Common Sense Media says

You never have to clean a virtual tank.





What parents need to know

Positive messages
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Violence & scariness
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Sexy stuff
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Drinking, drugs, & smoking
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Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that sometimes it takes hours before a fish is released into one of the museum's tanks, so kids may just want to play with their fish in the "personal" tank. Families who visit this site will find that each registered user may design up to four fish. Each fish can have a different name and tag so that up to four kids could play at the same time.

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Kids say

What's it about?

If you visited Boston's Museum of Science, you'd find they have a virtual 24,000-gallon fish tank on display. Instead of real fish, this one is populated with lively animated creatures created by museum visitors. Children can select how the fish looks, how it eats, and how it behaves when around other fish. Then they \"release\" their custom design into the \"tank\" and watch it interact with other aquarium residents. With VirtualFishTank, you can experience all the fun without leaving home. Your fish will swim in a special online tank at first, but then you can release it into the big tank at the museum, and watch its antics there.

Is it any good?


VirtualFishTank allows you to give your fish a name and a tag letter so you'll be able to identify him in the tank. Then move the slider bars to adjust his place on the food chain, his body shape, and his behavior when it comes to things like bubbles. You'll be given statistics on the duration of your fish's survival and his impact on the rest of the fish community. Redesign your fish and see if you can give him characteristics that will help him to survive a bit longer.

Got a successful fish? Click "Home," check his stats, and then get in line to release him into other tanks. Besides the Boston Museum, you can send him to the St. Louis Science Center. Be aware that LOTS of other kids are doing the same thing, so your fish may have to wait hours until it's his turn. You can play with another fish while waiting, or logout and log back in later to check the outcome.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how online simulations compare to real-life experiences. Is it more fun watching fish in a real tank or in the virtual fish tank? Would you be sad if your virtual fish was eaten? How did you decide what features to give your fish?

Website details

Pricing structure:Free

This review of VirtualFishtank was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 10 years old June 7, 2009
Kid, 11 years old January 27, 2012

Kisharoo's Review on VirtualFishtank~

VirtualFishtank is a pretty good game, much better then the things most children are playing these days. There is no chat, which, in a way, is a good thing. I like that you can customize your fish pretty much any way you want to. Now for the bad things. VFT is really hard to get into, and really, really love. There's really no reason to play it for more then a few minutes. No feeding, no petting, and otherwise that would grab a child's attention from what I've seen. Still, it's okay if you have a few minutes to get on the computer. ~ Kishy
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