Southwest Koi and Pond Association





Doris Van Doren Library Branch Aquarium Project --------

Photo of Dorris Van Doren Regional Library

551 Redd Road
Cheryl Bernero
Branch Manager


Quick Link ---> Google Maps

SKAPAís community project for 2006 was to install an aquarium in the Doris Van Doren Library Branch on Redd Road in El Paso.  The original design of the library building included having an aquarium in a built-in cabinet.  The building was completed and opened to the public with the cabinet there, but no aquarium.  That required additional funding.  Through conversations with friends, Ken and Susie Austin learned about the libraryís need for the aquarium.  They presented the idea of having SKAPA purchase and install the aquarium at one of the monthly club meetings and the project was approved. 

Within a $1000 budget, SKAPA was able to purchase a 120 gallon tank cover, pump and filter, air pump, and lights.  Club president Ralph Smith donated an automatic feeder.  Don Harrawood donated 7 butterfly koi and the Austinís donated a plecostomus (algae eater).  Several club members met at the library one afternoon to install all the equipment.

The next step of the project was to cycle the filter.  This is a process of establishing beneficial bacteria in a biological filter.  Filters come very dry and sterile from the factory and initially are not capable handling fish waste and keeping the water clean.  While a filter is going through its startup cycle, frequent water changes can be employed to keep the water clean.  In the library however, changing the water was not an easy and convenient thing to do.  It was a long way to any water faucet or sink.  To solve this problem, household ammonia, added to the tank water was used the cycle the filter before any fish were put in the tank.  This process took about two months.

When the tank had been installed, story boards were also attached to the wall next the tank.  The information on those storyboards initially was about why there were no fish in the tank and what cycling a filter meant.  Now the story boards have information on the history of koi and the hobby of pond keeping.   There is also recommended reading list of books that will be available in the library for anyone interested in the hobby.

The library staff are delighted with having the aquarium in their facility and have taken over operation of the aquarium and care for the fish.  The aquarium is now a center of attraction for every one who visits the library.

Doris Van Doren Library

Aquarium empty space

Ken Austin picking up aquarium from Gene Oxley of Professional Saltwater Aquatics

Thank you Gene Oxley for your help with this project

Art Astorga working on project

Jaime Carrillo and Art Astorga placing aquarium in place

Art and Ken filling in space

Jaime hooking up lights

HEY, It works ! ! ! ! !

Jaime filling aquarium with water

Ken formatting storyboard

Jaime, Ken and John Manns (in background)......Check it out

Guests welcoming the new Koi

Kids waiting on Story Time

Ken checking out the new Koi

IT'S A HIT ! ! !

Thanks Ken Austin and crew (Jaime Carrillo, Art Astorga, John Manns and Don Harrawood) for SKAPA Aquacation Program for Kids




Please email with questions or comments about this web site.
Last modified: 01/02/18.