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Nature Center Opportunity


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#41 Michael Wolfe

Michael Wolfe
  • Board of Directors
  • North Georgia, Oconee River Drainage

Posted 10 September 2015 - 07:48 PM

This past weekend, we had an opportunity to further the exposure of the Autrey Mill Nature Center Aquarium and NANFA's participation.  They have a series of Nature Hikes and recently decided to have a "Fish Hike" and asked me to lead it.  

 

See attached the most recent issue of the newsletter for the Atlanta Area Aquarium Association.  One of their members participated on the hike and wrote the whole thing up with a bunch of pictures.

 

Thought I would share with folks here.  Got a dozen or so kids excited about the fishes in the stream... that's a win.

 

Attached File  Fish Talk 2015-09 September.pdf   4.19MB   22 downloads


Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

#42 Isaac Szabo

Isaac Szabo
  • NANFA Member
  • The Ozarks

Posted 10 September 2015 - 11:54 PM

Good job, Michael!



#43 Josh Blaylock

Josh Blaylock
  • Board of Directors
  • Central Kentucky

Posted 11 September 2015 - 11:07 AM

That's awesome Michael.  I wish I had something like that locally for me.  It's great to see you sticking with that nature center and that was a great write-up.

 

I think the best is "Cover Photo. NANFA sampling at Autrey Mill Nature Preserve, photo by Heather Moulton-Meissner (The great seiner in the picture is Michael Wolfe, NANFA Regional Director and all round good guy."

 

That should be your tag-line; Michael Wolfe-all round good guy


Josh Blaylock - Central KY
NANFA on Facebook - NANFA on YouTube - NANFA on Google+

KYCREEKS - KRWW - KWA



I hope to have God on my side, but I must have Kentucky.

- Abraham Lincoln, 1861


#44 Michael Wolfe

Michael Wolfe
  • Board of Directors
  • North Georgia, Oconee River Drainage

Posted 11 September 2015 - 01:47 PM

Well I am certainly a round guy, but the less said about that the better.

It has raked the better part of the last three years to establish the right relationships herein the Atlanta area to move NANFA from a fish club to a nature or environment fish loving group... At least in the minds of some around here. You and the work you were doing with clean the green were the original inspiration for me showing up at River Alive events here in Georgia. And that has been a huge part of getting the word out about NANFA.

I would encourage everyone to participate in stream side litter clean ups and bring a seine and maybe even an extra aquarium you have.
Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

#45 harryknaub

harryknaub
  • NANFA Member

Posted 12 September 2015 - 10:03 AM

Great Job, Michael!


between the Waccamaw and the ocean

#46 Michael Wolfe

Michael Wolfe
  • Board of Directors
  • North Georgia, Oconee River Drainage

Posted 27 August 2016 - 01:17 PM

Update:

 

This tank has been up and running for over 2 years and we have had 3 different on site folks taking care of it.  There have certainly been some challenges, but with a few great NANFAns that live nearby helping our, and all of us getting over there about once or twice a year, we have been able to establish a rather nice display.  The current caretaker has never kept an aquarium before (and now she has an eight foot long, 240 gallon, visible from all four sides monster) and was very excited to find these guys all fired up!  I will post her video and pictures here (please forgive her reflection... look at the fish).

 

 

Look closely and you can see a stoneroller, blackbanded darter, and of course a special guest appearance by a bluehead chub (I did after all help stock the tank).

 


Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

#47 Isaac Szabo

Isaac Szabo
  • NANFA Member
  • The Ozarks

Posted 27 August 2016 - 02:21 PM

Wow, that's awesome.



#48 Doug_Dame

Doug_Dame
  • NANFA Member

Posted 27 August 2016 - 07:54 PM

Are those still the original faux-rocks (aka nylon technology) ? 


Doug Dame

Floridian now in Cincinnati
 


#49 Michael Wolfe

Michael Wolfe
  • Board of Directors
  • North Georgia, Oconee River Drainage

Posted 27 August 2016 - 09:14 PM

Are those still the original faux-rocks (aka nylon technology) ? 

