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Ask the Aquarist… with Rob

January 7, 2021

We LOVE being asked questions at Blue Reef Aquarium and our team of ocean oracles are always happy to answer. This week, we’re joined by Senior Aquarist, Rob. Have you got a question about a Quillfish? Maybe you have a porpoise poser? Whatever you want to ask, just pop an email over to [email protected] and we’ll do our level best to answer!

Here are the latest things people are asking…


Do fish sleep? – Sophie, 9

“Fish haven’t got any eyelids, so if they do, they don’t sleep like us. There are also lots of fish that become very still at night – the Spanish Hogfish can even be lifted out by hand at night and they seem to stay asleep – we have one at the aquarium but we try not to wake him up. Some large fish and sharks (also dolphins and whales) usually need to be constantly moving so cant stop to res. These animals sleep by shutting down different parts of their brain at a time, so sleeping one half of the brain while the other half stays awake to keep them swimming and alert”

What is the fastest fish in the sea? – Amy, 11

“The fastest shark in the world is the Mako – about 45 miles per hour. But the fastest fish is probably the Sailfish. It can travel at speeds of about 70 miles per hour – that’s as fast as a car is allowed to go on the motorway! The Black Marlin is pretty fast too…”

Do fish get thirsty? – Fakirah, 14

“Well we’ll never be able to ask a fish that question but we can have a good guess. Fish that live in fresh water, like rivers or lakes, don’t let much water into their mouths. If they did it wouldn’t be very good for them as they need to keep the salt-water balance in their blood just right. Fish that live in salt water, like the sea, DO have to let water in through their mouths. That’s because the concentration of salt in the water around them is greater than that of the salt in their bodies so the seawater actually draws the water out of their bodies! It’s a process called ‘Osmosis’. They have to keep topping up their water levels…”

Who would win in a fight? A Great White Shark or a Lion? – Matthew, 16

“It depends… what’s the arena of combat?! Is this fight happening at sea or on the plains? We’ll never know. I suppose the closest we get to this happening in real life is when leopards clash with crocodiles”


Enjoying the Blue Reef Blog? Come visit in real life!

We are home to over 3500 exotic animals from around the world and 250+ species. Located in the heart of Hastings Old Town, we’re open 7 days a week and everything is indoors so we’re a perfect place to visit, whatever the weather!