Yellow Tangs Flourish in Neglected Ocean of Biosphere 2

Discussion in 'The Bucket' started by Matt Rogers, Aug 30, 2010.

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  1. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    A small team of University of Arizona students have been tasked recently with figuring out why 11 of 47 fish species introduced into the 700,000 gallon 'ocean' within Biosphere 2 have survived years of neglect. Biosphere 2, a large experiment in self-sustainment that grabbed headlines back in the day has since had several owners and had fallen on hard times until the University acquired it. I actually took a tour of the place back in 2003. I was excited about the 'ocean' and it was breathtaking from above but what I saw below the waterline was shocking:

    [​IMG]
    The 'Ocean' in Biosphere 2 circa November 2003

    This was one large tank in need of a major water-change - it was overgrown in algae on all rock surfaces. But one algae-lover appears to have done very well in there... the Yellow Tang. Go figure.


    More:
    TriValley Central - UA students study how fish survive in Biosphere 2


    You can see my full thread on my trip to Biosphere2 with more pics here:
    http://www.3reef.com/forums/general-reef-topics/trip-ocean-biosphere2-30576.html



    matt


     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2010
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  3. bama

    bama Humpback Whale

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  4. mikejrice

    mikejrice 3reef Affiliate

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    The ecology students want to figure out what they're eating?
     
  5. blackraven1425

    blackraven1425 Giant Squid

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    I would hope that's not their question, since I can answer that from the picture.
     
  6. elweshomayor

    elweshomayor Giant Squid

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    ^^ ditto lol I hope so too.
     
  7. xmetalfan99

    xmetalfan99 Giant Squid

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    There is more to studying what organisms are eating than watching them eating algae.

    What do they prefer? What are their eating habits? Since this is for a class, I am sure the class is also based on the process of properly researching the "ocean" in Biosphere 2. Even though we may know they eat algae, one must follow protocols. This takes time.
     
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  9. sostoudt

    sostoudt Giant Squid

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    I bet its algae:p


    Karma me if you think so too! :D
     
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  10. xmetalfan99

    xmetalfan99 Giant Squid

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    "What began as a one-semester project to count fish has become a full-fledged research project for five University of Arizona undergraduates who are trying to figure out why certain species of fish survived years of neglect in the simulated ocean of Biosphere 2.

    Along the way, the students have had to learn research techniques and protocols for treatment of animal subjects, learning how to humanely anesthetize fish and empty their stomachs to discover food sources and the bacteria that aid digestion."
     
  11. mikev15101

    mikev15101 Purple Spiny Lobster

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    I would love to study something like this...a volunteer program thing or something. Now the way I read the article was it was almost abandoned for 3 years or so? Now who paid the electricity; for did this thing run with no pumps?
     
  12. Seano Hermano

    Seano Hermano Giant Squid

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    This is interesting, but also sad, to see that this has been neglected for so long...