My classroom could charitably be described as having a "utilitarian" look to it. A few years ago, I was interviewing a prospective intern and he asked my if my room was this ugly on purpose - was it uglied-up for some kind of project or something?

So, anyway, for the past few years, each year I've tried to do something to make my classroom a little bit less like the waiting room of New Jersey bus station.

This year, fish!

When a not-very-bright person like myself considers the expense of setting up an aquarium, he generally assumes that the most expensive component will be the big glass tank, itself. I thought I'd lucked out when I found a good-condition 20-gallon fish tank at the swap-shop at our town dump. I'd just have to pick up a cheap pump or something and I could dump the fish in. (To which the Universe and thousands of bitter pet owners say, "HA!")

It turns out that it is actually pretty expensive to set up a classroom tank. Fortunately, my son was willing to donate his 10-gallon tank and its hardware to the cause. (After recently losing his long-time goldfish Carl, he decided he wanted to give up on the onerous responsibilities of fish ownership.) All I really needed was a filter. I also decided to pick up a new air stone while I was at it.

(The 20-gallon tank will have to wait for a parent or other benefactor to donate the hardware we need to run it.)

Aqueon QuietFlow 10 Water Filter - $14.39
TopFin 12" Air Stone - $2.69

Subtotal (year so far) - $209.14
[Note - the air stone was broken when I took it out of the package. Sigh...]

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