Thursday, June 12, 2014

Discovery Reef & Stingray Bay

Hope everybody's summer is going well! I am still enjoying my internship here at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium! I learn something new every day which keeps it interesting. I have actually learned a lot about how the water systems at the aquarium are run as far as maintaining the right pH, salinity, and temperature levels, filtration systems, and doing water changes. I find it more fascinating than I originally thought I would. 

The aquarists at Discovery Reef are breeding flame tailspot cardinal fish (Apogon dovii). Male cardinal fish are mouthbrooders which means that when the females lay an egg mass, the males will carry the eggs in their mouth until they hatch. This past week we had a couple of males that were brooding eggs and we set up a separate tank for them to hatch the eggs in. It is really challenging to capture and relocate the males because these cardinal fish can get really stressed out easily. They actually change color, becoming a lighter shade of orange when they are stressed and males that have eggs in their mouth will sometimes spit the eggs out, in which case they will not hatch. Below are two pictures of the flame tailspot cardinal fish:
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A male with eggs.
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We managed to move on of the males into a separate tank and his eggs hatch a couple of days ago. We then transferred the larvae to a separate, smaller tank to raise them and moved the adult male back to his original tank. 

Below are some pictures of various animals at the zoo. I had some free time after work and walked around to the other exhibits to take pictures. I hope you all enjoy them!

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