A glowing bowl filled with aquatic plants. A lamp just above as the light source. An informative poster in the background. Students are attentively gathered around a lunchtime presentation, their eyes fixed upon the speaker, senior Keith Sibal.
This was the scene at the first meeting of the Planted Aquarium Club, which took place on March 14 in Room 26.
The club’s mission is to expose people to the joys of aquatic gardening and how to keep and maintain an aquatic garden, said Sibal, who is president of the club.
“This club is fairly simple in its projects: we create our own mini, planted garden aquarium,” Sibal said, “That is my one goal for the club, besides inspiring people.”
Sibal said 57 people signed up during club day and that he was surprised by how many people expressed interest in the club. In fact, he said he had founded the club this year as a one-time thing, not exactly planning for it to have any continuing uses.
“What I was thinking was that we create the planted mini-bowls at school, so then I can tell people about them, give them tips on how to plant the plants, and then we would just hang out with them because they’re almost therapeutic,” Sibal said. “At the end of the year they take them home and have them for their own personal enjoyment.”
Sibal said that they will grow freshwater plants, similar to the ones he uses on his own aquariums, as part of the club activities.
“The plants that I have been keeping on my own — they’re all aquatic plants. So these are plants that you buy at like the pet store, they grow in lakes or rivers,” Sibal said.
Senior Grace Foster said that going into the first official Planted Aquarium Club meeting, she had little knowledge of the club.
“I didn’t really know much, but Keith’s a friend of mine so I was interested in checking it out,” Foster said.
Also at the initial club meeting was sophomore Skyelar Connelly, who said he is looking forward to the process as well as the finished product.
“I think it’ll be pretty fun and interesting to build a tank,” Connelly said.
Vice president of the club, junior Emily Golub, said that the goal for her was to help others with their aquariums.
“I have worked with aquariums before, [and] I was inspired to help others learn how to maintain an aquarium because it’s relaxing and fun,” Golub said.