Tropical sunsets

Posted: 1st February, 2019

A state-of-the-art lighting system has been installed at Living Coasts – for the fish.

The sophisticated new system means that fish can experience natural dawns and dusks. One of the zoo’s aquarists, Sam Worthington, explained: “Now, each tank can have its own settings. We can do gradual sunrises and sunsets with different colour temperatures, going from a soft pink dawn to a bright middle of the day and back down to dusk.

“Native species can have the range of daylight we get in the British Isles, while tropical fish can have stronger light at midday and a quicker sunrise and sunset. It’s better for them than a straight on or off. It’s more natural, it’s potentially better for breeding. It’s also more energy-efficient.”

Her colleague Tom Fielding added: “As technology moves forward it’s important to move on and provide the best quality care for our animals.” The new LED system is better for the fish and more environmentally friendly. In total staff will upgrade 15 separate tanks with 25 species.

The new system looks complicated and will need programming. Tom said: “Each one of these lights is individually controllable – and you can link them up via a special control-unit, so my next job is to program the individual systems to perfectly match the correct lighting spectrums, light intensity and daylight hours for each of the species housed.”

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