Equipment List

We recommend our partner, That Fish Place-That Pet Place, for all your TIC equipment needs.  They offer TIC kits, as well as individual items, at discount prices for TIC educators.

For drop-in chillers, we recommend Tradewind Chillers. Contact Hal for assistance at (760) 233-8888 or twchillers(at)

Below, you will find

 The TIC Tank System
Click to view a helpful 2-page tank system setup diagram. (.pdf format)

Equipment List

* Teachers should still peruse the items on the Other Equipment list below.

Equipment List

Except for the chiller, all the standard TIC equipment is listed in the table below. The brands listed are those that have been successful in classrooms. Comparable equipment should also work.

Fluval 405 canister or Hagen AquaClear filter
filter media--appropriate for filter
Pea-size Gravel
Whisper 20 Air Pump
Sandstone 12" Airstone
8' Flexible Airline Tubing
Check Valve - 1 pk
Net Breeder -- or homemade basket
Battery Operated Digital Thermometer
Floating Thermometer
4" Net
Microbe Lift or other bacteria boost
Siphon Gravel Cleaner
10’-15’ Flexible Tubing 5/8"**
Zinc Plated Clip 1/2" 2 pk**
Freshwater Master Test Kit

*Many different types of filters and media are currently in use.  Preferences vary from state to state and region to region.  Follow the advice of your supplier for a heavy load. The filter media you choose should be able to handle a high quantity of waste and should support a large colony of beneficial nitrifying bacteria.

**The tubing size and lengths needed, as well as any tubing clips or clamps needed, will vary with your set-up, including which chiller you choose to use.


Suitable Environment Materials

In addition to the above materials, you will also need:

  • tank (30-55 gallons)
  • table, counter, or stand for the tank
  • something to shade the eggs and young alevins from UV light (cardboard, Styrofoam, or dark cloth).
  • insulation for the tank (foam board from a home store, bubble wrap, or the like)--this helps stabilize the tank temperature and reduces wear on the chiller.


Chiller Options

You will need a chiller to keep the tank's water temperature at about 50° Fahrenheit.  Most chillers are only designed to chill aquarium water to around 60°-70° Fahrenheit.  Therefore, for our program, we must purchase chillers that are rated for a larger size tank--for example, for a 55-gallon TIC tank, we purchase at least 1/4 horsepower chillers which are technically designed for 100-125 gallon tanks.  Some classes prefer to purchase 1/3 horsepower chillers, just to increase longevity by decreasing wear.  By using a more powerful chiller, we decrease our chances of burning our chiller out after only a year or two. 

Here are the most popular chiller options:

1. AquaEuro -- available from  That Fish Place-That Pet Place 

2. Glacier —the original TIC chiller, a drop-in.

Glacier Corporation Chiller - Ph# (714) 557-2826 1/6 Horsepower -1 year warranty – Immersed Coil Type (Cooling coil is placed in water)– While this unit is very durable and has been the standard in the past, the chillers below are now generally preferred. No tubing or pump needed for the chiller. A pump will be needed for the UV sterilizer—use what is recommended for the UV flow rate.

3. TradeWind --a reliable, well-priced alternative

Many TIC programs have been having great luck with chillers (a variety of styles and sizes) from TradeWind Chillers.

Notes about the pump:

Once you have selected a chiller, that will determine which size pump you use.  Each flow-through chiller requires a certain range of gallons or water per hour.  Please ask your chiller source the recommended pump capacity and power for the chiller you chose.


Other Equipment (as needed)

  • Turkey baster to remove dead eggs and extra food/waste from the tank (some prefer pipette or bent paper clip)
  • Buckets (2 or more), to age water before putting in the tank
  • Battery-operated aerator, to give the trout oxygen during transportation (available at pet stores)
  • Long-handled scrub brush, to loosen grime and growth in tank
  • Ammonia removal compound, for use in ammonia emergencies (available at pet stores)
  • Tap-water-safe compound, for use in emergency water changes (available at pet stores)
  • Clean ice packs, for use in transportation and/or chiller emergencies
  • UV sterilizer is preferred by some programs to help control algae and fungal growth


Equipment Replaced Yearly

Each year, each set-up will need a few new items:

  1. Filter pads or cartridges—some parts of the filter can just be rinsed, scrubbed, and dried, but consumable components such as charcoal filters should be replaced.
  2. Airstone and check valve--these two pieces can degrade or get gummed up with waste.
  3. Water Quality Test Kit--at the end of one school year, you will have used up most of the reagents and other testing materials.
  4. Microbe Lift, TapSafe--or whichever aquarium compounds you are using to boost the bacterial population and manage water chemistry.



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