Posts Tagged 'blacktip reef update'



Blacktip Reef Update: Habitat Creation

We cannot wait for our new exhibit, Blacktip Reef, to open in summer of 2013! This coral-filled exhibit, replicating an Indo-Pacific ocean habitat, will feature 15 exciting species including blacktip reef sharks, reticulated whiptail rays and ornate wobbegong sharks. It will also be the new home for some of our most beloved animals, including our 400-pound green sea turtle Calypso and zebra sharks Zeke and Zoe. Guests will be able to experience this lively reef from many vantage points, including a new floor-to-ceiling pop-out viewing window that allows you to virtually step inside the exhibit.

It’s a long journey to opening day. Between animal transports, exhibit demolition, new construction and habitat fabrication, there are a lot of updates as we get closer to this summer. As we continue to build the future home of Blacktip Reef, get the latest on what’s new right here on our WATERblog!

While our construction crew is busy renovating the 200,000-gallon exhibit space for Blacktip Reef, designers and contractors are hard at work creating exact replicas of corals found in the Indo-Pacific. Their primary goal is to ensure that everything from habitat fabrication to assembly and installation is held to the highest standard of authenticity. Watch this video to see the team in action:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0OlzqnatA8s]

The process of designing and building an expansive reef habitat for our animals is both a science and an art! Exhibitors spent months researching the species of coral found in Indo-Pacific reefs, then creating molds and hand-sculpting each piece of rock coral. Our team has to create corals that look real and are also completely safe for our animals.

Why not use real corals for our new exhibit?

Live corals require constant and intense amounts of light and take years to grow. Artificial corals are easier to maintain and repair over the years. Additionally, by crafting each piece of coral that will go into our new exhibit, designers have complete control over the look and shape of Blacktip Reef.

The end product will be a colorful and rich marine habitat perfect for both our animals and our guests to explore and enjoy!

Stay tuned for more Blacktip Reef updates! 

Animal Updates – March 1

Between our Baltimore and Washington, DC, venues, more than 17,500 animals representing 900 species call the National Aquarium home. There are constant changes, additions, and more going on behind the scenes that our guests may not notice during their visit. We want to share these fun updates with our community so we’re bringing them to you in our weekly Animal Update posts!

Check our blog every Friday to find out what’s going on… here’s what’s new this week!

Batfish surgery

An orbiculate batfish currently being cared for at our Animal Care Center (ACC) is recovering nicely after being surgecially treated for a lump on his side.

The batfish is one of the many animals we have currently undergoing quarantine before being placed in our Blacktip Reef exhibit! As soon as staff noticed the small mass, they began doing a variety of diagnostic tests, including aspirations , cultures and ultrasounds to try and determine the cause.

Once the mass began to grow, the decision was made by animal health staff to remove it surgically.

batfish surgery

We’re happy to report that the fish did well throughout surgery and a 1.5 x 1.5 cm lump was identified and removed. The cyst was sent to our partners at John’s Hopkins to further investigate the cause. The batfish is being treated with pain medication and antibiotics and is has “recovered swimmingly!” After being housed alone for immediate recovery, he is now back with other fish and his scar is barely noticeable!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESws3rkYEh4]

As you can imagine, surgery on such a fragile and small animal takes patience and precision! We’re lucky to have such a dedicated and talented team to provide the best care for our animals!

We’ll be sure to keep you updated on the condition of our batfish and be sure to tune in next week for another update! 

Blacktip Reef Update: Acrylic Installation

We cannot wait for our new exhibit, Blacktip Reef, to open in summer of 2013! This coral-filled exhibit, replicating an Indo-Pacific ocean habitat, will feature 15 exciting species including blacktip reef sharks, reticulated whiptail rays, and ornate wobbegong sharks. It will also be the new home for some of our most beloved animals, including our 400-pound green sea turtle Calypso, and zebra sharks Zeke and Zoe. Guests will be able to experience this lively reef from many vantage points, including a new floor-to-ceiling pop-out viewing window that allows you to virtually step inside the exhibit.

It’s a long journey to opening day. Between animal transports, exhibit demolition, new construction, and habitat fabrication, as well as the acquisition of new animals, we’ll have a lot to update you on leading up to next summer. As we continue to build the future home of Blacktip Reef, stay tuned to learn about new changes here on our WATERblog!

Our construction team has been very busy over the last few months building our new Blacktip Reef exhibit!

To give visitors a 160 degree panoramic view of our new Indo-Pacific reef and its inhabitants, the Aquarium had to install a 28 foot acrylic window in one piece. Installing a window of this size proved to be quite a challenge. Our biggest hurdle? Getting the large piece into the building!

Watch this video to see the acrylic piece be lifted into the building and installed into the exhibit:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZ7iKzTNDEo]

To fit this large piece into the exhibit, the construction crew had to remove a large exterior window and use crane to lift it two stories.

After being pulled into the building, the acrylic then had to be lowered down one story to be properly installed into the exhibit space.

This new floor-to-ceiling look out area will give visitors the opportunity to step into the reef, experience the vibrant coral and get close to the diverse array of animals!

An artistic rendering of the floor-to-ceiling pop-out window

An artistic rendering of the floor-to-ceiling pop-out window.

Stay tuned for more Blacktip Reef updates! 

Animal Update – September 7

Between our Baltimore and Washington, DC, venues, more than 17,500 animals representing 900 species call the National Aquarium home. There are constant changes, additions, and more going on behind the scenes that our guests may not notice during their visit. We want to share these fun updates with our community so we’re bringing them to you in our weekly Animal Update posts!

Check our blog every Friday to find out what’s going on… here’s what’s new this week!

Animal transports completed in preparation for Blacktip Reef! 

All of our animals have been moved from Wings in the Water so that renovations can begin on the exhibit space! A tarpon and hogfish were moved to their new home within the Aquarium, the Atlantic Coral Reef exhibit. On Monday, our team moved Zeke, Zoe and Calypso to their temporary home behind-the-scenes in our animal care facility.

Calypso getting ready for the big move on Monday!

Additionallythe lionfish habitat next to Wings in the Water was permanently broken down. Our lionfish were given to the Newport Aquarium in Kentucky. The Sargassum triggerfish, queen angelfish, spotfin butterflyfish and blue tang from this tank can also now be seen in our Atlantic Coral Reef exhibit. 

A staff member carefully cleaning out the lionfish reef tank

For more on our changes in preparation for Blacktip Reef, check out our recent update!

New additions in Maryland: Mountains to the Sea exhibit 

Black sea bass, black drum and winter flounder fish have been added to our Atlantic Shelf gallery.

Stop by our Atlantic Shelf tank to get a good look at our new black sea bass!

We have a new baby! 

We are so proud to welcome a new addition to the Upland Tropical Rain Forest exhibit – a Linne’s two-toed sloth was born in late August! The baby is the first born to Ivy, one of the four sloths in the exhibit, and is the third sloth born at National Aquarium.

Can you spot the baby sloth? Ivy and her new infant are free roaming the Rain Forest exhibit and will be particularly good at hiding in the trees for at least a few weeks.

To find out more about our newest addition, click here.

Be sure to check back every Friday to find out what’s happening!


Sign up for AquaMail

Like us on Facebook!

Twitter Updates