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The Waikiki Aquarium

Updated on March 20, 2015

The Waikiki Aquarium

Living here in Hawaii all of my life, I decided to go and revisit some of the places I went to when I was a kid. One of these places is in Waikiki and has been around for ages. It is the Waikiki Aquarium, being the second oldest public aquarium in the United States which had opened on March 19, 1904 filled with 35 tanks which housed 400 marine organisms.

As of the year 2014, the aquarium has endured over 11 decades, marking it's 110th Anniversary with more additions to come. I often thought about going again one day and I had finally made that decision to go.

It is located just a brief walk away from the main beach area heading towards beautiful Diamond Head and across from "The Honolulu Zoo". Where Kalakaua and Kapahulu Ave. connects, it is just a few minutes away and you will find the aquarium to your right.

A small building indeed with a welcoming feel to the place. Located on the right side and built right next to where there are living coral reef along the shoreline of Waikiki. The aquarium is home to more than 3,500 organisms of 490 species of marine plants and animals.

This attraction generally is a short one and would take about a good 30 minutes or so if one takes their time.




Celebrating 110 Years in Hawaii

Click thumbnail to view full-size
First Opening (Oahu, Hawaii) March 19,1904 !Celebrating 110 years in Hawaii !Featuring "Amazing Adaptations" A presentation on Seahorses, Seadragons, and Pipe fishes.
First Opening (Oahu, Hawaii) March 19,1904 !
First Opening (Oahu, Hawaii) March 19,1904 !
Celebrating 110 years in Hawaii !
Celebrating 110 years in Hawaii !
Featuring "Amazing Adaptations" A presentation on Seahorses, Seadragons, and Pipe fishes.
Featuring "Amazing Adaptations" A presentation on Seahorses, Seadragons, and Pipe fishes.

My Aquarium Visit

Before starting my walk, I was offered a phone like gadgetry to be used (optional) to make the my tour more interesting and educational. By following the numbers on the wall and pressing the same number button, you get to hear the recording that matches with the feature presentation as you go along. If you missed something, you can always play it again until you are satisfied with the information given while following each exhibit.

First the tour starts with us getting to know all about the coral polyps. Simply put, there are simple presentations showing us all about their structural development and sizes.

Can you tell how old a coral polyp might be just by looking at one? Here we get a chance to find out.

We also learn of many ways of how people benefit from these corals and reefs.

But corals also need to be protected by the potential harmful effects of pollution in many ways caused by humans and so forth.There are even viruses that can kill or do much damage to the coral polyps that make up our beautiful reefs.


The Corals of the Ocean

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Beautifully displayed healthy coral polyps.Can you figure out the age of a coral polyp. It explains here.The makeup and development of a coral polyp.Learning about the growth of the coral polyp.The benefits of the coral and the dangers they face.
Beautifully displayed healthy coral polyps.
Beautifully displayed healthy coral polyps.
Can you figure out the age of a coral polyp. It explains here.
Can you figure out the age of a coral polyp. It explains here.
The makeup and development of a coral polyp.
The makeup and development of a coral polyp.
Learning about the growth of the coral polyp.
Learning about the growth of the coral polyp.
The benefits of the coral and the dangers they face.
The benefits of the coral and the dangers they face.

The Life of the Ocean

Here in this aquarium, we will get to take a look into another world so to speak different than ours and we can read about and learn not just about the fishes off of our shores in Hawaii, but also around other places as well.

Here you will find the "Land Meets Sea" display, taking you to the Western Pacific where mangrove forests and sea grass beds are found next to the sea. Mangrove trees form tangled coastal forests under the sea among where the various fishes live and feed there.

"The Reef Relationships" display includes various different types of fishes and coral polyps making it a colorful sight to see.

Here you will find the (Clown Anemone Fish) and the (Pacific Regal Blue Tang) made famous by the movie "Finding Nemo" which was released by Walt Disney Pictures and the fifth film produced by Pixar Animation Studios.





