Western Oregon University’s aquarium science program showcases new aquarium

MONMOUTH, Ore. – Western Oregon University’s Aquarium Science program received a grant from the Western Foundation Competitive Grants program to create a display aquarium in the lobby of the Natural Science building. 

The Aquarium Science program trains students in the science of aquatic animal husbandry. Graduates are trained to be an aquarist, which is someone who manages aquariums and takes care of marine and freshwater plants and animals. Coordinated with Oregon Coast Community College (OCCC), this program combines core biology, business, and general education classes. Students complete their final year of coursework at OCCC in Newport, Ore.

The 100-gallon aquarium is on loan from OCCC. It currently houses two Siamese algae eaters, which can live around 8-10 years and grow up to 17cm. They are found primarily in Southeast Africa. A rope fish is also in the tank, which can live around 15-20 years and grow up to 15 inches. Rope fish are found in West and Central Africa. The fish are currently being cared for by Brooke Belluomini, a current Aquarium Science major. 

Additionally, several dozen small bladder snails are moving around in the tank to help keep the tank clean. They live for about two years and are found in freshwater habitats worldwide. A common aquarium plant Elodea, often called waterweed, is planted in the tank.

Learn more about the Aquarium Science program




About Western Oregon University

Western Oregon University, established in Monmouth in 1856, proudly stands as Oregon’s oldest public university. Hosting around 4,000 students, Western embodies a mid-sized, NCAA Division II institution, with approximately 80% of its students hailing from within the state. Notably, its diverse student body comprises individuals from underrepresented backgrounds, veterans, and non-traditional learners. Western stands as the preferred campus in Oregon for those pursuing an enriching education within a nurturing, student-focused environment, characterized by faculty-led instruction. Together we succeed.

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