Aquariums – handling

Information about handling aquarium fish.

Schools that keep fish must have suitable aquariums to contain the animals. Fish must not be handled at any time.

Approved activities Category
Observation of normal animal behaviour 1
Appropriate care of classroom pets 2

Fish should never be handled. If catching is necessary, a small aquarium net can be used. When catching a fish in order to remove it from the aquarium, always ensure there is a suitable container prepared with suitable water from the tank very close to the aquarium. This will allow the handler to quickly place the fish back into water, limiting the time the fish is out of water and dangling in the net. Place a hand under the net to support the fish. Never hold the fish in the net for a longer period than necessary and always ensure the water the fish is being transferred to is from its original tank. If fish are being removed for tank cleaning or maintenance, always reduce the time fish are captured in small containers. Temporary containers should be covered and in a safe position in the room to avoid direct sunlight and prevent knocking over.

Caring and feeding of classroom pets

Students must only uncover the tank and feed the fish under supervision, according to a roster or when they have acquired the necessary skills. The feeding routine should always be followed and fish should never be overfed. Fish should only be fed an amount that they can consume within 2 minutes. Observe students to ensure fish are being fed the correct amount. Replace the aquarium cover immediately after feeding. Avoid placing hands or foreign objects into the water at any time.

Tank cleaning and maintenance

Students can change the water and clean the tank. In the case of major cleaning, fish must be removed from the tank, using an aquarium net, before the start of the cleaning process. Care must be taken to ensure that fish are out of water for the shortest possible time. Well-established routines should be applied to the care and feeding patterns used in the classroom. Routines for cleaning and maintenance must take into account school holiday times.

Fish photography

This can be conducted either in a small photography tank or in an aquarium. Provide supervision and care when transferring fish to the photography tank and be aware of the heat that may be generated by photographic lights.


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