9 Takeaways from the AALSO Symposium

I recently attended the 2014 AALSO Symposium in Las Vegas as a product specialist for Flex-A-Seal in order to demonstrate the effectiveness of our new metal bellows cartridge seal designed specifically for the aquarium industry.

I’ve worked in the aquarium and zoo industry for over 12 years, so I understand the huge role that quality engineering plays in sustaining aquatic life. I was so excited to have the opportunity to meet others from the industry and learn even more about what an important—and complicated—job it is to control and care for the environments of these animals.


Here are 9 facts about the aquarium industry I learned from AALSO:

  • Life Support Operators must possess a broad range of electrical, mechanical, biological, HVAC, hydraulic, chemistry and physics theory in order to successfully keep their animals alive and healthy.
  • A majority of life support operators are interested in developing their skills as a pump mechanic due to the frequency of failures that occur within their facilities and the costs associated with out sourcing the repairs.
  • There are currently only 19 Walrus in captivity in the United States and only 50 worldwide due to their unique requirements and the challenges they present to Animal Care and Veterinary staff.
  • A common cause of fish fatalities is dissolved oxygen saturation which can be a direct result of a mechanical seal failure.
  • Many LSS Operators found their way into the industry by chance.
  • For large recirculating aquarium systems, the target turnover time is about an hour in order to keep up with the biological loading from the animals in the water.
  • The aquarium industry has contributed to the wastewater and drinking water industries with developments in denitrification technology.
  • AALSO encourages the disclosure of “trade secrets” to help all facilities maintain the highest level of animal care possible.
  • The AALSO Level 3 operators’ certification is an incredibly difficult industry examination with a historical pass rate of 10%.

Learning more about the industries we serve helps Flex-A-Seal continue to innovate and create new products that help our customers improve the way they do their jobs. Click Here to learn more about our new RBX cartridge seal for aquarium applications.