Texas A&M has installed a new 300 gallon saltwater aquarium on the lower level of the university’s Texas A&M Memorial Student Center. According to the tamu Times, the aquarium, an Earth Day gift from the Texas Sea Grant College Program at Texas A&M, will be used to promote ocean awareness and to enhance an understanding of the coastal and marine resources in Texas.
The tank is 10 ft. in length, 2 ft. wide and 2 ft. deep and was designed by the Fish Gallery of Houston, a local fish store that offers freshwater and saltwater animals, tanks and accessories. The tank is currently filled with 200 lbs of Real Reef man-made live rock and its first inhabitant, a calico crab (Hepatus epheliticus), is expected to go into the FOWLR tank next week. It features an AGE custom refugium, a Super Reef Octopus XP 3000 protein skimmer and two Eheim canister filters. More animals that are native to the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean will be gradually added until the tank is fully stocked.
Texas Sea Grant is also installing a webcab that will stream live images of the tank and will make printed materials of the aquarium’s livestock available for those who wish to learn more about the animals in the tank.
The university will hold a naming contest April 20 for the aquarium as well as the calico crab, with the winners receiving a $200 gift card. More information on the contest is available at the Aquarium’s website.