Aquarists at Bristol Aquarium have come up with a novel way to keep their tropical fish cool during the recent run of warm weather – frozen ice lollies!
The ‘lollies’, which are made up of a mix of fruit ,vegetables and shellfish, are frozen into blocks and placed into the displays; providing the fish with a nutritious snack with the added bonus of providing a cooling effect as the blocks melt.
And, to mark the Easter weekend, staff are using egg-shaped moulds to create their own versions of frozen Easter eggs for the fish to enjoy.
Bristol Aquarium’s Becs Smith said: “In the wild, tropical reef fish would supplement their diet by eating algae, seaweeds and seagrasses which grow around the corals.
“There are specific vitamin supplements you can add to their food to provide the same nutritional value but the frozen lollies are a much more natural way of ensuring they have a balanced diet – and a great way to help combat the unseasonably hot temperatures.
“We chop up the fruit and vegetables and add some cockles and krill before freezing it and putting it in to the display. As it gradually melts the different species are able to get at the tasty titbits inside the ice and they really seem to enjoy it,” she added.
Bristol Aquarium is home to more than 50 naturally-themed displays showcasing marine and freshwater species from around the world.
The centrepiece of the aquarium is the coral seas display where visitors can enjoy the closest of undersea encounters with tropical sharks and rays in an underwater walk-through tunnel, via a two-metre concave bubble display and a massive floor to ceiling acrylic viewing window.
Other displays recreate mangrove swamps and are home to spitting archer fish, mudskippers and freshwater rays. There are Amazon rainforest pools full of piranhas and a recreated South American fishing village.