Preparing the Fresh Water Aquarium for fish!

Staff member tests water chemistry

Staff member extracts water for testing

An important step in setting up the fresh water aquarium, where plants and fish will thrive is making sure the water chemistry is healthy and can support the specimens living there.  After initially filling the tank and introducing a few fish as part of the seeding process, staff found that the levels of ammonia in the water had spiked since fish release ammonia through their gills, waste and urine.  In an aquarium that has an established biological system ammonia is naturally fought off without threat to the fish, but part of the challenge in developing a healthy aquarium environment is controlling these levels so all the new fish and plants coming in will be healthy!

If you were wondering about the “Do Not Clean” sign on the side of the aquarium, it isn’t because the museum is opposed to cleanliness, but to prevent a potential well meaning cleaner from coming along and using a product like Windex which contains ammonia, and could damage the aquarium!

About Kate Beresford

As a Guest Services Host at the Museum of Nature since 2006, I get to see the visitor’s reactions to the museum first hand and speak with them about their experiences here; what they like and what they don’t! No two days are ever the same! My background is in Art and Culture and I’ve had the opportunity to work in a few different museums and galleries across Canada and in the UK, which has only increased my interest in and love for museums. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to share some behind the scenes information with you all!
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