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-   -   Classroom vivarium - can you help? (https://www.dendroboard.com/forum/northeast/91942-classroom-vivarium-can-you-help.html)

acanthaster 01-30-2013 08:25 PM

Classroom vivarium - can you help?
 
I'm a science teacher at a high-needs, high-poverty middle school in Brooklyn. I work with great kids who need a whole lot of help. One of my constant challenges is teaching biology and other 'natural' sciences to students who have never been outside of the city and thus have never really seen 'nature'. Imagine trying to learn ecology when the only ecosystem you know is Brooklyn.
This year, we're going to give the students a small but powerful experience with nature. A few other teachers and I are about to build some very cool vivaria and use some of them to house some very neat frogs. Our kids are already going nuts for these windows into the rainforest, and they aren't even planted yet! I'm confident that they will learn a great deal in the process of making and observing them.
Our plan is to set up each tank with a variety of plants, and if possible get a few frogs into them as well. I keep D. auratus in a vivarium at home and understand the challenges we'll face in keeping frogs in the class.
Our project got started last night with the hugely generous donation of four beautifully hardscaped 20 gallon vertical tanks from dendroboard member rjmarchisi. Thanks Rob, and thanks especially for throwing in the lights! We're now in the process of sourcing the rest of what we need, which includes:

*Plants (lots of plants - I can only get so far with cuttings from home!)
*Substrate
*Under-tank heating pads (preferred) or 50 watt immersion heaters
*Timers for lights
*If possible a misting system.
*Some D. leucomelas or possibly solitary or proven pair tincs (including azureus). Juveniles are fine and would probably add to the learning experience. On that note, we might also be able to make great use of eggs or tadpoles, if anyone has any spares. How cool would it be for the kids to see their class pet grow out from egg to tadpole to frog? I'd just have to find a good working microscope so that the whole class can see the details...

If there's any way you can help us out with this, we and our students would be very greatful. Now that we have these wonderful tanks we're keen to get planting soon! We can't offer much if any money -- this is being financed by only donations and our own paychecks -- but we can promise that your donation will inspire at least 100 kids on a daily basis. I'm centrally located in NYC and willing to travel most anywhere in the city to pick up. We also have fast and reliable mail delivery to the school.

We can't get our kids into nature, but you can help us bring nature to them. If you have anything you'd like to give please reply to this post or email me at the address below.



Thanks for reading,

James

[email protected]

therizman2 01-30-2013 08:54 PM

Re: Classroom vivarium - can you help?
 
Shooting you an email to help you out with the plant aspect.

Dendroguy 01-30-2013 10:16 PM

Re: Classroom vivarium - can you help?
 
Email from me too, got lots of plants that need homes.

D

frog dude 01-30-2013 10:38 PM

Re: Classroom vivarium - can you help?
 
If your willing to have the frogs shipped, this guy seems like he wants to get rid of some leucs: http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/fro...eucs-sale.html

Gocubs 01-30-2013 11:28 PM

Re: Classroom vivarium - can you help?
 
I've catered the idea. How do you plan controlling temperatures over nights and weekends. I would have several in my class if I could figure this out lol. Commendable. Good luck.

jacobi 01-31-2013 12:58 AM

I'm in Brooklyn too, if you need supplies I have random stuff lying around, epiweb, big bag of Turface. I can also give you some plant cuttings. Also have some extra bromeliads. I'd love to help!

frogface 01-31-2013 01:19 AM

Re: Classroom vivarium - can you help?
 
I can send you some tadpoles. Although I think there are people local to you who might be able to help and avoid shipping.

eta: asked a local (to you) to check on this

Pumilo 01-31-2013 01:40 AM

Re: Classroom vivarium - can you help?
 
Hit me up for microfauna when you are ready. Shipping will run about $15 but I'll get you several types of springtails and several types of isopods, no charge.
Read this so you know what to do with them http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/pla...icrofauna.html

Tuckinrim8 01-31-2013 01:53 AM

If you are looking for Tincs, I would be willing to throw in some Yellowback juvies. Shipping would be the only expense..

