The pieces are coming together for the new aquarium at the Marathon Co. Public Library.
While it's still blocked off to the public, the tank is now up and has water and living rocks in it--rocks that have algae and other tiny organisms living on it to help clean the water.
"We're hopefully going to start getting some fish in this week," said library assistant Amy Ryan. "We also have living coral coming in, so this is going to be a living coral reef, which is really exciting."
Construction began in late October and should be completed by the end of the month or early December.
The 650 gal. aquarium is part of the library's under water-themed story time area for kids. It's both a fun new attraction and an educational tool. "Children can watch the fish and learn about saltwater habitats," Ryan said.
The project has been in the works since the beginning of this year. The library had hoped to be featured on the Animal Planet hit show, Tanked, which follows the company, Acrylic Tank Manufacturing, around the country as they build interesting aquariums. Unfortunately, producers passed, but the project still won't cost the library. ATM offered to design and build this one anyway, and is donating the fish. The glass frame was also donated by Crystal Finishing Systems in Schofield. And the majority of the $35,000 needed came from the estate of Phyllis Donner, a Wausau woman who died last year.
"For weeks, we saw the wall being torn out and then the boxes and the crates came in with the tank and the frame," Ryan said. "And the next thing you know, they're unwrapping the frame and putting up the tank and filling it with water. Every time we see something come together it starts to take shape and we can see what's going to happen and it's just going to be so exciting."