Marvel at the fascinating behaviors of nearly 150 species of fish and coral in Rainbow Reef. This 1,700-gallon coral reef aquarium—one of the biggest in the Northeast—features a large and low viewing surface that provides even the littlest Nemo watchers an amazing view of brilliantly colored fish, corals, anemones, shrimp, eel, and crab.
A multimedia presentation adjacent to the tank helps guests identify the various types of fish introduced into the miniature ecosystem.
Rainbow River and Sea Anemone Tanks
In close proximity to Rainbow Reef is the Rainbow River tank, home to sparkling freshwater fish found in tropical rivers from all over the world. An adjacent sea anemone tank is the perfect place to watch clownfish, like Nemo, and other small reef inhabitants up close.
The aquariums at The Strong are home to nearly 150 species of fish and coral.
False Percula Clownfish
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.
Scientific name: Centropyge lorica
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 unicornis
Only male unicorn tangs have a long “horn.” Hercules, the museum’s unicorn tang, is the largest fish in the tank and still getting bigger—and the bigger he gets, the bigger his horn gets!
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.
Candy Cane Coral
Scientific name: Caulastrea curvata
Under certain lighting, candy cane corals display candy-cane-like stripes. Look for these types of coral in blue, green, and brown colorations.
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: Gorgonia sp.
Brown gorgonian corals, sometimes called sea fans, have an almost wood-like skeleton that is very different from most other stony skeleton corals. Some scientists disagree on whether or not these are even real coral!
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. Look for different colors of mushroom corals in Rainbow Reef?
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.