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Newport Aquarium My Review of the Newport Auquarium KY

Discussion in 'United States' started by Moebelle, 8 Jan 2012.

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  1. Moebelle

    Moebelle Well-Known Member

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    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Even though it is considered a small aquarium, there is many mysteries that await you. The building consists of over 70 exhibits and 14 attractions. There are five acrylic tunnels that in total, are 200 feet in length. All in a million gallons of fun. The price is ridiculous and I can tell you now that even though the aquarium is a must see, I don't believe that $22 is what you should have to pay to go through the building in a half-an-hour to an hour. When entering, there are many large, life-sized, plastic sharks hanging from the ceiling. There is a hammerhead, a thresher, and a great white. To the right is an amazing 20ft tall Humpback whale surrounded by a wishing fountain where water pours out of it's white spots. I think the fountain used to hold horseshoe crabs. Once you're already to go you take an escalator down to get to the real deal. Also as you go through the building, look closely at the large paintings, there are 33's hidden in most of them. There is one on the oarfish in Dangerous and Deadly, one on an Octopus while exiting D&D, and the last one that I know of in hidden on a 30 ft great white shark at the exit of Surrounded by Sharks.

    The first attraction is called the World Rivers. Here it possible to go around the world as you view nine different rivers from five continents. The names of each themed tank are the following: Voyage from the Wenlock River in Australia, Mekong River in Thailand, Kentucky's Licking River! , South America, The Congo, and some other large African tank full of Frontosa Cichlids and a Mbu pufferfish. At the exit is a small tunnel featuring the Caribbean Cove featuring Lookdowns and grunts. Also see in World Rivers: Blind Cave Fish, Neon tetra, Cardinal Tetra, Discus Cichlids, Spotted gar, Altum Angelfish, Long-nosed Distichodus, Rainbow fish, Red-tail prochilodus, Dwarf gouramis, Striped headstander, Pumpkinseed sunfish, etc.

    Travel to the Florida Marshes, the Caribbean Reefs, The Flooded Craters, South America and Asia to see many different species rest aside in the Shore Gallery. There are 9 total tanks that feature fish that are unique in their own ways. Touch harmless creatures like Atlantic Horseshoecrabs, Tide Pool. Where guests can touch a Horseshoe Crab, a Whelk, a Spider crab or and a Sea Star. There is a Tidal Wave exhibit where a large wave is created for the animals. In here are triggerfish, flounder and wrasse. The last display features many tilefish that used to share with a baby rescued loggerhead sea turtle. I think the aquarium recently set him free. Like exiting from the World Rivers, there is also a small acrylic tunnel called the California Kelp Forest that is filled with large anemones, Wolf Eels, Swell Sharks and the large California Sheephead. Also see in the Shore Gallery: Four-eyed fish, Diamond moonfish, Mudskippers, Banded Archerfish, Diamondback terrapins, Up side-down catfish, Fiddler crabs, Silver pomfrets, French Angelfish, Hermit crabs, Caribbean spiny lobsters, Yellow tangs, Spotted green pufferfish, Echinoderms starfish, etc.

    At the Bizarre and Beautiful gallery, the name says for itself, it showcases 20 species of the world's most weird and wonderful aquatic animals, all in 12,000 gallons of water. This was renovated in 2010 the make it even crazier than ever. A Giant Pacific octopus has a newly renovated display that is a new multi-dimensional, 360 degree, fully see-through aquarium where it can demonstrate its amazing ability to squeeze into exceptionally small areas. Also see in the Bizarre and Beautiful Gallery: Pot-bellied seahorses, Striated frogfish, Yellow boxfish, Japanese spider crabs, Discus fish, Cardinal tetras, Percula clownfish, Razorfish, Sea cucumbers, Elephantnose fish, an Eyelash viper, Amazon leaf fish, Spotted garden eels, Flaming scallops, Grunt sculpins, Pacific Spiny lumpsuckers, Umbrella crab, Painted greenling, Slender-spined porcupinefish, and Deepwater burrfish.

    Beware of the danger that lies ahead of you some of the most feared and lethal animals in the wild, some that could even kill a full-grown horse. It is the Dangerous and Deadly gallery. There are 11 total displays featuring over 30 of the world's deadly species. Above the gallery are fake skeletons of divers that didn't make it through their journey. Also see in the Dangerous and Deadly gallery: an Electric Eel, Red Lionfish, Stonefish, Red-bellied Piranhas, Zebra moray eels, Thunder an Alligator Snapping Turtle, Gila monsters, Spotted wobbegong sharks, Power Blue Tangs, Pinecone fish, Humpback groupers, River rays, Musk turtles, Whitespotted bamboo sharks, a Tentacled snake, a Gaboon viper, a Florida Water Moccasin, etc.

    Turtle Town features 8 displays of small turtles and other species from around the world. All the way to the U.S. to the Amazon, and all the way over to Asia. Each exhibit is a bit too small for each species and needs major renovation. In Turtle Town, see: Ringed map turtles, a Red-eared slider, a Mudpuppy, a New Guinea snake-necked turtle, Pancake tortoises, a Matamata, and even Emperor scorpions.

