The Aquarium’s aquarist and technical operations teams established an in-house coral propagation system to create a biobank of species that have been present in the Aquarium for several years.
To emulate natural conditions, the system is running advanced life support systems, equipped with biological controls, foam fractionators, sand filters, UV filtration, circulator pumps, LED lamps, and coral dosing mechanisms to control and maintain water quality.
The team are working with a wide range of coral species and to date there have been impressive growth rates across a large variety of Small Polyp Scleractinia and Large Polyp Scleractinia corals. Fragments of Acropora spp. have grown as much as 15 – 25mm per month.
The destocking of most of the animals from the Aquarium has been achieved. Some animals have been, or will be, permanently rehomed in other facilities, and other animals will be temporarily housed off site and returned once the works are complete. Due to permitting requirements, no animals can be traded, sold, or released into the wild.
A small animal holding area was constructed for animals that required relocation due to exhibit decommissioning.
Staff from the curatorial team are onsite every day to care for the remaining animals. This includes feeding, tank maintenance and assessing the health and behaviour of the marine life.