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Posted: December 11th, 2017

OVAS promotes aquarium hobby in Ottawa Valley classroom

children from St. Michal's school in Douglas looking at aquarium donated by OVAS

Promoting the aquarium hobby in classrooms

An aquarium in the classroom is a great way to get kids interested in the hobby from a young age. An aquarium is like a window beneath the surface of a lake or stream. It can be used to teach lessons in biology, chemistry, and zoology. It can be used to emphasize the importance of keeping our lakes and rivers clean. The class gets to experience the rewards of the hobby – including the highs and lows that come with maintaining an aquarium of live fish and plants.

Establishing aquariums in classrooms fits nicely with OVAS’s objectives as a club. You may remember that earlier this year OVAS set-up a tank for the developmental disability class at Glebe High School. In November, OVAS provided another classroom aquarium.

 

 

St. Michael’s Catholic School

At a club meeting earlier this year, members were asked for ideas to boost OVAS’ membership and improve our community presence. One of the club’s newer members, Keith Simon (aka Box Jockey), spoke up and suggested setting-up a tank in a rural school.

The club’s donation of this tank was made possible thanks to revenue from club membership dues. An OVAS sponsor, Big Al’s, generously offered to price-match with us on a 15-gallon tank, air pump, sponge filter, tubing, and gravel. Keith donated some fish, plants, his time, and his enthusiasm.

St. Michael`s Catholic School is small school of only 144 students located in the picturesque Ottawa Valley village of Douglas, Ontario. Douglas is a small tightly knit community with a population of 3,000. Keith setup the tank in Mrs. Holly’s JK classroom.

 

We asked Keith to tell us more about the project and why it was important to him.
Since I started my fish keeping hobby (April 2017), I have been looking for likeminded people to share thoughts/experience and just have a social outlet. Eventually after some searching I found OVAS in June and was extremely excited to go to my first meeting. It was at this meeting when Charlie asked the OVAS members how we could increase exposure for the club. Since I was a new member, I shared how it took me a while to find OVAS because they didn’t have a large presence on social media.

That’s when the idea to organize a tank donation began to form, my daughter was starting Jr Kindergarten this year in Douglas, ON a very rural part of the Ottawa Valley. I wanted these kids to experience the wonder and joy of watching fish and generate interest in possible future OVAS members.

 

OVAS, with support from Big Al’s, provided a 15-gallon tank, air pump, sponge filter, tubing and gravel. I fished a large Amazon Sword plant, some Guppy Grass, and some Duck Weed out of my tanks to create a simple aquascape.

I stocked the tank with Fancy Guppies and one Marbled Crayfish (self-cloning). Both are hardy which is important because, at the end of the year I would like the kids to take them home for the summer. Since both the guppies and crayfish reproduce on their own, any families who decide to join the hobby can have fish spawned in the classroom – and begin their own fish hobby adventure!

 

I visit the class every two weeks to help with maintenance and to talk to the kids about the class pets. My long-term goal is to have a tank donation become a regular part of OVAS. Many of us began in the hobby when we bought one small tank for our children and . . . you know how it goes from there!

Keith

 

 

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* OVAS is a not-for-profit organization with the following objectives:

  • to establish a local network of hobbyists allowing for the positive and amicable exchange of experiences, ideas, information and resources;
  • to promote local area interest in the hobby;
  • to provide resources and opportunities for both novice and experienced hobbyists to further their
    understanding and to encourage their study of aquatic life; and,
  • to raise awareness on the conservation of endangered species and preservation of aquatic
    environments.

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OVAS is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting and supporting the aquarium hobby in Ottawa and its surrounding areas. Membership is open to anyone with an interest in home aquariums and provides many benefits such as discounts at local retailers, easy access to the aquarium community, attend events, and more! The club meets at least once a month at Tom Brown arena from September through to May and maintains the www.ovas.ca website and online forum.