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Aquatopia (Closed) Review of Aquatopia

Discussion in 'Belgium' started by vogelcommando, 28 May 2014.

  1. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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    Yesterday I went to Antwerp and before going to the zoo I visited - for the first time - another animal-attraction in this city. About 200 - 300 meters from the zoo, in a large building you can find Aquatopia, an aquarium which is housed in the building and covers 3 levels. After entering the building and having payed the entrance-fee you walk through a dark hallway into the first room being the Rainforest. From a small bridge you can view into some pond in which lots of fish are housed among them freshwater rays and chiclids. Against the wall more fish can be seen in aquariums and a special aquarium house a nice group of Pyranhas. When we walk further we come along some small tanks with invebrates ( terrestial ). Now we enter another room called the Submarine ( Duikboot ). Here we can find some strange shaped aquariums - tubes connected by tubes - and here we can observe stonefish ( seen ), octopus ( not seen ) and several other fishes.
    With an escalator we now go to the first floor and enter the Lab, a number of small aquariums used for breeding and quarantaine. On my visit it housed some Clownfishes, some corals and other sea-creatures. In a special room there is a classroom of education and an other area is a playing-space for smaller children ( with in the wall a beautifull aquarium ).
    The next section of Aquatopia is called the Mangroves and here an open-topped aquarium houses a lot of rays, batfishes, argusfishes and others. On the walls more smaller aquariums. The next room is the Swamp ( Moeras ) and here we go through a walk-through enclosure fro Green iguanas and turtles. In a room next to this walk-through there is another room for reptiles ( snakes, iguanas and tegus ) in open-topped enclosures.
    In a large room, decorated with artificial rocks, we find several beautifull coralreef-aquariums with loads of colorfull fishes most of which I don't know by name and several complete new to me.
    The next room we again reach by escalator and contains a large chiclid-aquarium with a large waterfall.
    The we get the impression of entering the large open beak of a shark ( well done ! ) and inside the shark another escalator brings us down to the sharktunnel. Here sharks, large groupers and sea turtles live in an enormous bassin. After the tunnel we can view the same enclosure by a large window. This window is in the restaurant so during eating and/or drinking you can view the movements of the fishes and turtles.
    The next ( and last ) escalator )brings us back to ground-level and from a bridge we can view in the sharktunnel-enclosure from above.
    By an hallway in prehistoric theme we now come into the souvenir-shop and by the exit of Aquatopia.
    Altogether a very nice aquarium, well looked after, with very nice species and the only critical note being that some of the aquariums were a little overfilled with fish.
    I will up-load some pictures in the Aquatopia Gallery.
     
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  2. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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    On Oct. 26 I visited Aquatopia for the second time this year ( in fact for the second time ever ) but this time in company of a real fish-expert ( devilfish ) and his sister. Little had changed since my last visit but even so I did see some new species and saw some which I didn't see the first time.
    The Octopus for example was visiable and several new coral-fish were new to me. 2 Shark-species ( the Bull shark and the Sickle-finned nurse shark ) entered the collection shortly after my first visit but also left it before my second visit so both species not seen.
    Devilfish also noted a very rarely seen species which I prop. hadn't noticed without him. He told me this species is very rare in captivity and a quick look at Zootierliste learned me that 2 species are kept currently in Europe. The Great torpedo ray is kept only in 1 collection in Italy and the Spotted torpedo ray at 5 collections. The animal at Aquatopia ( I only saw 1 specimen ) was signed only at Genus-level so I don't know which of the 22 known species was kept here ( maybe somebody can help - photos uploaded at the Gallary ) and is not mentioned on Zootierliste.
     
  3. devilfish

    devilfish Well-Known Member

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    Haha, thanks, but that's an extremely generous title ;)
    Thanks for a great day at both collections.
    We also saw the small group of cobia, which I'll add to ZTL.
     
  4. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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    3 Blacktip reefsharks arrived from Malta.
     
  5. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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    2 new species of Dart frogs entered the collection :
    Dendrobates tinctorius citronella
    Dendrobates terribilis
     
  6. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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    Just heared Aquatopia is gonna close in Jan. 2017 :(.
     
  7. Maguari

    Maguari Never could get the hang of Thursdays. Premium Member

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    That's a shame - a decent enough aquarium and a very nice line up of sharks when I was last there. (and so convenient if you're visiting the zoo!)
     
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  8. Hvedekorn

    Hvedekorn Well-Known Member

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    While not knowing anything about Aquatopia's economy, it doesn't really sound surprising to me. Aquatopia must have a very bad location given that the far majority of visitors who are near the central station in Antwerp and want to see animals will probably go to the zoo first, and when they find that the zoo also has an aquarium, they probably won't bother with paying entry for another one. I haven't been to Aquatopia (the one time I went to Antwerp, I only saw the zoo and didn't have time for more sightseeing afterwards), but because of the aforementioned reasons, I can't imagine the place attracting nearly as many guests as a centrally-locating aquarium would usually do.
     
  9. Vision

    Vision Well-Known Member

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    At least a little bit of good news; most of the collection's animals will still be visible across the road, in Antwerp Zoo! Over half of the species kept in Aquatopia currently will be moved to the Zoo, and for the bigger species they're looking for homes internationally (Nausicaa and Burgers' zoo are mentioned). In a video in following link we can see some of the animals are already being transported, including sea stars and lobsters.

