Oregon Sea Grant
The theme for this issue is the fundamentals of fish health management. It is very important that anyone who keeps fish have an understanding of the basic principles of fish health and the important husbandry considerations required to keep your fish healthy. Those of you that have heard me speak recently will find much of this information a bit of a review and to those groups to which I will be speaking in the future, you are forewarned.
As always I'm open to any comments or suggestions for future newsletter content. Don't hesitate to contact me.
This publication from the University of Florida, by Dr. Ruth Francis-Floyd, was written primarily for fish farmers in that area however the issues addressed are applicable to all fish maintained in captivity. The extension and diagnostic laboratory contacts in the Pacific Northwest include myself (see below) and the state diagnostic labs in Washington and Oregon. See the last issue of this newsletter for the ornamental fish contacts at each diagnostic laboratory.
This publication, also by Dr. Ruth Francis-Floyd, discusses fish stress. We often speak generally about stress in our fish but what is it really? What kinds of things cause stress? How do fish avoid disease? How do stress and disease interact? How do you avoid "stressed" fish? This publication addresses these questions.
About 10 years ago I attended a program called AQUAVET at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. This was an intensive program in Aquatic Animal Medicine. Dr. Bob Bullis, one of the instructors and the MBL veterinarian at the time, gave a lecture entitled Principles of Health Management For Marine Laboratory Animals. From his lecture and notes came some some important considerations for keeping healthy fish an invertebrates. This gave me the idea to develop some "rules of thumb" for the aquarist or budding aquatic veterinarian. Often it is these little tips and pearls of wisdom that aren't covered in the books or formal classes. Over the years through my own and others experiences (good and bad) I have modified these into some general rules of thumb for the freshwater and marine aquarium keeping. This is certainly not the final word on this matter, I'm constantly tinkering with the list and, as always, open to suggestions. Without further ado here in slightly modified and expanded form are the sage words of Dr. Bob Bullis, MS, DVM.
For millions of Americans, science centers, zoos and aquariums have become a major source of information about the natural environment. The general population has, in recent years, had more of a selection of aquariums to visit. Of all the aquariums in the United States, approximately 30% began their operations since 1990. The industry's growth throughout the 1990's still persists as numerous international and American facilities are being developed.
Hand in hand with the opening of new public aquarium facilities and a growing ornamental and seafood aquaculture industry, is the need to hire staff with aquatic animal husbandry skills. Such individuals have a passion and the skills to take care of fishes and invertebrates, to manage the water that these animals live in and to design/troubleshoot equipment used in the profession.
This year, the National Science Foundation awarded Oregon Coast Community College (OCCC), a three-year, $750,547 grant to development and implement an Aquarium Science degree program. To date, each course, as well as the entire program has been officially approved by the Oregon State Board of Education
Input from industry advisors, National Visiting Committee members, key individuals as well as a review of existing aquaculture programs and the results of a nationwide industry survey by the OCCC, http://www.occc.cc.or.us/aquarium/results.html, has been instrumental in developing the curriculum. The following table lists the general education and the thirteen Aquarium Science courses required for this degree program.
