Signs of happy fish

One of the roles of a GOT Aquarist is to ensure that all of the animals in the Giant Ocean Tank are happy and healthy. On each of our dives we make observations and monitor the behaviors of the animals as a way to keep track of animal health.

Divers observe all the fish—big and small—inside the Giant Ocean Tank each day

Occasionally we are rewarded with something really exciting!

Can you tell what this is? I’ll give you a hint: It is one of the signs of a happy and healthy fish.

Fish that are well-fed and relaxed are able to spend energy on things that are not critical to their individual survival. In the GOT this sometimes results in fish spawning, or laying eggs.

Each speck is a tiny fertilized Sergeant major egg

Some fish release their spawn into the water while others, like our Sergeant majors, lay their eggs on a surface.

One of the small adult Sergeant majors currently in the Giant Ocean Tank

A while back we talked about where baby fish come from and raising fish at the Aquarium, and it is great to know that post-renovation the fish are happy with their new home.

Under the microscope you can see the yolk (the purple sphere) that provides the fish with energy to grow

After a couple days eyes develop and more colors start to appear 

Through our continuing partnership with Roger Williams University and recently with other institutions across the United States and we are working on methods to collect and hatch these eggs. Eventually we hope to use these captive bred fish to augment our tropical collecting efforts allowing us to further reduce our impact on wild populations.

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