Posts Tagged 'reef'

2013 Re-cap: The Making of Blacktip Reef

This year, many of us here at the Aquarium had one thing on the brain - Blacktip Reef

From demolition to animal acquisitions, construction to animal introductions, countless hours of work from all of our departments went into the creation of this $12.5 million dollar exhibit!

As 2013 comes to a close, we’d like to take a moment to look back at how Blacktip Reef was made: 

Animal Transports

Before construction could begin on our new exhibit, the animals in our old Wings in the Water exhibit had to be safely removed!

Many of the animals that called Wings in the Water home, like our zebra sharks (Zeke and Zoe) and green sea turtle (Calypso) were moved behind-the-scenes, where they could patiently await the creation of their new home. Others were moved to other exhibits at the Aquarium or to other accredited institutions.

Want to see how we transport animals like our 500+ pound sea turtle? Check out our video:

Construction

After all the animals had been safely removed from the exhibit space and the necessary demolition was finished, the construction phase could begin!

Blacktip Reef‘s construction process included the installation of a 28 foot acrylic window and the individual placement of over 3,000 coral pieces, creating the perfect re-creation of an Indo-Pacific reef habitat.

Want to see how all of that coral was crafted by hand? Check out our video: 

Animal Introductions

The process of introducing animals into the exhibit began in early July, with the transport of Calypso!

Calypso

After Calypso and a few hundred fish had acclimated well to their new home, all 20 of our blacktip reef sharks were added to the exhibit.

In October, our last animals were introduced into the exhibit! Over the period of two weeks, we added three wobbegong sharks and a huge Napoleon wrasse!

national aquarium humphead wrasse

It has been an incredibly busy and rewarding year. From all of us here at the Aquarium, we’d like to sincerely thank everyone for their continued support!

Here’s how YOU can support the continued growth and evolution of our newest exhibit!

Animal Updates: July 26

blacktip reef update

Hundreds more tropical fish have been added to the exhibit! 

fish introduction BTR

This week, hundreds of medium and small-sized tropical fish were added to our newest exhibit, Blacktip Reef! This colorful, Indo-Pacific reef will soon be home to over 700 animals, including many species of shark (blacktip reef, zebra and wobbegong), rays and our 500+ green sea turtle Calypso!

Meet two of the species of pufferfish added to the exhibit this week:

White-spotted Puffer 

whitespotted puffer

White-spotted puffers are nocturnal – only leaving their staked territory within the reef to feed! Their diet consists of a large variety of hard-shelled prey such as mollusks and crab.

Orbicular Burrfish

Orbicular burrfish

The orbicular burrfish is also a nocturnal feeder. While they may look sweet, these fish have a mean bite! They’re mouth structures are built for crushing hard-shelled invertebrates.

Did you know? Both species of puffer, can take in water to inflate their bodies when threatened!

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


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