River Aquarium - Expo Zaragoza 2008

River Aquarium at the Exhibition Expo Zaragoza 2008
© Philippe Lemaire

The aquarium is another of the exhibition's key installations. Nile crocodiles, blacktip sharks, anacondas, piranhas and Siberian sturgeon are the main protagonists of the aquatic complex.
Its 7,850 square metres house 50 aquariums, thematically separated, with a freshwater volume of around three million litres. The fronts of the enclosure have their own themes, and for this purpose large earth materials have been shown. Clay, rock and water in the form of a glacier are simulated. From the terrace a waterfall falls into a lake that surrounds the aquarium.
The interior of the aquarium, which is considered to be the largest river aquarium in Europe, is accessed through a large, well-lit entrance that informs the visitor about the five different areas that he or she will discover. The attraction is immense thanks to the interior design, presided over by a large aquarium measuring 40 metres in length, 6 metres in average width and 9 metres in height. This unites the five rivers, each with the fauna and flora of the chosen continents.
The 600-metre-long course winds its way through the two floors. The Nile is the first river to be crossed, which includes a beach with crocodiles, followed by the Mekong, where one can contemplate an orchid garden and a coral reef, which even includes some morays. The Amazon is surprising because in the forest recreated with real and fictitious trees, there is a wooden aerial walkway that allows you to enjoy the two floors that it occupies, and where there are also arapaimas, fish that reach almost three metres in length.
On the second floor, the Darling-Murray River is imitated with flat flooded surfaces, delta birds and the underwater world. The course ends in the Ebro. This river has a mountain water cave, shoreline bushes and delta species.
One of its attractions is the pond where there are beautiful otters. The aquarium also offers one of the best terraces with a bar-restaurant, which has a special microclimate as it is flooded by a 40-centimetre-high wave of water. In the evening, it becomes a lounge bar.

© Exposicion International Zaragoza 2008