In these pages I will present some of the information I have found during my quest to understand the best ways to keep aquatic animals healthy. The quality of the water is very important and long-standing techniques of life support maintenance may have unexpected consequences. These pages are being developed and material is added from time to time.
To see the animals in captivity the water needs to be clear. Public perceptions of cleanliness limits the amount of algae acceptable on surfaces in the exhibits. The ideal environment for these animals would have clean natural water like their normal habitat. Such water is often not very clear because of the presence of phytoplankton and zooplankton which reduce clarity of the water. For animals who eat aquatic animals there will be more food in environments with high primary productivity of plankton to provide food for the animals the mammals eat.
The difficult task of life support system design is to produce an aesthetically acceptable environment without producing difficulties for the animals in these environments. The first task is to find what could potentially cause problems and then work toward the goal of reducing these problems.
Ed Latson MS, DVM