|Corals in production in the Aquarium's Charlestown studio|
|An assortment of corals that will appear in the Giant Ocean Tank|
|Peter Brady in the coral production studio.|
Brady and his staff are charged with making 1500 smaller pieces of coral, like the ones below. A company in California is making another 1600 pieces. These vibrant fire, brain, lettuce and star corals (just to name a few) will blanket the reef structure in the big tank, providing a brilliant backdrop to the rays, sharks, turtles and schooling fishes and hiding spaces for hundreds of other fish.
Each of these pieces were cast from real coral. The intricate mold is then filled with colored acrylic and allowed to harden. What comes out is a life-like piece of coral that you could find on a health Caribbean coral reef!
|A piece of brain coral made in Brady's studio|
|Rather than hand painting each coral, color pigment was mixed right into the material used in casting each coral. This will result in brighter colors in the big tank, which won't fade when divers scrub algae off its surface.|
They are also fabricating large pieces of coral that will provide the form of the big reef and anchor smaller, ornamental pieces. Creating these large pieces requires sculpting the piece from foam, making a mold with fiberglass and then carving out the styrofoam (so the pieces don't float in the big tank).
As soon as the windows are installed, Brady will start assembling the corals inside the tank. Everything looks good for the window installation to begin in a couple weeks. Construction is moving along right on schedule!