Creating a self-contained ecosystem for the classroom allows students to observe how plants and animals function and survive within their own habitat. Students can learn about natural life cycles without having to rely on a book.
- Large plastic or glass container such as an empty fish tank
- Potting soil
- Aquatic plant
- 2-3 small fish (guppies or algae eaters)
- 5 snails
- Duct tape
- Stiff wire
- Light source (lamp with no more than 100-watt bulbs)
- Long spoon
Fill the container with 5 cm of potting soil.
Cover the layer of potting soil with 5 cm of sand.
Fill the container with water with a gentle trickle so you don’t disturb the sand layer. Let the water sit for 48 hours.
Place the aquatic plants into the container. With the stiff wire, poke small holes into the sand and push the bottoms of the plants into the holes.
Put the snails onto the end of the long spoon and gently place them on the bottom of the container.
Pour in the two or three fish.
Put the duckweed in the water.
Put the top of the container on. Use duct tape to seal the edges tightly.
Set up the light sources several inches away from the container. Make sure the light sources do not heat the container.
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About the Author
Tobias Starr has been writing professionally since 2010. Her specialties include fashion/beauty articles, literary analysis pieces and the occasional commentary on cultural issues. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in speech communication and a Master of Arts in secondary education, both from Morehead State University.
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