    We adopteren dieren en verzorger Aquatopia | ZOO Antwerpen
     
  10. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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    Althrough I'm a regular visitor of Antwerp it was not untill 2014 that I "discovered" this Aquarium ( see my first post ) and I think it's a real pitty that it now will be closed :(.
    Last week I paid my third and last visit to Aquatopia and tried to make a last inventory of it. Because Aquariums in general are not good / bad / very bad in up-dating their signs I'm sure I've missed some species and have seen species which were not signed
    Now I will make a list of the species I've seen and the ones I didn't see but which were signed ( marked as ( - ). Because the size of the collection I will make a kind of mini-serrie of this visit and will start with the first room, part of the so-called Jungle:
    - Arowanna
    - Red-bellied pacu
    - Vermiculate stingray
    - Ripsaw catfish
    - Leporinus fasciatus
    - Oriental fire-bellied toad
    - Dendrobates tinctorius citronella
    - Dendrobates terribilis
    - Dendrobates leucomelas
    - Agalychnis callidryas
    From most species I also took photos which can be found in the Aquatopia- Gallery - Belgium.
    Also made some small video-clips like this one of this first Jungle room :

     
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  11. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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    The second part of the Jungle. A small pond with some bridges with on one side a large group of piranha's and on the other side some other fishes. Further 3 large freshwater aquariums, one with piranhas, one with several South American large species and one with a mix of small fishes of which several well-known in the aquarium-hobby. One aquarium was quite well labeled, the other - the one with the smaller species wasn't labeled at all, so not sure if I have seen all species.
    Also in this part a wall with about 5 enclosures with terrestial invebrates.
    Here the species-list of species seen and labeled in this part ( (-) means labeled but not seen ) :
    11 ) Red-bellied piranha
    12 ) Oscar
    13 ) Red-hook silver dollar
    14 ) Clown knifefish
    15 ) Hypostomus plecostomus
    16 ) Cichlid -species not yet identified
    17 ) Silver dollar (-)
    18 ) Florida softshell turtle
    19 ) Garra rufa
    20 ) Hemigrammus bleheri
    21 ) Bristlenose catfish
    22 ) Freshwater angelfish
    23 ) Gourami - species not yet identified
    24 ) Clown botia
    25 ) Guppy
    26 ) Nannobrycon species
    27 ) Gymnoconymbus ternetzi
    28 )Pelvicachromis pulcher
    29 ) Nematobrycon palmeri
    30 ) Tarantula - species
    31 ) Hissing cockroach
    32 ) African giant land-snail

    And here a small video of this second part of the Jungle :

     
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  12. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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    Today Aquatopia is really closed for ever :( .
    Here another forewell-video - made by somebody else - which I found on the net.

     
  13. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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    Next part of the last species-list of Aquatopia - this time the Submarine / de Duikboot :
    33) Linckia starfish-species
    34) Stonefish
    35) Echidna nebulosa (-)
    36) Gymnomuraena zebra ( not completly sure if I saw it )
    37) Lionfish (-)
    38) Sunburst butterflyfish
    39)Yellow surgeonfish
    40) Acanthurus olivaceus ( signed in this section, see in another section )
    41) Flame angelfish
    42) Orange-spine unicornfish
    43) Lutjanus bengalensis
    44) Fish ID ( see Fish ID | ZooChat )
    45) Myripristis jacobus
    46) French angelfish
    47) Red lobster ( Pallinurus elephas ) (-)
    48) Small-spotted catshark (-)
    49) Muraena helena (-)
    50) Pajama cardinalfish
    51) Long-spined sea urchin
    52) Emperor angelfish
    53) Yellow-tailedcoris-wrasse
    54) Black blotched puffer
    55) Goldring bristletooth
    56) Herald's angelfish
    57) Pterapogon kauderni
    58) Millet butterflyfish (-)
    59) Threadfin butterflyfish
    60) Humu picasso triggerfish

    And ( of course ) a small video of this part of Aquatopia :

     
  14. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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    Just discovered I've forgotten 1 species which was found in the Submarine :
    61) Regal blue tang
     
  15. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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    Our tour through the now closed Aquatopia continues. Afther the Submarine we come along the waterfall-aquarium in which several cichlids are housed :
    62) Hump-headed cichlid
    63) Jaguar cichlid
    On the escalator which bring us to the first floor we pass an aquarium in which I was able to recognize only one species for sure :
    64) Panther grouper
    On the first floor we find a small playing ground with at the back-side an clownfish-aquarium and at another wall a group of smaller aquariums with some very intresting species :
    65) Blue-green damselfish
    66) Opistognathus aurifrons
    67) Pencil sea-urchin ( Heterocentrotus mamillatus )
    68) Amphiprion percula
    69) Ecsenius midas
    70) Copperband butterflyfish
    71) Lysmata debelius
    72) Lysmata wundermanni
    73) Hippocampus reidi
    74) Hippocampus subelongatus - a lifer for me and only kept at one European collection. On Zootierliste the species is not mentioned for Aquatopia and it would be intresting to know were they went afther the closure ! ( photo see Hippocampus subelongatus | ZooChat )
    75) Black-tailed dascyllus
    76) Sweetlips
    77) Striped razorblade fish
    78) Up-side down jellyfish
    79)Amphiprionfrenatus
    80) Cirrhitichthys falco
    81) Indian sailfin surgeonfish

    And ( of course ) a small clip of this section of Aquatopia :

     
  16. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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    Just discovered I forgot to list 1 more species found in this section :
    82) Canthigaster valentini
     
  17. drill

    drill Well-Known Member

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    Has anything replaced Aquatopia?