What is an Aquarist?

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.

Aquarists are in charge of feeding the fish and animals, preparing the food, and making any dietary adjustments that may be necessary. They are 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?

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 underwater in a public aquarium checking on the fish.

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.

Are you suited to be an aquarist?

Aquarists have distinct personalities. They tend to be investigative individuals, which means they’re intellectual, introspective, and inquisitive. They are curious, methodical, rational, analytical, and logical. Some of them are also artistic, meaning they’re creative, intuitive, sensitive, articulate, and expressive.

Does this sound like you? Take our free career test to find out if aquarist is one of your top career matches.

Take the free test now Learn more about the career test

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.

Aquarists are also known as:
Public Aquarium Caretaker Aquatic Animal Caretaker Fish and Aquatic Caretaker