RE: NANFA-- Newport Aquarium

Jay DeLong (
Sat, 30 Sep 2000 20:01:04 -0700

> Jay-
> I missed you by 2 days (I was there on Saturday).
> I live in Lexington, which is about 90 miles away, so its easy to go.

Maybe next time, Geoff!

> There are several tanks that have acrylic tunnels, also including
> an amazon
> tank and a reef tank. I find the tunnels a bit dis-orienting, especially
> if I move my head. The plastic acts as a lens and the display shifts a
> bit. At the end of the shark tunnel there is a section of
> acrylic that you
> walk on and look down into the water. THat was pretty neat, but my 2 year
> old wouldn't walk on it at first

Same here. I thought I was stepping off into the water! Same with the
walkway over the alligator display.
I wasn't as bothered by the distortion you mention. The exhibit was just so
amazing-- that they could even design something like that. The Seattle
Aquarium has a dome tank, but the glass isn't clear and is lined with
braces. The Newport's acrylic walls are invisible, creating a really
amazing effect.

> The aquarium has only 1 tank with natives in it, which was a bit
> dissappointing. It did have a nice bunch of southern red bellied dace,
> though.

That tank didn't have the names of its fish displayed, but those southern
redbelly dace sure were attractive. I remember it also had Lythrurus ardens
and I think Luxilus chrysocephalis and Catostomus commersoni. Maybe the
next person there can correct me :-)

You're forgetting the large Mississippi River display with the paddlefish
(among other fishes)! Then there was the tank with that awesome alligator
snapping turtle with the swimming sunfish snacks!

Some other tanks also didn't show the names of the fishes in them. For
example, there was nothing next to the electric eel tank to tell visitors
what the fish was or anything about them. And the paddlefish tank said
there were channel catfish in it, and I'm pretty sure it had blue catfish
and brown bullheads, too.

I don't want to come across as being too critical. Since it only opened
last year, they may still be finishing a few things. This is easily among
the best aquaria on the continent.

Jay DeLong
Olympia, WA

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