The St. Joseph County Aquatic Science program teaches youth about proper care of aquariums and aquatic life.
State Fair Entries:
- A 10 gallon tank with standard lighting. No color enhancing lights.
- A background and decorations are required on all tanks
- 4-H record book must be completed and accompany each exhibit.
- It will be judged with the exhibit, each year adding to the book.
- Marine fish may only be shown in the MARINE DIVISION.
- Classes not requiring a 10 gallon tank include: Betta exhibit and Educational exhibit.
Exhibit Class Guidelines:
Beginner (grades 3-6 suggested)
This division can only be taken one time. Exhibit two (2) fish of the same kind. Live-bearers must be male and female. Egg-layers should be male and female if possible (male and female are not always identifiable).
Advanced (grades 4-12 suggested)
Choose one of the following:
- Aquatic Life - The exhibit may include any crustacean, amphibian, or reptile that spends some of its life in the water.
- Community Aquarium Natural - The exhibit must include at least three (3) kinds of fish, but no more than eight (8) fish total. The fish may be either live-bearers or egg-bearers; however, if live-bearers are used they must be paired. Tank for natural must contain natural gravel and real plants. Natural rockwork may also be used.
- Community Aquarium Artificial - The exhibit must include at least three (3) kinds of fish, but no more than eight (8) fish total. The fish may be either live-bearers or egg- bearers; however, if live-bearers are used they must be paired. Tank for artificial may use any kind of rock (colors), artificial plants, and decorations.
- Aquarium Beautiful Natural - The exhibit must include four (4) to eight (8) healthy fish of your choice, but live-bearers have to be paired (male and female). Only natural rocks, plants, and rock work allowed.
- Aquarium Beautiful Artificial - The exhibit must include four (4) to eight (8) healthy fish of your choice, but live- bearers have to be paired (male and female). Tank for artificial may use any kind of rock (colors), artificial plants, and decorations.
- Breeding - The 4-H’er must exhibit a mated pair and at least six (6) selected young (a minimum of 60 days or older). Either live-bearers or egg-layers may be exhibited.
- Marine - The 4-H’er must exhibit two (2) Marine fish. Only natural salt water decorations may be used. Sea creatures such as Inverts, Crustaceans, etc. may be included, but will not be judged.
Educational Exhibit - Display a poster related to the field or study of Aquatic Sciences. The poster should be educational in content. This project is meant to increase interest and knowledge in the Aquatic Science Field for 4-H members and the general public. The poster must follow the “Poster Exhibit Guidelines” in the front of this 4- H Handbook.
Betta Exhibition - The 4-Her may exhibit a betta fish in a flat- sided container with a background. Both items will be provided. The 4-Her need only bring a healthy betta, water, and a small heater (if desired). A heater is recommended for the Betta to show at its best, but not required. This division will not be considered for Grand or Reserve Champion Overall.
Educational Exhibit - Two divisions, junior & senior
Betta Exhibit - One division
Tank Exhibit - Eight divisions: Beginner, Aquatic Life, Community Aquarium Natural, Community Aquarium Artificial, Aquarium Beautiful Natural, Aquarium Beautiful Artificial, Breeding, and Marine.
** Only Tank exhibits will be considered for Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion.
Note: A 4-H Aquatic Science Member may exhibit two (2) classes not requiring a 10 gallon tank in addition to one (1) class listed above that does require a 10 gallon tank. (Due to space limitations each 4- H member will only be allowed to display one ten gallon tank at the fair.)