If you read the previous month’s blog post, you will remember that fish are a newly found passion of mine. In middle of July, I packed our minivan full of supplies, buckled in 3 sleeping children at 4am, and set off on a grand cross country adventure. We drove to Bradenton, Florida to visit my grandfather. I haven’t seen him in over a year, and I wanted him to meet all of children this year…and wish him a happy 90th birthday! Our journey started off well as all 3 children slept the first 6 hours without a peep! We made it all the way to Atlanta, Georgia on the first day of driving. Each one of my family members (who were able to communicate ideas) picked their “one thing” they wanted to do our trip. My one thing was to go to an aquarium.
The Georgia Aquarium was located in Atlanta, Georgia so we went first thing the next morning. It was awesome! My favorite part (aside from seeing the wonder on my children’s faces) was a glass tunnel we walked through. Sharks, dolphins, fish, HUGE manta rays, and sea turtles swam all around us. The sea creatures were amazing and beautiful, but I wondered at the huge effort it must take to maintain a tank like that. The exhibit with the tunnel has 6.3 million gallons of water. WOW! I’m sure water quality is a huge deal for them. I wonder how often and what a water change is like for such a facility. I also wondered what it must be like to be an aquatic veterinarian there. I read that the aquarium has 3 full time vets and a resident veterinarian (a vet receiving more training). Do they have to be scuba certified? How does one examine a shark…or an electric eel? So many questions!
My family and I walked through the exhibits and were filled with wonder. I explained to my kids that preserving creatures such as these was the reason why we try to recycle or compost to reduce waste from our home. It’s why we pick up trash that’s not our own. Hopefully, someday my children’s children will be filled with the very same sense of wonder at the variety of creatures on this great blue planet.