Making Fish Feel at Home in New York Aquarium (Aug, 1931)
Making Fish Feel at Home in New York Aquarium
VISITORS to the famous New York aquarium are little aware, as they pass along before the amazing array of tanks containing fish of every shape and color, that behind the scenes of this remarkable institution there are thousands of feet of pipes, an intricate pumping system, a veri table hospital for ailing fish, and a staff of icthyologists whose task is to provide the fish with the most comfortable living quarters possible.
The hospital of the aquarium is equipped with microscopes, operating tables, a research laboratory, and even an ultra violet ray lamp for the treatment of afflicted fish. Here experts study all specimens of fish brought to them, and one of the results of their labors is that fish actually live longer in the tanks than they would in their native habitat.
By way of making the water healthful for the fish to live in, water from an artesian well, purer even than sea water, is supplied through a closed circulating system, 300.-000 gallons of water going through the
tank a day. Fish swimming around in the sea or in a lake give off acids from their scales, but the aquarium takes care of this situation by mixing a slight amount of bicarbonate of soda in the water.
One feature about life in an aquarium tank that fish undoubtedly find attractive is that they are fed regularly by an expert chef who knows exactly what each fish likes best. Thus the aquarium denizens do not have to forage for their food, and never do they come to a mouth-to-mouth struggle with powerful enemies for their sustenance.
Recently when one of the pair of penguins of the aquarium died, the survivor began to pine away, and it looked as if he would soon follow his pal to penguin paradise. Experts were at a loss to find a cure for the bird’s loneliness, until some one thought of a mirror, and now the penguin, fully recovered, poses all day before his image, thinking that it is his deceased pal. Certain varieties of extremely delicate fish, found in deep tropical seas, cannot survive in the aquarium waters.