Aquatic Food Web in Action.

River Systems

Under construction. (This is a very interesting ecosystem--much less work than the freshwater tank. and lots more sneaky action. None of us have ever had a newt for a pet. Believe us, amphibians have intriguing behaviors.) Newt is a joy to observe each day.
2009: Newt was thought to have died in the move to SanLee when the new school opened. Newt reappeared in the tank during the fall! He is alive
today (9/21/09). Newt had a brown water baby snake and two other newts in his tank during the last year. The snake was found in a classroom at the
beginning of school and we raised it. As a teenager, our little snake began to eat feeder rosies fish at a rate of 24/10 days. We finally had to release
our little snake into the pond behind the school because he was attacking our Newt!! Ravenous snake who lived with us 9 months.

Of all our tanks, this one is the most interesting every year to our students. Newt is a legend! Fire belly African Newt is a hit!

Look under the rock at the left bottom; you can just barely see Newt. This is our River Tank with the waterfall and plants that love the moisture.

The Stealthy Tank Players:

  • Newt Rockne: 1/11/07 Newt 's favorite class period in science is core 3--- unless he is really hungry from the weekend and core 1 and 2 get his best attention. A known fish predator.
  • PLANTS: Parrot's Feather, Estuary Grass
  • Tad, the Bull Froggie: is he dead or alive? Has been known to go into hiding. This tadpole has lived peacefully in Newt 's neighborhood for months at the pet store; the Titan patrol is watching for him to reappear.animated_frog.gif(Tad never reappeared but Rachel brought us some new tadpoles in March.)
  • 5 Feeder goldfish, now a part of the Newt diet.
  • Big Goldie, apparently too big to eat. A very good undercover fish. We thought Goldie was eaten 1/25/07 along with 4 of the 5 newest feeder fish but she survived! Newt may start out growing our budget. Foldie now lives in Mrs. Sumpter's fish tank with many other fish that were given to Mr. Taylor when he left. He never found out who gave him all those Goldfish...we were happy to get them.
  • Firebelly Frog (introduced on 1/24/07) This frog eats crickets but then so does Newt . Newt has this big frog isolated in the corner of the tank; Newt is very interested in this frog. We now see Newt frequently. Crickets and another set of feeder fish have captured Newt 's attention. Newt is eating well and is now showing himself frequently as he hunts. Our frog should also eat the frog/newt food although we buy crickets for him; Newt is the dominant animal in our ecosystem. The beautiful Firebelly Frog may never get any crickets at this rate. animated_frog_3.gif
  • Funeral Dirge for our favorite frog. 2/2/07 Newt ate the Firebelly Frog. Now we suspect that he also ate our Bullfrog Tadpole. Today, when the students found him, he looked like a python that had just swallowed his prey. The stomach was bulging from our frog. Two feeder fish remain in the River Tank. One is small and fast then Goldie is larger and wiser. What a lesson in aquatic-terrestial food chains.
  • Student Problem: Do we run one large tank for the Newt?? You have really enjoyed him but should we switch the tanks? We could make a frog tank and a newt tank. (By March, we decided that many of the frogs get into the lamp system and dehydrate. It is hard to manage the frogs correctly since they get all the way to the top of the rocks. Could Newt be innocent of murdering our other critters/
2/12/07 News Flash!! We have the Jazz Band going today! The Firebelly frog was hiding at the very top of the tank under the cover. We haven't seen him for over a week. Today the Newt has not come out even once. As we looked for Newt, we discovered our frog. Newt has been hiding at the back of the tank; he has a way to go into the cave area now. Is there hope Tad, the bull frog tadpole is there also in hiding???
Late March; frog worked his way out of the tank through the light and dehydrated. We can' tell exactly how this happens. We're sad.

Newt is very happy today 2/15/07. Our beloved principal, who is movng to Durham to open a project based high school, befriended Newt with 12 gold fish. Mr. Taylor has been visiting Newt everyday to see what new exploits our little Firebelly salamander has had. Someone on our faculty left Mr. Taylor a whole school of little fish as a present today. It was not the Titans....Newt gets all our extra fish. Not only did these faculty members "make Mr. Taylor's day",they also made Newt and the Titan's day. Food chain in action once again, N.C. Standard Course of Study. Newt sends his thanks, Mr. Taylor!

Mrs. Sumpter had an SOS with her bigeyed Gold Fish. We saved one and lost one. She adopted all the Gold fish from Mr. Taylor's departure. The Micheal JORDAN ICHTHYOLOGISTS have begun to maintain her tank now.

Set up and Costs

Crickets $1.00/ 12
Firebelly Frog $5, Bull Frog Tadpole, $3, African Firebelly Newt $9.99
Feeder fish, Rosie's $1.20/ 12
Local finds donated from Rachel.
Biowheel, $9.99
Filter pack 2/$3.99
River Tank $226
Plants, $7.00
Food pellets/ small and large $8

Tank Maintenance

Food Webs