    The Ohio Riverbank area is a 100ft long, open-topped, acrylic tank featuring fish and other wildlife native to the Ohio river. This exhibit is currently under renovation so they can use "new technologies" on the exhibit. I am confused why they would do this since this was always a superb exhibit to begin with. This exhibit isn't just for fish, but it is for rescued ducks like mergansers and mallards with only 1 foot. At the end of this hallway, is an exhibit for a solitary screech owl. Also see in the Ohio riverbank: Lake sturgeons, Bluegill, Long-ear sunfish, Smooth softshell turtle, Largemouth bass, Smallmouth bass, etc.

    Go "Down by the Bayou"-'DMB', and walk along the Gator Bayou exhibit that hosts six young American alligators that were added back on display after Mighty Mike, the largest alligator outside of Florida, came to the aquarium for a couple on months in 2011. You will walk on bridge where you can see through two large windows on the floor as the animals swim right below your feet. Don't worry for the people who are afraid to walk on the transparent glass, the aquarium drove a pick-up truck on it as a test. Also see in Gator Bayou: Blue catfish, an Alligator gar, Bluegill, Red-ear sunfish, and Eastern mosquitofish.

    The Frog Bog, that opened on Labor Day of 2008, features over 20 species of exotic frogs from around the world. This is a place recommended for kids as they can learn about amphibians even while climbing a large playset. There are three-foot-tall replicas of frogs that can sing and croak by a push of a button. There is even a “Frogger” game where you can do the controls as if you were actually in the game, by taking steps. Species in the Frog Bog: American Bullfrogs, African clawed frogs, Tomato frogs, Colorado River Toads, Tiger Leg Monkey Tree Frogs, Red-eyed tree frogs, Waxy Monkey Tree Frogs, Yellow-and-black, Dyeing, Blue and yellow, and Blue poison dart frogs, etc.

    Enter into the humid tropical atrium that is the Hidden Treasures of the Rainforest Islands that opened on May 29, 2004. Play along with the aquarium's cutest animals, the Asian small-clawed otters. The exhibit has two pools including one that is 8ft deep and is full of plants to make it look like a swamp with beautiful rockwork and many waterfalls. Ever wonder what it would be like to have a bird shoot just pass your head? Or have one crawl on your hand? Then enter Lorikeet Land. Buy nectar for $1(?) and hold out your hand and you might have at most 3 lorikeets on your arm. Along the side of this aviary is a 20ft long glazed exhibit with an underwater viewing. Of course, the enclosure is Temple themed, but it is not a bad exhibit at all. Sarah and Bubbles, the Burmese pythons love the exhibit, and they show it by the exploring the display most of the day. In the pool area is where Knife fish, Giant Gourami and Malaysian Painted River turtles hang out. Birds in Lorikeet Land: Laughing Kookaburras, Goldie's, Rainbow, Weber's, Ornate, and Swainson Blue Mountain Lorikeets.

    Walk under the Amazon Flooded Forest, that is a 32.5 feet long acrylic, 117,000-gallon fresh water tunnel. There are not just fish in here that make this is gallery exciting, but there is also long branches that go along in the tank, there are abandon wood pieces from "homes", there is even a sunken canoe, but the best part is that it has a green tone to it. Also featured in the Flooded Forest: Arapaima, Pacu, Red-tail catfish, Silver arowana, Golden arowana, Long-tailed river stingrays, Perch, etc.

    The fourth of the aquarium's acrylic tunnels is the 60,000 gallon Coral Reef. It features creatures from the Indo-Pacific reef that are full of color that brighten up this tank. The aquarium received bonnethead sharks in 2010 that were supposed to be in the shark tank, but they did not get along with the big guys, so they were moved here. Sunshine, a younger shark ray they received in 2009 is in this tank too. Also in the Coral Reef gallery: Yellow tangs, Powder blue Tangs, Clownfish, Whitemargin Unicornfish, Yellow-tailed snappers, Honeycomb Moray Eels, Groupers, Longnose Hawkfish, etc.

    The Jellyfish Gallery is described as the largest and the coolest jellyfish exhibit in the Midwest.It is a dark-lit, 2,000 sq ft room with music that is supposed to make it look and feel relaxing. There are over a hundred jellyfish representing all in 8 displays all in 1,700 gallons of water. There are 3, 360-degree tanks where there are knobs for you to turn. The knob changes the color of the exhibit, which also changes the color of the jellyfish. There is one exhibit where you can walk all way around and get pictures behind the jellies. Lastly there are four walls exhibits. This may be hard to explain but here's the coolest part about it. There is projector screen showing on a whole wall with moving jellies on it. When you and by "you" I mean your shadow hits the interactive jelly, it moves away into another directions. Jellies in the Gallery: Moon Jellies, West Coast Sea nettles, Spotted Jellies, Colored jellies, and Up side-down jellyfish.