Hawaii's Window to the Sea

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"Land Meets Sea" Mangrove Forest, Seagrass Bed,  Banded Archerfish, Banggai Cardinalfish, Spaghetti worm, Haddon's Carpet Anemone."Reef Relationships" Clown Anemone Fish, Carpet Anemone, Blue Palette Tang, Bulb-Tentacle Sea Anemone.Life within the corals beneath the ocean.The (Clown Anemone Fish) and the (Pacific Regal Blue Tang) The Pacific Regal Blue Tang.The Clown Anemone Fish. (upclose) swimming among the Tentacle Sea Anemone.The Tentacle Sea Anemone as is.Haddon's Carpet Anemone
"Land Meets Sea" Mangrove Forest, Seagrass Bed,  Banded Archerfish, Banggai Cardinalfish, Spaghetti worm, Haddon's Carpet Anemone.
"Land Meets Sea" Mangrove Forest, Seagrass Bed, Banded Archerfish, Banggai Cardinalfish, Spaghetti worm, Haddon's Carpet Anemone.
"Reef Relationships" Clown Anemone Fish, Carpet Anemone, Blue Palette Tang, Bulb-Tentacle Sea Anemone.
"Reef Relationships" Clown Anemone Fish, Carpet Anemone, Blue Palette Tang, Bulb-Tentacle Sea Anemone.
Life within the corals beneath the ocean.
Life within the corals beneath the ocean.
The (Clown Anemone Fish) and the (Pacific Regal Blue Tang)
The (Clown Anemone Fish) and the (Pacific Regal Blue Tang)
The Pacific Regal Blue Tang.
The Pacific Regal Blue Tang.
The Clown Anemone Fish. (upclose) swimming among the Tentacle Sea Anemone.
The Clown Anemone Fish. (upclose) swimming among the Tentacle Sea Anemone.
The Tentacle Sea Anemone as is.
The Tentacle Sea Anemone as is.
Haddon's Carpet Anemone
Haddon's Carpet Anemone

The Hawaii State Fish

Did you know that Hawaii has it's own state fish? Yes they do.

It all became about in the year 1985 when the designated fish, the reef triggerfish (rectangular triggerfish or Hawaiian triggerfish) was first put up on a trial basis for up to 5 years.

The Hawaiian name for it became known as the "Humuhumunukunukuapua'a".

After the 5 years had passed, it was then realized that they still had not decided to change or to keep their decision made in selecting the state fish for the state of Hawaii. In 1990 it became official and so it became to be.



The Hawaiian State Fish also known in Hawaii as...The Humuhumunukunukuapua'a (Rhinecanthus Rectangulus)

The Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle

The green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) or Hawaiian name (Honu) is an endangered species in Hawaii. It is illegal to collect, harm or to kill them. They can sometimes be found on some Hawaiian beaches. But if you see one, you must keep at a distance and respect their space.

Did you Know.......

that a green sea turtle's feeding dive usually takes about five minutes or less but they can actually stay under water for as long as five hours? The temperature of the water, when colder results in their ability to hold their breath longer.

Their heart rate slows when conserving oxygen and it has been said that nine minutes may pass between heartbeats.



The Green Sea Turtle

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A Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle Who are you?The Paparazzi?Run for cover ! NO CAMERAS PLEASE !I'm out of sight.... right?
A Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle
A Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle
Who are you?
Who are you?
The Paparazzi?
The Paparazzi?
Run for cover ! NO CAMERAS PLEASE !
Run for cover ! NO CAMERAS PLEASE !
I'm out of sight.... right?
I'm out of sight.... right?

The Ocean Drifters Display

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 The Lagoon Jelly  can be found in the Western Pacific Ocean and also here at the Waikiki Aquarium.The Moon Jelly...seen here giving off a ghostly blue translucent effect. They are common along the waters near the California and east coast, as well as Japan, the Gulf of Mexico, and Europe.
 The Lagoon Jelly  can be found in the Western Pacific Ocean and also here at the Waikiki Aquarium.
The Lagoon Jelly can be found in the Western Pacific Ocean and also here at the Waikiki Aquarium.
The Moon Jelly...seen here giving off a ghostly blue translucent effect.
The Moon Jelly...seen here giving off a ghostly blue translucent effect.
They are common along the waters near the California and east coast, as well as Japan, the Gulf of Mexico, and Europe.
They are common along the waters near the California and east coast, as well as Japan, the Gulf of Mexico, and Europe.

The Hunters on the Reef

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Here you will see some of the hunters of the reef in this display, starting with the Giant Grouper.A School of  Bluefin Trevally.The Blacktip Reef Shark !A Zebra Shark.
Here you will see some of the hunters of the reef in this display, starting with the Giant Grouper.
Here you will see some of the hunters of the reef in this display, starting with the Giant Grouper.
A School of  Bluefin Trevally.
A School of Bluefin Trevally.
The Blacktip Reef Shark !
The Blacktip Reef Shark !
A Zebra Shark.
A Zebra Shark.

