Aquariums: Dive In With Andy & Carter
LMC's Fish Experts Explore Aquariums and Fish IDs on YouTube Playlist
It’s no secret that our Center is passionate about sea turtle and ocean conservation. Through our rehabilitation, research, education, and conservation efforts, we continue to make a difference in the lives of sea turtles and the health of our ocean. But, many people are unaware of our more behind-the-scenes efforts, such as our aquariums featuring and representing South Florida's unique ecosystems. Loggerhead Marinelife Center's (LMC) five main tanks and nine quarantine tanks are operated and maintained by our resident fish experts, Andy Earl and Carter Viss. Because of their wealth of knowledge and expertise, we've recently been able to launch a brand new project- a YouTube playlist featuring our special aquariums and fish identifications!
Meet the Experts
The Center’s resident fish experts, Andy and Carter share years of experience with passions for fishing, diving, and fish IDs. After serving for about four years each at the Center, Andy and Carter decided to introduce the public to their work at LMC by launching an Aquarium and Fish IDs playlist on YouTube where they showcase their work, discuss invasive and native species, fish acquisition, and provide steps on how to maintain various saltwater tanks. Each possessing a lifetime of diving and fishing experience, Andy and Carter introduce audience members to their love for ocean conservation through something they know best - aquariums.
Meet Carter. Growing up in Colorado, Carter was fascinated by aquariums, especially saltwater tanks. During his childhood, he spent his free time learning about fish and maintaining several aquariums of his own. Seven years ago, Carter moved to South Florida to pursue an education in marine biology at Palm Beach Atlantic University. Quickly, he learned about the fish that inhabit Florida’s ecosystems through his time spent fishing and diving. While in college, he had the opportunity to participate in an aquarist internship at Clearwater Marine Aquarium where he learned the interworkings of fishkeeping. During this experience, he worked with larger tanks, which helps prepare him for managing the larger tanks at our expanded Center in 2021.
Since graduating college in 2017, Carter began working at an aquarium store along with working in operations at LMC. Since joining the Center, Carter has been instrumental in the development of our aquariums. His knowledge and dedication to conservation has led him to develop a proper quarantine system for the fish that are introduce to our tanks. As pictured above, one of Carter’s favorite fish is the Queen Angelfish.
Meet Andy. Despite growing up in Illinois away from the ocean, he has always been connected to the water. For most of his life, Andy spent his summers fishing, snorkeling, and exploring on West Lake Okoboji, Iowa. Just like Cater, Andy has always been amazed by water ecosystems since a small child - the vibrant colors and diverse species of fish fascinate him. Coincidentally, Andy moved to South Florida to learn more about saltwater ecosystems and the fish that inhabit them.
In 2017, Andy moved to South Florida and almost immediately began volunteering at LMC. After only six months of volunteering at the Center, he began working for LMC’s operations department where he continues to conduct daily maintenance on the Center's aquariums. In his free time, he spends as much time as possible outside - fishing, snorkeling, and capturing fish through the Center's FWC Aquatic Species Collection permit. Seen as a local snorkeling expert, Andy lends his insights to local publications and provides advice to individuals visiting South Florida. Like Carter, he has a passion for educating others about ocean conservation and hopes to accomplish that through visual education. As seen in one of their videos, Andy’s favorite fish is the Checkered Pufferfish.
A Day in the Life at LMC
On a typical day at LMC, Carter and Andy are...well, extremely busy. In addition to managing the Center's aquariums, they also assist with other campus maintenance tasks. Typically, they begin their day by conducting an overview of the five main and nine quarantine tanks - an essential task to ensure the Center's fish are healthy. Together, they assess each tank and make sure each individual fish is doing well and not showing signs of distress, injury, or sickness.
In their YouTube playlist, Andy and Carter discuss different fish and how to properly introduce them to a new tank.
Once they've confirmed the health status of all of the tanks and fish, they can then move on to water changes. Routinely, they perform water tests to ensure the parameters of the water are up to par. On a weekly basis, Andy and Carter also clean components of the filter systems to ensure the aquariums have a clean flow of water. On the days that they feed the fish, they prep fish food in the morning for fish feedings conducted later in the day.
After all of these essential tasks are done, Carter and Andy work on various projects to enhance the look and experience of our tanks while also creating content for our newly launched YouTube playlist. Recently, our fish experts reconstructed our Nearshore Tank and plan to launch a video showcasing the process.
Final Thoughts on the Project
With their years of experience and dedication to fish and water ecosystems, they hope to use their playlist to help educate and inspire the public to become involved in habitat protection and ocean conservation. Specifically, Carter hopes to share his appreciation for Florida’s underwater ecosystems, while Andy hopes to reach kids (like those residing in his home state, Illinois) that are unable to visit and see the ocean and the fish that inhabit it. Because of Andy and Carter's vast knowledge of aquariums, we are able to broaden our ocean conservation education and dive into South Florida's ecosystems. LMC's aquariums are the perfect way to share and see the diversity found in the ocean surrounding South Florida. We invite individuals from all over to dive in with Andy and Carter as they explore what makes South Florida's biodiversity so unique.
When tuning into the playlist, make sure to click "subscribe" so you are notified of new videos. While Andy and Carter have plans to introduce you to each one of our tanks, if you have special requests, please let them know in the comments section.
Due to the financial hardships we've faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our Center is seeking monetary and equipment donations. As we expand our Center and plan to care for larger aquariums, we are in search of supplies and or funds to help us do so. If you are interested in supporting our aquariums, please contact us at email@example.com.
Loggerhead Marinelife Center
Loggerhead Marinelife Center (LMC) is a nonprofit sea turtle research, rehabilitation and educational institution that promotes conservation of ocean ecosystems with a focus on threatened and endangered sea turtles. The Center features an on-site hospital, research laboratory, educational exhibits and aquariums, and also operates the Juno Beach Pier, which hosts world-class angling and sightseeing. Situated on one of the world’s most important sea turtle nesting beaches, Loggerhead Marinelife Center is open daily and hosts over 350,000 guests free-of-charge each year. The Center’s conservation team works with 90 local and international organizations across six continents to form partnerships and share conservation initiatives and best practices that are core to its mission of ocean conservation. The Center is expanding and has launched its Waves of Progress capital expansion campaign, designed to accelerate and amplify LMC’s conservation and education impact. When complete, the facility will offer one of the world’s most advanced and unique experiences for guests and scientific partners. For more information, visit www.marinelife.org or call (561) 627-8280.