The Aquarium has just completed the largest renovation in its history. Here are some questions and answers about the project and some insight on what's new.
What has changed about the Giant Ocean Tank?
We've given the iconic Giant Ocean Tank a top-to-bottom, 21st-century transformation, including new windows that provide crystal-clear viewing opportunities; a vibrant, revitalized coral reef with more than 2,000 fishes; and the new Yawkey Coral Reef Center at the top of the exhibit.
What additional features have been added?
There is a reflective ceiling dome that helps create a greater underwater ambience throughout the building, a ramp to the top of the central tank that gives wheelchairs and strollers access to Level 4 for the first time, and many more changes throughout the building. Read more about the full scope and features.
How many animals are in the new Giant Ocean Tank?
Before the renovation project, there were about 700 fishes in the Giant Ocean Tank. Thanks to the new expanded Caribbean coral reef, more than twice the number of animals are in the new exhibit. The newly renovated Giant Ocean Tank is home to around 2,000 fishes.
Myrtle, the 550-pound green sea turtle is back in the new exhibit, along with two loggerhead sea turtles and a Kemp's ridley sea turtle. There are also two species of sharks in the exhibit, bonnethead sharks and blacknose sharks.
What new species are in the Giant Ocean Tank?
There were about 90 species in the previous exhibit and now there are close to 130 species. Among the new additions are an agile species of shark, the blacknose sharks. The Aquarium is now one of the few institutions to have this species on exhibit. There are also dozens more new fish species, including scrawled filefish, midnight parrotfish, trumpetfish, guitarfish and yellow goatfish. The new exhibit features an interactive fish ID application on iPads mounted near viewing windows, giving visitors an easy way to learn more about any animal that catches their eye.
How big is the Giant Ocean Tank?
The Giant Ocean Tank is 40 feet in diameter. It goes down 26 feet at its deepest point and holds 200,000 gallons of water.
How many windows are around the Giant Ocean Tank?
There are 67 windows and 52 viewing bays. During the renovation, many of the windows along the spiral were expanded, creating larger views of the exhibit and making it easier for small children to get a good look.
Where does the GOT water come from?
The water that fills the Giant Ocean Tank is pumped in from Boston Harbor, run through a filtering system and warmed to between 72 and 75 degrees.
What are the oldest animals in the exhibit?
Myrtle the green sea turtle is between 80 and 90 years old, making her the oldest animal on exhibit. Some of the tarpon and permits have been in the GOT since it opened in 1969, so they are at least 44 years old.
How many corals are in the new Giant Ocean Tank?
The coral was handmade and painted by Aquarium artists. The habitat inside has more than 3,000 carefully sculpted coral elements, and it is so accurate that it can be hard to tell it isn't real.
What was the total cost of the project?
How long did construction take?
The main work in the Aquarium's main building and on the Giant Ocean Tank took 10 months, but some aspects of the project took place before then to prepare for the renovation.
Who is the project designer?
The project was designed by Cambridge 7 Associates.
Who is the general contractor?
The general contractor was Turner Construction.