Aquarium malfunction in Graham Center sends fish to cold storage

Fish also suffer from post-traumatic stress and may end up in the toilet if they go through a harrowing enough event, like suddenly hitting the floor of the Graham Center pit.

But the ones in the aquarium in GC near Pollo and Chilis will be just fine.

After an apparent glue failure, one of the panes became detached causing water, fish, and corals of the aquarium to gush out on Thursday morning, according to Carlos Carrasco, GC’s director of operations.

Carrasco, a GC employee with 29 years experience, said the malfunction is still under investigation.

He said no students, faculty or staff member were hurt from the accident. Although the fish were put in an aerated bucket after some early morning coffee drinkers helped out.

Immediately after the fish hit the floor of GC, customers at Bustelo heard the commotion and arrived at the scene with empty cups to save as many fish as they could as they splattered all over the floor, according to Carrasco in a followup interview.

The tentative plan is to have a tank rebuilt by the start of the fall semester. But to recreate an aquarium setting that is as close to nature as possible – which includes the coral and bacteria – could take a couple weeks or more, Carrasco said.

The tank was built in 2010 and cost $15,000 and the contractor who built it has been called to give the University a cost estimate and how long it will take to rebuild.

He said years went into cultivating the fish tank which held five fish, a blue hermit crab, a snail, two types of coral, and button polyps.

“It’s a terrible loss,” said Carrasco.

The fish are a yellow tang named Andy, Vanessa a red sea sailfin tang, Andre a bristletooth tomini tang, a blue tag named Ruth and Maxine a fairy beasley.

Carlos is an astraea turbo snail and Ricardo is the crab.

And they are all fine.

After their ordeal the marine critters were then in a tank equipped with air pumps, and placed in it were coral rocks to absorb their waste.

GC staff will store the the corals and remaining fish there until tomorrow at which point the contractor will take them to his location until the tank is rebuilt.

“We are hoping to get the tank repaired economically,” Carrasco said and added that their plans to restore the tank includes reinforcing it.

And the fish?

“So far they are surviving,” Carrasco said.

But one more, Rigo the skunk clownfish, was lost.

1 Comment on "Aquarium malfunction in Graham Center sends fish to cold storage"

  1. Fifteen. Thousand. Dollars. That should be a story in itself. O_O

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