High School Classroom Nano Reef

Zach0918

Active Member
BRS Member
#1
Hi everyone, something a little bit different for this build thread. I am in process of trying to create a nano reef tank with my biology class at Coventry (RI) High School. I found this forum recently and am hoping it will be a helpful resource in our journey. I am hoping to use this thread to document our progress and reach out for advice if necessary. Not sure how long this process will take or how successful we will be but thanks for reading.

PS: If anyone has ANY supplies (and eventually livestock) you don’t use that you would like to donate or sell to me that you think I could use please feel free to post or PM me. I will post updates on supplies and eventually livestock as I get them. I am funding everything out of pocket so I have a limited budget.

First Step: The Tank

Huge thank you for Christine for donating this 32g LED Biocube. Overwhelmed by your generosity!

I think this will be a perfect tank for this situation given its size and the fact it does have a cover w/ lighting included.

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Future Steps: Continue to collect supplies, will update thread.
 

Mccune

Non-member
#2
I have an office in the schools and have a reef setup in there. The kids like to see all the fish and inverts. I think they will like to see as the corals grow as well over time.
Great way to connect with the kids

Make sure you plan to have a strong enough heater as some schools turn down the heat over breaks and then on the flip side have a plan for the summer heat as well

Those have been two of the obstacles I found out. Also doing water changes is another obstacle as you will have to haul the water to the school. It is worth it though to see the kids with the tank.

Choose easy corals that can deal with some fluctuations in parameters.

Have a large Auto top off that can sustain the tank for at least a week so your not constantly filling the tank.

Use some level of automation to help keep the tank stable.
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CoralJunkie

John
BRS Member
#3
Very cool little setup. My 5th grade teacher had a 10 gallon terrarium with salamanders and that's when I got the bug after that I just needed a tank with something in it.
 

Zach0918

Active Member
BRS Member
#4
@Mccune

Thanks so much for all the info!!! It is truly appreciated. I live close to the school so I can go in on holidays but I would love to hear what you recommend for the summer. Scott at OSA said the tank could be broken down and moved but obviously it’s not ideal. Thanks again!
 

Zach0918

Active Member
BRS Member
#6
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Update: Bought an RO/DI system. Making some water to get things going. I spoke to Scott at OSA regarding the tank. Right now the plan is to get the tank set up and cycling before Christmas break. After the break we will take a field trip there for education on building and maintaining the reef. Immediate needs are sand, live rock and salt. Couple leads on the sand and rock which is awesome.
 
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aresangel

Tim- 2018 BRS Secretary
BRS Member
Officer
#8
Word of the wise...

Put an overflow drain in your rodi bucket.

I left school twice and had the rodi on overnight. About 20-30 gallons of water made overnight on the floor, seeped into my neighbors room, through the floor down to the first floor classrooms.




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Zach0918

Active Member
BRS Member
#9
Word of the wise...

Put an overflow drain in your rodi bucket.

I left school twice and had the rodi on overnight. About 20-30 gallons of water made overnight on the floor, seeped into my neighbors room, through the floor down to the first floor classrooms.



I’ll be making the RO/DI water at home. Couldn’t really find a good spot to hook it up at school. The sinks do not have hose threads. Plus I can monitor it at home. It will stink transferring the water to school initially but I can transport enough to do water changes/top off without too much effort. I already had my freshwater tank’s cartridge filter leak overnight so I can relate to your story haha, though I “only” had about 10 gallons on my floor.

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Zach0918

Active Member
BRS Member
#10
What do you recommend for food for the coral and fish. I will sticking to pretty easy to care for coral that will be okay with just the stick LED lighting on the Biocube. Fish wise I'd like to get a pair of clowns and maybe a shrimp, not sure how much the Biocube will be able to support. I tried searching Reef2Reef but couldn't really find a clear answer. As always thanks for your help!
 

Zach0918

Active Member
BRS Member
#13
Huge shout out to @bonghapster and Allison (I don’t think she’s a forum member) for their donations to the project. Now have a refractometer, Jebco PP4, couple heaters, some reef salt, and a bunch of other helpful accessories. My major needs are just rock and sand now. I think have a plan for the rock as well.

Update:

Transferred the tank and about 15-20 gallons RO/DI water w salt to school today. Just have it there circulating with the PP4. I will bring more tomorrow and I will turn on the return pump. Hopefully gettting the rock over the weekend. Looking like we could be cycling by the time the break comes. Keeping everything hush hush right now but the kids are excited and very curious.
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Thanks again to anyone and everyone who has helped either with donations or advice, it is greatly appreciated.
 

Zach0918

Active Member
BRS Member
#14
Finished filling the water, got the return pump going. The students used the refractometer to measure the specific gravity/salt content. We discussed adjustments based on this data. Still keeping them in the dark about what is going in the tank, building anticipation. So far so good.

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(I have permission to post picture)
 

1spotpooalot

Active Member
BRS Member
#16
Do you have an ato?... if not , I have a tunze nano. I kinda bought it by mistake and didn't work out for a larger tank...it works but you'll need to research a bit. I think it is adjustable to some degree. PM me...I'm in Coventry too
 

Zach0918

Active Member
BRS Member
#18
If anyone has any leads on where I could get some affordable but healthy fish, inverts please feel free to reach out. I am planning on filling the buliten board behind the tank with content related to the tank. I would be happy to advertise any local shops that would be willing to help out, just an idea.
 
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