Are Two Students at SWHS Grandparents?


Two students at SWHS have just become grandparents. Yes, you read that right, grandparents. Seniors Kelly Kozon and Katie Cole are now the proud grandparents of 23 miniscule fish babies.

This interesting tale takes place in teacher Deb Field’s classroom. At the beginning of the year, students in Field’s Marine Science class pair off and are assigned a tank in the large “fish room” attached to the class. Residing in Katie and Kelly’s 10 gallon tank are a pair of emerald cory catfish named Dorothy and Toto amongst a few other colorful aquatic friends. Dorothy laid eggs which hatched on March 14th. The hatching of these 23 baby cory catfish came as a surprise to the entire class. Cory catfish do not give live births and the eggs are fertilized outside of the fish, so there was no way to predict the creation of the creatures.  

“In general, only about 10% of the hatched babies survive,” Field told her class when they came back on March 15th and found a host of new tiny fish. She did note that sometimes as many as 20% survive or none survive, it all depends on the year. There have not been cory catfish hatched in Field’s class for the past 3 or 4 years.

The baby fish are currently living in a tank separate from their parents. When Field noticed the unhatched eggs attached to the tank wall, she promptly moved them to a new small tank. If she had left them, it is highly likely that the other fish, or even Dorothy and Toto themselves, would have ended up eating the eggs. The babies are feeding off of baby fish food and algae while they wiggle around in water that has anti-fungal chemicals in it to help the fish survive as long as possible. Katie and Kelly are hoping for as many of the baby fish as possible to survive and the whole class is excited to watch these babies grow.