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Sardines are apparently delicious

By Leonard Ho - Posted May 02, 2013 09:00 AM
On April 25, Kobe’s Suma Aqualife Park introduced a giant school of sardines into their open ocean exhibit in preparation for their big "Go-Go-Golden Week” tourism event. By opening day on April 27, the size of the sardine ball was a fraction of its original size thanks to the sharks, mackerels, and tunas in the aquarium. Oops.
Sardines are apparently delicious

April 25, 2013: A beautiful ball of tightly packed sardines.

April 27, 2013: Uh ... where'd all the sardines go?  The sharks look happy though.

Prior to the introduction of sardines, aquarium officials fed the predators in the exhibit three times the normal amount in hopes of preventing a sardine massacre.  Judging by the photos, things didn't go as planned.  The larger fish, bellies stuffed, still gorged themselves silly.

Another Japanese public aquarium, Nagoyako Aquarium, experienced the exact opposite problem.  Their sardines got way too comfortable in their habitat and started to break formation because the predators in their tank showed little interest in hunting them.  Nagoyako Aquarium officials went so far as to introduce 15 Pacific bluefin tuna in an attempt to scare their sardines back into a tight school.

Perhaps this is a teachable moment for all aquarists.  Plan your livestock in advance and introduce smaller, less aggressive species (fish and inverts alike) into the aquarium first.  Allow them to establish themselves in your tank before slowly introducing larger or more aggressive species.  Doing it in reverse order can result in a bloodbath not unlike the ill-fated sardines of Suma Aqualife Park.

[via RocketNews24]

Author: Leonard Ho
Location: Southern California

I'm a passionate aquarist of over 30 years, a coral reef lover, and the blog editor for Advanced Aquarist. While aquarium gadgets interest me, it's really livestock (especially fish), artistry of aquariums, and "method behind the madness" processes that captivate my attention.


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