Hi, it’s Robert Clendon, Conservator at Te Papa.
After all the sewing up, we need to prepare the Squid for long term display.
This involves draining the water that it’s sitting in at the moment. This will remove any residual formalin that is not bound up into the animal. That is fixed in with its tissues.
We’ll then slowly start to pump in the long term storage solution which is a mixture of 20% monopropylene glycol, 80% water and a biocide. The biocide we’ll use is a glycol ether which will stop bacteria, moulds or fungi growing. Calcium carbonate will also be added to maintain the correct pH range. Samples will be taken about once a week to check on the pH and if there is any biological activity within the tank, we would put in more biocide.
The display tank has been designed so that if it is needed, we can attach a low velocity pump fitted with a filter. This is so we can remove any cloudiness in the solution and will help to keep it clear.
We can also drain the entire contents of the tank if necessary and completely replace the solution.