Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Precision, Salvation, and Mucking Around

The JCP crew has been hard at work lately, continuing construction on the wood
en tank stands for the new aquarium. This has required a great deal of precision, with sub-millimeter measurements and careful clamping being the name of the game. We had the opportunity to rent a 16-inch beam saw for some of the most recent cuts, which made for pretty fun work! The finished product will be tank stands with lap-joints, a very strong and stable structural choice.

An action shot of Seamus with the 16-inch beam saw

The elaborate clamping setup

Another objective for
the crew has been to collect substrate for use in the new aquarium, such as sand, rocks, and shells. This involved trips down to Big Beach, where there is an abundance of ideal substrate. We even lucked out with some gorgeous sunny days, which made hauling around heavy bins infinitely more pleasant!

Jeff, Seamus, and Diana collecting substrate on Big Beach

The mini-aquarium has entered into hibernation mode, now that the big release day has come and gone. We have been hard at work emptying and scrubbing the old tanks. When siphoning out the used water, it is always a fun challenge trying to avoid a mouthful of murky waste water – a distasteful experience as I’m sure you can imagine! Probably the most joy came from discovering little crabs, clams, fishes, and other creatures that were still hiding at the bottoms of the tanks (all of whom were released, of course). The old aquarium materials and merchandise are being packed up, ready for re-use at their deluxe accommodations in the new aquarium building!

However, a few tenants still remain in the mini-aquarium. Our little red octopus female continues to care for her many eggs, which are scheduled to hatch any day now. Also, three fascinating and unidentified fishing anemones are being kept in their tanks in the hopes that with expert consultation, we may be able to identify these mystery specimens. We will keep you updated as much as possible on the births and potential discoveries of these remaining animals!

Diana is the newest member on the JCP team. She has been living in the area for 3 years, working as a naturalist on whale watching boats. Diana is excited to help contribute to the creation of what is sure to be a world-class aquarium facility.

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