Learning Center
Plans & pricing Sign in
Sign Out
Get this document free



									Experience. Inspire. Empower.

                                   Aquarium Problem
                                       Target Grade: 3rd – 7th

Students will utilize team-work and logical-mathematical processes in order to purchase fish for
their imaginary aquarium. They will be challenged to buy as many fish as they can with a specified
amount of money, and must pay close attention to descriptions of the fish to make sure that they
can live together in the tank.

Objectives (what students will know or be able to do):
1. Students will be able to consider a variety of data and work as a group to make informed
2. Students will be able to add, subtract and multiply measurements and dollar values while
designing their fish tanks.
3. Students will give a short presentation in which they discuss their aquarium.

See Appendix I

         Fish information cards (See Appendix                  Scrap paper
          I)                                                    Poster board/white construction
         Markers/colored pencils/pastels                        paper (OPTIONAL)
         Pencils

              Prep Time: 5 minutes                    Activity Time: 60 – 120 minutes (depending
                                                         on presentation requirements)

Nevada State Standards Addressed:
1.8.7 Calculate with real numbers to solve mathematical and practical situations.
3.4.4 Determine totals for monetary amounts in practical situations.
3.5.4 Determine totals, differences, and change due for monetary amounts in practical situations.
3.6.4 Compare and use cost in practical situations.
N.5.A Students understand that science involves asking and answering questions and comparing the
answers to what scientists know about the world.
N.8.A Students understand that scientific knowledge requires critical consideration of verifiable
evidence obtained from inquiry and appropriate investigations.

NAAEE Guidelines for Excellence:
1.1   Factual Accuracy
2.2   Focus on Concepts
5.0   Instructional Soundness
6.0   Usability

Lead Information/Engager: Introduction to Aquarium Problem
Step 1: Explain to students that, in just a few minutes, they will be broken into groups and
presented with a problem, or puzzle. It will be up to each group to solve the puzzle.
Step 2: Provide students with the following overview: “Your group has been given a 40-gallon
aquarium. Your mission is to decide, as a group, which fish you would like to purchase for your
aquarium. You will use the fish facts sheets to help you make your decision. The goals of this puzzle
are to:
     Work as a team to buy fish for your aquarium
     Illustrate your group’s aquarium on a piece of construction paper or poster board (feel free
        to add tank decorations!)
     Buy as many fish possible with your given amount of money
     Provide reasons for why you bought each fish
     Make sure all of your fish can live together
     Stay under the dollar amount provided ($30)
     Do not exceed the capacity of your aquarium
Step 3: Before distributing fish information cards, paper, and markers/pencils, explain that there
are three more important pieces of information. 1) For every inch of fish in your tank, you will need
2 gallons of water, 2) You have been given $30 and 3) You have a 40-gallon tank.
Step 4: Finally, explain to students that they will be expected to give a short presentation to the
class in which they talk about which fish they bought and why, and will be able to prove that they
have enough money and room in the tank for all of the fish that they bought. In other words, tell
students that they must show their work and keep track of calculations.

Activity One: Aquarium Problem
Step 1: Distribute scratch paper, markers and/or colored pencils, regular pencils, fish information
cards, and poster board (if desired).
Step 2: Once each group has its materials, tell students that they can begin. Give students as much
time as possible for this project. It can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours.
Step 3: Walk around as students are working and try to answer questions and provide assistance
without doing the work for them. Many students will struggle with the mathematical calculations in
this activity, so do your best to be encouraging and provide support.

Activity Two: Presentations
Step 1: Give each group the opportunity to give a brief presentation on their aquarium. Have them
explain 1) which fish they chose 2) why they chose those particular fish 3) how much money they
used and 4) how much water they used. Encourage other members of the class to pay attention to
the presentation and ask the presenters questions. If students find a discrepancy in the
presenters’ aquarium, encourage them to raise hands, share what they think, and discuss with the

Activity Three: Evaluating Tanks (Optional)
Step 1: If the instructor so desires, s/he can grade each group’s aquarium using the following

