Find 6-10 2-4 inch river rocks, clean them and place in the bottom of the tank for the fish to hide under. (It is easier to clean the bottom of the tank later, if necessary, with the larger rocks instead of gravel.)
If you have a bubbler wand that suction cups to the wall of the tank put it in.
Fill the tank to within 2-3 inches from the top with water. If your school water supply has chlorine in it, be sure that any water sits for 24 hrs before the eggs or fish are put in, or use water conditioner.
Put the stainless steel rod from the chiller into the water making sure that the copper part does not come in contact with the water. ALSO, PUT THE TEMPERATURE PROBE FROM THE CHILLER INTO THE WATER!!
Set the filter on the top rim of the tank and plug it in. You may have to pour some water in to prime it and adjust the knob on top to regulate the flow. Later on, it might be necessary to put some nylon or netting over the end of the intake pipe to keep the fry from being sucked into the filter.
Attach the bubbler to the air pump and plug it in.
Plug in the chiller. Don’t panic if it does not come on immediately. The chillers are programmed with a lag time before they start. Within 10 minutes or so it should start, run until it cools the water, and shut off when the correct temperature is reached (48-53 degrees is fine). If the chiller does not ever shut off and ice builds up on the wand, check to be sure that the temperature probe is in the water.
The man who repairs the rod chillers is the same person who originally built them. He asked us to let you know that the number one reason for the failure of the units he has repaired is dirt & dust in the cooling coils. He recommends that the coils be vacuumed or blown out regularly to keep them running smoothly.
We recommend hanging a thermometer by a piece of string in the water to be able to check the actual temperature of the water easily.
Cover the sides of the tank with black paper and make a flap that the kids can lift to view the fish.
Put the egg stand in the tank if you have one and put the lids on the tank.
When you have determined that the chiller has properly cooled the water to the correct temperature and is working fine, you can unplug all the equipment and plug it back in when you return from vacation in January. If you want you can run the filter over the break to build up beneficial bacteria in the biological media.