There were no rubber gloves or aprons, instead wetsuits and scuba gear today, as the staff took on the challenge of cleaning some of their 60 plus tanks as part of their annual Spring Clean!
As any animal lover knows, caring for them can be messy business, so you can only imagine the amount of cleaning involved at SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium, home to 3,500 plus sea creatures!
In order to make sure our tanks are kept in optimum condition we have a strict weekly cleaning roster, but our yearly big spring clean is very important to make sure we are ready for our busiest time of the year, summer holidays.
Most of our tanks have their own filtration systems called LSS or Life support systems, these filters clean and circulate the water to remove uneaten food and fish waste so we can keep our tanks pristine for our inhabitants.
The tanks are cleaned using different methods, depending on which species lives in the enclosure and what life support system is in place.
Just like cleaning at home the team use vacuums, mops, squeegee’s and brushes to scrub every surface of every tank.
We often have to get creative with our cleaning techniques especially when dealing with our Mega Croc, Pinjarra or our cheeky penguins who poo every 17 minutes! That’s a lot of poop to deal with!
Luckily the team do have some helping hands when it comes to cleaning as some of the animals also pitch in.
Snails, hermit crabs and abalone are great tank cleaners, they eat the algae and pick up any leftover food that finds its way to the bottom of the tank.
Mechanical filtration systems such as sock filters and mesh nets help remove solids and a biological system remove excess nutrients all assisting in the filtration process.
These intricate Life Support Systems which operate 24 hours a day, seven days per week are an integral part of the aquarium, they are just one of the many fascinating behind the scenes procedures going on every day.