    Under the money limit and                   4                                   3                                   2
          the size limit        Under both money amount and           Under one of the amounts but      Over both money amount and
                                           size limit                     not the other amount                   size amount
      Assortment of fish with                   4                                   3                                   2
    reasons why you purchased      Lots of different fish with        Some variety of fish with only     Very minimal variety with
               each             reasons supporting each choice                some support                      little support
           Presentation                         4                                   3                                   2
                                    Appropriate behavior,              Appropriate behavior, some      Inappropriate behavior or little
                                explanation for every fish, and        explanation and eye contact               explanation
                                       good eye contact

Review Questions:
1. Students will address review questions in their presentations. They must discuss which fish they
   chose, why they chose them, how much money they spent, and how many gallons of water they

-Evaluate students’ ability to work in a group throughout the activity.
-Use each group’s poster, presentation, and calculations to evaluate students’ performance.

Constructed Response:
Today we worked in a group to create an aquarium.
   1. In 2-3 sentences, describe some of the challenges that you faced working in a group.
   2. In 2-3 sentences, explain what strategies you and your team came up with to solve the
       aquarium problem.

Cross-Curricular Extension:
     English/Language Arts—have students write and illustrate a storybook about the goings-on
in their aquarium.
     Math— students will add, subtract, multiply, and divide various numbers as they “build”
their aquariums.

   1. Learning Intelligences Addressed:
       Spacial-Visual: Spacial-Visual learners will benefit from photographs of each fish in
          organizing information, as well as illustrating their aquarium.
       Logical-Mathematical: Students must use a great deal of logical-mathematical
          reasoning in order to add, subtract, and multiply dollar amounts and other units, as well
          as interpret and assemble information about each fish.
       Verbal-Linguistic: Students must read and comprehend information on fish cards, and
          be able to recall and manipulate this information throughout the activity.
       Interpersonal: Students will work in groups to solve the aquarium problem.
   2. Gifted and Talented:
       Integrate more fish into the selection, fish food cards and food purchasing, and/or
          incorporate time restrictions.
   3. English as Second Language:
       Present key vocabulary in both English and Spanish, or other language.
       Create fish information cards in Spanish or other language.

          Appendix I: Fish Information Cards
Zebra Danio Price $ 0.99 each OR Six for $5.00

Care Level : Easy
Size : Up to 2 inches (5 cm)
Temperature : 65°F - 75°F (18°C - 24°C)
Lifespan : 2 - 5 years
Temperament / Behavior: They are usually peaceful but
they can be fin nippers. They are best kept in schools of 6
or more.
Compatible Tank Mates: Other Danios, Corydoras and
some Tetras.
Diet / Fish Food : They will take flakes, freeze dried
(blood worms, daphnia, brine shrimp, etc) and live foods.
Tank Region : Middle to Top

Bloodfin Tetra             Price $1.59 each

Care Level : Easy and can be fairly hardy if acclimated
Size : up to 2 inches (5 cm)
Temperature : 70°F - 80°F (21°C - 27°C)
Life span : 5 - 8 years
Temperament / Behavior : This fish needs to be kept in a
small school of 6 or more to help keep it calm.
Compatible Tank Mates : A peaceful fish that is best
kept in a small school. Since they only get to be about 2
inches you won't want to keep them with other fish that are

capable of eating them. They should do well in a
community tank setup.
Diet / Fish Food : flake food as their primary diet but vary
it with bloodworms or brine
Tank Region : Middle to Top

Tiger Barb              Price $2.25 each

Care Level : Easy, very good fish for freshwater
Size : Up to 2 inches (5 cm)
Temperature : 72°F - 82°F (22°C - 28°C)
Lifespan : 5 - 7 years
Temperament / Behavior : Peaceful and best kept in
schools of 6 or more. They can be very shy. Try to keep
them in a school to make them feel most comfortable.
Compatible Tank Mates : Many, given their peaceful
Diet / Fish Food : Omnivore, they will take flakes, live
and freeze dried foods such as brine shrimp, blood worms
and daphnia.
Tank Region : All over the tank

Silver Dollar Fish
Price $4.85 each OR Four for $15.50

Care Level : Easy
Size : Up to 7 inches (15 - 18 cm)
Temperature : 75°F - 82°F (24°C - 28°C)
Life span : 5 - 10 years
Temperament / Behavior : They are generally peaceful.
It is best to keep them in small schools of 4 or more. They
may become scared easily if not kept in schools.
Compatible Tank Mates : Many, due to their peaceful

