had to be purchased and run while no one was here. The feeder fell in the tank, but everyone lived (except the feeder) and is going strong this second semester.

  • Trumpet Coral
  • Capnella
  • Brown Palythoa
  • Green Mushrooms
  • Anthelia
  • Green Star Plyps
  • Lobophyton
  • Green Zoanthids
  • Red Mushrooms
  • Red Poccillopora
  • Gold Digitata
  • Macro Algae
  • Tapetum Anemone
  • Hammer Coral
  • Torch Coral
  • Sarcophyton
  • Green Sinularia
  • Plexuria Gorgonian

What are your future plans for improvement/upgrade of the tank?

The tanks must be kept simple enough to breakdown every summer. We have been considering T5 lighting instead of the MH bulb, and would like to employ a skimmer. I think our plans for the future are best spent enriching the content and lesson plans to increase the involvement of the tank into their schoolwork.

What makes your setup special or unique?

The fact that this tank is a collaboration of the generosity of WAMAS club members makes it great. It may be simple, and not the flashiest of tanks, but there are so many that can say they contributed to the enrichment and excitement of these kids.


What are your other class experiments/teaching aides?

I try to do anything and everything that I can think of to help the students understand the curriculum. This means doing many interactive experiments and demonstrations with every unit. Aside from the saltwater aquarium, I also have 10-gallon fresh water tank in the room that holds a snail, a peacock eel, and two translucent fish. Since I am the science teacher for the entire fifth grade, my room is packed with a variety of materials that are used for our experiments.

What kind of music are you into right now?

This is a very musically versatile group of young people.

  • Rock
  • Classical
  • Country
  • Punk
  • Heavy metal

Who would you most like to meet past present or future?

Ask my homeroom students this question and you are bound to get some really interesting and thought provoking answers. Here they are;

  • Skunk Cleaner Shrimp
  • Turbos
  • Nassarius
  • Astrea Snails
  • Blue Legged Hermits
  • Red Legged Hermits
  • Bristleworms (GROSS!)
  • Myself in the future (awesome, what did I tell you)
  • My future 6th grade teacher
  • Van Gough
  • Albert Einstein
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Miley C.
  • Dr. Seuss
  • Taylor Swift
  • Elvis
  • My grandparents' parents (never would occurred to me in another 49 years)

If you could go one place on earth where would it be?

A bunch of world travelers!

  • Seoul, Korea
  • Manchester, England
  • Antarctica (So we could have a penguin as a class pet)
  • North Pole (I wonder why here?)
  • Rome, Italy
  • Paris, France
  • Texas
  • Disney World
  • Costa Rica

Why did you choose the screen name you did?

Well,..... Our school is named Cedar Lane Elementary so, duh...

What is the last book you read?

We seem to like books in a series. A few of the most notable are;

  • Nancy Drew #1
  • Series of Unfortunate Events #10
  • Warriors #2 Fire and Ice
  • Guardians of Ga' Hoole #2
  • Hope was Here
  • The Giver

kickball or Teatherball?

All we really play, and we play it a lot, is kickball, so kickball.

Root beer or Lemonade

It was really tough and very close but ultimately, root beer won out.