Mapping Fish Habitats at Home

The Sci Squad team helps scientists track sharks. If you have a fishbowl or aquarium at home, here's a way to track the movements of your own fish. The first thing to do is observe the fish for a while. Jot down anything you notice.

1. Now focus on where your fish are travelling. Using adhesive colored dots, you could track how your fish move. Use a different color dot for each fish.

2. Place a dot at the place where the fish is, every 30 seconds for five minutes.

After a while your aquarium might look like this!

3. Consider questions like:
  • Do certain fish tend to hang out in certain places?
  • If so, why do you think they do?
  • What might happen when you add food or other objects to the aquarium?
  • What are some other ways you could keep track of the movements and habits of your fish?
4. If you want to have a record of fish mapping on different days, get some clear plastic acetate and tape it to the side of the aquarium, and place the dots on that. Then you could take that sheet off and put on a new clear plastic sheet the next day. Compare all the sheets to see how the paths of the fish differ from day to day.

For more ideas, have your teacher order the GEMS guide Mapping Fish Habitats from the Lawrence Hall of Science, with step-by-step instructions for your whole class to map fish habitats!

Lawrence Hall of Science    © 2019 UC Regents. All rights reserved.    Contact GEMS    Updated February 06, 2015