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Old 06/02/2009, 03:33 PM   #51
rigleautomotive
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sure any time,glad to help


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Old 06/11/2009, 02:25 PM   #52
Murph72
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Unfortunately the Bloom High tank project suffered a huge loss this past week. A janitor, who was truly trying to be helpful, set up a float system. Over this past weekend the system failed and the tank was inundated with fresh R/O water. The salinity plummeted and we lost nearly all of our coral. The fish survived unscathed (as fish often do), but almost all the coral is gone.

It was a sad sight to see. One leather coral was absolutely black, while most coral was just gone. The smell in the science room was putrid. After several water changes, the bio teacher has the tank smelling better and the parameters back on the way towards normal. I'm just bummed we lost all that coral. Even the giant anemones seem to have disappeared. The only thing good that came out of it was that we had a small flatworm problem in the one corner that I was concerned about that has also disappeared.

I have several large pink anemones with green tips that I plan on taking into the tank when it is established, but I currently don't have any extra roses. Hopefully mine will split in the near future as that was a favorite of the kids.

There are a couple of small leathers that are probably from the one large leather Sanjay donated that look like they may have survived. Hopefully there are more survivors, but we're just not seeing it right now.


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Old 06/11/2009, 08:49 PM   #53
insanefishguy
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Sorry to hear about you loss. Keep your eyes open though, you may be surprised at what starts growing back. I have some leathers and sinularias I can donate when you are ready.


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Current Tank Info: 335 total gallon system: 125 mixed reef under HO t5'S, 40g fuge, 75g frag tank, 55g sump, and 40g water change reservoir
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Old 06/12/2009, 05:32 AM   #54
Murph72
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Thanks for the offer Joe. We'll probably be taking you up on that as I don't have a bunch of extras in that department in my home tank to donate.
I was hoping the anemones just found a good hiding place and are all shriveled up...I guess we'll see if that is true. Hopefully it will stable out with the water changes and we can put some life back in it soon. It's just such a downer.


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Old 06/12/2009, 08:13 PM   #55
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Dyan:

I can donate more coral..my softie tank is in need of pruning.

Can you describe what the janitor did. ? I think there is a lot to learn from other people's mistakes.

sanjay.


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Old 06/12/2009, 08:42 PM   #56
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Sanjay,
Thanks so much for your offer. I'm so bummed we lost the leathers we got from you. They were my favorite thing in the tank since the BTAs were all something I already had. I think a few little ones survived, but we'll have to wait to see if they make it.

The janitor hooked up an every day toilet float...you know, like you have in the tank of your commode. He had it set so that it would turn on the R/O water if the sump dropped below a certain point. It worked, from what I'm told, for about a week before the "incident" occurred. The float stuck (not uncommon as I've had that in my own commode, but it has only lead to a waste of water). It left the R/O water running into the sump for an undetermined amount of time sometime over the weekend when nobody was in the school. When the teacher found the tank on Monday morning, there was water all over the floor and the tank was looking stark, with the exception of the fish and a few obviously tough little corals that were all shriveled up.

The janitor meant well and the Science teacher didn't think it was a bad idea, so he never told Tim and I that it was done. He thought it would save him from overflowing the tank (which he has done a few times, but not of this magnitude) when he used the R/O system to run water into the sump due to evaporation and then forgot to shut it off. We learned off it only after the Science teacher held it up out of his lab sink and said, "I think this was the culprit." That cheap solution cost us hundreds of dollars worth of coral...ARRGHHH!!! Totally frustrating, but I know they both meant well. It's just that they didn't know any better.


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Old 07/23/2009, 06:02 AM   #57
lawmary
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Report on the Blue Mountain Middle School Tank - A sad story

I'm sorry to report that the Blue Mountain Middle School Tank is no more. It's been a sad story since about one month after we helped revamp the tank in the spring of 2008. The primary teacher behind the project, Jill Kerstetter, initially set the tank up as a project for the gifted students at the Middle school. Mrs. Kerstetter is the gifted coordinator for the Middle school.

