Fish friends swim into the library

THERE’S a little bit of the Bendigo Creek in the Bendigo Library, with a new aquarium unveiled last week.

At over three meters long, the tank is home to native aquatic plants and fish, such as the southern pygmy perch, the Murray Darling rain fish, and the dwarf flathead gudgeon.

The display is part of conservation efforts to re-introduce native species to local waterways through the Re-Imagining Bendigo Creek plan.

CEO of Goldfields Libraries, Mark Hands, said the aquarium provides a glimpse beneath the creek’s surface.

“The Dja Dja Wurrung cared for these lands for over 60,000 years, and the creek flourished with native animals and vegetation,” he said.

“When the gold rush came in the 1850s, everything changed. The landscape was devastated. And then, with urbanisation, we’ve seen even more loss of biodiversity.”

“Our aquarium is a snippet of the bigger project to heal Bendigo Creek. It’s a mini ecosystem, letting everyone see what our beautiful creek was, and will be again”.

Bendigo Library manager Robin Pearson said the aquarium will also serve as an educational tool.

“The tank will live in our children’s area, so we’re looking forward to using it for activities that support kids to be curious about nature, its history, and to help them understand and celebrate First Nation’s culture,” he said.

“Of course, it’s not just for kids. We’ll also look into programming for adults and young adults. And we’re hoping it’ll draw in those interested in fishing or nature who may not otherwise visit the library.”

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