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Aquariums within Zoos

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by RatioTile, 3 Mar 2020.

  1. RatioTile

    RatioTile Well-Known Member

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    I’ve noticed the trend in Europe is that a lot of zoos have aquariums buildings within them, treating them as just another building in the zoo, just like a reptile house or bird house, as opposed to the US, Canada, Japan, and Australia, which tend to separate zoos and aquariums in different institutions, with the zoo and the aquarium in a major city being unaffiliated with each other. Are the aquariums within zoos smaller than aquariums that stand alone as their own institutions? Why is it the trend in Europe to have aquariums inside zoos, besides Lisbon, Nausicaa, Barcelona, and Valencia, which are massive standalone aquariums?
     
  2. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    I've found that aquariums within zoos usually tend to be smaller than stand-alone aquariums, with a few exeptions noted (Toledo...).
     
  3. lintworm

    lintworm Well-Known Member

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    The size of an aquarium very much depends on the zoo in Europe, but there are multiple that can easily rival standalone aquariums, if not always in size, but often in species numbers. Zoo Berlin and Stuttgart have some of the most species-rich aquariums in the world. There are also many zoos which have only a small aquarium (Duisburg or Zurich). I would say there are three main types of aquarium around in European zoos. Overall aquariums in zoos seems mostly a tradition in the Dutch and German speaking part of Europe, with e.g. very few integrated aquariums present in France, S Europe, E Europe, Scandinavia and to a lesser extent the UK.

    1. Historical aquariums: There is a long tradition of aquariums in European zoos and the oldest still in existence are over a hundred years old. Prime examples are Zoo Berlin, Antwerp, Artis Amsterdam & Leipzig. These are historical buildings which almost look like museums and they mostly have many smaller aquariums, with few large ones.

    2. Aquariums of the 60s -80s. These largely follow the same design as the historical aquariums, with a strong focus on many smaller tanks, which means high diversity and relatively small tanks. Prime examples would be Stuttgart, Cologne & Basel. Both these and the historical aquariums often combine the aquarium section with a reptile/amphibian/invertebrate section. Buildings are a lot more functional though, with lots of lovely concrete.

    3. "mega aquariums". These are probably the rarest and I can think of only two good examples: Burgers' Zoo and Diergaarde Blijdorp. These aquaria focus on immersion, have few, but large tanks. Both these aquaria hold approx. 8 million liters of water, which is less than the real biggies like Valencia and Georgia Aquarium, but more than most others.
     
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  4. aardvark250

    aardvark250 Well-Known Member

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    And then there's Dallas World Aquarium, a zoo within an aquarium.

    There are some zoo in Asia with aquarium, but not many. I know Zoo Negara has a aquarium as well as Higashiyama zoo.
     
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  5. Batto

    Batto Well-Known Member

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    The Tropen-Aquarium at Tierpark Hagenbeck could be considered for this category as well. Rotterdam, too?
     
  6. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Although this has changed in recent years, traditionally aquariums in the USA were located on a coastline (or occasionally a large lake as in Shedd Chicago or a large river as in Albuquerque). Most of them were on one of the oceans, either Pacific ocean on the west coast or Atlantic ocean on the east coast. Assuming this trend is carried over to other continents, there are lots of countries in Europe that are not on an ocean so may not see an aquarium as an appropriate institution? This is my hunch anyway.
     
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  7. Coelacanth18

    Coelacanth18 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Several zoos in the US have aquariums within the zoo - Point Defiance, Pittsburgh, Toledo, Brookfield, Indianapolis, Omaha, and (until recently) Houston are examples off the top of my head - but whether they are bigger or smaller than stand-alone aquariums might be a hard call. There is a wide size spectrum for both zoo aquariums and stand-alone aquariums here; some zoo aquariums are larger than many stand-alone aquariums, but others are tinier than most stand-alone aquariums. That being said, the largest stand-alone aquariums in the US are definitely bigger than any zoo aquarium.

    Edit: Omaha's zoo aquarium has been cited as having 1.2 or 1.3 million gallons, so by that metric of size it would rank along the second-highest tier of stand-alone aquariums... but would still fall far behind Georgia (10 million+) and Shedd (5 million+) and somewhat behind National (Baltimore) and Monterey Bay (both 2-3 million).
     
    Last edited: 5 Mar 2020
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  8. TinoPup

    TinoPup Well-Known Member

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    I've been to Omaha, and theirs could definitely be a stand-alone aquarium, and quite a good one at that.

    Turtle Back Zoo in NJ has a small aquarium. If you put together their different aquatic areas you could make an alright stand-alone (they also have sea lions, a ray and shark touch tank, a sea turtle rehab center, and river otters).
     
  9. Brum

    Brum Well-Known Member

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    Surely Wroclaw qualifies as well? I'm talking Afrykarium, not the smaller, original aquarium building.
     
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  10. Gondwana

    Gondwana Well-Known Member

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    In the United States zoo aquaria seem to be most common in the Midwest. In addition to the ones already listed, there are aquaria at Minnesota (Discovery Bay), Como Park (Aquatic Animals; currently being renovated), Milwaukee (ARC), John Ball, Columbus (Shores), and Cincinnati (Manatee Springs), and formerly at St. Louis.

    I agree with @Coelacanth18 and @TinoPup that Omaha is big enough to be a standalone. Pittsburgh is also very good, though I think the attached marine mammal zone could have been done better. Toledo is the only US zoo I can think of that has a historic aquarium.
     
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  11. lintworm

    lintworm Well-Known Member

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    Yes Wroclaw and Hagenbeck would fit this description as well.
     
  12. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    And Brookfield. I wouldn't call Milwaukee's AARC an aquarium.
     
  13. Gomphothere

    Gomphothere Well-Known Member

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    It is perhaps worth mentioning that the oldest continuously operating aquarium in the U.S., the NY Aquarium, while always at a separate site has been managed and operated by the same organization as the Bronx Zoo since 1902 (the WCS, formerly the NYZS).