Day 3: 2/25/16

Today I started off cleaning the windows and then went around with an aquarist and did the ,”round of feeds.” The difference today was that I was the one feeding the fish while the aquarist was just there in case I had any questions. While we were going around to the different tanks we discovered a tank that was overflowing because someone had been doing a water change and had forgotten to turn off the hose so the tank just kept filling up. We had to shut off the different lines in order to get the water level back to where it should be. After finishing up with the round of feeds we went to check on my little tank. We realized that one of the fish was missing. We weren’t sure where it had gone since we didn’t see it in the tank or outside the tank. It was a mystery. We decided to take apart the filter and check there. Sadly we discovered that the little fish had gotten stuck in the filter. To prevent this from happening again we put a little screen over the hole that sucks the water into the filter. This way the water will go through, but the fish will not. The water quality in the tank was the same as yesterday though, so all is good. The ph level was 7.9moles per liter, the nitrate level was 0 mg/L, the nitrite level was 0 mg/L and the ammonia level was 0.25 mcg/dl. The only thing that changed was the water temperature. It had gone up. To keep the fish from frying in the tank we lowered the heater. I learned a lot about changing the water in tanks. There are 4 steps to a water change, and they are all very basic. You start with unplugging the pump. Then you remove water from the tank. Next you add back just the amount of water that you took out. Lastly you  plug the filter back in and make sure that the tank is working well.  Today was an exciting day because it was also a shark feeding day. The sharks get fed 3 days a week.  They eat all sorts of different things. Today we fed them herring. Each of the 4 sharks was given 5 herring. The sharks are fed by holding out a long PVC pipe with a metal wire on it. The fish gets attached to the metal wire and the aquarist shows the shark the fish. As the shark bites the fish the aquarist has to pull the PVC pipe out of the water so the shark doesn’t get that. It was amazing watching the sharks devour the herring. Today, I also got to feed the octopus which was really cool. The technique the aquarist showed me involved putting a small fish called a silver side on a zip tie. You place the zip tie near the octopus and it comes over and as it grabs the piece of fish with one of its tentacles you pull the zip tie so that the octopus only gets the fish and not the zip tie. I love how each day I am learning something new at the aquarium. There is so much to learn.