Iowa Vet College Upgrades Aquarium

The new 350-gallon aquarium is home to 175 freshwater fish.

Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine's new 350-gallon aquarium is home to 175 freshwater fish. The new fish are all native U.S. species, with a majority being Mississippi River fish.

Christopher Gannon, Iowa State University News Service

Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine has upgraded and doubled the size of its aquarium, making it home to 175 freshwater fish. Eighteen schooling fish species are represented in the 350-gallon tank, according to the college.

The new fish are all native U.S. species, with a majority being Mississippi River fish. The largest fish should grow to between six and eight inches when it reaches adulthood, the college reported.

The fish, which were shipped from an East Coast company, became acclimated in the college’s new 200-gallon sump tank before being transferred to the aquarium.

“We have worked hard to make sure that we have not only fish that will get along, but by putting them into the aquarium at the same time they won’t develop territories,” said Samantha Ford, president of the Aquatic Animal Medicine Club, which promotes aquatic animal education while ensuring the proper care of the new aquarium.

Fish at the upgraded Iowa State University aquarium.

Christopher Gannon, Iowa State University News Service

Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine's new 350-gallon aquarium is home to 175 freshwater fish. The new fish are all native U.S. species, with a majority being Mississippi River fish.

The club then darkened the aquarium for the next several days to allow the fish some time on their own before students, faculty and staff could start viewing them, the college noted.

“By blocking the aquarium off, the fish will have the opportunity to acclimate to their new surroundings and won’t have the stress of people staring at them,” Ford said.

Funding for the aquarium was provided by the Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Dr. Peter Bashara (DVM ’97), Dr. James Roth, Distinguished Professor of veterinary microbiology and preventive medicine; and the College of Veterinary Medicine. AquaIllumination of Ames donated the lights for the tank.

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