Before we got involved, she started out by buying a very old, not-designed-for-salt water system from an LFS, She was trying to run a fish only tank with dead coral and plastic stuff. The LFS had sold her two very large, very ugly (sorry staff!) damsels to "condition" the tank.

We tried to help her by re-doing the tank with live sand, live rock, an automatic top-off system, a sump, better lighting with a custom-built hood. Carl Cattau from our club did most of the work. He and I donated most of the equipment, and this club donated two Koralia pumps and the lights.

We then received numerous corals donated from the spring 2008 frag swap which we added to the tank. It looked fantastic!

The tank looked great for a few months, but over the summer it was clear that the tank was not being properly maintained. We received several calls from Mrs. Kerstetter that the tank was overflowing - and when we went in to help, it was because the proper water level was not being maintained in the top-off container. Carl would reset the system and then it would happen again. Mrs. Kerstetter would call to get help, but never actually came in to the school when Carl went in, either to help Carl or have him show her why this was happening.

Also, when we redid the tank, Carl took the one remaining very large, very ugly (sorry school staff!) damsel that was systematically killing every other new fish in the tank. (Thanks LFS!) He kept it in his sump for about 5 months, waiting for the school to build a table next to the main tank where the fish could be kept separately. Carl donated the tank and equipment to keep the fish in, once the stand was finally available.

When school started in the fall of 2008, it was clear that there was no effort by the students or Mrs. Kerstetter in properly taking care of the tank. They put in a few fish but the fish died. Again, the top off water was not being maintained.

When I saw Mrs. Kerstetter at "back to school night", she immediately brought up the fish tank as I had been trying to get in touch with her about the students coming to one of our swaps, or posting on our forums. she made an excuse about the care of the tank, complaining that the school had put a freeze on all expenses and that she could not buy top-off water or anything for the tank. When I asked her if her students could post on our reef central forum or Website about the tank, she said they had tried but could not log on. I went home and tried to get them help with the webmaster but ultimately I wonder if they ever even bothered. I mean, how hard is it to put a post? Not hard at all.

Over the past year, Carl and I have had to decline donated corals for the school's tank because we knew it would just die.

At the end of the school year, in June of 2009, I got a phone call from Mrs. Kerstetter telling us that the tank was going to be taken down and wanting our help. I called her back and gave her Carl's work schedule and asked her to contact us and to set up a time we could go in and help her. Also Carl emailed her at least twice, as recently as this past Monday. She never contacted us.

Yesterday I happened to go into the Middle school on another matter and found Mrs. Kerstetter tearing down the system, with the principal standing there and watching, saying nothing. The tank was empty except for water and sand. I asked her where the live rock was that Carl and I had donated. I told her we had someone we wanted to give it to. She said she didn't know, but then "found" some in another room. She asked that I come back at 3:15 to pick up the donated items. Neither she nor the principal offered to be there at 4:15 when I told them that Carl worked until 4PM and couldn't get there before that.

She made it clear that it was our fault that the overflowing system was the reason the tank was being dismantled, that she had tried and could not fix the problem because she did not understand how the system was set up.

Carl ended up taking off an hour of work and we came at 3:15 and picked up the items. Everything was there except for the live rock we had donated, and Carl had donated some beautiful Tonga finger rock. The rock they had in a bucket was some base rock which was white and clearly had never been in a tank.

The true keepers of the tank were the wonderful office ladies (the tank was in the school's main office) and they are truly sad to see the tank go. They were the ones who fed the fish every day and tried to keep it going. They were stuck between a rock and a hard place because it wasn't their tank, and they were never shown how to operate it, which we would have been more than happy to do if someone would have asked us.

Their beloved damsel "Tiki" died this spring and they have it buried out front under a tree.

We have the lights and the two Koralia pumps that the club donated and we will get those back to the club. As far as the donated corals, most died and we assume any that were still alive in June were given away by Mrs. Kerstetter along with the remaining two fish and live rock.

