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  • $22,671
  • 3.8
  • Environmental Science
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What is an Aquarist?

An Aquarist is a specialized type of Animal Caretaker. Also known as: Public Aquarium Caretaker, Aquatic Animal Caretaker, Fish and Aquatic Caretaker.

An aquarist usually works for the aquatic section of a zoo or for a public aquarium and takes care of the fish and the aquatic animals. He or she is in charge of feeding the fish and animals, preparing the food and making any dietary adjustments that may be necessary. The aquarist is also responsible for making sure that the aquarium, tanks or exhibits are all clean and free of algae, that the water quality is maintained, and that the temperature is adjusted as needed. The fish and aquatic animals need a safe, nurturing environment and the aquarist makes sure this is provided. He will also check for any signs of sickness, disease or injury.

What does an Aquarist do?

An aquarist is in charge of the well-being of fish and marine animals in an aquarium. Aquarists have a passion for the animals they look after and take great care to make sure they live excellent lives in captivity. Just like a zoo needs zookeepers to look after the animals, aquariums also need people to look after the fish and aquatic animals. Aquarists may work in zoos, theme parks or research facilities. They have a variety of activities to attend to, which can vary according to the type of animals kept at the facility.

An aquarist usually works for the aquatic section of a zoo or for a public aquarium and takes care of the fish and the aquatic animals.

An aquarist could perform any of these tasks: 

  • monitor and treat fish diseases
  • ensure life support systems are functioning, such as pumps, heaters, and filters
  • monitor water quality 
  • observe for any anomalies in fish tanks
  • clean the inside of the fish tanks and up-keep the underwater habitats
  • feed and administer vitamins to sea life 
  • create habitats that will delight visitors 
  • mentally stimulate some species with toys or challenges

In some cases, an aquarist will travel to various locations to collect specimens from lakes, rivers, and oceans. The specimens they collect must be safely extracted and transported back to the facility. The job of an aquarist is sometimes very physical, as transporting animals from one tank to another takes a lot of physical strength.

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What is the workplace of an Aquarist like?

An aquarist may work unusual hours, depending on the feeding times, or to avoid public viewing hours. They spend much of their time working within the aquarium environment, either in an office, handling inventory, monitoring pumps, filters and heaters, or preparing food for feeding time.

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Further Reading

  • Aquarist animalcareers.about.com

    An aquarist is responsible for the care of fish and marine mammals kept in captivity.

  • A day in the life of an aquarist: Ruby Banwait www.miniaqua.org

    “The number one requirement of a good aquarist is to have a fascination with nature and in particular, a love of animals and a feeling for what they need.”

  • So We Heard You Want to Be an Aquarist mlp.rwsentosablog.com

    We talk to Akira, an aquarist with the Marine Life Park, to get the low-down on what it takes to be one.

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Career Attributes

  • $22,671
  • 3.8
  • Environmental Science
More Attributes