Aquarium Life

The Bait House (a dodgy name I can’t help feeling – if I were one of their fishy residents, I’d be nervous) aquarium had an open day on Sunday, so we drove off to Island Bay to check it out. It’s a small building perched on a rocky outcrop on the edge of the bay. The proximity of the sea together with the rain sheeting in through the open roller door and beating down on the tin roof, made it feel like we could be inundated at any moment. But we emerged unscathed.

The actual aquarium is just one room, lined with murky-looking tanks which contain a pretty varied selection of the local marine life. We looked at turtles, small carpet sharks, eels, cod, an octopus or two, and an assortment of anenomes and starfish in the big touch tanks. Petra was quite taken by the enterprising wee lad who was stacking small starfish like blocks on the edge of the touch tank. Not something I would ever have thought of – so he gets points for creativity if not for consideration. Petra was also intrigued by the big octopus in the barrel outside – it was expecting food and was eagerly caressing the fingers of those visitors bold enough to put them in the tank.

I was fascinated by some long, thin, almost plant-stem-like fish drifting around in a tank with the sea horses. What were they I wondered out loud and the woman beside me was kind enough to enlighten me. Pipefish, they were pipefish. I googled them and discovered that they belong to the same family as sea horses. Here’s a picture…

Banded Pipefish

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