A guide to London Aquarium

Last week, I was able to visit London Aquarium and I thought that I would take some photos so that I share my experience and write a short guide about what you can expect from the largest display of aquatic life in Europe. London Aquarium has three floors split into 14 zones and there are up to 400 species on show throughout the 50 display tanks. Each zone represents a different underwater habitat from small rivers and lakes to tropical rainforests and oceans from around world.

Zone 1: Freshwater Stream

When first stepping into the the aquarium, you are greeted with a set of cascading open-topped tanks representing a typical British fresh water stream. Here you will find Perch, Minnow, Grayling, Rudd, Barbel and Chub.

Zone 2: Atlantic Upper

The Atlantic zone is a large cylindrical aquarium covering two floors. In upper level of the Atlantic zone you are able to see a large school of Mackerel circling the tank with the occasional Gilthead Bream able to be spotted amongst them.

Zone 3: Rivers and Ponds

In this section, there are tanks representing typical European rivers and ponds. Here you will find Carp, Sticklebacks, Roach, Bronze Bream and Trout.

Click on the thumbnails to see full size images.

Zone 4: Pacific Upper

The pacific tank is another large cylindrical aquarium covering two floors. The upper level of the tank has a few interesting species including Jacks, Lookdowns, Golden Trevally and Monos.

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Zone 5: Indian Ocean

The Indian Ocean section had some very unusual fishes. Garden Eels, Stonefish, Cardinals, Boxfish and Valentini Pufferfish were all on display.

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Zone 6: Atlantic Lower

In zone 6 you can see the lower area of the Atlantic tank. Here you will find Dogfish, Ballen Wrasse, Cuckoo Wrasse, Rays, Pollack and Flatfish like the one pictured below.

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Zone 7: Ray Touch Pool

This is one of the most popular zones in the aquarium. The shallow open topped aquarium was home to Rays and Mullet. Here you can get up close to the rays as they come to the surface looking for food.

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Zone 8: Temperate Waters

In the temperate water zone you can find Lobsters, Wolf fish and Greater Pipefish. There is also a large tank with circular viewing panel to display a low light habitat with hanging structures, which was home to a school of fish.

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Zone 9: Pacific Lower

The lower level of the pacific system is where you will find some real predators. This tank contains four species of shark; Sandtiger Sharks, Brown Sharks, Zebra Sharks and Nurse Sharks. To avoid their much smaller tank mates becoming lunch, the sharks are always kept full with regular feeding times three times a week.

Click on the thumbnails to see full size images.

Zone 10: Coral Reef

This was by far my favourite section of the aquarium and I took a lot of photos. In this zone, there was a large FOWLR (Fish Only With Live Rock) tank with some nice fishes in, including a porcupine pufferfish and a large shoal of blue/green chromis. Another tank was home to Lionfish, Blue-spotted Rays and Moray eel. There was also four coral reef tanks representing different areas from around the world.

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Zone 11: Invertebrates

Here you will find Clownfish, Anemone, Invertebrates, Sea Cucumbers and Stonefish. This section shows off some interesting invertebrates and information boards are used to educate visitors about symbiotic relationships between individuals from different species. One member of Staff explained the relationship between clownfish and anemones. Clownfish seek refuge amongst the stinging tentacles of the anemone and in return, clownfish keep the Anemone clear of debris.

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Zone 12: Tropical Freshwater

This is the start of the tropical freshwater area of the aquarium. In this zone there are African cichlids, Suckermouth catfish, Red-aeared terrapin and Piranhas. I managed to get to this section during Piranha feeding time. It was pretty amazing watching them rip into a couple of raindow trout for dinner. Like the Sharks, the Piranha are fed on alternate days and they are given enough food so that they won’t get hungry enough to eat their tank mates.

Click on the thumbnails to see full size images.

Zone 13: Mangrove

The mangove zone was home to mostly brackish water fishes such as Archerfish, Puffer fish, Spotted scat, Mono and Anableps. Anableps are also known as the four-eyed fish but actually only have two eyes each with seperate lenses allowing the fish to swim on the surface of the water and see above and below the water line at the same time.

Zone 14: Rainforest

Zone 14 is the last area in the aquarium. Here you will find some of the largest freshwater fish on display. All of the fish in this section would grow too large for the home aquarium and it surprises me that some fish stores still sell baby three or four inch specimens without warning of their adult size. This is why it is always important to research your fish before you purchase them. If you can’t tell the scale from the photos, the red tailed catfish is around three feet long and the giant Gouramis in the background are almost as big. The Tiger shovelnose catfish in the second photo below is the largest I have seen in captivity at around five feet in length.

Click on the thumbnails to see full size images.

Well that concludes my little guide around London Aquarium. If you live nearby or are planning to travel to London then you definitely need to check it out. But if it is a bit too far for you then I just hope that you liked my tour and enjoy the photos.

Located on the ground floor of County Hall, next to the London Eye, the London Aquarium is just over Westminster Bridge from Big Ben and a short walk from Waterloo Station. For more information, prices and feeding times visit www.londonaquarium.co.uk

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2 Responses

  1. HART (1-800-HART)
    | Reply

    Nice Pictures Robert! Thanks for the virtual tour 🙂

  2. Rubber Pond Coating
    | Reply

    Great post indeed. The beauty of water feature can’t be denied anywhere in the world and liked everywhere.Ponds and aquariums need care done with Pondpro2000 to be free from damages and sustain its beauty.

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