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Old 09-25-2003, 12:52 AM   #1
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Visit to the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium

We recently went to the zoo and aquarium. It was a beautiful day -- just right, not hot or humid! This was my first time at the aquarium. It was pretty big -- lots of display tanks. When we first went in, there was a tall skinny tank, from floor to ceiling. In it was a big pleco and some yellowish fish that looked a little glittery. I recognized the pleco, although I don't have one. There was a large piece of wood in the tank, like a tree trunk. The pleco was going up it and eating the wood as he went up. My dad wondered what he was doing, and I was able to say that he needs the wooden material as a part of his diet! I know that from reading the pleco posts!

I don't know what the other fish in that tank were. There were many tanks that were not labelled. That was the only disappointment of the visit.

There was a small tank of cardinal tetras. I liked that tank. I may start a 10 gallon tank with them someday, so I was glad to see what they looked like up close. There was also a tank with some diamond tetras, and bala sharks (not in the same tank!) In the saltwater tanks I recognized tangs and clownfish, and some puffers. There were some beautiful coral and reef tanks. There was a type of shrimp, I think, that I've seen in public aquariums before. It's cute but I don't know what it is. It doesn't look like the fire or peppermint shrimp. The head and body seemed to be all one segment, and it was rather small. His head was pointy. He sat up on spindly legs, almost like a daddy longlegs spider. He had two front legs, spindly like the rest, but he appeared to be using them to eat.

As you made your way down the last hallway, there was a huge two-story tank. There were 3 sharks at the bottom. There were also very small fish in that tank too. I'm hoping that they had a lot of places to hide! It looked like a large reef in there too. Another tank near the exit had some rays. Between the wall and the tank was a children's tunnel -- the kids could crawl in there and get up close to the rays!

It was a very nice visit. I look forward to going back when some more tanks are set up. A team just went to the ocean off of South Africa, I believe, and will set up a tank with what they brought back. There was an article in the paper about it. They will have to put all the live rock in and cycle it just like any other tank! So that one won't be ready for awhile, but it will be worth returning to see when it's ready. We had a very enjoyable day!
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Old 09-25-2003, 09:42 AM   #2
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Glad to hear of your experence. If you get a chance to visit the National Aquarium in Baltimore it will be a trip worth the drive.
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Old 09-26-2003, 12:26 AM   #3
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Hi Fishfreek,
I just wish I knew more about the saltwater fish that I saw so I could describe them better!

My husband had some business meetings in Columbia, MD a few years ago, and I went along. He drove me to the train station in Laurel and I went down to Washington DC. It was a great time, but I'm still kicking myself for not taking the train up to Baltimore and going to the Inner Harbor area!
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Old 09-26-2003, 09:39 AM   #4
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It would make a great weekend trip.
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Old 09-27-2003, 03:41 PM   #5
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Yes, it would! It's about a four-hour drive -- not bad at all.
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