Frost Science@Home: Building the Great Barrier Reef Exhibit

aquarium with fish and coral

There’s always something new and exciting to discover at Frost Science, and that includes our popular three-level Aquarium. But how does the museum change its exhibits? It takes planning, teamwork and a lot of elbow grease! Creating new Aquarium exhibits can be even more complex, as they will be home to living species. We recently debuted a new Great Barrier Reef exhibit in the Ocean Gallery with over 800 fish. In this Frost Science@Home post, we go behind-the-scenes as our Animal Husbandry team gives us a look at key facts on how this exhibit was built.

Top 5 Five Facts About the Great Barrier Reef Exhibit

  1. The Ocean Gallery exhibit depicts a typical fringing reef within Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef system.
  2. The exhibit contains approximately 10,000 gallons of constantly filtered saltwater, with over 800 fish across 47 different species.
  3. It took 10 people around eight weeks to build the exhibit.
  4. Aside from some electrical modifications, all work was performed by the dedicated Frost Science team, each of whom has a full plate of responsibilities aside from constructing new exhibits. This meant some longer days and late nights, but it was worth it! While the internal construction was intensive, the majority of the work occurred behind-the-scenes, with plumbing modifications, infrastructure improvements and installation of specialized equipment, specific to the operation of a live coral reef exhibit.
  5. Many corals require strong water flow, so we utilize specially-designed pumps which move over 100,000 gallons per hour! The exhibition also features an array of 20 LED lights which emit just the right wavelength to be utilized by the coral’s endosymbionts (an endosymbiont or endobiont is any organism that lives within the body or cells of another organism most often, though not always, in a mutualistic relationship).
  1. Building the Great Barrier Reef Exhibit


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