Public aquaria

image of Public aquaria
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Modern public aquaria typically holds thousands of fish of many different species. This great diversity poses many challenges for veterinarians responsible for the health and management of these collections. This chapter informs on life support systems; nutrition; quarantine; disease treatments; zoonoses; record keeping; dangerous species; and fish removal.

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Figure 8.1 This Atlantic coral reef exhibit contains 1.2 million litres and incorporates a spiral ramp for visitors through its centre. Its inhabitants include Caribbean fish, invertebrates and stingrays. (© National Aquarium in Baltimore.)
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Figure 8.2 A closed-loop recirculating filtration system used by the National Aquarium in Baltimore: (1) sand filters, (2) exhibit tank, (3) undergravel filter, (4) ozone generating equipment, (5) venturi gas injector, (6) pumps, (7) ozone contact chamber, (8) bio-filtration, (9) heat exchanger and (10) sump. (Courtesy of Andy Aiken.)
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Figure 8.3 This picture illustrates the scale of the life support systems needed to support the exhibit in Figure 8.1. The large white tower in the background is an ozone contact chamber and the blue tower is a sand filter. (© Ian Walker.)
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Figure 8.8 (a) The shark acclimation area is an important off-exhibit area used to acclimate, examine and treat large sharks. The area is directly off the main exhibit through a small access tunnel. It is large enough to allow even the largest sharks to swim freely for short periods and a tracked crane over the centre of the pool allows sharks to be handled easily. (© Ian Walker.) (b) View above the shark acclimation area. A large sand tiger shark has been placed into the hooded stretcher and hoisted above the water to obtain the fish’s bodyweight. (© Ian Walker.)
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Figure 8.9 Ram ventilation being used to force water into the mouth and over the gills of a bonnet head shark to maintain adequate oxygenation during a medical procedure. (© Ian Walker.)
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Figure 8.10 This black tip reef shark has been placed into tonic immobilization. Rolling some elasmobranchs into dorsal recumbency can elicit this unreactive state, which facilitates handling and medical examination. (© National Aquarium in Baltimore.)
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Figure 8.11 Annual physical examinations are performed on each elasmobranch in the National Aquarium in Baltimore’s collection. This fish has not been sedated but is restrained by trained animal husbandry personnel. An auroscope is being used to inspect the gills through the gill slits. (© National Aquarium in Baltimore.)
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Figure 8.12 Blood being collected from the base of the dorsal fin of a sand tiger shark, with the fish restrained in a large hooded stretcher. (© Brent Whitaker.)
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Figure 8.13 A large southern stingray in tonic immobilization (dorsal recumbency) for an ultrasound examination. (© Brent Whitaker.)
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Figure 8.14 Blood being collected from the ventral tail vein of a southern stingray. Alcohol and povidone can cause skin irritation and ulceration in elasmobranchs; therefore the site area was cleansed by flushing with sterile saline. The venomous spine on the dorsal aspect of the tail has been removed to prevent injuries. (© Brent Whitaker.)
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