The Shark

BigMouth Inc Dashboard Dancers, Man Eating Shark
BigMouth Inc Dashboard Dancers, Man Eating Shark

The Perfect Dashboard Shark Decoration for any Shark Lovers !

 

Colorful Fishes of the Sea

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The Peppermint FishThe Barlett Anthias FishAnother Peppermint fish within the protection of corals.
The Peppermint Fish
The Peppermint Fish
The Barlett Anthias Fish
The Barlett Anthias Fish
Another Peppermint fish within the protection of corals.
Another Peppermint fish within the protection of corals.

Shark "JAWS " Display

A Mega Shark Teeth Science Kit

Discover with Dr. Cool Mega Shark Teeth Science Kit
Discover with Dr. Cool Mega Shark Teeth Science Kit

Always wanted a see what a real shark tooth looks like? Learn all about sharks here which includes 10 fun games, puzzles and challenges to solve

 

The Sea Horse and Hermit Crab

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Stop horsing around guys...A horse with no name.Weeeee....Hermit crab walking on some coral.
Stop horsing around guys...
Stop horsing around guys...
A horse with no name.
A horse with no name.
Weeeee....
Weeeee....
Hermit crab walking on some coral.
Hermit crab walking on some coral.

The Ocellated River Stingray and Suckermouth Catfish

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The Ocellated River StingrayKissy kiss....The Suckermouth Catfish
The Ocellated River Stingray
The Ocellated River Stingray
Kissy kiss....
Kissy kiss....
The Suckermouth Catfish
The Suckermouth Catfish

The Hawaiian Monk Seal

The Hawaiian Monk Seal is also another endangered species here on the list in Hawaii. If you happen to spot one on the beach, watch from a distance for your safety and protection. Since any animal's reaction may vary, do give them their space and do not attempt to push them back into the ocean. Roped up areas if any are there for your protection and safety. If approached by a seal, avoid interaction and move away. Human interaction may alter their behavior and ability to fend for themselves in the wild.

If you notice a female seal attempting to shield her pup with her body or body movements, cautiously move away from that area. Other reasons to leave is when you also start to hear (vocalization) growling or if you notice any rapid movements of theirs as they're leaving from any kind of disturbance in the areas. Also be cautiously aware of any sudden awakening from their sleep on the beach.

It is not uncommon to occasionally experience seeing a sea turtle or a monk seal along some of our beautiful beaches in Hawaii or even in other places in the world.

But always remember that when it comes to sharing the surf and beaches with them, it is a privilege that comes with responsibility.



Hawaiian Monk Seal kick'in back on Waikiki Beach

* Picture taken by me @ Waikiki Beach not too far from the Waikiki aquarium.
* Picture taken by me @ Waikiki Beach not too far from the Waikiki aquarium.

The Edge of the Reef ~ Displays

This next exhibit includes a 7,500-gallon (28,400 liter) outdoor exhibit where you will find the kind of reef fishes one will usually see right along a typical Hawaiian coastline.

Have you ever gone snorkeling or diving in Hawaiian waters? Well if not, here you will have a close up surface view and side view of it all as if you're walking along a typical reef right off of our shores. Because it is all contained, you can't get any closer than this having this kind of experience within a fixed setting and it being far from dangerous. No waves to watch out for and all within in a peaceful setting.

Also here you will sometimes find interpretive volunteers providing up close and hands on experience with some of the animals found in our local tide pools.















Edge of the Reef Photos

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The Hawaiian Monk Seal ~ also referred to as   `Ilio holo I ka uaua, which means, "dog that runs in rough water."Biology and Habits. Seal or seal lions?Some "Edge of the Reef" information.This display includes: The Yellow Tang, Porcupine Pufferfish, Cleaner Wrasse, Pencil Urchins, and Reef Triggerfish, etc.A Reef Triggerfish.A Yellow Tang.
The Hawaiian Monk Seal ~ also referred to as   `Ilio holo I ka uaua, which means, "dog that runs in rough water."
The Hawaiian Monk Seal ~ also referred to as `Ilio holo I ka uaua, which means, "dog that runs in rough water."
Biology and Habits. Seal or seal lions?
Biology and Habits. Seal or seal lions?
Some "Edge of the Reef" information.
Some "Edge of the Reef" information.
This display includes: The Yellow Tang, Porcupine Pufferfish, Cleaner Wrasse, Pencil Urchins, and Reef Triggerfish, etc.
This display includes: The Yellow Tang, Porcupine Pufferfish, Cleaner Wrasse, Pencil Urchins, and Reef Triggerfish, etc.
A Reef Triggerfish.
A Reef Triggerfish.
A Yellow Tang.
A Yellow Tang.

