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Freshwater Aquarium - Expo Paris 1878

Freshwater Aquarium at the Exhibition Expo Paris 1878

There is nothing more amusing than to descend underground by means of rustic staircases and to find yourself suddenly under cool vaults where the light, filtered by the water, only reaches you through thick panes of glass.

The eye, however, does not take long to get used to this new light for him, and he distinguishes marvellously the hosts of our rivers indulging in their frolics: bream, roach, gudgeon, tench, eels, carp, etc., etc., They do not suspect the covetousness of which they are the object on the part of the Parisian fishermen who shudder to see for the first time so many fish within their reach, without being allowed to try to catch them.

Here are the dimensions of the aquarium as accurately as possible: total surface area, 2,600 metres; width of the aisles, 6 metres; number of fish tanks: 24; depth, from 5 metres to 2.40 metres; average capacity, 30 cubic metres; thickness of the ice, 22 millimetres.

The water reaches the aquarium through the central rock.

Although the fish did not all do equally well with the change of existence imposed on them, a visit to the aquarium is nevertheless one of the real attractions of the Exhibition.

©Les Merveilles de l'Exposition de 1878