Newport Aquarium's Rare Sharks Benefit from Continuous Monitoring

How Does the Newport Aquarium Keep a Rare Shark Exhibit a World-Class Standard? 

Video Transcription

Jeff Gibula (Newport Aquarium): The Newport Aquarium was founded in May of 1999. So we're celebrating our 16th year. We have 137 aquatic tanks, 90 of them are exhibits for the public. And the largest tank that we're in right now is the shark tank, our Surrounded by Sharks Exhibit. It is a 385,000 gallon saltwater tank. It is all synthetic sea water. We actually chemically engineer our own sea water here. So it turns over 100% of this water every 90 minutes cleaning it up. We put 200 pounds of food approximately a week in here.

Darrin Honious (YSI): YSI has a pretty good involvement with the Newport Aquarium. They do a lot of water quality testing. So they're going to have lab equipment. They're going to have monitoring equipment, and handheld devices checking all of the exhibits.

Jeff: So, today we are really excited. This is our largest exhibit. Seven species in one tank, which is pretty rare. Some of the rarest animals in the collection are the Shark Rays (Rhina ancylostoma). They're from the Indo-Pacific and we're one of the only places to have four of them in one. And we're going to put the 5200A on this system to keep continuous monitoring (for water quality parameters) for two reasons. One, for us to keep a good data log of what's going on in the system. As well as to educate our public that get to come behind the scenes and see this. To give them an idea of what it takes to keep the parameters at homeostasis throughout the building.

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Surrounded by Sharks exhibit at the Newport Aquarium.

Darrin: So the monitors are pretty much a plug and play. You mount the instrument on the wall, you power it up, you connect the cable assembly to the monitor, and then you plug it in to the sump. It's pretty simple.

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Darrin Honious installs a YSI 5200A multiparameter water quality instrument at the Newport Aquarium to continuously monitor several water quality parameters.

Jeff: Data is important to me. Not only does it keep us going, keep the animals healthy, but I use data on a daily basis and as well as an annual basis. The data helps me put plans together, budgets, show my higher ups and people that aren't necessarily in-the-know understand the numbers and what's going on. But it gives them a way to help us make decisions long-term and short-term for the welfare of the animals, for the well being the aquarium, and for the guests and public that get to come here and see animals. 

Darrin: So we have a program called AquaManager. This allows you to store all the data that the monitor has logged, and you can actually set up alarming. It can send out an email or a text message whenever the parameters go out of range.

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YSI's AquaManager software allows personnel at the aquarium to establish set points and view data and control modes remotely. Data from the 5200A and AquaManager can easily control devices so the set point ranges are maintained. (Chillers, heaters, blowers, etc.).

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The 5200A monitor actually has controlling capability. They have relays built into the instrument. So you can set up parameters so your DO (dissolved oxygen), your pH, conductivity can automatically control and have it to the set points that you want.

Jeff: With the tech support, it's necessary. When we go down, I have sensitive animals, I have things that could be in jeopardy. These systems..these are not replaceable animals. They're not cookie cutter. So when we have tech support to come help us put things together and keep everything rolling, it's super efficient for what we are trying to do. I've worked with Darrin. I've worked with Tim Grooms. I've worked with others at YSI. We've had great history with them. We've had great response time with them.

Darrin: So the YSI 5200A is a complete system. It will monitor, control, send alarms via email or text message. We also have the ability to expand in the future with a plug and play system.

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