Volunteering my efforts... Thoughts?

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James95

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Hey everyone,

So there is this nature and science center located on a land preservation that is run by my county. I love going there to run with my dogs and just enjoy being outdoors. Unfortunately, they have exhibits in the science center with live sunfish, crayfish, and minnows that are severely neglected. The filters are so dirty they're almost 100% clogged and the tanks are full of detrius and debris. I highly doubt anymore is regularly maintaining them. The fish also appear to have some sort of bacterial or fungal infection.

So... I decided to send the director of the center an email and address the issue. Below is the dialogue of the email. Let me know what you guys think! I just hope the staff doesn't take it personally or I came off too harsh. I just want to see the fish happy and healthy. Any thoughts? I just want to help!

"To Whom It May Concern:


I'm a citizen of ******** County and frequent the ******** Reservation to walk and hike. I love the facilities and always appreciate the warm welcome from the staff at the museum. You are all wonderful people and our county is truly blessed to have such a great place to unwind and enjoy what nature offers. Keep up the good work!



However, I am writing you in regards to the aquatic exhibits on display at the ******** Nature and Science Center. I've been to the center a handful of times in the past few months, and each time I have been more and more concerned about the health and welfare of some of the specimens on display.



More specifically, I'm concerned about the two large aquariums at the base of the stairway leading downstairs that contain sunfish and other native aquatic species. The last time I was at the museum, I couldn't help but notice how the aquariums looked neglected and dirty. In addition, the fish seemed listless and looked as though they had a possible bacterial infection (white blotches and lumps on the body of the fish). I don't know who is in charge of maintaining the aquariums, or if they are even maintained regularly. Unlike a natural lake or stream, aquariums are closed systems that require regular maintenance and periodic partial water changes in order to keep the inhabitants in optimal health.



I'm not writing this email to complain or bash anyone. Rather, I would like to lend a helping hand. You see, I have been keeping freshwater fish and aquariums for almost 10 years. I'm by no means an expert, but I absolutely love to see a tank full of big, happy, and healthy fish. It brings a smile to my face. Over the years I've learned firsthand that good husbandry (regular partial water changes, filter cleanings, and an overall maintenance regimen) go a long way in keeping a beautiful and healthy aquarium.


I would love to know the current maintenance schedule for the aquariums on display, because I may be able to recommend some things that would keep the fish in better health. If there is no current maintenance routine in place, I would be more than happy to volunteer my efforts to get the tanks and fish back in better condition. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help! Below is the link to an article on the importance of regular aquarium maintenance.


https://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/water_changes.php


Have a great day and thank you for your time!



Regards,
*********************
 

90GalWavefront

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What a wonderful gesture. I really hope that the aquariums get the attention the deserve, either from the staff or you.
Good luck, and hope you get to help out first hand. Many of us can only dream of having a tank like that to take care of.
 

fishnewbie33

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I think you come across as a helpful, caring and knowledgeable person willing to volunteer your time to help with their aquatic life.

Hopefully, you will soon get an affirmative response.
 
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James95

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Thank goodness! Thank you guys. I just wanted to make sure I didn't come across as confrontational or anything. Let's see what they say!

These tanks were beautiful when they first opened the center in 2006. They have two 125 gallon tanks built into the wall equipped with eheim filtration and heating.

One tank is half full and contains crayfish and newts. The other tank is totally full and contains a grouping of pumpkinseed sunfish. They have so much potential to be gorgeous again!

I hope they let me help out!
 

Jim

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Nice letter, BUT remember you are dealing with county employees in NJ. Left there 5 years ago and only back once for a funeral.
 
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James95

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Jim said:
Nice letter, BUT remember you are dealing with county employees in NJ. Left there 5 years ago and only back once for a funeral.
Yep, trust me I know. My dad was the mayor of our town in the 90s and my grandfather actually served on the board of chosen freeholders for our county for quite a few years. There's a possibility that my last name could be a really good thing or a really bad thing. Depending on who reads the email
 

ricmcc

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You come across as polite, knowledgeable, and willing to donate time----that is rather like holding 13 trump in a game of bridge, rather hard to beat-looks great on you, and they most certainly should accept your kind offer. Best to you-rick
 

Roxie Brookshire

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Well color me utterly befuddled if they don't take you up on it. But then I am from a small town where you can't so much as stop at the dollar store in your pajamas without the old lady mafia discussing you over Saturday breakfast. That might impact the dynamics a bit. Still and all bureaucracy works in mysterious ways.

Best of luck with it though!
 

escapay

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Very well written letter. Hopefully you will get a good response soon.

Poor animals.
 

endlercollector

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I hope they take you up on your offer--and also that you don't end up wishing that you hadn't taken on the chore of fixing someone else's mess. Been there done that too many times!
 
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James95

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Thanks everyone! I did the same thing a few years back with a tank at my public library that was installed in memory of a late board member. It's not fun at first but in the end it's so fulfilling!

I will definitely post back when I get a response... Whether it be good or bad. Haha!
 

90GalWavefront

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Just make sure that you don't do too much to fast or you may shock the fish, as that may kill them.
 
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James95

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90GalWavefront said:
Just make sure that you don't do too much to fast or you may shock the fish, as that may kill them.
Absolutely! I'd probably start with a few small water changes a few days apart and a filter cleaning. If they agree, that is.
 

dmmuir

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Nice thought. It's always sad to see tanks get neglected, especially where they are meant to educate.
 

fishnewbie33

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So...What happened???
 

unionfishguy

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Have they responded?? I am very intrigued by this, as I have a large tank of bluegills myself.
 
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James95

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Nope. Never received an email back. Next time I'm in I may just have to address the issue in person though.

I've always wanted a bluegill tank! What are the specifics of your setup?
 

unionfishguy

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100 display tank at school
Sump with purigen, phosgaurd, and carbon, and all the bells and whistle that come in a normal saltwater sump (this was already connected to the tank, I had to work with what I had)
2 true bluegills
1 longear sunfish
2 green sunfish (used to be three, but they ate one during spring break)
1 spotted bass
1 channel catfish
2 crayfish
Hard scape is mostly rock work
No plants, they ate every one that I put in there
Gravel substrate
Reef light with white bulbs

Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 0

Purigen or something similar is vitally necessary, as these dudes are as messy as puffers, I recommend a twice the amount that the package says its good for
Phosgaurd helps keep the algae under control, as there are no plants to consume phosphate, and no algae eaters that could survive with this group
Any other questions?
 
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