Over the weekend, our infected sea stars survived, as did all our Alaskan stars. So far so good! Today we made the decision to proceed with the challenge trials – this is where we take viruses out of the Seattle Aquarium stars and then inject them into the Alaskan animals to see how they respond. … More Challenge Experiment Away!
Our Alaskan sea stars continue to do ok. They have been eating well, and our ammonium levels are now down below the critical threshold where it is toxic, so we forge on with plans to perform experiments next week. Unfortunately, one of our larger stars started to show signs of extreme stress early Thurs- the … More Washington Stars
After events of the past week and harsh treatment (plus a lot of harsh language, too!), today we made the decision to see if our sea stars were SSaDV-positive or negative. Our objective in traveling to the Aleutians was to sample a ‘clean’ population in which neither SSWD nor SSaDV had been observed. In March … More Moment of Truth… Infected or Not Infected?
Today Elliot and Jacob worked on checking nutrient levels in the tanks, which involves using an aquarium test kit of gauge ammonium, nitrate, nitrite, pH and salinity levels; everything is normal except for ammonium, which continues to be high. Ian and Jacob then performed a 40% water change with fresh seawater, and added in ammonium … More Jaws on 5 (4) legs…
Over the weekend Ian and Elliot monitored the sea stars, performed water changes, and monitored nutrient levels in the tanks. One of the most difficult part of sea star husbandry is keeping ammonium – which is toxic to marine life – low. In an ideal situation, nitrifying bacteria and archaea form biofilms on our filters … More Ammonium Issues – But Stars Still OK
Some good news for a change. After concern that we’d lost all the stars in transit, somehow a few have survived the absolutely abhorrent conditions and are crawling in our tanks! It’s a miracle and shows just how robust these animals can be. And I think we can now exclude FedEx as the cause of … More Phoenixes!
After arriving home to Ithaca on Wednesday night, Elliot and Ian waited anxiously for the sea stars to arrive – two days late and evidently in rough shape. Overnight a staff member from fedex had communicated that the boxes had been almost flattened (squished) in transit, and that there was “a little water” left. At … More Well, it was a nice idea…