The end result is that we wasted our time because the teacher, Mrs. Kerstetter, was not fully committed to taking care of the tank and having the students take care of it, which was her job. She never asked us to come in to show her how to operate the tank or to show the office staff how to operate it. Every time we came in to the school we watched the slow demise of the tank due to lack of care. Eventually everything was covered with a black cyano algae.

In addition, the school set a bad example on the care of live animals and also made it appear to everyone that a salt water tank is too difficult to take care of. Mrs. Kerstetter plans to now use the tank for a fresh water system, but if it receives the same lack of care the salt water system did, the result will be the same.

Despite our many invitations, neither she nor her students ever posted about the tank or attended any of our club swaps. Because of the poor condition of the system, we eventually asked them to take down the "thank you" posters they had made for us and our club which they displayed around the tank because we didn't want the club associated with this system.

The moral of the story is, no matter how much you want to help a school out with a salt water tank, or how much you want to share your knowledge to students, the teacher you have to work with must be dedicated for the right reasons and committed to making sure the tank is properly cared for 365 days a year. They must be capable of understanding the basic maintenance needs of the set-up and also be capable of delegating those tasks when they are not able to do it themselves. A control-oriented person who is too busy to even have time to meet with the students who are "supposed" to be taking care of the tank is not a good sign of things to come.


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Last edited by lawmary; 07/23/2009 at 06:37 AM.
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Old 07/23/2009, 04:34 PM   #58
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Well that sucks.


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Old 07/23/2009, 10:14 PM   #59
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That is REALLY disheartening! Sorry Mary and Carl


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Current Tank Info: 335 total gallon system: 125 mixed reef under HO t5'S, 40g fuge, 75g frag tank, 55g sump, and 40g water change reservoir
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Old 07/23/2009, 10:19 PM   #60
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Murph, how is that tank coming around? Are you ready for some donations yet?


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Current Tank Info: 335 total gallon system: 125 mixed reef under HO t5'S, 40g fuge, 75g frag tank, 55g sump, and 40g water change reservoir
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Old 07/24/2009, 05:30 AM   #61
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Sorry to hear about your bad experience Mary. Other than inexperience causing problems, I haven't (knock on wood) dealt with an utter refusal to take care of the tank.

The tank may be "safe" for donations, but I was going to give it a little while to make sure nothing else was going to go wrong (Murphy's Law and all that). Right now there are two people over the summer taking care of it, but few who would really be enjoying the new corals anyway. I was thinking it might just be easier to wait until the Fall swap to collect donations. It wouldn't require any extra trips, plus by then we can be sure we're back on track with some consistency. If the swap won't work for anyone that wants to make a donation, I can always make other arrangements.


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Old 07/24/2009, 05:37 AM   #62
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Thanks guys. Our purpose in sharing was to let everyone know what happened so that it can be avoided in the future with other school tank projects.
Larry's words certainly sum up how Carl and I feel!


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Current Tank Info: Multibar angel pair, Bellus angel, Clowns, lyretail anthias, cardinals, blenny, leopard wrasse, softies, LPS, SPS
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Old 07/24/2009, 06:05 AM   #63
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Hey what can you do. Mary and I gave and did what we could.

You need to have the daily support to maintain the energy and excitement. The office ladies are super great at this school!! They did everything they could also and saw their efforts go wasted.

The club now has some equipment that can be donated to new projects. The korilla pumps are in great shape and the T5 retro kit is still mounted to the hood I made. The reflectors are in good shape but it probably time to change the bulbs.

Carl


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Old 08/28/2009, 10:25 PM   #64
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Mary, Carl and Dyan have put a lot of time and effort into their tank projects. All three are correct that someone has to be responsible for the school tanks every day of the year. Just as home hobbyists look at their tanks every day and have someone responsible check on the tanks when on vacation, so too must the school tanks have someone knowledgeable look in on things every day.

I just updated my site with some pictures showing the work I did over the summer. I took the pictures late last night so the fish are mostly hiding and the coral are all closed up but they're better than nothing. You can see just how large our project has become.