 

yes sir, the original substrate containment system is still function as you designed it.


Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

#50 littlen

littlen
  • NANFA Member
  • Washington, D.C.

Posted 28 August 2016 - 10:08 AM

Does that display also get a lot of natural, ambient light?  I'm wondering if they are being triggered by such.


Nick L.

#51 Michael Wolfe

Michael Wolfe
  • Board of Directors
  • North Georgia, Oconee River Drainage

Posted 28 August 2016 - 12:27 PM

Does that display also get a lot of natural, ambient light?  I'm wondering if they are being triggered by such.

 

Absolutely yes.  It is sitting in a small building and sits in the middle of the room so that people can walk all around it.  So right away there is no shielded side where the backdrop might normally be.  All of the landscaping had to be down the middle. Second, if you go back to post 17 of this thread, you can see that there is a whole wall of windows that are parallel to the long side of the aquarium that are roughly east facing (so natural sunrises).

 

So certainly, we are getting a lot of natural lighting influences and cues.  But I also want to give a lot of credit to the husbandry and the interest that the folks at the nature center dedicated to this tank. They have been able to not only consistently maintain but actually GROW the blackbanded darters and bluehead chubs in that tank, and now this with the yellowfins.  I know those are not the most difficult fish to maintain, but still, I'm proud of them for not turning it into green soup! 


Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

#52 lilyea

lilyea
  • NANFA Member
  • Peace River Watershed, Central Florida, USA

Posted 28 August 2016 - 12:57 PM

Michael - this is fantastic!  High praise to you, the team that set up the tank, and those at the nature center!  Unfortunately it seem that a far more common story is plenty of excitement when the display is initially launched and then a couple years later (for a variety of reasons) the tank has been removed, repurposed, or is in significant decline.  I encourage you to write a story for American Currents laying out a plan for a sustainable tank/exhibit at a local nature center (or similar venue) using your experience as an example with the hope that this could be used as a clear model for duplication.  Great work!



#53 Josh Blaylock

Josh Blaylock
  • Board of Directors
  • Central Kentucky

Posted 28 August 2016 - 05:51 PM

Michael - this is fantastic!  High praise to you, the team that set up the tank, and those at the nature center!  Unfortunately it seem that a far more common story is plenty of excitement when the display is initially launched and then a couple years later (for a variety of reasons) the tank has been removed, repurposed, or is in significant decline.  I encourage you to write a story for American Currents laying out a plan for a sustainable tank/exhibit at a local nature center (or similar venue) using your experience as an example with the hope that this could be used as a clear model for duplication.  Great work!

 

This is very much the truth.  I helped an intern setup and stock a native fish tank at the Louisville Nature Center in Louisville KY.  A year later the intern did not work there anymore so I stopped by to check on it.  The tank still looked good but the stock was a little thin.  I introduced myself and offered to help re-stock/help anyway I could.  They were not interested in my help, though I did catch the fish and donated the canister filter for the tank. I haven't been back there the past couple years, as I was kind of put off by their lack of interest.


Josh Blaylock - Central KY
NANFA on Facebook - NANFA on YouTube - NANFA on Google+

KYCREEKS - KRWW - KWA



I hope to have God on my side, but I must have Kentucky.

- Abraham Lincoln, 1861


#54 mattknepley

mattknepley
  • NANFA Member
  • Smack-dab between the Savannah and the Saluda.

Posted 28 August 2016 - 06:30 PM

Glad to hear that things are continuing to go well at the nature center, Michael. As has been said, kudos to all who set it up and have since maintained it. To be the optimist to Lilyea and Josh's correct observation, that's the nature of the beast with outreach. You never know if/how it will reach anyone or how long it will be welcomed. BUT, often the payoff is never realized by the "outreacher". How many of us have had an interest of some kind stoked by a seemingly random event? How many of us were exposed to an experience/idea that at the time was of passing interest, but later found it instead to be the long-dormant but eventually vibrant source of passion? As "outreachers", we tend to fall into the sneakily buried trap of ego; "I did this for them because it's important and they need to realize it." I am very guilty of this even when I know I'm doing it! I have to really step back and remember that just because this particular effort didn't catch fire and change the world, that doesn't mean it wasn't a success. We have to outreach to outreach, not to measure our level of success. I bet more than one kid (adult even) came away from your outreach Josh with an interest they wouldn't have had otherwise. You may never know it, but you may have inspired and unleashed the world's most influential ichthyologists. Or maybe the cray you added for diversity sends them onto the path of arthropod fame. Maybe they decide to maintain a simple ten gallon tank that sets their grandchild's mind and senses reeling. (That was how I really got hooked.)

