Week 2 of Fishkeeper Fry is complete for most schools. Schools have been sending in work and showing us what they’ve been up to.
Figure 1: Bratton Primary School - adding items to their tank
Each week Paul Tapley (better known as Tappers) our fish keeping expert takes pupils through the next stage in their fish keeping journey. In the videos, Tappers demonstrates the next task whilst explaining why he is doing things in certain ways. Over the 8 weeks, Tappers will teach pupils about the good and bad bacteria, how and why you need to carry out water changes as well as many other key elements to maintain a healthy aquarium.
Figure 2: Langloan Primary have been testing the water in their tank
This week, Tappers has been showing pupils how to test the water in their tanks and how to add plants to their aquarium in preparation for livestock arriving in week 3.
Figure 3: Lime Tree Primary Academy - testing the water
Pupils have been learning about what constitutes good water and bad water for fish. They have also been learning about the concepts of acidity and alkalinity and its measurement in terms of pH using test strips.
Figure 4: The Round House Primary Academy pupils testing the water
The Nitrogen Cycle was introduced to pupils by Tappers this week as well. This is the core of keeping fish happy and healthy making it an important topic to cover. The Nitrogen Cycle starts to explain the role that bacteria in aquarium filters play.
Figure 5: Beccles Primary School pupil Angelina made her own tank to explain the process of nitrate and nitrite.
Schools have been completing a cut and stick task that we sent to help understand the Nitrogen Cycle.
Figure 6: The Round House Primary Academy pupil completing their cut and stick task
At the end of each video, Tappers asks a couple of key questions about the topic he has covered; pupils are asked to answer the questions on another worksheet we send. This week, they also had a ‘fill in the gaps’ task.
Figure 7: Allens Croft Primary School 'Fishkeeper of the Week' - Benjy with his completed task sheet
In week 2, stores supplied their schools with plants to add to the aquariums and pupils have been busy placing them in neatly.
Figure 8: St Joseph's Catholic Primary School pupils adding plants to their tank
Once again, ‘Fishkeeper of the Week’ is awarded to the pupil who has done their best work. They are presented with a sticker that they get to wear for the following week.
Figure 9: Westende Junior School 'Fishkeeper of the Week' – Millie
We will be posting our ‘Fishkeeper of the Week’ on the Fishkeeper Fry social platforms this week, so keep an eye out.
Figure 10: Broom Leys Primary School 'Fishkeepers of the Week' - Ella and Maheera.
We enjoy seeing the extra bits of work that schools do alongside the tasks we send. Some schools have made great displays, pupils at some schools have created some amazing artwork, we have seen information leaflets created, and one school has even paid a visit to their store to learn about fish keeping.
Figure 11: St Paul's Catholic Primary School display board
There are a small number of SEN schools taking part in the Fishkeeper Fry project this year. We prioritise SEN schools applications for the Fishkeeper Fry programme and accept them even if the programme isn’t going to be delivered to year 3 pupils.
Figure 12: The Sheiling School 'Fishkeeper of the Week' - Charlie
We are heading into week 3 now where schools will be introducing their first fish. Look out for what species they will be receiving and what schools get up to on the Fishkeeper fry social media or read about it in next week’s article.
Figure 13: Thrussington Primary School 'Fishkeeper of the Week' winner - Grace
School's out for summer and we have some great ideas for fishy fun, in-store and out, to keep the kids occupied during the long summer holidays. Our stores are also teeming with some fantastic pond plants that are starting to show off their stunning flowers - perfect for adding some late summer colour, attracting wildlife and helping to eradicate unwanted algae.
Occasional use of an Activa Block is a fantastic way to give your aquarium water a polish and remove any chemical residues without having to faff about placing it within your filter. It can be added or removed in seconds, making it easy to use in rotation with any additives that you don’t want taken out of your aquarium water, and it’s a great back up for those rare but stressful occasions where unusual measures are needed.