Re: Speaking of Public Aquariums... Was "Re: NANFA-- Newport Aquarium"

Fri, 6 Oct 2000 11:48:39 -0500

They were actually setting up for a wedding reception as I was leaving. The
floor layout contains six "fingers". Only one has Natives in it. Two are
being used for the Amazon exhibit and the rest are for Tropical and
Saltwater fish. They also have a very large reef tank located in the center
of the main floor. Only one or two tanks had any kind of decoration other
then the fake rock backgrounds and this was usually limited to a piece of
wood. I wish I lived closer, I would volunteer to take on a tank. It's too
bad they can't get some of the larger LFS's in Chicago to volunteer to take
on a tank or two. Even if they where to focus on tropicals it would improve
the overall appearance of the displays. Has NANFA, as an organization, ever
thought of taking on the task of maintaining tanks in public aquaria as a
volunteer project? Maybe if they where to approach places like the Shedd,
and offer to take on setting a tank up, they might be taken up on it. If it
were a concerted effort then people like me could help out as we would not
have to worry about the whole project. Only helping as much as we can. I
mean I could come down for a day and help out but by myself a day is
worthless. With several people then a larger project can be undertaken.
Just a thought.


I think that about 1/4 of the non-oceanarium is devoted to fish of
the Great Lakes area. This is a sizeable share. I agree that the fish
tanks are dated and unnatural. It would be difficult to totally change
their displays.

The Paddlefish display is truly sad. There were planaria in some
tanks. Some tanks are overcrowded with fish and others with untrimmed

They do have a tall "show" type display for darters which would
have been better in a "stream" type display.

The Shedd Aquarium has been under the direction of commercially
minded individuals (rather than scientific/conservation folks). The
inevitable results is that the "wow" factor has increased but the quality
has decreased (at least in the dedicated aquarists' eyes). They even let
people rent out the place for private parties. Imagine a wedding reception
with a colossal reef display in the background.

They do have a large cadre of dedicated volunteers and they do
make an effort to keep their specimens healthy. Some of the specimens are
just awesome. A four foot Black Ghost Knife fish, gigantic pacus, foot
long clown loaches, etc. They were working on converting one section over
into a massive realistic Amazon habitat.

All I can conclude is that there is some improvement but it will
never be outstanding.


/"Unless stated otherwise, comments made on this list do not necessarily
/ reflect the beliefs or goals of the North American Native Fishes
/ Association"
/ This is the discussion list of the North American Native Fishes Association
/ To subscribe, unsubscribe, or get help, send the word
/ subscribe, unsubscribe, or help in the body (not subject) of an email to
/ For a digest version, send the command to
/ instead.
/ For more information about NANFA, visit our web page,