Diet / Fish Food : Herbivore primarily, but will go after
most anything you put in the tank. Give them a varied diet
of fish food including algae wafers, flake, freeze dried and
live foods for optimum health.
Tank Region : Mostly in the middle

Kribensis Cichlid          Price $3.39 each

Care Level : Easy
Size : Up to 4 inches
Temperature : 75°F - 79°F (24°C - 26°C)
Lifespan : 5 - 8 years or longer
Temperament / Behavior : They are not recommended
for community tank setups and will even fight amongst
themselves around breeding time. This fish would be best
kept in a species only tank.
Compatible Tank Mates : Not recommended for
community tanks although many hobbyists keep them with
Tiger barbs and rosy barbs. Use caution and watch closely
for signs of aggression if you keep them with other fish.
Tank Region : Bottom to middle parts of the tank.

         Siamese Fighting Fish               Price $3.50

Care Level : Easy
Size : 2.5 inches

Life span : 2 - 3 years, possibly longer
Temperament / Behavior : Peaceful if given the right
tank mates. They will become aggressive with other
Bettas. They may also become aggressive towards other
tropical fish with large fins such as guppies, angelfish and
Compatible Tank Mates : Not many because of their
temperament. Tropical fish with regular size fins may do
well, but avoid tropical fish with larger fins like guppies or
Diet / Fish Food : Carnivore primarily, but will take
flakes, freeze dried and live foods. Blood worms and brine
shrimp can be used as well as foods made specifically for
Tank Region : Top
Long fin Banner fish Price $13.50 each

Care Level : Easy
Size : Up to 10 inches (25 cm)
Life span : 5 years or longer
Temperature : 75°F - 82°F (25°C - 28°C)
Temperament / Behavior : This bannerfish is very
peaceful with other fish species, but may pick at reef
Tank Mates : Since this species is fairly passive, you'll
want to stock them similar minded fish species. You may
have issues if you plan on keeping them with other
butterfly fish.
Diet / Fish Food : Will and should go after most foods
offered. Try to feed them a varied diet of fresh meaty
foods, frozen foods, and balanced flake food.
Tank Region : All over, but usually the middle to the top
regions of the aquarium.

Neon Goby                   Price $6.79 each

           Care Level : Easy
           Size : Up to 2 inches (6 cm)
           Life span : 2 years or longer
           Temperature : 75°F - 82°F (25°C - 28°C)
           Temperament / Behavior : Can get aggressive with other
           gobies but should leave other fish alone.
           Compatible Tank Mates : Avoid keeping them with
           other gobies.
           Diet / Fish Food : Omnivorous, try to give them a variety
           of marine foods. They should accept vitamin enriched
           flake foods, frozen and live foods.
Tank Region : Usually stays close to its chosen territory in the live rock or substrate.

           Blue Damselfish
           Price $7.25 each OR two for $10.45

           Blue Damsel Care Level : Easy
           Life span : 4 - 6 years, possibly longer
           Size : Up to 3 inches (8 cm)
           Temperature : 75°F - 80°F (24°C - 27°C)
           Temperament / Behavior : Much like other damsels, this
           one can be moderately aggressive. Aggression can be
           lessened or spread out if you have 3 to 7 in your aquarium.
           Compatible Tank Mates : Avoid keeping them in an
           aquarium with Lionfish, Snappers, Groupers, Triggers,
           Eels or any other predatory fish large enough to eat them.
           Diet / Fish Food : Omnivore - try to give them a variety of
           foods. They will take vitamin enriched flake foods, frozen
           and definitely live foods.
           Tank Region : Middle to bottom

           Jack Dempsey Fish Price $4.15 each

Jack Dempsey Care Level : Easy
Size : Up to 10 inches
Temperature : 75°F - 80°F (24°C - 27°C)
Lifespan : 10 - 15 years or longer
Temperament / Behavior : If given enough space you
may not see them being overly aggressive. If cramped, like
most fish, they may become more aggressive. Watch them
Compatible Tank Mates : Try to keep them with fish of
similar temperament.
Diet / Fish Food : Usually very good eaters, they will take
flakes, pellets, freeze dried (blood worms, brine shrimp)
and especially live foods.
Tank Region : Middle to bottom


To top