Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Gone with the Wind

Were you one of the 10,901 people that visited the Marine Exhibit this season?  If not, you missed catching a glimpse of our silver spotted sculpin, pipefish, kelp perch, Persephone the Giant Pacific Octopus, and SO much more!  The Marine Exhibit has now closed for the winter, but just because the exhibit is closed, this does not mean all work has stopped. 

For Jess and I, the closing of the Marine Exhibit means starting the task of releasing animals and draining most of our tanks for maintenance.  Jess and I spent last week taking down almost all of our tanks (except the touch tanks and the wall tanks) and became very efficient in taking them down, even inventing several techniques.  If you are ever in the position of needing to empty large aquarium tanks, here’s how to do it:

1.  Take all “habitat” (eelgrass, kelp, wood, etc.) for the fish out and use a siphon to lower the water level, this makes it easier to catch the fish.
Draining the woody cluster after taking the wood and kelp out
2.  Use nets to catch fish and transfer them to buckets.  As the number of fish dwindle in the tank, it may be necessary to "double-team" the fish to get them out.
Double teaming the evasive shiner perch in the piling tank
3.  When the water level is low enough, get into the tank to remove the remaining rocks and find any animals that succeeded in evading the nets.
Acrobatics to get rocks out of the tank

4.  When the water is as low as you can get it, begin to fill buckets with the gravel from the tank floor and pass them out of the tank.

Moving the last rocks out of the tank
5.  The remaining water that could not be siphoned can then be picked up with our patented squeegee/dustpan technique (unfortunately we don’t have pictures, but if you NEED to know it, ask). 

6.  Rinse the tank is with fresh water and scrub the algae off the walls. 

7.  Repeat with the next tank (until finished).
Tank after completing step 6
Tank before starting step 1

Now that the tanks are down and washed, Jess and I are ready to start the process of buffing scratches out of the acrylic tanks, a technique we have learned and perfected.  

The Marine Exhibit will be open November 26-28 and December 28-30 and will open on weekends starting April 1st, 2011.

Thanks for visiting this season!!

Julia Ledbetter
Marine Exhibit Education Coordinator

No comments:

Post a Comment

Want to leave us a comment? Just type in your message below; we'd love to hear from you!