Most people have probably wondered why fish on different levels of the food chain peacefully coexist together in aquariums. Every day, workers do their best to keep the fish well-fed to prevent any wayward snacking, so even though giant sharks slice through the temperature-controlled waters, none of the smaller fish go missing. However, when the sharks revert back to their normal feeding frenzy habits, it can have dramatic results as seen this past week at Kobe’s Suma Aqualife Park.

Starting on April 27, Suma Aqualife Park kicked off their “Go-Go-Golden Week” event, welcoming tourists taking advantage of the long holiday. As part of the special event, the aquarium added 20,000 sardines to the main building’s large shark tank, allowing visitors a glimpse of their natural swarming behavior. Due to poor fishing conditions and high price, aquarium staff had been unable to increase the amount of sardines in the tank for eight years, adding even more excitement to this highly anticipated event.

▼   Happy sardines swimming around on April 25.

Kobe Aquarium Sardines Eaten by Sharks, Numbers Significantly Depleted in Two Days

However, on the morning of April 26, much to the horror of aquarium staff, the newly released sardines were quickly gobbled up by the sharks and large mackerels that inhabit the tank. It didn’t matter that the larger fish were fed three times the normal amount of food to make sure all bellies were full when the sardines made their appearance. When aquarium staff checked the tank again on April 27, they couldn’t believe their eyes.

▼   The same tank on April 27. The horror, the horror!

Kobe Aquarium Sardines Eaten by Sharks, Numbers Significantly Depleted in Two Days 2

Nagoyako Aquarium in Nagoya City had the exact opposite problem; the sardines weren’t threatened by the sharks and other large fish in the tank and stopped using their swarm defense mechanism, depriving patrons of this mesmerizing sight. Aquarium staff at Nagoyako then decided to add 15 Pacific bluefin tuna to the tank in order to “scare” the sardines into swimming together.

It seems like no matter where you are, it’s a tough life being a small fish in a big pond.

Source: Hachima Kiko