After picking up eggs they need to be acclimated to the temperature in their new aquarium. Follow the instructions in the video below to give them a great start in their new home. For detailed information, please refer to your Curriculum Guide.
- Feed fish as outlined on a daily basis (small amounts, multiple times a day)
- Clean tank at least twice each week, siphoning excess food and fish waste. Checking filter media.
- Exchange one-quarter of the water in the tank every week
- Test water quality parameters and record on the Water Quality Data Sheet (MANDATORY)
- Maintain appropriate temperature (52 degrees is optimal)
- Observe fish for behavioral changes that may indicate disease or other stresses
Cleaning the Tank
Cleaning the tank includes siphoning out waste and uneaten food (at least once a week or more frequently if necessary) and exchanging approximately one-quarter of the water in the tank at least once a week or more frequently if necessary. We recommend the Python Siphon system. To dechlorinate the water, add tablets or set the tank outside in the sun for a day. The sunlight will help break down the chlorine. Scrub the sides of tank as necessary to remove any algae growth. Proper cleaning of your tank is essential to maintain fish health and good water quality. Rinse filter media in a bucket of tank water (not tap water), and replace as needed.
Water Quality Monitoring/ Troubleshooting Common Problems
Testing water quality parameters (pH, nitrate, nitrite, ammonia, water hardness and temperature) on a weekly basis will help you to monitor changes in water quality and address problems as they arise. Use the Water Quality Data Sheet to help you keep track. Keeping these records is mandatory. Read through this Nitrogen Cycle Guide: Achieving a Balanced Aquarium for Salmon Success to better understand your tank's chemistry!
Important: Slight fluctuations in water quality parameters are relatively normal. However, if they do occur it is important to determine what caused the fluctuation and to decide if it is serious enough to warrant remediation. Remember, common sense goes a long way. See your manual for our troubleshooting guide. Always test your source water as well.
It is important that your tank maintain a temperature between 50°F and 57°F. 52° is an optimal temperature. Colder water dissolves more oxygen than warmer water. Salmon require more oxygen than cool or warm water fish species and therefore require cooler water.
Salmon Care and Feeding Guidelines
Fish food will be provided when you pick up the eggs. Storing the fish food in a refrigerator is not necessary but may help to prevent mold growth. Do not "freeze dry" fish food.
Depending on your tank temperature and egg pick up location, your eggs should hatch in mid-November to early December. The sac-fry will remain on the bottom of the tank or in the gravel. Do not start feeding them at this point. They will feed off their yolk sac for approximately one month. Once they have absorbed most of their sac they will swim up in the water column and begin searching for food. Don't be alarmed if all don't swim up at the same time -- some will take longer than others. Once approximately 80% are off the bottom and swimming, you should begin feeding. Follow feed schedule provided with food. Break up daily rations into 5-6 feedings if possible to have less waste.
Feeding on the weekends:
We understand that it is not possible for someone to care for the fish 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In the event that someone is at the school to feed the fish on weekends, please do so. If not, however, please feed the fish late on Friday and early on Monday.
Feeding during holiday breaks:
It is required that feeding the fish is continued over all holiday breaks including, but not limited to: Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. Please make arrangements for the fish to be fed on a daily basis during holiday breaks. Or purchase and use an automatic feeder, recommended models are - Eheim Everyday fish Feeder or - Fish mate F14 Aquarium Fish Feeder. Water quality testing and siphoning should also still occur over breaks.
When releasing your salmon at the end of the school year, it is essential that you follow the DNR regulations outlined below. Please read the information carefully.
Detailed information about how to release your fish can be found in your Curriculum Guide.
Fish Loss Report
If none of your fish survive until the May release date, please fill out the following report and if the tank maintenance and care was well done, you may be granted replacement fish.
Stocking Permit and Report
Even if all the fish died, you must submit the completed form, within 14 days AFTER your release in the spring. Without this information, you will not be allowed to receive your Scientific Collectors Permit next year and continue in the program. You can either mail, fax or email the form.
P.O Box 30028,
Lansing, MI 48909
Where to Release your Salmon
You may stock your salmon in any of the rivers, lakes or streams on the approved list.