The man behind the aquatic life at the Greater Cleveland Aquarium

Posted at 1:57 PM, May 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-08 13:57:24-04

The vast array of aquatic life at the Greater Cleveland  Aquarium is impressive for an aquarium that just celebrated its five year anniversary this past January.

Ray Popik is a Cleveland native who was able to get back to his roots after years working out-of-state as an aquarist when the Greater Cleveland Aquarium open in January 2012.

Most of the aquatic life such as the sharks and sting rays were either recently born when they arrived at the aquarium or were born at the aquarium.

Popik's job as a Senior Aquarist is anything but routine. Each day something different happens based on the behaviors of aquatic life, cleaning the tanks, transferring fish from one tank to another and handling expected situations.


Popik oversees 50 exhibits throughout the aquarium. His mornings start with feedings of the public's favorite: the stingray touch pool. He sources a majority of the food from local restaurants and fish suppliers.

"The fish want to eat