Aquariums in science building maintained properly
Alexandra Scicchitano – Reporter
Almost all of the fish in the two tanks located in the Academic Science and Laboratory Building are the same fish from three years ago, said Vincent Breslin, proud about how well all the fish are doing.
“Every single one of the stripped bass has been here for almost three years; they’re growing,” said Breslin, a professor in the Environment, Geography and Marine Sciences Department. “It’s amazing to see them growing the way they are, and I recall them being quite small.”
Most of the fish in the two tanks were donated by the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, said Breslin.
“We are very careful with what goes into those aquariums,” said Breslin. “We obtain fish only by other aquaria or groups that have permits to collect those fish, and they then transfer them to us.”
Maritime Aquarium’s aquarist and an animal husbandry group have visited the facilities, and they do inspections, according to Breslin. They make sure the protocol they use for feeding, handling fish, and water quality and their logs are up to the standards they keep at their own facilities, he said.
Between the two tanks, Breslin said there are several black sea basses, a sea robin, striped bass, tautog fish, scup, a toad fish, lobsters and a spider crab.
“The intentions of the aquarium of was to place the focus on Long Island Sound,” said Breslin, “So all the fish and invertebrates in the aquarium, their natural habitat is Long Island Sound.”
Since starting work at the Werth Center last January, Renee Chabot, a sophomore, chemistry major, with a concentration in environmental studies, said she has done high tide data for the tanks. Chabot said when she first heard of the fish, she was very excited. She knew she just wanted to work with them.
“I think it’s great,” said Chabot. “You’ll learn as you go along the way.”
Maintaining the fish tank means that they make their own water with artificial sea salt so they can control the chemical composition of the water the fish stay in, said Breslin.
Chelsea Eubanks-Perry, a junior, political science major, said she is taking a class in the department, and the fish tanks have piqued her interest.
“I feel like I should take this to know about the ocean and the animals in the ocean,” said Eubanks-Perry, “and what it does to the community.”
Breslin said that the two tanks together are approximately 5000 gallons of water for the sea life.
Although all the fish live in the same habitat in the wild, Breslin said “at times, it can be a schoolyard. The fish pick on each other and some of fish, at times, can become territorial.”
Breslin said it is important to respect the fish, as the wild animals they are.
“We tend to project our own feelings and behaviors on the fish,” said Breslin, “but they are wild animals and we have to be careful with them and be careful to make sure that they’re happy and successful in these habitat.”
Photo Credit: Alexandra Scicchitano