Our tanks are right in the middle of the school in the hub where most hallways converge to one point. They really have become a focal point for the school and are a landmark for people try to navigate our complex 620,000 square foot building.

Jen and I are in constant need of supplies to keep this project going. We set up a big frag tank this summer and are working on doing some serious propagation.

Visit the page at www.mrflint.com/fish


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Old 08/29/2009, 06:14 AM   #65
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Fantastic job Larry. Everything looks great. I bet that's something the school is really proud of.
Well Done!


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Old 05/04/2010, 04:48 PM   #66
brettnleslie
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Contribution

If anyone is still helping the schools out I can donate corals and perhaps some equiupment.

I have a lot of corals I have cultured which I can donate (soft-SPS).

I will see what equipment I have.

I live in Indiana, PA but will travel or meet someone.

Let me know, I would love to help out.

Brett Robinson


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Old 05/04/2010, 05:03 PM   #67
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We have two school projects under way at Bloomsburg High School and Williamsport Area High School. I take care of the tanks at Williamsport and another club member takes of the tanks at Bloomsburg. Both projects are managed by teachers who are also club members. We recently added some coral propagation tanks and upgraded equipment at both schools so we're pretty set on equipment. We're certainly looking for livestock to fill the tanks out. If you have spare equipment that might be useful to us then let me know and I'll see if it can meet any of our needs. I am more than willing to drive to your place to pick up any livestock and equipment donations that you are offering. Can we wait until school is out - after June 11th. Thanks a million!

-Larry Flint


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Old 05/05/2010, 06:53 AM   #68
brettnleslie
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School Tanks

Whenever works best for you.

You can come here or I can meet you.

I can provide a variety of corals for them.

Brett Robinson


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Old 02/10/2011, 06:24 PM   #69
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Any updated pictures of current school tanks?


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Old 02/11/2011, 06:28 PM   #70
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You can see a few pictures of the Williamsport project at:

www.mrflint.com/fish

The NCPARS Board is working on redesigning the entire NCPARS site and pictures of the Tanks in Schools program will be a top priority. A few weeks and we'll have lots of eye candy.


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Old 02/27/2011, 06:10 PM   #71
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I just updated the Tanks in Schools portion of the NCPARS web site at NCPARS.org

Please visit the site to see the status of our many tanks across Pennsylvania.

The Children's Home of Reading tank installation is coming up soon. We'll post pictures of that project as soon as we can. Hope to see you all at Williamsport Area High School for our April 2011 swap! See our largest project in action...


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Old 08/09/2011, 09:37 AM   #72
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Larry do you have any school tank updates for us? It has been awhile since we have seen or heard anything in this useful thread.

Could you post some eyecandy for us to drool over or some new equipment that the school systems have changed to?


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Old 08/09/2011, 09:26 PM   #73
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We're adding a 110 gallon reef to Dwayne Kalinay's classroom at Lake Lehman High School just in time for the new school year. He already has a 90 gallon reef and this new tank will allow him to keep a wider variety of coral and fish. Dwayne does a great job and has a veritable zoo in his room.

We're also working with a Tony Beyer who is setting up a 90 gallon reef at Walnut Street Christian School in Avis, PA. His son attends the school and he's going to look after the tank in the school's foyer. We'll provide coral, live rock and equipment to help support the program.

I'm working on a video that highlights the Williamsport Area High School project. We have some other big changes planned for this fall with the support of NCPARS and a local community foundation.

Stay tuned!


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Old 09/26/2011, 08:56 AM   #74
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Thank you to Larry and NCPARS for their help in setting up the new aquarium at Walnut Street Christian School.
Friday night, Larry and his wife brought a load of water, rock, sand, corals, and a few fish to the school and we loaded up the aquarium.
Everything went very smoothly.
I'll post a few more pictures soon.

http://ncpars.org/index.php?option=c...d=65&Itemid=89

Here are the students as they enter this morning and see the aquarium for the first time.




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Old 09/26/2011, 11:33 AM   #75
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Amazing, I love how adults and children can be rendered speechless by a saltwater tank.


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