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New Coral Reef Tunnel to Open at the Newport Aquarium This Weekend | Culture | Cincinnati

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Photo: provided by Newport Aquarium

The new coral reef tunnel provides all-encompassing views of reef life.

The Newport Aquarium is opening a new immersive experience this weekend: a coral reef tunnel.

Over 50 colorful species will be swimming throughout the 60,000-gallon tank that makes up the new tunnel. Guests can walk through for 360-degree views and see inhabitants of the coral reef, including some baby angelfish,  different pufferfish species and even a mystic-looking Bluespine unicornfish (so named for the horn-like protrusion on its forehead).

click to enlarge Juvenile and adult angelfish. - PHOTO: PROVIDED BY NEWPORT AQUARIUM

Photo: provided by Newport Aquarium

Juvenile and adult angelfish.

“We’re always proud to bring something new and improved to the region,” said Newport Aquarium’s executive director Rebecca Foster in a release. “This is the spectacular coral reef that Cincy deserves and it’s also a great chance for us to educate the community about the importance and plight of coral reefs in the wild.”

The aquarium says in a press release that the coral in the new tank was manufactured and specifically designed to “replicate the specialized structures that provide the ideal living conditions for the fish.”

“Most corals today are thousands of years old, and even predate dinosaurs,” says the aquarium. “Pollution, warming waters and other man-made problems are killing coral off in record time and numbers and harvesting the amount of coral displayed in the exhibit would exhaust any natural habitat.”

See the new tunnel starting Friday, March 11. Aquarium officials are recommending that guests make reservations as capacity is limited.

The Newport Aquarium is located at One Levee Way, Newport on the Levee. Find more information at newportaquarium.com.

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