Part of what developed my affinity for nature was my high school science teacher. I am forever grateful for his hands on approach of getting us to experience the natural world that can be easily overlooked when surrounded by concrete and metal. Kudos to you for wanting to bring this special hobby in to the classroom!

Please do let me know if you are interested in some frogs and we can work in getting them shipped out to you.

Chris
[email protected]

cbreon 01-31-2013 02:22 AM

Re: Classroom vivarium - can you help?
 
I have a 37 gal vented hex tank with a compact fluorescent fixture I'd be willing to donate, the only catch would be picking it up. I'm about a 3-3.5 hour drive from the city. If you are really interested, I would even be willing to do the background for you including some plants, substrate, etc...

Dendrobati 01-31-2013 11:49 AM

Re: Classroom vivarium - can you help?
 
James,

We need more teachers like you in our schools – high-poverty or not. Thank you for your efforts and dedication.

I’m in the process of building my website, launching March 1st. It’s sort of a typical frog site, selling frogs that I breed and supplies. However, my goals run much deeper than that. A significant percentage of my frog sales will go to purchasing rainforest land, true amphibian habitat, held by a 3rd part strictly for conservation. Additionally, I’m working on my “school program” to meet the needs of what you are trying to do. I don’t have the details worked out as of yet – they’ll be available on my site March 1st.

My site is committed to these experiences. I will donate to you and your efforts what you need for at least one tank, including frogs.

Plants
Substrate
Heating pads
Timers
Bugs
Sub-adult azureus
Tadpoles if desired.

I’ll cover the shipping cost and be available for any help or questions. Alternatively, I will be in New York City in a couple of weeks.

Again, thank you.

Brad

Dendrobati 01-31-2013 12:50 PM

Re: Classroom vivarium - can you help?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Dendrobati (Post 812085)
James,

We need more teachers like you in our schools – high-poverty or not. Thank you for your efforts and dedication.

I’m in the process of building my website, launching March 1st. It’s sort of a typical frog site, selling frogs that I breed and supplies. However, my goals run much deeper than that. A significant percentage of my frog sales will go to purchasing rainforest land, true amphibian habitat, held by a 3rd part strictly for conservation. Additionally, I’m working on my “school program” to meet the needs of what you are trying to do. I don’t have the details worked out as of yet – they’ll be available on my site March 1st.

My site is committed to these experiences. I will donate to you and your efforts what you need for at least one tank, including frogs.

Plants
Substrate
Heating pads
Timers
Bugs
Sub-adult azureus
Tadpoles if desired.

I’ll cover the shipping cost and be available for any help or questions. Alternatively, I will be in New York City in a couple of weeks.

Again, thank you.

Brad



James,
even though Brad said we would give you sub-adult azureus, I noticed that you said you have 20 gallon vertical tanks. The azureus would not be happy there, and I do not like unhappy frogs!!:p

So, if you are okay with it, we would like to offer you a 20 gallon horizontal tank, so that you can keep the azureus there. As Brad said, we will be in NYC in 2 weeks, so we can drop everything off for you, including the tank.

We can also give you some variabilis for your vertical tank. :)

Marta

B-NICE 01-31-2013 01:27 PM

Re: Classroom vivarium - can you help?
 
I'm in Brooklyn Bed-Stuy, I can help with Feeders, cuttings, Springtails, and a few other random things.

Frogilicious 01-31-2013 02:15 PM

Re: Classroom vivarium - can you help?
 
Wonderful! My love of frogs started in when I was 7. Our science teacher kept 4 bullfrog tadpoles in a fish tank. The class took care of them and watched as they eventually morphed into the bullfrogs, which we then moved to the pond/garden area that was donated to our school. Ever since then, I was hooked on frogs...

So, naturally, I would love to help with this cause! I dont have much, but I could donate a couple springtail and isopod cultures. I also have a bunch of extra sphagnum moss. I'm located in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

hypostatic 01-31-2013 02:35 PM

Re: Classroom vivarium - can you help?
 
I sadly have no animals/supplies to help out with :(

BUT, I do know that there are classroom pet grants that you can get to help offset the cost of pets in the classroom for educational purposes!

