PreparatoriumIn the Preparatorium, Museum and collection specimens are treated for conservation. Biological material must be treated in order to protect it for long-term storage. There are special treatment methods for individual groups of animals. In order to enable visitors to view animals in the dioramas and scenes, only animals found already dead are treated (dermoplasty) and exhibited. The skin, fur, or feathers remain intact and are pulled over an imitation body. But minerals and fossils, too, have to be prepared for exhibition (by being exposed, cleaned, and fixed in place, etc. before being placed in the glass case). In preparing minerals, we use not only mechanical tools and the ultrasonic tank, but also numerous chemical agents. Only then can crystals be carefully exposed to view.
The Museum of Nature is interested in finds of dead animals. They are needed for exhibitions and research. We are especially interested in small dead mammals (mice, dormice, bats, etc.) and birds. But other dead animals you may find can be reported to us. Phone: 0471/41 29 60/64 or E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Chemical Lab is equipped with a fume hood, a laboratory and analytical scale, lab tables, and the necessary chemicals to perform simple chemical tests and analyses. Fine preparatory work is performed here, too, including the final preparation of thin ground sections, minerals, fossils, and other exhibits. One example of fossil preparation is the plant cuticles from carbonized plant materials. To process micro-fossils, in part complicated physico-chemical treatment methods are necessary in order to isolate the tiny fossils from the rock in which they are encased. Special techniques are employed to isolate and identify the remains of even unicellular creatures from rock.
In the Mineralogical Lab, we have a mineralogical saw capable of cutting 20 cm into a specimen, a smaller formatting saw, and two electrical grinding plates for coarse and medium grinding. Other coarse work on rocks and minerals can be performed here.
The Workshop is equipped with equipment and tools needed to set up exhibits and perform maintenance tasks in the building. Our craftsmen, technicians, and electricians all use them.
The Seawater Desalination Plant
The room in which the water for the coral aquarium is filtered and treated is located in the Museum's basement. Saltwater from the aquarium on the first floor flows through PVC pipes into a collection tank where it is first subjected to mechanical treatment by means of filtration with Perlon wool. The water's salt content is regulated and maintained at a constant level through the addition of freshwater.
In this fashion, the water loss due to evaporation is also compensated. Furthermore, such substances as calcium are added (by means of a calcium reactor with carbon dioxide) which calcareous algae and corals consume. The main pump (with a nominal capacity of 30,000 liters per hour) then pumps the water from the collection tank into the 500-liter protein foaming plant three meters above it. This plant is the heart of the filter installation. The picture shows: The main and auxiliary pump and various accessories of the basement plant.
Part of the water enters into the refrigeration plant and, depending upon actual needs, into the activated carbon filter. Subsequently, the water is pumped into the aquarium where a difference in elevation of almost 10 meters between the main pump and the surface of the water in the aquarium has to be overcome. The picture shows: Reverse-osmosis equipment.
It is necessary to periodically replace some of the saltwater. The "seawater" is made by dissolving a special mixture of salts in pure freshwater (tap water) which was previously purified by means of reverse osmosis. The room also contains quarantine tanks connected to the seawater treatment plant by means of pipes. The picture shows: The calcium reactor fed with carbon dioxide.