Reefkeeping within the Victorian Period | Reef Builders


Because the saltwater aquarium passion celebrates over half a century of maturation, we frequently discuss in regards to the many reefkeeping pioneers. In his 1972 e-book “Tropical Fish, Freshwater, and Marine Aquaria,” Reginald Dutta talked about gear comparable to an Ozonizer, an Extremely Violet Ray Tube, and a Urine Skimmer even then, together with testing for nitrite and nitrate, in addition to combining ozone and skimming in a “reactor tube.” 

Urine, anybody? Protein skimming is at the very least fifty years previous.

He described the Urine (protein,) Skimmer as “one other important new gadget made attainable by the introduction of stronger airpumps,” and continued “So far as tropical marines are involved, these are the nice previous days of the person pioneer when a lot has nonetheless to be discovered. Nevertheless, it appears extra possible that, on the finish of the Nineteen Seventies, marines could have changed freshwater tropicals. First, as a result of they’re stunning, and second as a result of they do survive.”

So if marine fish and invertebrates have been being stored within the early Nineteen Seventies, when precisely did all of it begin? To seek out the reply to that, we’ve to rewind method again to the Victorian period. 

Propagating Nems

In line with creator Bernd Brunner, A French Zoologist known as Felix Dujardin had a saltwater aquarium, though the phrase aquarium had not even been invented again then. He was adopted by a girl named Anna Thynne who started by protecting (and efficiently propagating,) native sea anemones in unfiltered glass bowls, earlier than including seaweed, and operating a tank for 3 years, which turned “the primary balanced marine aquarium in London,” in 1849. 

1853 noticed Philip Henry Gosse open the world’s first public aquarium in London Zoo, earlier than later publishing a e-book on anemones in 1858. Gosse invented the time period Aquarium, and the aquarium craze shortly took off. In 1860 Gustav Jager opened the primary public aquarium in Mainland Europe in Vienna earlier than Brighton Aquarium opened in England in 1872 – and continues to be operating to at the present time. The Marine Organic Society opened in Plymouth in 1884, turned a public aquarium, and nonetheless has the unique, bitumen-lined invertebrate trays which turned the forerunner to coral trays. Simply on the finish of the Victorian Period, The Horniman Museum and Gardens opened in London, and like Brighton, London Zoo and the MBA are additionally nonetheless operating to at the present time, and is dwelling to Dr. Jamie Craggs and his cutting-edge coral spawning analysis.

So after we speak about pioneers of our passion we have to go method again, not simply into the 20 th century, however the mid-Nineteenth century, the place we’ll discover individuals who regardless of having no prior information, info sources, and even electrical energy, coveted, collected, and studied marine life simply as we do. 

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