Kid’s Aquarium Contest

Kid’s Aquarium Contest is a captivating learning program designed to teach children about the environment, stimulate their minds, ignite their creativity and warm their hearts through the rewards of pet care.

The first building block of the Kid’s Aquarium Contest is CREATIVITY. The children are challenged to design a fish aquarium that reflects their personality or showcases their favorite hobby. Pirates of the Caribbean, a baseball field and outer space adventures are a few that have received top ranks. Ten-gallon aquarium kits complete with a filter, lighting, heater, thermometer and net are donated and sponsored for each entrant by aquatic companies.

When the children arrive at America’s Family Pet Expo we ignite the second element within this learning program – RESPONSIBILITY. The AFPE team members assist the children as they prepare a personalized habitat for their fish. Our aquatic experts explain the basic care guidelines and empower each child to become a responsible pet owner.

The Kid’s Aquarium Contest not only enhances their understanding of aquatic care, it also teaches them the importance of a balanced ecosystem by understanding what factors are essential for a healthy fish environment. Those similar lessons can be applied to their own environment. Correlating a fun animal experience with the ENVIRONMENT is another benefit of this program.

Children from the ages of 5 to 16 are encouraged to join the competition. Aquariums will be lined up spotlighting the children’s creations. This healthy form of competition is a rewarding way to develop their SELF ESTEEM. Every contestant is rewarded in many ways – ribbons are given to all the children, each tank creation is theirs to keep and the pride of being an active citizen in community events will reward them for a lifetime.

For more information about America’s Family Pet Expo and the Kid’s Aquarium Contest, call (800) 999-7295.

Q. Where is the contest held?
A. At AMERICA’S FAMILY PET EXPO! April 24, 25, 26, 2020. OC Fair & Event Center, 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Q. What time do we set up the aquariums?
A. Thursday, April 23th 12:00pm until 7:30pm & Friday, April 24th 7:30am until 9:30am

Q. Where should we park?
A. On set-up and teardown days you may unload adjacent to the Huntington Beach #12, where the contest will take place. On Friday April 24th vehicles parked near building must be moved to parking lot by 9:30am. Enter fairgrounds through Gates 3 off Fairview or 4 off Arlington, then enter through Campground Gate near Green Gate.

Q. How much is admission on set up dates?
A. There is no charge for admission on set-up days/hours. Each contestant will receive a wristband good for FREE admission to AMERICA’S FAMILY PET EXPO on all three days with a paying adult. You may purchase admission passes online.

Q. What should we bring along for set up?
A. For set up you will need your aquarium design accessories and of course, your fish! It is also great to bring supplies such as tape, scissors and markers/crayons for last minute touch-ups. Your aquarium and donated aquarium supplies will be ready for you when you arrive. It would be great to bring a wagon to transport your supplies into and out of the building for set up and tear down. Also, if you have a one step stool – that would be good to reach into the tank. It would be best to bring your fish bagged or in a bucket to carry the fish to and from the show.

Q. I’m a parent, what do I need to do when I get there?
A. Your most important responsibility is to enjoy watching your child experience new pet ownership and responsibility! Aquarium keeping professionals will be on hand to answer questions and assist your child. The professional team will assist with filling the aquarium with water, preparing the environment with appropriate chemicals, installing the filtration system and heaters. It is our priority to make this a positive experience for your child!

Q. What if my child’s entire classroom wants to participate?
A. The experience offered through WPA’s Kid’s Aquarium Contest is great for children! We would be honored to assist your child’s teacher and classmates to participate in this year’s exciting event. Contact Pet Expo via email info@wpamail.org or phone 800-999-7295.

Preparation:

Q. Is it OK if we use toys as tank decorations?
A. Yes. Always test your toys/decorations in water to be sure they don’t float. As an example, Lego are a very popular decorating tool for the kids but they require weight to keep them in place. (P.S. The judges don’t like floating toys in the aquarium). To glue them to something heavy to weigh them down, use “Aquarium Safe” Silicone Sealant which is safe to use around fish. The “Aquarium Safe” silicone sealant takes about 48 hours to cure.

