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Today was the day for another road trip to Dauphin Island. The folks over there have been so good to me- helping me get enough specimens for my research, swapping info on fish medicines and quarantines and current research..... and the Estuarium facility is an incredible display of local aquatic life. I brought them several of the specimens I'd collected for them on the Bellows trip... they got 3 pearly razorfish:



They got the scrawled cowfish:



And I gave them the rare Bridled Cardinalfish:



They were tickled to death to receive these critters, and I can't wait to visit them when they go on display! They will be quarantined for 30-45 days, monitored foractive feeding,and be treated with prophylactic medications. I also took my good friend Pilar over there- she's the grad student working on starfish, who I talked about in my Bellows post- so that she could swap information with the aquarists at the Estuarium. It was a great day for all of us!

On one of my recent trips over, I took them a red snapper I couldn't use in my research trials, and I got to visit him today. He's still in quarantine, and hasa couple of weeksleft before he goes on display in the big Gulf tank. The report on this guy is that he's the "boss" of the tank- he'd been so used to me hand-feeding him and being the "big guy" in my tank that he took over his new surroundings. As a preventative treatment, they medicate him with nitrofurazone before he joins the display population. Here's my "baby":



The water in his treatment tank is yellow because of the medication. He is healthy and eats well for them.

After I'd given the aquarist the fish I'd brought for them, he gave Pilar a tour of the main facility and here are some photos of more cool critters that they have at the lab:

Banded croaker- hard to find and even harder to keep in captivity- these guys are in quarantine and doing well!



Pilar of course was excited to see these guys. Here's the Surf Zone display, with starfish being fed:





They have a BABY male stingray in that tank:



Blackwing sea robin- a tough fish to keep in captivity but theirs is just beautiful:



This tiny fellow is a Polkadot Batfish- and he is MAYBE 2 inches- quite an amazing creature! Their pectoral fins are modified, making them look like they are "walking" on their "elbows" on the seafloor.





We got a good look at the seahorse tank:





A shot of one of the tripletail in the big Gulf tank- they say that these fish are like big puppies- lolling about waiting to be fed.....



They have some great freshwater and wetland displays highlighting the Tensaw river area. The turtles were basking when we arrived.

"Dude, let's catch some rays before lunch!"



The senior aquarist shows Pilar the softshell turtle:



Gar on display in that same tank:



Whitespotted Filefish- a real beauty! The picture is a little blurry because the filefish was very active- picking from the "reef" behind it.



After we left the lab, I took Pilar across the street to show her Dauphin Island Sea Lab's research vessel docks. The R/V Verrill was at her post.



This boat has a near and dear place in my heart, we have a history, and I will always love her very much! She's the boat I "grew up" on professionally..... as a student at Dauphin Island, I learned an incredible amount of information on her deck and trulyreinforced the passion I have for the field I am in.

It was great to see an old friend again.





Days like this make me love my job even more. I've said it before, but if you get the chance to visit the Estuarium on Dauphin Island, take it! Spend the day looking at and appreciating the displays they have to offer, and you won't be disappointed.

Enjoy!
 

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Another awesome post. Thanks Karon..............Needless to say YOU RULE!!!:bowdown
 

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"prophylactic medications"???? What the heck? :doh

I'm a poor fish just minding my own business...

and some cutie marine biologist type gives me

"prophylactic medications"

Please explain :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
hjorgan (11/7/2007)"prophylactic medications"???? What the heck? :doh

I'm a poor fish just minding my own business...

and some cutie marine biologist type gives me

"prophylactic medications"

Please explain :)


Desperately trying to think of something cute to say here.....LOL....:)

"Prophylactic" just means something that prevents or protects. All fish carry parasites, fungal infections, bacterial infections..... it just takes a stress such as being transferred from place to place to make the fish succumb to infection which in a captive situation spreads like wildfire to the other fish. We treat new fish with medications to make sure that any infections that they're carrying are nipped in the bud immediately and that they don't pass anything on to the fish we already have. People with home aquaria typically do the same thing in a quarantine tank. Dauphin Island has a whole building separate from the main Estuarium which is full of quarantine systems- quite impressive!
 

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As usual, a good report and Super pix's.



Didn't know what had happened to you, thought you sorta fell off the face of the earth.
 

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What a great place to take kids and signifigant others. What are the hours of operation and are they available for tours?
 

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Thanks for contributing that post, the photos were fantastic. Really loved the pic of the blackwing sea robin - what a odd/beautiful looking fish.
 
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