Aquarium in Dalton Hall

The idea of having an aquarium
on Winthrop soil was never a
foreign one. In fact, the nook in
which the tank is located now on
the second fl oor in Dalton Hall,
was built into the building for that
purpose only.
Many people might have noticed
the construction of the Dalton Hall
aquarium last semester when the
project really soared.
The original tank that exuded
construction, at that time, was
sent over from the Sims Science
Building, while the bottom cabinets
were in the process of becoming
the tank’s foundation. The stand
was a donation to the school which
become a grateful necessity because
of the size of the tank.
Unfortunately, the tank started
to leak towards the end of last
semester which caused the whole
project to come to a halt.
The department deemed the
reparation of the tank an expense
that was not aff ordable. They
made the decision to replace the
tank because it was important for
educational and aesthetic purposes.
Dimaculangan, chair of the
biology Department said, “We
want it to be an attraction for the
department, as a positive thing
when people are visiting, while also
doubling its use for education.”
The project was soon back in
full force. Over the summer, the
original tank was replaced with
a brand new one. The bottom
portion of the aquarium was
refi nished over the summer as
well by Dimaculangan and the
administrative assistant.
The old tank is still at Dalton and
can be found on the loading dock.
The tank is up for sale and if anyone
is interested in purchasing the
massive container, they can contact
the biology department for more
information.
The old tank originally housed
a marine system, which meant
that there was a whole network
of fi ltering systems. This diff ers
vastly to the new tank and the
system that is currently set up. The
aquarium is a nearly independent
system, meaning that there are no
manmade fi ltering systems within
the ecosystem. The tank is equipped
with natural ways in which it fi lters
itself, which includes specifi c types
of fi sh that eat algae and plants that
fl ourish on the waste which fi sh
produce.
The only upkeep that would have
to occur is the changing of the
water within the tank. Naturally,
this water would fl ow and change
itself, but since the ecosystem is
contained within the tank the water
stays the same.
The tank is a demonstration
of the Amazon River ecosystem.
To keep the tank as authentic as
possible, there is a pump within the
system that simulates that water
fl ow discussed above. However,
the water is still the same and still
needs to be changed. Currently,
the tank has all the soil, water, and
plants that are going to be included
in the ecosystem. The type of plants
include echinodorus, heteranthera,
vallisneria and lilaeopsis. There is
only one fi sh swimming within the
aquarium at this time.
Further goals for this project are
to fi nish releasing the rest of the
fi sh into the tank that belong in this
ecosystem and to add interactive
information panels on the walls
nearest the aquarium. The panels
would be useful for the people
admiring the tank to learn more
about how the ecosystem functions
on a biological level.
For any questions on the
ecosystem itself, contact William
Rogers, Ph.D. He is the person
responsible for building the
biological community found within
the aquarium.