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 you will see in the Caribbean reef exhibit are local species you can find in the waters surrounding the Virgin Islands. Since this is an open system where water comes directly from outside our “front door”, many of our resident marine life have come to call this exhibit home by surprise, while others were collected by dive certified staff members.