General Education Courses
(Course Number, Course Titles, Credits)
CS 101 Introduction to Microcomputer Applications 3
WR 121 English Composition - Exposition 3
MTH 95 Intermediate Algebra 4
SP 111 Fundamentals of Public Speaking 3
PSY 104 Psychology in the Workplace 4
CH 110 Fundamentals of Chemistry 5
BI 101 General Biology 4
BI 102 General Biology 4
BI 103 General Biology 4
WR 227 Technical Writing 3
CA 118 B Computer Applications - Worksheets 1
CA 118 F Computer Applications - PowerPoint 1
CA 118 C Computer Applications - Database 1
FE 205 A Job Search Preparation 1
FE 205 B Resumes & Job Search Correspondence 1
PE 185 S a Beginning SCUBA 1
PE 185 S c Advanced SCUBA 1
Total General Education Requirements 44
Program Specific Courses
(Course Number, Course Titles, Credits)
AQS 100 Introduction to Aquarium Science 2
AQS 110 Aquarium Science Practicum 1 2
AQS 111 Aquarium Science Practicum 2 2
AQS 141 Interpretation & Communication 4
AQS 165 Current Issues in Aquarium Science 2
AQS 215 Biology of Captive Fish 4
AQS 220 Biology of Captive Invertebrates 4
AQS 240 Life Support System Design and Operation 4
AQS 230 Fish & Invertebrate Nutrition 4
AQS 231 Fish & Invertebrate Reproduction 4
AQS 270 Fish & Invertebrate Health Management 4
AQS 250 Principles of Exhibit Development 4
AQS 275 Internship 12
Total Program Requirements 52
Total Program Credit Hours 96
Local resources such as Oregon State University's Hatfield Marine Science Center and the Oregon Coast Aquarium are supporting the program through facility use and student learning opportunities. Students will be gaining hands-on experiences by working alongside professional aquarists throughout their course of study. Among the many skills to be developed are animal feeding strategies/techniques, exhibit development, interpretation and communication, life support system design and construction and fish health management. The final eleven week quarter will be spent at a mutually agreed upon internship site. Over 30 facilities throughout the nation have agreed to be potential host sites for program students.
The first class of students will begin Fall 2003. Applications are currently being accepted. Prospective students are encouraged to apply early since applications received during January and February will be reviewed and commitments made to qualified students. Enrollment is limited to 25 students. If you have questions about this unique program, wish to obtain an application booklet, please contact: Bruce Koike, Director- Aquarium Science Program at firstname.lastname@example.org or (541) 574-7130. Visit our website at, http://www.occc.cc.or.us/aquarium/index.html
In the last newsletter I discussed the recent identification of Spring Viremia of Carp Virus (SVCv) from koi at a farm in North Carolina. A paper presented at the recent International Symposium on Aquatic Animal Health, New Orleans, LA entitled: First Reports of spring viremia of carp virus (SVCv) in wild and captive North American cyprinids by Andrew Goodwin, Audrey Dikkenboom, Craig Radi, Kathy Kurth, Sue Marcquenski, Keith Way, and David Stone reveiwed the identification of SVCv in April 2002 on the farm in North Carolina (Goodwin) and discussed the recent identification in Wisconsin (Dikkenboom). Audrey Dikkenboom from the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory discussed the second outbreak of SVCv, also in the Spring of 2002, among wild common carp in Clear Lake, Wisconsin. According to the report 10,000kg of wild common carp died during this outbreak. This lake is more than 2000 kilometers from the farm in North Carolina and there is no evidence of any link between these two disease outbreaks. For more information on this disease see the following links (from the previous newsletter):
If anyone has ornamental fish related seminars, conferences or meetings they would like me to post in this newsletter please email me all the pertinent information and I will put them in the next issue. It will come out in late march or early April.
I would like to thank Gerry Engleman for his kind donation of a portable tank from Pearls of Paradise in McMinnville, Oregon. We will be using this tank for holding Giant Pacific Octopuses as they are gradually acclimated to public interaction. As many of you know we allow the public to gently interact with our display octopus.
Anyone who is interested in making monetary donations to this program to help us offset the costs of maintaining this program may make checks out to Oregon State University and send them to me at the address below. You will receive a thank-you letter from Oregon State University that also documents your donation for tax purposes. All donations will be used solely for support of this program and are GREATLY appreciated.
If you are interested in making a donation of goods or services please contact me at the numbers and email below and I can tell you about our current needs.
OSU has changed all of our emails. My new email address is email@example.com. The old address will cease to work after 12/31/2002.
I hope you have found this issue informative. If you have any suggestions please don't hesitate to contact me.
I hope everyone has a pleasant holiday season and a peaceful new year.
But if you tame me we shall need each other.
To me, you shall be unique in all the world.
To you, I shall be unique in all the world.
You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed
Antoine de Saint-Expupery (1900-1944)
Tim Miller-Morgan, DVM
Extension Veterinarian/Assistant Professor
Sea Grant Extension/College of Veterinary Medicine
Oregon State University
Hatfield Marine Science Center
2030 Marine Science Drive
Newport, OR 97365
(541) 867-0100 (office)
(541) 270-4218 (cell)