Fishing for knowledge in A&S

Chelsea Allen

Freelance Writer

Ever walk by the fish tanks in the Learning Commons in the Arts & Sciences (A&S) Building and wonder why they were placed there?

Some students might think they were installed for decoration and to look pleasing to the eye. In reality, they were placed there for a much greater purpose — as a teaching and learning tool.

These tanks were previously located in the Academic Resource Center, commonly known as the ARC, on the fourth floor of the A&S Building before it underwent renovations.

Now students can easily find these tanks by entering the A&S Building from Washington Square and taking a quick left into room 107.

Through an open bid, Preuss Pets in Old Town was selected to be a part of this project and helped install the tanks.

Michael Nealon, dean of the Arts and Sciences Division at LCC, and Rick Preuss, the owner of Preuss Pets, agreed the fish tanks should remain a part of the learning environment.

There is one freshwater tank and a saltwater tank. Both tanks hold approximately 600 gallons of water, according to Preuss.

A wide variety of aquatic life can be found in both tanks, ranging from exotic sea animals and coral reefs to everyday clown fish. Preuss said these tanks were designed to require very low maintenance.

At least once a week, there is a partial water change and the walls of the tank get scrubbed if needed. The fish and tank equipment are checked and any supplementation of food is given to the aquatic life. Both tanks have an automatic fish-food dispenser that dispenses food pellets for the aquatic life.

Nealon said he felt it was crucial for students to take advantage of these tanks because they offer great learning opportunities for those who take part in the many different science courses offered at LCC.

“Many science professors plan a study lesson around these fish tanks and take their entire class to observe the aquatic life in their habitat and study their ecosystem,” Nealon said.

Steve Oberg, aquatic manager of Preuss Pets, described what it meant for his business to be involved.

“It was truly an honor for us to be a part of this and to have our work selected,” Oberg said. “It represents a much greater footprint than the older tanks.”

Preuss also expressed his gratitude to LCC.

“We’re extremely proud of LCC and for them keeping in mind of nature when that is truly the anchor point of science all together,” Preuss said.

For any student who has a chance to stop by the Learning Commons in the A&S Building, make sure to take a quick look at the fish tanks and get a chance to explore and observe the nature happening right before your eyes.

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