was my second day with the Aquarists, and it was another long 12 hour day.
First job on the list was Food Prep for our Humboldt Penguins, which involved hiding vitamin tablets inside some fish, and then I got the opportunity to help feed them. They were a little reluctant to accept any food from me as they don’t recognise me, but it was still a really good experience.
Afterwards our baby Penguin needed to be weighed, which isn’t as pleasant a task as you would expect; the parents are obviously still very protective and were a little unhappy with the baby being handled. We took the opportunity to clean their nest box while baby was being weighed, which, if I’m honest, wasn’t delightful. I spent the rest of the day absolutely reeking of Penguin.
Below is a photo of one of our Aquarists with our baby Penguin, ‘Peso’.
Second on the list was a feed of all the smaller tanks around the Centre, including the ‘Great Barrier Reef’. I had the opportunity to feed Clown Fish, Regal Tang, some Lionfish (from a big distance) and also some Horned Boxfish, which were really friendly and were more than willing to suck Krill right from your hands.
I also got to feed the Seahorses and all the Turtles that I’d water changed yesterday.
After that we fed the tanks in Quarantine and I had the opportunity to check up on the poor little Cownose Ray from yesterday. His head’s looking pretty bashed up, but he’s eating fine and he’s getting the best care.
A lot of the afternoon was spent doing similar things to yesterday; we changed the water in a lot of the tanks and I also got to feed the Jellyfish again. Our Moon Jellyfish are absolutely beautiful and our Upside down Jellyfish are really amusing, but my favourite is this little Jellyfish that looks like a ball and just pulses and bobs around the tank. I unfortunately can’t remember what type of Jellyfish he is, so I’ll have to make a point of having a look.
After another Penguin Feed, during one of the Centre’s talks, we hoped to get the chance to have another play with Squirt, but one of the other Aquarists had beaten us to it. I guess it’s a popular job so you have to be quick if you want to get the chance.
We’d also hoped to feed the Grey Seal pup in our Seal Hospital, but, again, the job had already been done by someone else.
On the upside we managed to get to feed Sandbanks, which is a large open top tank reserved for fish, sharks and rays that are all found in British waters. One of the sharks took a bit of a liking to me, even though he wasn’t particularly interested in the food we offered him, and kept swimming backwards and forwards along the tank right in front of me and getting a real good look at me. That really made my day, ‘cause he is such a beautiful creature.
I also had the opportunity to watch one of the Senior Aquarists get in to the tank in waders to catch one of the other sharks. Unfortunately he’s not been well and hasn’t been eating, so he had to be fed by placing a tube in his mouth and a smaller tube through it down in to his gullet to make sure he has the nutrients he needs. He, obviously, was reluctant to have the tubes in his mouth, but I was surprised at how calmly he just swam away after we’d finished.
We fed the Penguins again and to finish the day I helped change the water on our little Cownose Ray’s Quarantine tank.
After that we went to the second half of our First Aid Training, so by the time I got home last night I was absolutely exhausted and couldn’t bring myself to write a post on what I’d been up to.
I’ve been back to my normal job at work today, but my college tutor forwarded me the reference he’s written for my UCAS application and I’m actually incredibly flattered. He’s been amazingly complimentary and really made me feel more confident about my chance of being accepted.
It’s always nice to hear good things about yourself :)
I also got an email reminding me of the date for the University Open Day, so it’s only just sinking in that getting the opportunity to study this subject is a real possibility. I’m feeling a bit nervous now actually!
I got an ask asking me how I got involved with Marine Biology and my job and the course and stuff, so tomorrow I’ll write a little post on how I got started and things. Maybe someone will find it helpful, you never know :)