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Teacher looking to start a classroom reef tank


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I am a high school science teacher at a very small alternative school in Hood River for teenage boys in foster care.  I am working to create a marine biology class and my students (and myself) are very interested in starting a reef tank.  Our school is year-round, so I think it would be a good fit for us because we don't have the problem of maintenance over summer break.  I have a little bit of experience with saltwater tanks because I had one about ten years ago, but, full disclosure, I was foolish and insisted on it being a 12 gallon nano reef that promptly crashed and was impossible for a newbie like me to save.  Being older and wiser, I am ready to do it right and start with a bigger tank- somewhere in the 55-60 gallon range.  I have a good understanding of some of the basic marine science, i.e. water chemistry and nutrient cycling, but I am really overwhelmed as far as equipment goes.  I have read the "Tanks in Classrooms" article about Stratton Elementary and am trying to create a straightforward build that is conducive to teaching.   Does anyone have any advice about specific equipment that would work for my situation or how to get started?  Thank you for your help!

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Welcome scissortail.  Glad to hear about your plans and agree that it sounds like a good fit with the TT program.  Sounds like kknight already has you lined up for the Boy's and Girls club tank which should make for a good start.  Excited to see a participant in Hood River - one of my wife and my favorite day trips from PDX (was just up there last weekend).  Hopefully see you at one of our club events soon... great way to meet some fellow reef keepers, get advice and hook up with potential donations for the tank. We typically have a very generous group on here.

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