Everything is on track to open the Two Oceans Aquarium’s new large-scale exhibit sometime in the middle of next month!

28 April: The rock work in the new tank is progressing very well. Photo by Mike de Maine

The exhibit has been under construction since January 2014 and is situated on what was once the parking area between the Aquarium building and the One & Only Hotel.

10 May: The gravel starts going into the exhibit. Photo by Mike de Maine

This will be the first exhibit of its kind in South Africa to boast a full 10-metre long tunnel. The exhibit’s main viewing window is a continuous nine metre-wide panel, which is four metres high and weighs 22 tonnes.

12 May: Small side base gravel is in. Photo by Mike de Maine

The entrance to the exhibit will boast a brand new Jelly Gallery showcasing various jelly species.

12 May: Large side base gravel in progress. All looking good and progressing well. Photo by Mike de Maine

Some of the animals that will be on display in the new exhibit include Yoshi, the loggerhead turtle that’s currently in the I&J Predator Exhibit, as well as rays and other fish species from this exhibit.

13 May: Bags and bags of gravel waiting to go into the exhibit. It is hard work but the guys are doing well. Photo by Mike de Maine

Species that have not been on display at the Aquarium before but will be housed in the new exhibit include a guitarfish, yellowfin tuna and bonito. The new exhibit will not house any large shark species.

17 May: The life-support systems are in the final stretch of installation. Excitement is ramping up! Photo by Mike de Maine

“I am absolutely delighted that our plans have come to fruition and that we are able to separate the fish, rays and turtles from the large sharks. The warmer water in the new exhibit allows us to include some sub-tropical species as well as species from the southern Cape coast. This means that we can showcase a greater diversity of species from the waters off southern Africa,” said Two Oceans Aquarium CEO Michael Farquhar.

24 May: The exhibit is almost ready for its first saltwater fill. Photo by Mike de Maine

The new exhibit is the first major construction for the Aquarium in nearly 21 years. The opening of this exhibit provides the Aquarium with the opportunity to close the current I&J Predator Exhibit and the Ocean Basket Kelp Forest Exhibit for renovations.

27 May: Plastic being taken off tunnel in preparation for the water fill.

These exhibits will close shortly after the opening of the new exhibit and animals not being transferred to the new exhibit will either be held in temporary holding facilities or released back into the ocean.

30 May: The exhibit filling up with sea water. Photo by Mike de Maine

The reopening of the exhibits is scheduled for 2017: the Ocean Basket Kelp Forest will reopen as a kelp forest display, but the predator exhibit will be a completely new exhibit, housing large sharks and other species yet to be decided on.

We’ll be sure to notify everyone about exactly when the new exhibit will be open to the public … and what it will be called. We hope you’re as excited as we are!

Divers are cleaning the tank before the sand goes in. Photo by Mike de Maine

blog comments powered by Disqus