I realize that may all sound hokie, but it comes from a little bit of experience. I was a classroom teacher for ten years. Out of the blue I got a fb post (this is back when I was still on there) from a former student thanking me for helping shape a certain aspect of her personality. It had been at least ten years since she had been my student and almost that long since I had seen her. She had a couple of the specifics wrong, but the lesson had stuck. And I never would have known otherwise.

Truth is, you just prolly never will know if you did reach someone. But the world will know if everyone quits and nobody gets reached...
Matt Knepley
"No thanks, a third of a gopher would merely arouse my appetite..."

#55 Casper

Casper
  • NANFA Fellow
  • Chattanooga, TN alongside South Chickamauga Creek, just upstream of the mighty Tennessee River.

Posted 29 August 2016 - 11:48 AM

Are those still the original faux-rocks (aka nylon technology) ? 

 

Please explain this Doug.  I seem to recall a lack of visual appeal initially but after they have settled and colored they may look nice now.  Why are you doing this as opposed to a natural substrate and decor?


Casper Cox
Chattanooga, near the TN Divide on BlueFishRidge overlooking South Chickamauga Creek.

#56 Doug_Dame

Doug_Dame
  • NANFA Member

Posted 29 August 2016 - 08:54 PM

Reason #1: Because we wanted some landscape features, but as a 360 tank there is no "back side." Didn't want a tall pile of heavy rocks that could start an unfortunate avalanche. 

 

Reason #2: Because Michael wasn't far-sighted enough to say "No!" 


Doug Dame

Floridian now in Cincinnati
 


#57 Casper

Casper
  • NANFA Fellow
  • Chattanooga, TN alongside South Chickamauga Creek, just upstream of the mighty Tennessee River.

Posted 29 August 2016 - 09:09 PM

I thought it might be some sort of bio filtration mass technique.

 

Avalanche eh?

 

Driftwood looks great from any angle.


Casper Cox
Chattanooga, near the TN Divide on BlueFishRidge overlooking South Chickamauga Creek.

#58 Doug_Dame

Doug_Dame
  • NANFA Member

Posted 30 August 2016 - 04:13 AM

There was also the thought that if there is a high ridge down the center of the tank, that makes it easier to have a basic "race track" flow pattern. The original set up only had water flow created by the big external cannister filter, there's no other water-moving pumps, and it is a big tank. (?8x2x2?) 


Doug Dame

Floridian now in Cincinnati
 


#59 Michael Wolfe

Michael Wolfe
  • Board of Directors
  • North Georgia, Oconee River Drainage

Posted 30 August 2016 - 05:58 AM

Doug is correct on all counts. I will add, since it is clay (saf-t-sorb is fullers earth, mined in TN) we thought that we might get som plant growth (but that never happened). And there is a five foot long piece of driftwood in there. This helps get it up off the ground.
Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

#60 Casper

Casper
  • NANFA Fellow
  • Chattanooga, TN alongside South Chickamauga Creek, just upstream of the mighty Tennessee River.

Posted 30 August 2016 - 07:45 AM

Hats off to a good job.  Maybe ya'll can get some good photos of the whole setup.  I agree with Bruce that it merits a full account via American Currents.

 

Pleased that it is running well.  As we know a keen eye must be kept on an active aquarium to catch problems before they get out of hand.

 

Java Moss wired to driftwood is a good visual and filtration element.  Works well in low light conditions.


Casper Cox
Chattanooga, near the TN Divide on BlueFishRidge overlooking South Chickamauga Creek.



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