[center:ec76c0520d]Aquarium visitors strap on mask and fins
To keep people coming through its doors, the Tampa attraction lets more folks bob in its coral reef tank. [/center:ec76c0520d]
By TAMARA LUSH, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published March 3, 2003
TAMPA -- Tired of visiting the Florida Aquarium and looking at the same, old angelfish swimming around the coral reef tank?
A new program allows visitors to climb into the tank with the angelfish -- and the grouper, and the moray eels.
This marine life encounter, called "Swim with the Fishes," is different from the "Swim with the Sharks" program unveiled in January.
The new program allows uncertified divers to use scuba equipment in the aquarium's 500,000-gallon coral reef tank, though they must stay on the water's surface. Only certified divers can swim in the shark tank.
The aquarium's latest adventure, which opened Saturday, is one of a growing number in the United States that offer a very personal encounter with marine life.
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