Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Discovery Reef and Stingray Bay

Week 6 is already done! I am halfway through my internship already and I can't believe it. Time is flying by. I am still enjoying it here at Discovery Reef, and still learning something new every day. 

We have been getting a lot of male cardinal fish brooding eggs lately. It is pretty exciting. Part of my internship includes a personal project that I must complete by the end of the internship. This week I decided on a project with the help of the aquarists. Occasionally when we try to move the male cardinal fish to a different tank to hatch the eggs in, the males will become stressed and spit out the egg mass. My project is to determine a way to effectively count the eggs so that we can keep a record of the average number of eggs a female cardinal fish will lay. The egg mass is held together by a sticky casing so I will be researching possible ways to remove that casing so that the eggs separate individually without destroying the eggs. I might try and come up with my own ideas as well. I will only be studying egg masses that the male spits out because once he disposes them, they will not hatch. 

We set up a new tank this week to hatch the larvae in. Hopefully it will be more successful. The previous tank that we would hatch cardinal fish larvae in had three white sides and one glass side. This new tank has black walls instead. The idea is that the larvae are phototaxic and instead of swimming to the white walls like in the previous tank, they will swim to the surface on the new tank, making it easier to rear them and less stressful for the larvae. I am going to try and take some pictures next week to post. 

The zoo has been really busy and weather has been hot and humid here the last couple of weeks. I've also been really busy working at Discovery Reef and also working as a lifeguard a few days a week. Because my internship is unpaid I decided to get a job working at Zoombezi Bay, which is the water park at the zoo. I am having fun with it and it is making my summer even more enjoyable!

I hope everyone is having a good summer! I'll post some more pictures of animals at the zoo below and will post pictures of the cardinal fish and tanks soon. Hope you enjoy!

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