What does it take to keep over 16,000 animals healthy and thriving?


A nutritious menu – catered to each individual – is an important place to start!

In order to accomplish this, we must bring in a variety of seafood, produce, and other foods, all of which are restaurant quality (fit for human consumption).

Each aquarist uses knowledge of their animals’ biology, and individual preferences, in order to determine what, how, and when to feed. Of course, tastes and nutritional requirements can change over time, so we must constantly evaluate these diets too.

All food is prepared in a dedicated kitchen that gets sanitized several times a day. Most of our seafood comes frozen, so we have large refrigerators to thaw it in. We also utilize vitamin supplements to replace any essential nutrients lost in the freezing process.

Each exhibit has its own dedicated food containers, and everything gets labelled and rotated to ensure that food doesn’t go bad and there is no cross-contamination between exhibits.

While it’s easiest to think about feeding fish and turtles, we also have to consider the other animals that call Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada home.

Coral, barnacles, anemones and jellyfish are a few types that cannot actively chase down their food. That’s not a problem! We can add planktonic food, such as Artemia (brine shrimp) or algae, right into the water column.

Next time you visit us, be sure to see our daily Aquarist Talk listing. You can ask questions, and see and hear about how your favorite animals are fed and cared for.

Have a question about the Aquarium, or something you would like to see on Deep Sea Diary? Email us at deepseadiary@ripleys.com for the chance for your question to be featured in our monthly Q&A post!


Kat joined Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada as a Diver before the Aquarium opened in 2013, and is now working as a Senior Aquarist. She can usually be found in the Canadian Waters gallery, especially around the Giant Pacific Octopus.

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