An Enquirer.com Special Section FRIDAY, MAY 14, 1999
Hours, prices, and other information were current at time of publication and may have changed.

shark

THE AQUARIUM
- Introduction
- Going there
- The murals
- The music
- Shop and Eat
- Beginnings

THE EXHIBITS

- World Rivers
- Shore Gallery
- Touch Pool
- Bizarre & Beautiful
- Dangerous & Deadly
- Riverbank
- 'Gator Bayou
-Amazon Rain Forest
- Coral Reef
- Jellyfish Gallery
- Kingdom of Penguins
- Ray Nursery
- Repopulation
- Surrounded by Sharks

THE STAFF

- Staff and keepers
Oceanic Adventures Newport Aquarium] [Building image]
Amazon Rain Forest
Enter the tunnel and look up for a fish-eye's view of the world's biggest river

        The Amazon River contains more water than any river in the world. More water than the Mississippi, Nile and Yangtze rivers combined. It seems only natural that the Amazon section (it's a tunnel) would be large, and it is.

        The perspective here is from the bottom looking up as visitors get a fish-eye view of life in the Amazon River.

        There is the chance of seeing a Silver Arowana shoot toward the surface before jumping high out of the water. These fish reach high for insect prey.

        No, this is not Dangerous & Deadly. No, that is not a piranha. It is a Black Finned Pacu, a more docile vegetarian often mistaken for the carnivorous predator.

        Rocky walls and tree roots make up this river backdrop as 1,100 fish swim above the sandy substrate. River-dwellers south of the equator are different from those in North America. Evidence lies in the Amazon section.

Origins
        All the fish in this area are native to the world's second longest river, the Amazon. The river winds 4,000 miles through Peru, Bolivia, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and Brazil. No bridge crosses the Amazon river.

How big do they get?
        Red-Tail Catfishes can reach 44 inches. A Silver Arowana will grow to 39 inches. A Black Finned Pacu will grow to 40 inches. Festivums can reach just more than 3 feet in length, so do Green Severums.

Costs
        Four hundred of the Amazon's smaller fish were shipped to Newport at a cost of $10,000.

What fish eat
        Red-Tail Catfishes feed on fruits, crabs and occasionally small fish. A large Silver Arowana will eat other fish while a smaller one will stick to waterfleas and mosquito larvae. Black Finned Pacus eat vegetable matter. Festivums dine on mosquito larvae and limited supplies of vegetation and grain. Green Severums eat a wide variety of live food.

What you don't see
        Keeping the tanks clean throughout the aquarium is a time-consuming task. But thanks to volunteer divers, the work will be accomplished each day. Through the newly-formed Volunteer Dive Program, four local divers each will spend up to eight hours a day performing routine maintenance, such as cleaning the acrylic and gravel, rearranging vines and other decor, and feeding the animals.

Exhibit by the numbers
        117,000:

        gallons of water

        1,100: fish

        321/2: feet of acrylic tunnel

        10: feet Silver Arowana can jump to catch prey

        1: time a day keepers clean the acrylic

Stars of the Tank
        Silver Arowana: The Silver Arowana has been spotted jumping high out of the water to snatch prey from tree limbs over the Amazon. Typically, the prey are unsuspecting insects flying over the river's surface.

        Black-Finned Pacu: A food favorite of people in the Amazon region, the Black-Finned Pacu is often mistaken for a piranha. Unlike the aggressive carnivore, the Pacu uses its teeth for munching vegetables.

        Red-Tail Catfish: Set apart from other catfish by its bright, rosy tail, the Red-Tail Catfish feeds on fruits, crabs and occasionally small fish in the Amazon.

        Festivum: Festivums can both swim in groups and be territorial. Females spawn on flat rocks and leaves. It is difficult to distinguish the genders of Festivums except during spawning when the male has longer fins.

        Green Severum: Green Severums are choosy when selecting mates. They are unusual in that both parents take care of the young.



The Tristate is Goin' Fishin'
Going to the Aquarium
Murals bring seascapes to life
Music sets the mood for 16 exhibits
Shop, eat and watch a movie
The making of an aquarium
World Rivers
Shore Gallery
Touch Pool
Bizarre & Beautiful
Dangerous & Deadly
Riverbank
'Gator Bayou
- Amazon Rain Forest
Coral Reef
Jellyfish Gallery
Kingdom of Penguins
Ray Nursery
Repopulation
Surrounded by Sharks
Meet the staff and keepers

Copyright 1999 The Cincinnati Enquirer, a Gannett Co. Inc. newspaper.
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