SEA LIFE® Orlando Aquarium has reached a new construction milestone this month as aquarists filled the aquarium’s Atlantic Ocean habitat with more than 192,000 gallons of water on Tuesday, Feb. 24.
It will take approximately two days to fill up the entire Atlantic habitat. After that is complete, aquarists will work to fill more than 30 additional habitats. The water for all the habitats will go through a customized filtration system where salt will be added. Afterward, the salt water becomes acclimated to safely hold the aquarium’s sea animals, which include sea stars, rays, sharks and more, that will begin to arrive in the coming months.
Rowdy Gaines, a three-time Olympic gold medalist, U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame inductee, NBC swimming analyst, and Central Florida resident joined Steve Blair, Curator, Merlin Animal Welfare and Development for SEA LIFE Orlando, for this special milestone.
“This is a huge day for SEA LIFE, as we are one step closer to the grand opening on May 4,” said Blair. “We are excited to inspire children to fall in love with the oceans of the world and the animals who call it their home.”
“As someone who has spent half their life in the water, I’m so excited to be on hand for this water fill milestone,” said Gaines, who serves as Vice President of Aquatics for the Central Florida YMCA. “It’s great to see children appreciate and learn about the world’s oceans, and how to help respect and protect the Florida Everglades which is in our backyard.”
To be among the first to be nose-to-nose with sea animals, guests can sign up for our newsletter at VisitSeaLife.com/Orlando for the chance to visit May 1-3, ahead of the attraction’s May 4 grand opening.
- 45,000 pounds of sand have been placed inside the aquariums
- More than 90,000 pounds of salt will be used to acclimate the water
- SEA LIFE Orlando will have temperate habitats which will help create a more diverse ecosystem to house colorful and vibrant animals
- The 360-degree tunnel, weighs eight tons and has a buoyancy of 60,000 pounds lifting it like a bubble
- The animals that will call SEA LIFE Orlando home include: Sand Bar sharks, Pacific Black Tip sharks, Grey Reef sharks and Bowmouth Guitarfish
- The aquarium’s windows are approximately four inches thick
- More than 40,000 gallons of water are held in an underground reservoir beneath the aquarium
About SEA LIFE Orlando
Opening May 4, 2015, SEA LIFE Orlando is an immersive, one-of-kind aquarium experience that allows marine life enthusiasts to experience the magical world beneath our oceans of the world with interactive touch pools, bubble aquariums, floor-to-ceiling displays, and 360-degree and 180-degree ocean tunnels featuring more than 5,000 sea creatures. The 25,000-square foot aquarium attraction will be home to colorful fish, sharks, sea horses, sting rays, jellies, sea turtles and much more.
SEA LIFE provides a glimpse of the diversity of marine life, while also playing an active role in animal and environmental conservation. Visitors will see strong evidence of the Breed, Rescue and Protect program with activities around the world, and new projects developed locally, as well as educational initiatives, including guest lectures and talks.
SEA LIFE is the world’s largest aquarium chain and SEA LIFE Orlando is the 50th location aquarium launched in the world and the 8th in the U.S. SEA LIFE Orlando is located at 8337 International Drive in Orlando, Florida, inside I-Drive 360, the entertainment and dining complex which is the home of the 400-foot Orlando Eye observation wheel and celebrity wax attraction Madame Tussauds Orlando.
For more information, go to www.visitsealife.com/orlando.