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  • Crispin Till

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    Fish move into new Cairns Aquarium home ahead of opening

    It's all systems flow with about 80 fish moving into their new home at the $50 million Cairns Aquarium today.

    The snapper, angelfish, triggerfish and other Great Barrier Reef species are settling into the 13.5 metre long, 3.5 metre high, 70,000 litre “Under the Pier” themed tank at the aquarium’s Aqualuna restaurant and function centre.

    Aquarium owner and founder Daniel Leipnik told TropicNow the new arrivals were bringing the aquarium experience to life and about 15,000 fish, animals and invertebrates would move in over the next three weeks as staff gear up for the official opening on September 12.

    “We have been waiting for this moment for more than six years and to have the first introduction of fish is exciting,” he said.

    The animals were welcomed to the aquarium after months of behind the scenes work.

    Head curator Ramon Barbosa said testing needed to be carried out on water chemistry and quality, as well as all plumbing, fixtures, equipment and fittings before the move. 

    “Introducing fish is a delicate procedure,” he said.

    “When the fish arrived we did further testing of water temperature, oxygen and salinity.

    “This is done to provide a smooth transition to their new home with the least amount of stress on the animals.”

    The “Under the Pier” exhibit is designed to show visitors the type of marine life found in Tropical North Queensland that has become accustomed to man-made coast infrastructure such as jetties, pylons, marinas and wharfs.

    When the aquarium is opened, visitors can see the sights of 11 TNQ eco-systems, including the Great Barrier Reef, Tropical Rainforest, Coastal Zones and Mangroves as well as 70 live exhibits.

    For more information on the Cairns Aquarium, including tickets, visit here.