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Old 02-06-2007, 05:57 PM   #1
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Georgia Aquarium - neat but way too crowded

I took the family to see the Mouse in Orlando and decided to drive up to Atlanta to visit the Georgia Aquarium.

My little 3 yr old girl loves sharks of any sort and of course the Georgia Aquarium now had 3 whale sharks (1 recently died).

Needless to say, Saturday was a bad day of the week to go. It was extremely crowded. You couldn't come within viewing distance of some of the smaller specialty tanks. I was somewhat disappointed with the lack of views on the massive tank that houses the whale sharks.

The best part of the aquarium is the reef tank. It is 160,000 gallons; however, most of it is not viewable because the back side of the reef is not open to the public. It is my understanding that the backside has mangroves growing for filtration and as a nursery/grow out area for the smaller fish.

Included is a couple of pictures. Can add more if anyone is interested.

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Old 02-06-2007, 06:39 PM   #2
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Yes! More pictures please.

My wife and I have discussed going there, and I live in TX so it would be quite a drive with the kids for sure.

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Old 02-06-2007, 06:42 PM   #3
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I went with my son over the holidays when it first opened. We're walking into the reef exhibit, and my cell rings. I stupidly answered it, and it was a recruiter. I immediately turned around and went to the common area so I could hear him and he gave me a phone interview for a position I did not get.

Still haven't seen that exhibit. But I live here in Atlanta, so I can go anytime.
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Old 02-06-2007, 06:56 PM   #4
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I wouldn't make the trip from Texas just to see it. If you were driving through on a week day then sure go ahead. This tank does not have many corals in it currently. They said they are adding them though, so eventually it may be something to see. I did see a a Moorish Idol in there and a few suncorals (not a good specimen). I actually saw a very nice reef tank (although much smaller) at Sea World in Orlando it had some incredible coral specimens.

Here are some more pictures from Georgia. I did like the black tip reef sharks!

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Old 02-06-2007, 07:17 PM   #5
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I went the morning before the SEC championship football game, the women were trying to come up wth anything to keep me and my buddies from starting to drink to early. It was not crowded at all. I really enjoyed it, but would not recommend driving from Texas. I would guess there is something in your area similar, maybe not quite as big but that is a heck of a drive. I thought the amazon tanks were amazing
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Old 02-06-2007, 07:18 PM   #6
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Some more pictures. One nice feature of the coral reef is the periodic wave effect that is most likely accomplished with a dump/surge tank. Also, the tank curves back over the viewing area, so the reef sharks which liked to swim in the surf are right overhead.

Not a very good picture of the Moorish Idol (tough to take pictures)

Whale sharks kept in massive separate tank.

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Old 02-06-2007, 07:41 PM   #7
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Moved to the lounge. The pics are great. Too bad it was too crowded.


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Old 02-07-2007, 02:02 PM   #8
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Very cool. I love going to aquariums. Unfortunately, the closest one to me is 3 hrs away in Tulsa, OK. It's a very good aquarium for being completely landlocked. Has some very cool freshwater sportfish exhibits and it does have a walkthrough shark tank. I'm looking forward to seeing the Monterrey Bay Aquarium in April.
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Old 02-07-2007, 07:21 PM   #9
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Great pics! It makes me want to go back. I really want to go on the behind the scenes tour where you can watch them feed the whale sharks.

I'll agree with you. Walking into the reef with the waves overhead is amazing. They have it set up so you can't see what's ahead when you walk in, so it's a total surprise. It's awe-inspiring. They have some neat "artistic" tanks too. The one by the gift shop has a background of light mosaic glass, and blown art glass "corals". It's very pretty, but probably not great for the fish. When you first walk in, they have a very long tank down both sides of the hallway with a huge school of silver fish in each, so it's like you're swimming with them as you go in.

I was also disappointed in its poor design though. The smaller exhibits are virtually impossible to see because of the crowds. If you're with small kids, you have you pick them up so they can see every single thing. Even the "petting" tanks were built with such high walls that even I couldn't get close enough to touch anything.

I just want my planted tanks to be perfect. Is that so much to ask?

55g: (Mostly) African riverine species: Alestes Chaperi, breeding pair of Kribs, and rhino pleco
30g: Newly established reef tank
10g: Planted but fishless
5g: Unplanted with various snail species
2.5g: Heavily planted with betta.
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