NANFA-- Continuing the Public Aquarium Discussion

Brian Haas (
Wed, 27 Mar 2002 16:32:11 -0600

While Sajjad has been off visiting the Toledo aquarium, I've been in New
Orleans on a high school band/choir trip. Much to my pleasure, the
Aquarium of the Americas was included in the itinerary (much to my
displeasure, though, collectin' in the bayou was not).

We were only allowed two hours to see the place (everyone but me was done
in less than 60 mins.), but I sucked those two hours for all they were worth.

The natives display has nice physical surroundings- a gravel footpath,
boulders making up the outsides of the displays, but I thought the
displays themselves were only moderately good. Species seen: paddlefish;
sturgeon; bluegill; rockbass; a gruesomely overstocked tank of channel
cats; largemouth bass; gar; flathead cats, and a few other large species
that I wasn't familiar enough with to deem worthy of remembering :) No
bowfin, surprisingly. Overall, I would've rather seem more biotyope tanks,
more nongame species, and fewer of the well-knowns that can be caught on
hook and line in most of the watersheds in America. I guess that's what we
have to sacrifice to get the boulders and gravel path.

Though I didn't take any mental notes on much else in the facility, I can
say that the only disease I saw was one discus with hole in the head like
you wouldn't believe. Notable exhibits were the Amazon display with the
same design as the Mississippi version, sea otters, a walk through tunnel
in the Caribbean reef, and a rather large collection of jellies.

Though I'm a tough critic, my visit was extremely enjoyable.

Travis Haas
Hazel Green, Wisconsin

At 09:04 AM 3/27/02 -0600, Sajjad wrote:
>Just returned from Toledo, OH (business trip). I took some time off to
>visit the Toledo Zoo and managed to visit it for a few hours, this past
>Sunday, before the freak snow storm hit. It's a very beautiful place.
>The Aviary is awesome. There were exhibits in which you could walk through
>a bio-type with birds flying around you.
>The Aquarium was even better (but I am biased towards fish anyway). IMHO,
>it's better maintained than the Shedd here. Each tank was beautifully
>aquascaped (but, I guess it is understandable that the piranha tank and
>the Arapaima tanks were not too aquascaped :). Lots of native fishes on
>display - brackish Fundulus sp in a correct biotype, sturgeon, huge black
>crappie, walleye (even a mention of the blue walleye in the blurb), a huge
>alligator snapping turtle, a four pound bluegill. They also have a
>walk-through display of the Amazon rainforest complete with pools with
>arrowana, cichlids, red-tail catfish, terrestrial birds that were fighting
>with each other, and a sloth but I didn't see it.
>There were some pretty rare fish in there - a seadragon, some fish which
>live at 1800' below, etc.
>Odd things: Angelfishes with neon tetras (and no neons to be seen, I
>wonder those angels seemed so full and happy :). Glass catfish and
>glassfish (Chanda ranga) in the same part of the display as the saltwater
>fish - probably for special care.
>If you are near Toledo, I highly recommend a visit.
>Sajjad Lateef
>NANFA - Chicago
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