Rainbow Trout

March 15, 2017

The 7th Grade Stripes team welcomed some new visitors to their classroom this past January. On January 11, 150 Rainbow Trout eggs were delivered to our aquarium as part of the Trout in the Classroom Project sponsored by the Nebraska Games and Parks, funded by the Nebraska Environmental Trust. This project started in December with the setting up of the aquarium. Students took water samples daily as the aquarium was cycling. We learned about the PH, nitrites, nitrates, and ammonia levels of the water and discussed the causes of these levels. We learned the levels needed to provide and environment for our trout to survive. This activity lead our class to look closely at how rivers, specially the Platte River, could be polluted and discussed ways to help keep our rivers as clean as possible. A chiller was hooked up to the aquarium to keep the water below 55º F. We learned that Rainbow Trout our very active fish and need a high oxygen level in the water. This lead us to discover that colder water contains higher oxygen levels than warmer water.

The trout eggs arrived on January 11, and they were in the eye stage. This stage isalmost halfway through egg cycle. The students were excited and ready to see the next stage of a trout’s life, so we needed to figure out what day that stage would happen. We predicted what day our eggs would hatch to alevins(sac-fry). This prediction is based on Thermal Units. Rainbow Trout need 276 TU’s to hatch, a TU is the temperature of the water minus 32. For our tank the water was at 52º -32 = 20, so each day our eggs were receiving 20 TU’s. With this information we could predict the hatching dates of our eggs. The end of January we found our trout in the alevin stage or sac-fry. We waited another two weeks until our trout reached the fry stage and we released them from our breeding net to the freedom of our aquarium. We continue to monitor the PH, nitrites, nitrates, and ammonia levels of our water. We are now feeding our trout twice daily and watching them grow. In May we will be taking them back to Aksarben Aquarium to be released in a stock pond to continue to develop. This has been a great learning experience for the students. It has provided them a chance to watch a life cycle of another organism. It has allowed them to understand the freshwater ecosystem and how pollutants can affect that ecosystem.

We have streamed our aquarium live a few days here is a link for you to watch. room210aquarium