Throughout the year, Mountaineers big and small have made frequent stop by the old corner office in the downstairs hallway of the high school, historically known as “the fishbowl.” Marine biology students have worked hard throughout the year on their coral reef tank. How are George, Lenny, Chad, and Melvin doing in quarantine? Just fine.
We asked Mrs. Willertz about the outcomes of the course. “Well, if you’ve been to school, you’ve seen the tank – gross! I tried cleaning it for about an hour last Friday, but it needs a good scrubbing and vacuuming. We did add several critters over the course of the year. Three anemones, two different corals, and a “clean up crew” (snails, hermit crabs, sea urchin).”
Disclaimer: the tank just has lots of algae in it which won’t hurt the fish.
Many thank to admission director, Mrs. Loush, who has been regularly checking on the tank and feeding the fish.
Students learned a lot through the process. As junior Maggie Smith shard, “It takes much more than some water and food to care for an animal, especially ones as beautiful as coral reef fish.” Junior Theresa Waller commented, “I learned a lot about the importance of pH balance, salinity, temperature, etc. Fish are way more complicated than they seem, but it was so rewarding to have the variety that we did. My favorite fish was definitely Melvin, the yellow tang. He was super shy in the beginning but grew to be active and not afraid to swim around, even when the halls were crowded with people.”