Supporting the Tennessee Aquarium’s Most Precious Assets - CAIRE Inc.
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AirSep Topaz Oxygen Generators Key in Ozone Generation for Beautiful and Healthy Environments for Aquatic and Semi-aquatic Animal Life

On the banks of the Tennessee River, the Tennessee Aquarium has pride of place along the downtown Chattanooga Riverwalk. Opened in 1992, the aquarium, which encompasses two buildings, draws thousands of schoolchildren and visitors each year to experience the rich biodiversity of the Southeast through a variety of exhibits tracing the path of water from the mountains to the sea.

Aside from being a major tourist attraction in the region, the aquarium and the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute have established a long-term commitment to focused expertise and restoration of freshwater ecosystems, helping people appreciate the need for environmental health in the region.

Key to creating a healthy ecosystem onsite at the aquarium is a facilities infrastructure that harnesses the power of ozone to ensure a healthy environment is sustained 24/7, 365 days a year, for the aquarium’s most important assets — its fish and wildlife.

Aquariums often use ozone generators to eliminate toxins, organic matter, and odors efficiently and safely from water to create healthy and more aesthetically pleasing aquatic habitats. The benefits of dissolved oxygen have long been a way to encourage fish growth and prevent disease.

Another benefit of ozone generation is the creation of a sustainable way for the aquarium to utilize, filter and recirculate water in their systems. This allows management of the system in a manner that reduces the need for water changes, actually reducing the overall need for water.

To support several main exhibits, the aquarium utilizes multiple AirSep Topaz PSA Oxygen Generators to generate feed gas, which supports the production of the ozone used as an antimicrobial agent.

Aquarium Foreman Les Lawrence shared that the Topaz units along with ozone generators were put into place about three years ago, replacing aging equipment.

“We needed to overhaul our equipment, and it was the right time to make a change to an AirSep system that was higher quality, easier to operate, and was backed by training from the distributor, which meant we could handle any routine maintenance needs going forward,” he said.

Based on aquarium needs, the Topaz was ideal for the application because of its reliability, energy efficiency, ease-of-use, and ability to deliver up to 95 percent oxygen concentration.

Topaz units can be found behind the scenes of the North American River Otter, Tennessee River, open air touch tank, and penguin exhibits.

In the Tennessee River exhibit, ozone is used to help manage the health of the water and animals it supports by controlling the parasite load through disinfection at the point of ozone injection. Ozone is highly effective with the aesthetic quality of water and provides the crystal clear experience you get when looking into the exhibits.

Two Topaz units support the open air touch tank exhibit with ozone. Visitors to this area get the opportunity to touch stingrays thanks to ozone generation injected with protein skimmers which rid the water of human waste that naturally comes off hands during interaction.

Another set of Topaz units are used to keep the water clear and healthy in the penguin exhibit, Penguins’ Rock, home to macaroni and gentoo penguins.

For more information about the Topaz or other AirSep oxygen generation equipment, please visit our contact us page at