Dive into The Strong’s Rainbow Reef exhibit and discover delightful activities inspired by the museum’s underwater residents.
- Step up to a larger-than-life digital aquarium. Design and draw shapes on a fish coloring sheet. Then, scan your drawing onto a monitor and watch it come to life on a projected fish tank filled with coral reef.
- Marvel at the fascinating behaviors of saltwater fish and coral in the 1,700-gallon coral reef aquarium featuring a large and low viewing surface that provides even the littlest ocean watchers an amazing view of brilliantly colored animals.
- Gaze at sparkling freshwater fish found in tropical rivers from all over the world. The smaller tank in the exhibit is the perfect place to watch tiny reef fish and other inhabitants that might be missed in a larger saltwater aquarium.
Digital aquarium created in collaboration with opens in a new windowWorkinman.
Underwater Residents in Rainbow Reef
The aquariums at The Strong are home to many different species of fish and invertebrates. Here are some facts about some of them.
Scientific name: Amphiprion ocellaris
What tank would be complete without a Nemo? Look closely because false percula clownfish rarely leave the protection of their favorite anemones or coral. You’ll find our clownfish living in our smaller reef aquarium.
Scientific name: Centropyge loricula
In the wild, flame angelfish love to nibble on corals and clam mantles. Rainbow Reef’s flame angelfish are well fed, so there is no concern for them to be in the tank with corals and clams.
Scientific name: Paracanthurus hepatus
More affectionately known as Finding Nemo’s Dory, hippo tangs are a favorite of many museum guests.
Scientific name: Naso lituratus
Some people think the lipstick tang looks beautiful; some think it looks plain silly. But one thing is for sure, its unique coloration definitely makes it stand out in a crowd!
Scientific name: Odonus niger
Triggerfish get their name from their two moveable spines. When the larger, forward spine is upright, the smaller one behind it (the trigger) can drop down, so the fish can secure itself in a hiding spot.
Scientific name: Naso annulatus
Hercules, the museum’s unicorn tang, is the largest fish in the tank. The function of the “horn” at the front of their face is still unknown to science.
Scientific name: Zebrasoma flavescens
With a brilliant yellow color rivaled by few other fish, Rainbow Reef’s yellow tangs are always a crowd favorite.
Scientific name: Favia sp.
The green brain coral in Rainbow Reef has to be placed far away from other corals or, in the nighttime, it will send out tentacles called “sweepers” that will sting and kill neighboring corals.
Scientific name: Zoantharia sp.
Zoas come in many different colors and look like little circles ringed with tentacles. Several different colors of zoas can be found in the aquarium.
Scientific name: Montipora capricornis
Cap coral is one of the fastest growing corals. It comes in many different colors including red, orange, purple, green, and brown.
Scientific name: Euphyllia paranchora
Hammer corals are closely related to torch corals. Some people have given them the name anchor coral. Look at the coral’s tentacles and decide what name—hammer or anchor coral—is most fitting?
Scientific name: Actinodiscus sp.
Mushroom corals are actually closely related to anemones and grow very fast. The coral seen in Rainbow Reef have spread all over the tank, and even climbed up the sides.
Scientific name: Acropora sp.
Staghorn coral is a favorite of many reef keepers. It can grow in many shapes and sizes and even though it looks like a colored rock, it is actually a living animal. This coral is one of the major reef corals responsible for building the substructure that supports the entire reef!
Scientific name: Euphyllia glabrescens
Torch corals have long, thin tentacles that flutter in the current of the water. Think about why they are called torches as you watch them.