Pets in the Classroom Teacher Grants | Pet Care Trust

here are a few more resources:
http://www.ehow.com/info_8045664_gra...lassrooms.html

Ebiforest 01-31-2013 05:16 PM

Re: Classroom vivarium - can you help?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Gocubs (Post 811937)
I've catered the idea. How do you plan controlling temperatures over nights and weekends. I would have several in my class if I could figure this out lol. Commendable. Good luck.

I was thinking the same. My wife's classroom temperatures fluctuate a lot from overnight and weekends.

Gocubs 01-31-2013 05:22 PM

Re: Classroom vivarium - can you help?
 
Yea and my district office prohibits heaters or cooling units :-( but if he is able. That is awesome.

Dendrobati 01-31-2013 05:26 PM

Re: Classroom vivarium - can you help?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ebiforest (Post 812160)
I was thinking the same. My wife's classroom temperatures fluctuate a lot from overnight and weekends.

I suspect that is where the heatpad request is coming from. I think this is easily overcome with proper controls. A programable thermostat connected to the heatpads would do the trick.

Something like this -
Summer time temps might be the bigger issue. Who takes the frogs home for the summer?

Brad

Ebiforest 01-31-2013 05:41 PM

Re: Classroom vivarium - can you help?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Gocubs (Post 812161)
Yea and my district office prohibits heaters or cooling units :-( but if he is able. That is awesome.

Yes it would be awesome if he's able to do it. The problem with my wife's site, is that the janitors would sometimes turn off the temperature controll unit. I'm pretty sure they were ask to do so.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dendrobati (Post 812163)
I suspect that is where the heatpad request is coming from. I think this is easily overcome with proper controls. A programable thermostat connected to the heatpads would do the trick.

Something like this - Amazon.com: Lux WIN100 Heating & Cooling Programmable Outlet Thermostat: Home Improvement

Summer time temps might be the bigger issue. Who takes the frogs home for the summer?

Brad

Definite would have to take them home for summer break. I agreed that heat might be a bigger issue, especially if the central air unit was turn off by someone else.

acanthaster 01-31-2013 05:55 PM

Re: Classroom vivarium - can you help?
 
Hey, this is great! Thank you so, so much to all of you who have written with generous offers of supplies. We are stunned by the speed and quality of your support. I will get in touch with each of you via PM or email to work out the details. Based on your replies, it looks like we can count on being all set for plants and possibly frogs (though if anyone has any leucomelas tads in the city, we could sure give them a good home). As the exact nature of the donations becomes clearer I'll post any additional items we might need.
With regard to questions of heating and cooling, we're pretty lucky to have reliably cool temperatures during the school year. The plan is for the vivaria to go home with teachers for the summer months so that we can make sure the animals are cared for. As much as I would love to loan them to a kid or leave them for the summer school students, the frogs deserve more reliable care than that. In winter, we'll use immersion or pad heaters and thermostats to maintain tank temperature when the rooms are cool on nights and weekends. This currently works quite well for my small classroom fish tank / aquaponic setup and I antipate no problems with the vivaria.
Again, it is heartwarming to know that so many people care about our kids. This is a great site and a great community.

Best,

James

Pumilo 01-31-2013 07:05 PM

Re: Classroom vivarium - can you help?
 
Oops, I gave the wrong link earlier. Try this one. http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/foo...ringtails.html

acanthaster 03-08-2013 03:45 PM

Re: Classroom vivarium - can you help?
 
It's been two months since these first posts and we've made a lot of progress, thanks mostly to the kind help of dendroboard members.
We've currently got four 20H tanks in the school. Two are in my room (6th & 8th science), and the others are with a 7th grade science teacher and a math teacher. All the tank hardware and the lights was donated by dendroboard member rjmarchisi. Thanks Rob- this has been huge!
As of today, all four tanks are planted. We were able to do this because of two very generous donations:
Brad and Marta (Dendrobati) arragned for us to get all the substrate and LEICA we could need as well as handheld misters to keep up the humidity and the fruit fly culturing supplies that will keep our soon-to-come frogs fat and happy. Thank you both so much! The kids had a great day playing in the dirt (not too common here in the city) and learned a lot about what dirt does and what plants need.

