For years now the Fred Hall Shows have had a Saltwater Mobile Aquarium. Most of the year it lives at Cal State University Northridge in the Marine Biology Department. Dr. Larry Allen helped to see this project through to fruition. The tank is trailed to the show (very carefully) then a tanker truck full of filtered sea water (not something you find on every corner) is brought in to fill the aquarium. Then the special nearshore species of fish are brought in (again carefully) and gently placed in the aquarium. Daiwa Fishing Tackle sponsors the tank and hourly seminars are given at this venue. It is one of the most popular features at a Fred Hall Show.
The Fred Hall Shows are very lucky, first for the relationship with Dr. Larry Allen and then for the good fortune to have his assistant, Mike Abernathy be the person that tends over the Saltwater tank at the shows. But after the tank is set up there isn’t much for Mike to do except monitor the fish and make certain everything is pumping and breathing normally. So a couple of years ago Mike suggested that we put in “Touch Tanks” for kids so that they could handle nearshore marine species like starfish and sea slugs. The first year Mike tried it the Touch Tank was an instant success. That was in Del Mar and it was so popular that there were long lines of kids waiting to “pet the fish”. It was very popular until the last day, then all of the fish died. Mike was perplexed. He monitored each child, made certain that the pumps and filters were working perfectly; he just couldn’t figure it out. Then he did. At Del Mar, much of the show is outside, as was the Touch Tank. It occurred to him that Southern California mothers don’t let their kids go outside without putting lots of sunscreen on them. Unfortunately, the sunscreen as coming off in the water and eventually killed the fish. Now Mike has an antidote and this doesn’t happen any more.
The Touch Tanks at the Fred Hall Shows in Long Beach and Del Mar are fun and instructional for kids of all ages. Stop by and give it a try. Mike is the really tall, good-looking dude. Tell him thanks.