Frequently Asked Questions
The following is a list of frequently asked questions about Trout in the Classroom.
What do I need to consider before committing to this program?
You should take a look at where the closest trout release sites are to your school. All TIC fish must be released into a pre-approved trout stream, which get fewer and farther apart the more south you go in the state. You should also consider the weight of the tank once it is filled and its location. You want the tank away from windows where the UV light can damage the eggs and alevin. The outlet that you are using should have a GFI breaker on it as well in case of flooding. This will prevent shocks.
How large should the aquarium be?
A 55-gallon aquarium is used for this program and can hold 350 eggs.
When should the aquarium be set up by?
The aquarium needs to be set up by September 10 in order to provide enough time for beneficial bacteria to grow.
Does the program cost anything?
The program costs $1,000- $1,200 the first year. Schools must find their own funding, either through the budget, grants, parent-teacher organizations, etc. After the first year, schools should plan a $50 budget for replacement parts for the program.
When should I start planning for beginning a TIC program?
You should start planning in January and keep at it until you get the funding. Money will be your biggest challenge.
How do I get started?
Get your funding and order your equipment. Make sure that the equipment is up and running by September 10. Once your equipment is up and running, fill in the program participation form (in the Getting Started article). Make sure you contact Jessica by September 15 once you have your equipment set up and running. You will have until September 30 to return the registration forms.
Where do I get the eggs?
Eggs are provided free of charge from the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Pequest Trout Hatchery. Eggs will be delivered to your classroom in early-October by Trout Unlimited volunteers.
Do I get to choose when I get the eggs?
No. Eggs are provided to participating schools on one day in early-October. If your tank is not set up by September 10, you will not get your eggs until the following year.
How much water circulation is needed?
A powerhead or riser tube attached to an air pump creates sufficient circulation. Water circulation removes waste products, such as ammonia, away from the eggs and fry and provides them with oxygenated water.
Should the water be filtered?
Filters reduce the need for frequent water changes. Charcoal filters remove some of the waste and other impurities. A biofilter will also develop in the gravel of your tank. This biofilter will convert ammonia waste into nitrogen.
Can I use tap water in the aquarium?
Yes and no. You can not put tap water directly into the aquarium. Tap water contains chlorine which is toxic to fish. You must dechlorinate your water by letting it sit out in buckets for at least 24 hours before adding it to the aquarium. Keep a 5 gallon bucket of water handy for emergency water changes. Just remember that the water in the bucket needs to be the same temperature as the water in the aquarium.
How often should the water be tested?
It is recommended that the students test and monitor the water daily. Never go more than a week without testing the water. Water testing kits are inexpensive and can be purchased from any aquarium supply store.
Can the fish be released wherever I want?
NO!!!! Fish must be released in approved trout maintenance streams, where they have the potential to survive after you release them. There is a list of approved trout maintenance streams on this site at http://www.njtroutintheclassroom.org/index.php/articles/detail/planning_your_trout_release/. You will need to obtain a permit before your fish can be released.
Can I get trout to raise at home?
No. The trout raised at Pequest are not available for people to raise at home.
I have two tanks, can I get a double batch of eggs?
No. As the program continues to grow with new schools participating, NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife will only give out 350 eggs maximum to participating schools in order to accommodate the growing needs of the program.
I have an education center and I want to charge people to take a TIC class - is this okay?
No! The trout raised at the Pequest Trout Hatchery are paid for by NJ fishing and hunting license buyers. Since they are a state resource for everyone to enjoy, they must remain free of charge.