Blog #9: Catch and Slow Release

As I said before, it'll be quite a while until these newbie fishes join the rest of the gang in the GOT. Even when they're all cleared for parasites, there's a gradual process to placing them in the exhibit space.

It can take a while for the fishes to get used to their new homes. For example, Sherrie Floyd, one of our Aquarists and a veteran of these collecting trips, says that once the rare indigo hamlets get used to their new environment they will become very energetic. With that beautiful blue coloring, they're a real crowd pleaser in the holding tanks already (see below). But it takes a while for the Bahamian fishes to become comfortable at the Aquarium.

One of the indigo hamlets (Hypoplectrus indigo) in its storage tank

Fortunately, unlike the Bahamian grunt roundup, this acclimation process is something that visitors get to see happen! This summer you might come to the Aquarium and see orange and green barrels placed around the GOT. The barrels are used to help fishes ease into their new homes.

After a while, the divers open the acclimation barrel to see if the fish is comfortable enough to come out. If the fish isn't comfortable, the divers close up the barrel overnight. They repeat this process until the fish is swimming free in the coral reef.

This is what is going to happen for most of the 377 fishes we brought back from the Bahamas. So come on down to Central Wharf and see if you can spot the new fish in the barrels.

Here's what to look for:

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