Q. If you use rocks do we have to do anything special with them?
A. Yes. Whether it is from the backyard or purchased at a pet store, there are a few steps you need to take before placing rocks in your fish habitat:

Wash all your rocks in a solution of bleach and water and use a scrub brush to remove all dirt and other unwanted material. Be sure to rinse the rocks until you no longer smell the bleach. (One cup of bleach in five gallons of water will do the trick.)

Check for calcium by simply pouring vinegar over the rocks and see if it foams. If it does, your rocks have calcium – Don’t use them.

Q. The gravel we purchased says PREWASHED. Should we wash it again?
A. Yes. Although most store bought gravel and sand are labeled as PREWASHED, we recommend you take the time to wash the gravel thoroughly with fresh water to eliminate clouding in the aquarium.

Q. Are there any items we SHOULD NOT put in the tank?
A. Yes, metal objects. Do not use metal toys or decorations in your design. Metals can actually kill the fish. Do not use any type of glue inside the aquarium. Do not use any type of furniture polish or glue removers inside the tank. Remember also that the tank background is attached to the outside of the aquarium and does not need to be waterproof.

Q. Do you suggest a good way to plan for the contest?
A. Yes, taking the time to plan for the contest is a great way to stretch your child’s creativity and develop responsibility. Build a diagram of the design, take a field trip to your local pet store and discovering ideas online, are all great ways to get your child invested in the contest.

Q. Do you have any fun theme suggestions?
A. This contest is an ideal opportunity for your child to let his/her imagination soar! The aquarium design should reflect your child’s personality, hobbies and dreams. Ask them the question, “What would you like to live in if you were a fish?” Perhaps an enchanted forest, outer space, a dark cave, a farmyard, a fire station… their imagination is the limit!

Q. How would you explain the “Natural” Category?
A. The name says it all! Any aquarium in this category should mimic nature. Examples include a natural lake bottom, stream or river. Although we encourage natural objects, plants, rocks, driftwood, etc., we have had contestants add pollution to make an inventive statement.

Q. How would you explain the “Creative” Category?
A. Aquariums in this category are a stretch of your child’s imagination. A creative aquarium can include dinosaurs, holiday snowmen, mirrors or even city sky lights. Handmade decorations and or anything store bought as a decorator set such as a movie set or themed.

Q. What kind of fish should we choose?
A. The best way to make a confident decision is to talk to a fish expert at your local pet store. They will guide you in selecting appropriate species to create a friendly fish neighborhood in your new habitat.

Judging:

Q. How are the age groups separated?
A.

Group I – ages 5, 6, 7 & 8
Group II – ages 9, 10, 11 & 12
Group III – ages 13, 14, 15 & 16

Q. How do the judges distribute awards?
A. Judges award a Rosette Ribbon to first, second and third place winners , for each age group within each the Natural and Creative Categories. Aquariums within the Natural and Creative categories combined will be awarded the Sponsor’s Choice Award – first, second and third.  All children will be honored with a participation ribbon and the rewards of responsible pet ownership.

Pick up:

Q. What should we bring along for aquarium pick-up?
A. On Sunday, April 26th between 6:00pm – 7:00pm you may remove your aquarium. When you arrive, there will be several professionals onsite to assist you. We suggest removing the fish and a portion or all of the water from the aquarium before transporting the habitat home. Bring a pitcher or large cup. The water in the aquarium will already be prepared with the appropriate chemicals so it is ideal to keep the water by bringing a clean container that you can transport the water in. A large bucket works the best. The tanks are cumbersome and heavy so a children’s wagon is an IDEAL way to transport the aquarium and supplies to your vehicle. We also suggest bringing a container for your fish. This may include a tight sealed plastic container or plastic bag with a closure.

