These aquaria total in excess of 600 gallons (two separate systems, each with mutiple interconnected tanks) and are used for:
- Teaching - they are used intensively in introductory biology and invertebrate zoology courses in particular
- Research - Several summer projects by students have made extensive use of these aquaria (and there is one ongoing student project), and student projects within lab courses have taken place in these tanks.
- Community outreach - Bill Capman has helped a local middle school science teacher set up a reef aquarium in his classroom (in part using many corals, fish and other materials donated by Augsburg or by local reef aquarists that Bill has connections with), and Bill Capman has also held a workshop on setting up, maintaining, and using reef aquaria in the classroom for grammar school, middle school, and high school teachers.
Our original two tanks in Sci 225 (the lab used for most introductory biology lab courses):
These interconnected tanks total approximately 130 gallons, and house a large diversity of organisms used in teaching organismal diversity in a variety of courses.
Animal room system details:
- Main tank is a 220 gallon tank donated to the College in 2001. Main function is to provide life support and stable conditions for interconnected research tanks and specimen holding tanks on countertop by the window in the adjacent lab. This tank also houses large mother colonies of various corals used in research projects, as well as a number of other animals useful for teaching (such as several large giant clams...CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS OF THE HUGE GIANT CLAM in this tank.)
- The 100 gallon sump below the main tank also is important for basic life support and water quality management, but also has screen compartments for housing a wide array of otherwise incompatible animals (e.g. large crabs, shrimp, jellyfish) used in teaching. This sump was sustom made for us by a member of the local reef aquarium society (he put about 100 hours of work into this and charged us only for materials!).
- Two 40 gallon tanks were set up during the summer of 2003 (using funds donated to the Biology Department) for use in research. These have water with identical water chemistry flowing througnt them from the main tank and sump below.
- Four additional tanks and multiple small research compartments in the adjacent teaching lab are plumbed to this large system:
Most life support for these tanks is in the adjacent animal room. These tanks house a wide variety of animals used in laboratory instruction, providing ready access to these animals for lab setup and during lab (in contrast, it is difficult to retireve some of the animals from the more complex reef tanks). Having these tanks all on the same water system allows animals to be moved around between tanks with ease (with no need to acclimate them to new conditions) according to our teaching needs on a given day. This is somewhat like the flow-through tanks (with seawater flowing through) commonly found at marine stations at the seacost.
The largest tank on the right is being set up to house a small octopus which will be purchased in Fall 2004 (in conjunction with Bio 113)
The small plastic boxes above the larger tanks were used for a study of sponge growth by Invertebrate Zoology students in Fall 2004. They investigated the importance of light vs. supplemental feeding for sponges housing symbiotic bacteria. The mother colonies providing the cuttings used in this study are growing vigorously in several of the tanks shown in this photo.