Four weeks ago when I began my senior project here I was told my main project would be to get the critter tank up and running for the summer. The Tank wasn’t in the best of shape; half of the filter wasn’t working, the tubes were dirty, and I knew very little about plumbing or filters. On top of that there were signs posted all over the tank that said “Check back in May 2010 to see what exciting creatures we will have next year!!” I knew I had to get the tank running or there would be some disappointed people. I’m proud to say that the tank is up and running and that there are some critters inside of it. On Wednesday, June 2, the interns and I captured 7 killifish for the tank. They can now be seen swimming around the tank and hiding behind and under some of the rocks. We have to wait until the Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate levels are just right until we add more critters.
Although my main task was the critter tank, I did more than just get that up and running. I helped volunteers like Bob with the Red Bellied Cooters. Linda taught me how to check the water quality. Wendy taught me a trick to make siphoning the water easier. When Len and Paula were in Alaska, I filled in for them. Sometimes I went out and got clean salt water from the pump house when a volunteer needed to be somewhere. I even helped Joanne create Patty’s new set up with the trash cans and higher water level.
I’m sad to say my four weeks here is up but I really enjoyed my time here. Working with the turtles was a lot of fun and I met a lot of great people. I wish the interns luck with maintaining the Critter Tank and I hope the Discovery Center has a successful summer. Next year I will be going to college at Georgetown University in Washington, DC but I hope will have time to come by and visit NMLC to see what’s going on.