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Danish freshwater immersion exhibit

Discussion in 'Fantasy Zoos' started by Agalychnis, 13 Feb 2015.

  1. Agalychnis

    Agalychnis Active Member

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    Fredericia, Denmark
    I'm full of crazy ideas:

    This time, it's a lake functioning as an immersion exhibit with native Danish fishes and other freshwater wildlife. The lake would function just like any other lake; no filtration, no lighting, no nothing - except for control of the species mix and population. In short, mostly just an artificial lake.

    My setting of course demands natural pool or small lake proportions to work.

    Through this lake would be an underwater glass tunnel where people could view the scenery. Signs would explain the characteristics and biology of the various fish species found in the lake.

    As the lake would function relatively naturally, it would only require a minimum of maintenance; the viewing tunnel would just need to be kept appropiately algae-free, and most environmental issues (algae blooms and the like) could be managed through controlling the population and species mix of the fish.

    I think it would be a quite effective immersion exhibit, yet very cheap to maintain for such a large exhibit.

    Of course it wouldn't contain the very large or highly voracious predatory fishes, as it would still be a relatively small, and thereby quite fragile, freshwater habitat (again, pool or small lake; I think perhaps 0,5 hectare in size), but it would be capable of showing the often overlooked native fishes in their natural habitat.

    And at least when I imagine walking through the underwater tunnel - the fish swimming peacefully in their natural environment, the stalks of the water-lilies flowing with grace in the water, the sunlight creating patterns on the lake bottom from above - it looks absolutely stunning. But perhaps it only looks so in my imagination, and wouldn't be like that at all in real life.

    What do you folks think of my idea? Is this possible, and would it even look good? I'm looking forward to hear your responses! :)
     
  2. lowland anoa

    lowland anoa Well-Known Member

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    Wow, just wow. That's a good idea for a aquarium
     
  3. AverageWalrus

    AverageWalrus Well-Known Member

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    I love that idea! Aquariums really seem to never showcase Freshwater that much, especially the native fish such as Trouts and Bass
     
  4. Jurek7

    Jurek7 Well-Known Member

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    Great concept, it resembles Odrarium exhibit at Wroclaw Zoo. Odrarium = Oder aquarium.

    Big problem for you would be algal blooms, so this concept might work better as an artificial filtrated lake.
     
  5. Agalychnis

    Agalychnis Active Member

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    If it were biologically filtered through azolla and/or duckweed (which are both fast-growing water plants that require extremely high amounts of nutrients), it could even produce a bit of material (together with animal waste) for a biogas system. The biogas could then be used to power the zoo.

    Also, in experimental animal nutrition, farmers have succesfully fed domestic cattle azolla and duckweed as a protein source, so if (and only if) the parasite and disease load would be low, the plant product of the biological filtration could even be harvested to feed the bovines in the zoo? Would that be possible, or should I stick with biogas?
     
  6. temp

    temp Well-Known Member

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    Agalychnis, since you've indicated that you live in Fredericia, Denmark, I can't help but wonder if you have visited AQUA in Silkeborg. It lacks tunnels (as do Wrocław's Odrarium), but otherwise it resembles what you've described. The main building was essentially built down into a lake and the main "tanks" are actually windows into sections of the lake: http://www.denstoredanske.dk/@api/deki/files/953/=263101.501.jpg

    There are several similarities (including most species) between Wrocław's Odrarium and the Silkeborg exhibits, but personally I do prefer the latter.
     
  7. Agalychnis

    Agalychnis Active Member

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    Response to temp

    No, I unfortunately haven't had the time to visit AQUA in Silkeborg yet, but I've read about their exhibit, and a combination of reading about their exhibit with lakes and visiting Den Blå Planet (The Blue Planet) as well as Kattegatcenteret inspired me to make this setup :)

    One of my main reasons for wanting a good exhibit with native fish was the downright boring exhibit they had at The Blue Planet. Not in the slightest way inspirational, just a plain, boring tank with fish that are already rather smallish and either brown or gray. "If you don't have fish that are particularly interesting to look at, you could at least make the tank something special, Blue Planet!" I thought when looking at the small, rectangular aquarium with grayish fish on a brown background.

    In general, the native animals are often forgotten or at best glanced over, hence why I'm using all of my creativity to figure out interesting exhibits for native Danish species, both on land and in the water, both prehistoric and present. I call my zoo ideas Danish Nature Park (Danmarks Naturpark) :)
     
  8. Batto

    Batto Well-Known Member

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    I've been to several aquaria trying similar concepts involving European freshwater fish (including the ones mentioned, but also Müritzeum, Güstrow etc.), and even though some are quite convincing, they all encounter the same problem you also experience when scuba diving in European lakes: except for some oligotrophic lakes (for example in the Alps), the underwater visibility of the lakes is impacted by the amount of organic particles they contain, with significant, sometimes drastic changes due to weather and seasons. It's the same problem on a larger scale that you encounter in an aquarium: keeping only a few fish in a large tank, less organic waste is created, but spectators will complain about how little they see. Add more, bigger, more visible fish, and the production of organic waste increases, thereby decreasing visibility and furthering hypertrophication. This will make it necessary to invest in efficient filtration systems. Biological filters might help, but might also not be sufficient.
    So even though your idea looks nice on the paper, I wonder whether it would be attractive to the average visitor. Perhaps adding a Danish lake monster from Furesö or Kildevæld might help? ;)