Campus aquariums home to saltwater fish

Fans of the Walt Disney movie “Finding Nemo” may be unaware that Nemo and his friend Dory can be found in saltwater aquariums in the science area on campus.

The aquarium species include clown fish such as Nemo and blue tang such as Dory.

“I like the non-rare species because they are easy to take care of,” said Kim Kyker, biology and chemistry professor. “I feed the fish twice a week.”

The tanks house live coral as well, she said. The coral is cultivated and bought from local fish stores.

Kyker said OCCC’s three saltwater aquariums contain descendants of endangered coral reefs.

“The aquariums were here before I was,” she said. “When the person taking care of them retired, I took over.”

When it is time to change out the tanks, Kyker said, she will put in fresh water and simply add a packet of salt that is provided by the fish store.

She does not pay out of pocket for the supplies because there is a budget set by OCCC to help pay for all three aquariums.

“I believe the difference between freshwater and saltwater aquariums is color,” said Kyker. A saltwater aquarium can bring out the vividness in the fish’s color.

Kyker said she has observed many adults standing by the aquariums and watching the fish while they’re on the phone.

Also, she said, students will bring their children to the campus to show them the aquariums.

Engineering major Tonie Suarez said she’s a fan of the saltwater fish tanks.

“Every time I come here, I look at it and I think it’s really nice to have here at OCCC,” she said.

Student Sheeba George said the aquariums are beautiful. Her favorite fish is Nemo, the clown fish.

The three saltwater aquariums are located on the second floor of the Science, Engineering and Math Center.

One is across from the Math Lab, another is in the biological sciences lab and the third is in Kyker’s office.

For more information, contact Kyker at 405-682-1611 or

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