"The Albuquerque Aquarium" New Mexico Things to Do Tip by traveldave

New Mexico Things to Do: 276 reviews and 604 photos


The Albuquerque Aquarium is one facility of Albuquerque's large BioPark, along with the Rio Grande Botanic Garden, the Rio Grande Zoo, and Tingley Beach.

Opened in 1996, the Albuquerque Aquarium focuses on the water-dwelling species of the Rio Grande and the Gulf of Mexico, as the Rio Grande forms a "liquid connection" between the deserts of New Mexico and the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Its exhibits portray the life of the river from its headwaters to its entry into the gulf. Saltwater species from a variety of gulf habitats such as the surf zone, shallow waters, coral reefs, the open ocean, and the deep ocean are featured.

Exhibits display freshwater species of the Rio Grande, including some endangered species that no longer occupy the river system.

Most of the aquarium's exhibits center around the fish found in the Gulf of Mexico. Several exhibits depict the shores of the gulf and include fish and bird species found there, as well as a genuine shrimp boat. A replica of a coral reef contains species such as parrotfish, angelfish, porkupinefish, triggerfish, grunts, and sea anemones. The eel cave is a walk-through tunnel that features such species of eels and fish as moray eels, spotted eels, purplemouth eels, and goliath groupers. Small tanks contain unusual sea creatures such as seahorses, clownfish, pipefish, and jellyfish.

The main attraction of the aquarium, however, is its 285,000-gallon (1,078,842-liter) saltwater tank with a 38-foot (12-meter) viewing window. The tank contains five species of sharks, tarpons, barracudas, stingrays, large schooling fish, and three species of sea turtles.

The Albuquerque Aquarium is also dedicated to conserving fish found in the Rio Grande, and operates a breeding program for the endangered Rio Grande silvery minnow and Socorro isopod.

Visitors to the aquarium can get a snack in the Shark Reef Cafe and buy souvenirs in the Aquarium Gift Shop.

Directions: The Albuquerque Aquarium is located at 2601 Central Avenue NW, just west of downtown Albuquerque.

Review Helpfulness: 2 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Dec 7, 2010
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