Sparks, NV (KRNV & MyNews4.com) - Trader Dick's officially closed on Friday, and in order to continue renovations for the new Gilley's restaurant that would take its place, the fish in the iconic aquarium bar had to go. The Nugget wanted to the move for the little guys as stress free as possible.
It was game of fishy-in-the-middle when workers spent hours chasing down 30 fish inside the aquarium for their move to Scheel's fish tank. Fishing inside a fish tank is a lot harder than it looks.
"The fish know the tank,” says aquarium expert, Ron Bedera. “They've been in it so long. They know everywhere to hide."
Bedera has been working with aquariums for 20 years and says some fish are harder to catch than others.
"[It’s] catching the little guys, because they can get into every little crack, and the more we're in the tank, the dirtier we make the bottom- stirring up the silt and we can't see them," says Badera.
When they're caught, the fish are put into buckets with the same saltwater from their tank to help them acclimate during the ride over to Scheels.
Because being scooped up from your home is a stressful ordeal, some fish will be in quarantine before joining their new tank-mates.
"The smaller fish, which will be more stressed out, are going to go into a holding tank. And stay in what we call our sick bay. For probably a week,” says Bedera.
Jack Ross , the aquarium's caretaker of eight years, says he'll miss the fish, but is happy they're going to a better home.
"[The Trader Dick’s] tank here is 5,000 gallons, and the new home they're going to is 16,000."
It's an upgrade for the fish, and after this step, the transition will be easy.
“It's the same salt,” says Bedera. ”The filtration is similar. We have a lot of the same fish. So they'll go right back into their schools. And it will be a very good home for them. They'll spend 15, 20, maybe 30 more years over there.
The next step for the Nugget will be to demolish the aquarium, which is also a tall order as the aquarium is built around columns under interstate 80.