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An Interview With An Aquarist

As the world continues to connect with each other from a distance, we took some time this week to speak with Senior Aquarist, Manuel Romeo, and his team from the Oman Aquarium.

While the global situation continues to develop, public aquariums around the world are among the many public venues forced to temporarily close their doors to visitors. The Oman Aquarium has been closed to public since March 2020 and Manuel and his team are still uncertain as to when they will be able to re-open. While the building remains closed, the animals of course still need feeding, and the Oman team (like other aquarist teams worldwide) are hard at work maintaining and caring for them.

The aquarium ordinarily employ a combination of wet food as well as Vitalis pellets, flakes and grazers but the pandemic has led to an increase in Vitalis feeds. Manuel is keen to stress this is a great positive to take from the situation. "The use of Vitalis products has doubled in these past months and we are achieving amazing results with our animals."

Over 3/4 tons of Vitalis, ready to feed their animals.

The aquarium is home to thousands of animals housed in a variety of exhibits, including their 2 Million Litre marine tank. "I have been feeding my cow nose rays and himantura rays with 15mm and 12mm Marine Pellets and the results are incredible. The animals look stunning and they are all growing perfectly." says Manuel "We also drastically reduced the amount of external parasites (Monogeneans)."

The Oman Aquarium team have been taking advantage of the multitude of practical benefits presented by our diets also - never more so have these benefits been felt than during the restrictions of the pandemic. Their feed storage room currently contains just short of a ton of Vitalis products, all ready to feed straight from the bucket with no refrigeration or preparation required. The team perform carefully scheduled feeds, mixing a variety of pellet sizes to suit the differently sized and diverse species housed in their exhibits. This ensures all the animals are able to obtain the nutrition they need, in a palatable and easily digested format.

"Personally, for our main tank and coral tank I have always been happy using Vitalis and our animals love them. The grazers for example are one of my favourite products to use in my main tank, also the 6mm and 15mm Marine Strand." says Manuel of the variety of presentation methods our tailored diets offer. "I find my animals to be very attracted by the different shape and sizes of the strands, even the more skittish animals."

Beyond the larger size pellets, strand and grazers we produce exclusively for public aquarium use, Manuel's team make use of some of the smaller size pellets and micronised flakes that are even available to hobbyists for the home aquarium. These are ideal for smaller fish as well a range of coral and anemone species. "Regarding our Coral tank, we have being using your SPS Coral food and 1.5 and 4mm Marine Pellets. The animals display a beautiful colour, bright and vivid, and their health is being stable for quite a long time already."

We would like to say a big thank you to Manuel and the aquarists at Oman Aquarium for all their time and efforts. It's great to hear that their animals continue to be tended to with such care and attention. We hope we're able to revisit them in person on the other side of the pandemic!

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