The First Living Things

Microbial Ecology of Sea Star Wasting Disease

Elliot, Jacob and I (mostly Elliot and Jacob…) have been hard at work on the new aquarium facility. After rinsing and soaking the tanks in deionized water (to get rid of chemicals used in manufacture, dust particles, and other gunk!) the two holding tanks, quarantine tanks and experimental tanks were moved to the coldroom. These were filled with artificial seawater (Instant Ocean) and their filtration was set up. Because sea stars are incredibly messy – they exude copious amounts of goo – we need a LOT of filtration, hence we’re using three filter mechanisms to keep the tanks clean: 1) biological filtration via biowheels; 2) cannister filtration; and 3) UV light sterilization. In addition, for the first two weeks of the project we will be replacing 40% of the water volume in each tank (that’s a whopping 65 gallons) with fresh artificial seawater per day. After 2 weeks we’ll probably…

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