Supervisor Bill Reilich recently joined town and library board members to unveil the new paludarium display in Greece Public Library, 2 Vince Tofany Blvd., Rochester.
A paludarium is a part aquarium, part terrarium ecosystem with plants such as Malaysian driftwood, moss and orchids. This biological community of interacting organisms and their physical environment are becoming popular as a tool to teach biology and earth science.
Being the first of its kind in the area, the library’s paludarium features technology that allows it to simulate weather events, including lightning storms, fog and rain. It holds 350 gallons of water and features a waterfall on each side.
The paludarium contains several specimens, including freshwater fish from Lake Malawi in Africa. A unique feature of these fish is that they are mouthbrooding, meaning the mother fish protects her young by keeping them in her mouth. The paludarium is an ideal habitat for mouthbrooding fish, as the terrarium elements provide hiding spaces for the mother fish.
The library’s new paludarium was previously an aquarium. Most of the fish that were in the aquarium now live in the paludarium. A few of the larger fish that were in the aquarium — including the fish that library visitors named Nemo — were moved to ABC Aquarium.