The installation of the permanent water exhibit at the Canadian Museum of Nature has begun! At this point the exhibit space is pretty bare bones, with only the floor installed and most of the supports put in place for the big components to come. The outline on the floor that looks vaguely like a big fish is where the 65 foot blue whale will eventually be displayed and the other steel supports show where the weather theatre and the kids play area (a big ship!) will go.
The exhibit will display a few aquariums with a variety of specimens, but the biggest one which contains freshwater fish has already started to be installed! It holds 1000 gallons of water, or 10,000 pounds, and since it is the biggest of the aquariums going in, it requires special reinforcements to handle all the weight. There are steel beams set up underneath the aquarium to carry the load (which will be hidden from sight once construction is complete) as well as a plumbing system to help with maintenance.
One of the challenges the exhibit team faces when installing an exhibit in a construction zone is keeping things clean! Dust and dirt are flying around constantly which could potentially harm some of the specimens and present some unexpected difficulties. At this stage, the fresh water aquarium looks a bit murky, in part because it is in the early stages of installation, but also because of the dust in the area. The exhibit team will have to be careful to maintain the aquarium throughout the installation of the rest of the gallery in order to prevent damage and ensure the conservation of the specimens. This is just one of the issues with constructing an exhibit and moving things in simultaneously. Stay tuned for more progress!