NANFA-- TN aquariums

Nicholas J. Zarlinga (
Tue, 30 Oct 2001 13:21:19 -0500

Sorry this is so late in posting but I just returned from my seven state,
2000 mile vacation where my wife and I visited three aquariums, Newport in
KY, Chatanooga and Gatlingburg just a few days ago! How ironic to see a
posting on this topic! Being in the aquarium profession, my wife and I
tend to view things a bit differently when it comes to public aquariums.
Her imput I find interesting because she sees things as more of an average
tourist rather than an aquarium hobbyist or a "professional aquarist". To
give you our take on the two aquariums in question, the best way that I
can describe it is that the Ripley's aquarium is a bit more sterile and
museum like. When I say this, I am referring to the fact that it does not
have the "living element" that Chat. does. There are no live plants in any
of the exhibits- even the terrestrial "jungle" plants are artificial.
Chat, on the other hand (as I am sure that you know) has more than just
the artificial exhibitry to look at. Chat seems to be more "living" to me.
The Ripley's institution is a very nice place and I was pleasantly
surprised to see how well designed (behind the scenes as well) it was. All
of the displays were immaculate (granted only one year in operation) and
the graphics were very good for public institutions. There is a bunch of
intereactions for the kids to play and I was impressed that there is even a
decent educational component (rare for a for profit institution) although
not as conservation (or natural history) oriented as Chat. All in all I
would recommend anyone who is in the area to take a visit to Ripley's. The
admission price is $15.95 per adult, a bit steep but all of the larger
public aquariums these days have a price very close to this. It ranks up
there with other larger public aquariums in size (100,000 sq. ft. plus) and
gallonage (1 million plus). One last note about Ripley's. Although my
wife and I agree that Chat is more in line with our taste, she was very
impressed with the colors in the displays at Ripley's. The artificial
coral displays were very colorful (to me sometimes a bit gaudy) but she
brings out a valid point that that is what the average visitor wants to see
and is impressed by-very colorful active displays.

This is my bottom line: Ripley's gives the visitor what they want to see
whereas Chat lets the visitor see how things really are.
Both are really good aquariums.

PS-Chat has an absolute dynamite temporary venemous animal display with
lots of cool venemous terrestrial and aquatic species!

Nick Zarlinga
Aquarium Biologist
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
216-661-6500 ex 4485

"Fish worship... is it wrong??" (Ray Troll)

Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2001 22:43:13 -0600
From: "D. Martin Moore" <>
Subject: NANFA-- Aquarium in Gatlinburg

What can you guys tell me about the aquarium in Gatlinburg? How
does it compare to Chattanooga??


Jackson, MS
- -----------
I remember how my great-uncle Jerry would sit on the porch
and whittle all day long. Once he whittled me a toy boat out
of a larger toy boat I had. It was almost as good as the first
one, except now it had bumpy whittle marks all over it. And
no paint, because he had whittled off the paint.

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