Q. We already have several fish habitats in our home; do you have a suggestion if we want to donate our aquarium?
A. Yes. There are several rewarding options for you. Some of our aquatic friends have donated their works of art to their school classroom, retirement homes and even area hospitals. If you need assistance finding a great home for your aquarium, don’t hesitate to contact us

1. A fifteen dollar ($15.00) Entry Fee is required to hold a tank for all contestants.

2. Entry fees are non-refundable.

3. Parental help is strictly limited to heavy lifting.

4. All water loading and electrical connections will be made by booth personnel only.

5. Parents may coax, encourage & suggest. They may not ‘tell’ the child what to do.

6. Parents may not move, touch or in any way manipulate tank decor. When placing ’HEAVY OBJECTS’ in the tank, the Parent(s) must receive direction(s) from the child.

7. The contestant will provide:

  •  All Decorations
  • Background
  • Gravel
  • Fish
 

AMERICA’S FAMILY PET EXPO will provide (Retail value of over $60.00 plus 3-day contestant admission):

  •  A ten (10) gallon aquarium with light and full hood (Tank: 20”L x 10”W x 12”H)
  • 50 watt heater
  •  Ten gallon size power filter
  •  Thermometer
  •  Chemicals to condition water
  •  Fish food
  •  Net for fish
 

8. At the end of the show, all contestants will receive the aquariums and accessories as AMERICA’S FAMILY PET EXPO’s “Thank You” for participating.

9. To receive a tank it must not only be paid for ($15.00 entry fee) but it must be properly decorated – Not just gravel and fish.

10. AMERICA’S FAMILY PET EXPO & Booth Personnel reserve the right to disqualify any entrant for any reason.

11. AMERICA’S FAMILY PET EXPO and its representatives are not responsible or liable for the loss, theft, damage or condition of the fish, decorations or equipment.

12. All tanks not claimed by 7:00pm Sunday night (04/26/2020) will be donated to local school classrooms.

13. Judges decisions are final.

14. Rules & Regulations are subject to change without notice. (Please check for updates before signing your entry form.)

15. There will be a “sign up for info on next year’s Kid’s Aquarium Contest” sheet located adjacent to the contest. Encourage your friends to sign up at the show to enter the contest next year if they are unable to do so for this year.

Judging:

Judging is separated by 3 age groups:

A. Group I – ages 5, 6, 7 & 8
B. Group II – ages 9, 10, 11 & 12
C. Group III – ages 13, 14, 15 & 16

Judges distribute awards to each age group for 2 separate categories plus Sponsor’s Choice:

First, second and third place winners will receive a Rosette Ribbon, for each age group within each the Natural and Creative categories. Aquariums within the Natural and Creative categories combined will be awarded the Sponsor’s Choice Award of first, second and third. All children will be honored with a participation ribbon and the rewards of responsible pet ownership.

“Natural” Category: Any aquarium in this category should mimic nature. Examples include a natural lake bottom, stream or river. Although we encourage natural objects, plants, rocks, driftwood, etc., we have had contestants add pollution to make an inventive statement.

“Creative” Category: Aquariums in this category are a stretch of your child’s imagination. A creative aquarium can include dinosaurs, holiday snowmen, mirrors or even city skylights. Handmade decorations and or anything store bought as a decorator set such as a movie set or themed.

Set Up:

Thursday, April 23th 12:00pm until 7:30pm & Friday, April 24th 7:30am until 9:30am at AMERICA’S FAMILY PET EXPO held at OC Fair & Event Center, 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

On set-up and teardown days you may unload adjacent to Building #12, where the contest will take place. On Friday April 24th vehicles parked near building must be moved to the parking lot by 9:30am.

There is no charge for admission on set up day.
Each contestant will receive a wristband good for FREE admission to AMERICA’S FAMILY PET EXPO for all three days with a paying adult. You may purchase admission tickets online at www.PetExpoOC.org.

Pick up:

On Sunday, April 26th between 6:00pm – 7:00pm you may remove your aquarium.
The water in the aquarium will already be prepared with the appropriate chemicals so it is ideal to keep the water by bringing a clean container that you can transport the water in. A large bucket works the best. Bring a pitcher or large cup. The tanks are cumbersome and heavy so a children’s wagon is an IDEAL way to transport the aquarium and supplies to your vehicle. We also suggest bringing a container for your fish. This may include a tight sealed plastic container or plastic bag with a closure.

Click here to sign up!

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