    This 85-ft long tunnel surrounded by 385,000-gallons of salt water, is the main attraction of the building, Surrounded by Sharks. It is also homes to the aquarium's stars, Sweet Pea and Scooter, who are the also the stars of the only Shark Ray breeding program in the world. At the end of the tunnel, there is another transparent floor viewing that looks down unto an abyss where a Goliath Grouper spends most of it's time. There are over 700 total living species in this tank including Denver, the loggerhead sea turtle which will sadly never be freed. He has empty air space in his shell so that means he would be closer to the surface which means he would be an easier prey. He was also bit by one of his siblings at birth and his right, hind flipper(?) is chewed off a bit. Other important creatures of the tank: Sand Tiger sharks, Sandbar sharks, White-tip Reef sharks, Blacktip Reef sharks, Nurse sharks, and Zebra sharks, Southern Singrays, Honeycomb Whiptail Rays, Nassau groupers, Green moray eel named Meredith, Crevelle jacks, etc.

    Shark Central, opened in May 2006, allows you to have the most thrilling experiences of your life. You can actually touch about 12 species of sharks in a 5,000 gallon tank. Remember to always use the two-finger touch and if you have a kid, please control him/her. None of the kids listen and the parents always just let even toddlers just pick them up and splash the water around. I've even seen some parents put their babies' feet in the water. Here's a friendly tip to help touch Bruce, the black colored spotted gulley shark. Always stay back and when he passes you get him. He is the smartest one in the tank and knows how to avoid humans. Also do not splash, that does not help them think that your fingers are fish, it only scares them away. This area also comes with a hanging platform that you can sit on and find out hat shark you are by your wait. Before Shark Central was made, the area used to be a Stingray Nursery. Oh yeah, and watch out for the cutest one in the tank, a small-spotted catshark that is always trying to spit on guests. The one I would recommend petting is the guitarfish, their skin or whatever it is, feels like pure silk. Other touchable sharks in the tank: Port Jackson sharks, Lesser guitarfish, Pajama catshark,sharks, Puffadder shyshark, Small-spotted cat sharks, Leopard sharks, etc.

    This is the newest attraction and renovation to an exhibit, it opened to the public on March 26, 2011, it went from the Kingdom of Penguins to the Penguin Palooza exhibit. The original exhibit started out with 3 penguin species, king, gentoo, and chinstrap. When PP opened, two species were added, Southern Rockhopper penguins and 6 Inca Terns. Later on 11 Macaroni penguins. With having 5 penguin species in one display, the Newport Aquarium’s gallery the second most diverse collection of cold-weather penguins in the country behind Moody Gardens Aquarium in Galveston, Texas. There are many new features to the exhibit. There are many more seating opportunities with new complimentary back-supports. I don't really want to go into any show details because it was a bit cheesy. Anyways the exhibit has a larger pool, more steps, a very large Ice Wall on the sides of the exhibit with many holes for nesting for the terns, and the best part....after 4 o'clock each day, the LED lights come on and create a model or simulation of the Aurora australis, or the southern hemisphere’s version of northern lights. This was to give guests a chance to actually view them on their night time schedule. A gentoo hatched about a month ago and the last king that hatched was on Ash Wednesday of 2010. That is why they named her, Wednesday.

    That may be it for the bottom floor but you are not done yet. When you reach the top floor, it leads you to what the aquarium calls the Shark Top. This gives an overhead view of the Surrounded by Sharks tank. It is great to see the fins pop up as if you were looking out onto the actual ocean. There are also binoculars that look down into the tank so you can all of a sudden see a shark flash right by your eyes. And that is my review.:D

    Former Exhibits: These usually took place in the B&B gallery and were over a majority of the summer.

    May 12, 2001: Guardians of the Deep: A Shark Encounter: It featured a wide and diverse range of shark species in exhibits they wouldn't originally be in.

    April 11, 2003: Turtles – Journey of Survival: Features 23 species of turtles and tortoises from around the world.

    June 10, 2005: Summer of the Sharks: Featured a ton of shark species that were placed in almost every salt-watered tank around the building. This was also the day the aquarium received Sweat Pea.

    May 15, 1999 to May 2006: Ray Nursery: Now Shark Central, this was a touch pool tank where you could pet may species of stingrays.
     
    Last edited: 8 Jan 2012
  2. snowleopard

    snowleopard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Abbotsford, B.C., Canada
    Great review! Can you really see most of the aquarium in an hour?
     
  3. JBZvolunteer

    JBZvolunteer Well-Known Member

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    3 Nov 2011
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    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    It will be interesting what they put in Mighty Mike's Tank when he comes back to Grand Rapids for the Summer. I wonder if they will do the now common theme of putting a leucistic alligator on exhibit instead?
     
  4. Moebelle

    Moebelle Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    15 Jun 2011
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    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Thank you:). Actually every time I've been there, I've gone through it in no more than an hour. Also when I was finished I went back to the World Rivers exhibit, and walked through it without looking at anything in less than 5 minutes. It is that small.