How to Enjoy Aquariums 10 Times More

Category: Know How

The number of visitors to aquariums increases in the summer.
You can enjoy aquariums ten times more than usual if you keep in mind the key points when viewing aquariums.
Let us show you how to do this.

  1. Observe fish by thinking about what kind of places they live in the ocean.
    When aquariums are crowded, you may see the tank you want to see from the back instead of the front.
    At such times, observe fish swimming above you.
    Fish that normally do not swim above the tank may be surprised by visitors and swim above the tank.

(Points to keep in mind when looking)
Look at the belly of fish swimming above and see if it has suckers.
Fish with suckers are those that live on the bottom of the ocean. (Conger eel, flathead, etc.).

Imagine what the cross-section would look like if you cut the body of a fish in two at the belly.
If the cut is rounded, it means that the fish lives close to the surface of the sea (yellowtail, tuna, etc.).
Fish with a flat cut end are those that live in the middle part of the ocean. (Japanese sardine, Japanese horse mackerel, etc.)
If you can observe the fish in front of water tanks, check to see if they match what you have observed.

2, Observe the environment of water tanks where the fish live.
Fish in large water tanks, such as a pool without rocky areas, are large fish.
Let’s see what kind of food they eat.
Some of these fish eat seaweed.
There is a wide variety of fish in rocky water tanks.
Let’s take a look at what kinds of fish you can find.

3, Observe how fast they swim and how they swim.
Fish need to move fast when they are escaping from enemies or chasing prey.
If you see fish swimming faster than other fish in aquariums, try to figure out why.
Also, fish cannot swim backward.
When fish move, see if they move forward or sideways.

4, Observe long fish and flat fish.
Long fish have that long shape in order to hide.
Some fish dig holes in the sand to hide, while others hide in rocks. (Conger eel, moray eel, etc.)
Then, they put out only their heads.
Some long fish have slippery body surfaces.
Such fish can easily escape from enemies by being slippery, or they can defend themselves by wrapping their long bodies around their enemies.
Flatfish hide in the sand, showing only their eyes. (Flatfish, flathead flounder, and flathead, etc.)
Among flat fish, large fish like the ocean sunfish can scare opponents.
When they are babies, the ocean sunfish also protect themselves by hiding in rocks.
Smaller fish, such as the filefish, do not threaten other fishes as the larger ones do, but they do have horns on their heads and thick skin on the surface of their bodies.
All of these are ways for each fish to survive.

5, Observe the difference between bright and dark water tanks.
Dark water tanks have fish that live in deeper water.
The deep sea is dark, because it is difficult for sunlight to reach the deepest parts of the ocean.
When you look inside the dark water tank, at first glance, you might think there is nothing there.
If there is mud at the bottom of the tank, fish that live in the mud may be hiding.
Take a closer look.
Bright water tanks have fish that live in shallow water.
The sunlight reaches easily to the shallow depth of water. In such tanks, seaweed may be green, and plankton may be visible.
Many colorful fish can also be seen.

6, Observe fish that are often sold when buying fish.
Look for tanks with sardines, horse mackerels, mackerels, and other fish sold in the fish section of the supermarket.
Those fish are often sold in a form that shows the whole fish.
Take a look at the fish you regularly see on the supermarket sales floor, swimming lively in their aquariums.
You may discover something unexpected.

7, Observe walking fish
Among the fish that live at the bottom of aquariums, there are walking fish.
This is one of the ways they quietly approach their prey.
Let’s see what kind of fish it is and how it walks.

  1. Observe creatures attached to rocks
    Some of the creatures that cling to the rocks are rock dwellers and seaweed eaters.
    Some of them cling to the rocks in interesting ways, such as being indistinguishable from the surrounding rocks to avoid being attacked by enemies.
    Let’s take a look at what kind of creatures are attached and how.
    Shellfish, which are often eaten as sashimi, can also be found on the rocks. Let’s look for them.
    In particular, let’s look at spiny lobsters.
    You will find them attached to the rocks in a way that you couldn’t do.
  2. Observe echinoderms
    Echinoderms is a general term for creatures such as sea urchins, starfish, and sand dollar.
    Echinoderms feed on certain things.
    For this reason, they are called “gangsters of the sea” by fishermen.
    Let’s take a look at what echinoderms eat.
  3. Observing juvenile fish (fish larva)
    Fish larva are baby fish.
    Find out which tanks in aquariums the juvenile fish are in.
    How old are the fish in the various tanks in terms of human beings?
    Are baby fish in the same tank as adult fish? If not, why not?
    (Hint) When they are young, even large fish hide in rocky areas to protect themselves.
    Aquarium staff may be able to tell you the correct answer if you ask them.
  4. Summary
    We hope you have found various points of observation.
    It may be difficult to observe them all in an aquarium.
    We would be happy if you could observe even one of the points we introduced and talk about it with your family.

The picture was taken at Toba Aquarium.

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Paper cut out : Fish motifs (15 species / Small size, A4 size 1 sheet, Background 1 sheet, full color) From “Fish in the Seas near Japan Vol. 1”

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