In case you were wondering, cleaning an alligator tank is not as much fun when the alligators aren’t in the tank. Cleaning an alligator-less tank is what I started my day off with today. First, two of my supervisors had to remove the two alligators from the tank (P.S., the alligators aren’t that big. About the distance from your shoulder to your arm). After the alligators were removed, all that was left to do was to scrub as much algae as possible off the walls and logs, and vacuum out all the scummy water. After I finished with the alligator tank, I got to backwash 3 tanks, the blue catfish, the gar, and the flathead catfish. Like I’ve said before, backwashing is used in sand filters to clean the filter and pump. In sand filters, the water flows through the top of the sand, which traps all the debris at the top of the sand. Backwashing forces all the residue off the top of the sand. There are twelve steps to backwashing.
1. Turn off the pump
2. Turn off the “return” valve (this keeps the dirty water from going back into the tank)
3. Change the settings to backwash
4. Turn on the “waste” valve (this sends the dirty water down the drain).
5. Turn the pump back on, and let it run for two minutes
6. Change the settings to rinse
7. Turn on pump for 15 seconds
8. Change settings to filter
9. Close the waste valve
10. Open the return filter
11. Turn on pump
12. Refill tank
Cleaning and backwashing was all I got to do today. I’m still enjoying working at the aquarium. I’m glad that I’m starting to get more interesting jobs, and that I’m learning the inner workings of an aquarium.