Elementary students contribute to marine aquaculture

by | May 9, 2017 | Advanced Aquarist | 0 comments

Elementary students contribute to marine aquaculture

Brandon Rutherford and a few of his elite staff of breeders. Someone nominate this man for Teacher of the Year.

Quality Marine supplied Advanced Aquarist with the following press release:

Quality Marine Receives Saddle Back Clowns (Amphiprion polymnus) Captive Bred by Students at Stratton Elementary

Amphiprion polymnus
Amphiprion polymnus

3rd grade teacher Brandon Rutherford at Stratton Elementary has brought the ocean to students and their community for the past four years. His program, the “Coral Reef Project” is aiming to teach students and the community about coral reef ecology and its conservation. The project has built 13 marine aquariums that can be found throughout Stratton Elementary. These aquariums are maintained by a group of highly trained 3rd, 4th and 5th graders under the watchful eye of Mr. Rutherford. He believes, “each aquarium is cherished by the children who care for them and is a vehicle for hands-on science learning”, which is a philosophy that Quality Marine strongly believes in and is why we have been proud to support Stratton Elementary. We have supported this project for the past three years through donations and scientific collaborations. One of our resident biologists, Cynthia DeLillo, regularly skypes with the students to trouble shoot and discuss the progress of their aquariums.

Last year, the Coral Reef Project partnered with marine biologist Dr. Justin Rhodes at the University of Illinois to start a clownfish breeding program. Dr. Rhodes taught the students how to culture rotifers, hatch and rear the larval clownfish. Mr. Rutherford believes this breeding project has helped provide students an invaluable educational experience where they have learned about chemistry, biology, technical lab and experimental skills. They are now looking to build a system specifically for the clownfish and the students are helping design it. They have bred over 300 Saddle Back Clowns and Quality Marine has just received their first shipment. Before shipping, Cynthia DeLillo helped teach the students how to properly pack the shipment for a healthy arrival. These Saddle Back Clowns are available for purchase and a portion of each purchase will go back to the Coral Reef Project. If you are a hobbyist, visit your local fish store (LFS) and ask about these. If you have a store, ask your Account Manager about how one can be yours.

Here at Quality Marine, we believe children are the future of the longevity of aquarium trade and we are proud to assist in educational outreach and will continue to collaborate with the students at Stratton Elementary. We are looking forward to see how this breeding program continues to flourish.

Stratton Elementary is a Title One School and the Coral Reef Project is not funded by the school district. So the project relies solely on donations. If you would like to contribute to this amazing program please donate on their Go Fund Me link: https://www.gofundme.com/grow-out-our-clownfish

3rd grade students scoop up their captive-bred saddle-back clowns.
3rd grade students scoop up their captive-bred saddle-back clowns.

It's bagging time!
It’s bagging time!

Next step: Oxygenating the bags for transport.
Next step: Oxygenating the bags for transport.

... then carefully packing the precious cargo for shipping.
… then carefully packing the precious cargo for shipping.

The Stratton Elementary outbound logistics department prepares the shipment. Yay!
The Stratton Elementary outbound logistics department prepares the shipment. Yay!

  • Leonard Ho

    I'm a passionate aquarist of over 30 years, a coral reef lover, and the blog editor for Advanced Aquarist. While aquarium gadgets interest me, it's really livestock (especially fish), artistry of aquariums, and "method behind the madness" processes that captivate my attention.


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