View hundreds of marine animals exploring a natural reef
An 80,000 gallon coral reef aquarium encircles you as you enter the air-conditioned Caribbean Reef Encounter. The aquarium is open to the elements, which means the hundreds of reef animals that are housed here receive natural day and moonlight and experience rain just like a natural reef would. This is an important factor in keeping the many corals and sponges alive.
Water is pumped in at a rate of 15,000 gallons per hour. It is made of concrete with 12, three inch thick acrylic windows for 360 degree viewing. This continuous supply of unfiltered sea water allows the living corals and sponges to grow naturally, while offering visitors a most attractive décor.
Guests here are entertained by hundreds of fish, representing dozens of different species, swimming about in the tank. A wide variety of soft and stony corals and sponges add color and highlights to the scenery. All of the animals in the Reef Tank are found in our Caribbean waters and were collected usually by our scuba divers with nets in the surrounding St. Thomas waters.
A staff diver enters the water each day at 9:30am and at 1:30pm to feed the fish by hand while an aquarist shares information about the exhibit during the feedings.