Outside of the Aquarium

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The Waikiki Natatorium War Memorial was built as a living memorial  dedicated to "the men and women who served during the great war."The Coral Farm's growing guide and information.The Coral Farm includes: Emperor angelfish, Black tang, Staghorn coral, Flowerpot coral, Photosynthetic gorgonianGiant Clam display Why Aquaculture? A Hawaiian Tradition.Moi information.The Ocean Aquaculture display is where you will find the esteemed fish in Hawaii called  the Pacific Six Fingered Threadfin (known locally as “moi”) The Moi was raised in Hawaiian fishponds and served as food exclusively to royalty. Always had an important role in aquaculture both in the past and present.End of the tour and next up is... the aquarium gift shop.
The Waikiki Natatorium War Memorial was built as a living memorial  dedicated to "the men and women who served during the great war."
The Waikiki Natatorium War Memorial was built as a living memorial dedicated to "the men and women who served during the great war."
The Coral Farm's growing guide and information.
The Coral Farm's growing guide and information.
The Coral Farm includes: Emperor angelfish, Black tang, Staghorn coral, Flowerpot coral, Photosynthetic gorgonian
The Coral Farm includes: Emperor angelfish, Black tang, Staghorn coral, Flowerpot coral, Photosynthetic gorgonian
Giant Clam display
Giant Clam display
Why Aquaculture? A Hawaiian Tradition.
Why Aquaculture? A Hawaiian Tradition.
Moi information.
Moi information.
The Ocean Aquaculture display is where you will find the esteemed fish in Hawaii called  the Pacific Six Fingered Threadfin (known locally as “moi”)
The Ocean Aquaculture display is where you will find the esteemed fish in Hawaii called the Pacific Six Fingered Threadfin (known locally as “moi”)
 The Moi was raised in Hawaiian fishponds and served as food exclusively to royalty. Always had an important role in aquaculture both in the past and present.
The Moi was raised in Hawaiian fishponds and served as food exclusively to royalty. Always had an important role in aquaculture both in the past and present.
End of the tour and next up is... the aquarium gift shop.
End of the tour and next up is... the aquarium gift shop.

The Aquarium Souvenirs Gift Shop

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Toys...The inside of.....a shark ?Cool shirts !t-shirts, mugs, books, games, souvenirs of all sorts including seahorses and jellyfish, etc...Waikiki Aquarium souvenirs.Seals, turtles, and sharks galore.
Toys...
Toys...
The inside of.....a shark ?
The inside of.....a shark ?
Cool shirts !
Cool shirts !
t-shirts, mugs, books, games, souvenirs of all sorts including seahorses and jellyfish, etc...
t-shirts, mugs, books, games, souvenirs of all sorts including seahorses and jellyfish, etc...
Waikiki Aquarium souvenirs.
Waikiki Aquarium souvenirs.
Seals, turtles, and sharks galore.
Seals, turtles, and sharks galore.

Shark Attack Porcelain Mug

Accoutrements Shark Attack Porcelain Mug
Accoutrements Shark Attack Porcelain Mug

Just when you thought it was safe to have a cup of coffee !

 

Waikiki Aquarium Video

Have you every visited the Waikiki Aquarium?

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Thank you for Reading ! Please feel free to comment

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    • Minoru10 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michael Yoshinaka 

      3 years ago from Honolulu, Hawaii

      Honolulu and the islandof Oahu is a must....quite modern and beautiful country side on the North Shore.

      Thanks Larry for your comment. : D

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      3 years ago from Oklahoma

      Would like to make it back out. Have only been to Hawaii twice, and both times I spent all my time in Kawaii.

    • Minoru10 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michael Yoshinaka 

      3 years ago from Honolulu, Hawaii

      Thank you Larry for commenting.

      Next time you're in Hawaii why not check the place out?

      It is a small place though...You could add it as part of a day spending some time on Waikiki beach or also you could check out the Honolulu zoo located just across the street from there. : D

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      3 years ago from Oklahoma

      What a beautiful attraction.

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