Mike (therizman2) sent us a huge priority box of tropical plants and cuttings from his company glass box tropicals. We were really impressed by the diversity and quality of the plants and are so happy with how they look in the classroom. FYI Mike - the kids want to know how so many plants can be purple!

At this point, I think that all we need is a few more bromiliads and maybe a coco-hut or two. If anyone has some spares, give me a shout- you'll be doing a lot of good.

Plans for the near future include possibly adding in Leucomelas and Variabilis in my tanks. Wer're super excited to get them in! There's even some possiblity that we'll get our hands on some eggs or tadpoles, which would give the kids a chance to watch them develop daily.

Lastly, I should get up some photos of the tanks- I'll try to do this in the next few days. We're closely regulated in what pictures we can post of our students, so for now you'll have to imagine their smiling faces, but take my word for it- these tanks are sparking the curiosity of a lot of middle school students. Thanks again to all our supporters!



P.S. - The 7th grade science teacher is leaning toward a snake for her tank and is curious if anyone has a recommendation for a good, safe species for this kind of enclosure, if there are any. Thoughts?

Nath514 03-08-2013 03:52 PM

Re: Classroom vivarium - can you help?
 
My variabilis have been producing eggs pretty regularly so If you still need / want them I would be happy to send you the next clutch or two + the supplies you will need to care for them as they grow into tads ( deli cups, some food, java moss, Indian almond leaves, petri dish, etc ).

Ebiforest 03-08-2013 04:24 PM

Re: Classroom vivarium - can you help?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by acanthaster (Post 823806)
P.S. - The 7th grade science teacher is leaning toward a snake for her tank and is curious if anyone has a recommendation for a good, safe species for this kind of enclosure, if there are any. Thoughts?

If the tank is going to be humid, you can look into tri-color hognose or garter snakes.

Other small snakes you can look into are rosey sand boa or western hognose. They like drier conditions though.

ForbiddenFrogs 03-08-2013 04:45 PM

Re: Classroom vivarium - can you help?
 
I have frogs and plants as well that id love to donate, u just have to pay for shipping but there free if you want, sub adult leuc, adult CR auratus, all different kinds of tads, I came from a poor section 8 hood I love to give back to kids in need

jacobi 03-10-2013 12:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by acanthaster (Post 823806)
At this point, I think that all we need is a few more bromiliads and maybe a coco-hut or two. If anyone has some spares, give me a shout

P.S. - The 7th grade science teacher is leaning toward a snake for her tank and is curious if anyone has a recommendation for a good, safe species for this kind of enclosure, if there are any. Thoughts?

I have spare coco huts, as well as a bucket of cork pieces if you need some. What are you doing about fruitflies?

(Regarding snakes, I would recommend snakes that are active diurnally, or at least not hiding during class hours, and tolerant of a wide change in conditions. I'd look into corn snakes or one of the forms of mountain king snakes that are more active during the day. Garter snakes as a second choice, I'd stay away from green snakes as a classroom pet unless the teacher has some experience. I can get a 55 gallon tank if you want it. Pm me if you're interested or want more info)

acanthaster 03-13-2013 01:20 AM

Re: Classroom vivarium - can you help?
 
Here's some pictures of the new tanks, without frogs (yet). Thanks again to all those who have helped out! Looks like we've got most of the supplies sorted and are really only in need of some bromeliads. We've got a few offers to send some over but are hoping for someone who is either local to NYC or who can cover shipping - we're doing all this on a $0 budget, so we're allready out-of pocket for some items and can't get reimbursed for anything.

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-1...0/DSC_8668.JPG

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-2.../new_tanks.jpg

Again, we really wish we could show you how happy our kids are, but we're under the impression that we can't put up any pictures with identifiable faces. Take it from me, though- they love these vivaria. We spent a while this afternoon carefully measuring out media and water to make fruit fly cultures and discussing the role of the baker's yeast in out-competing bacterial contaminants and maybe even make food for the flies. Who knew that would turn into an ecology lesson?

acanthaster 04-26-2013 08:34 PM

Re: Classroom vivarium - can you help?
 
Updates to this project are now located on this thread: http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/nor...a-success.html


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