This week UMAC is focusing on the biological aspect of our club, namely the fish and invertebrates that we love so much! While some of you have seen or will be seeing the wide variety of aquarium stores around Miami, there are some pretty cool ones just a little bit farther from home, specifically Allfish Emporium in Ft. Laudredale! Allfish is the largest retail fish store in the United States. Holding over 45,000 gallons of aquarium tanks, the selections include both freshwater and saltwater fish as well as corals, plants, live rock, invertebrates and reptiles. There are also supplies for those wishing to start or maintain a tank of their own.
Walking through this store is a bit like walking through an aquarium where everything is for sale. One of the main focal points of the store is a 5,000 gallon tank that is home to four species of sharks and three species of moray eels. Every Tuesday night, the animals in this tank are fed, creating an exciting spectacle! For more information about Allfish Emporium check out their website at http://www.allfishemporium.com/ and get excited for a potential UMAC day trip to visit it this year.
This week, UMAC is kicking off its blog with an Aquarium Spotlight! The featured aquarium is the Florida Aquarium, located in the beautiful city of Tampa. It’s an amazing place filled with many interesting creatures. The exhibits range from tanks filled with bright corals and tropical fish to penguins! Every day, the aquarium brings two of its African black footed penguins to the lobby where you can meet and take photos with them. Another interesting exhibit is the wetlands area, which is contained in a giant glass paneled dome and houses species such as otters, turtles and a vast array of birds.
For those of you who prefer a more interactive experience, the Florida Aquarium offers many programs such as behind the scenes adventures, including opportunities to swim and dive in the exhibits. Perhaps the most exciting of these interactions is shark diving; it takes place in a 500,000 gallon tank modeled after the coral reef formations of the Florida Keys. For those who would prefer to stay dry, the aquarium offers a wild dolphin cruise. Here aquarium guests take a boat tour around Tampa Bay, which just so happens to be the home of over 500 bottlenose dolphins.
As most of us know, aquariums aren’t just about seeing the animals, they’re about helping them as well. The Florida Aquarium has a very active conservation program behind the scenes, including a coral conservation program that uses aquaculture to regrow corals that have been damaged by pollution and ocean acidification. The aquarium also has a sea turtle rescue program that is home to many injured turtles that the aquarium rehabilitates to hopefully one day realease them back into the wild.
If you think this aquarium sounds as exciting as we do, then you’re in luck! UMAC will be journeying there in early October (exact date TBA). Be sure to check back here weekly for new blog updates!
We are the University of Miami Aquarium Club. Blog topics will include anything and everything aquarium related.