Visiting public aquariums is always an interesting experience. On the one hand, you get to see massive display tanks, tons of fish and corals, and lots of cool stuff you just wish you had. On the other hand, your excitement quickly turns to disappointment when you realize that not only do the exhibits have the same livestock as you, but you could do it a lot better in many instances. Moody Gardens, a privately owned aquarium in Galveston, Texas that is open to the public, is one of those facilities that has all of the right intentions, but fails to deliver on so many levels. I know I’m not doing that good of a job promoting this new Picture of the Week here, but it’s hard to find something nice to say about the aquarium.
In this picture of the week entry, we see a regular old run of the mill Sinularia leather coral. It isn’t particularly colorful, but at least the polyps are out and fully extended. The rest of the aquarium, unfortunately, isn’t in good shape at all. The sand bed is full of Aiptasia anemones, the fish aren’t anything to write home about, and many of the non-photosynthetic corals were dead or dying. Surprisingly, the soft corals looked to be in decent shape, as evident by their polyp extension.
The rest of the exhibits weren’t in any better shape either. The big SPS reef aquarium is still down from one of the hurricanes that Texas got a few years ago, the seahorse growout area was an absolute wreck, and all of the other exhibits were completely lack luster. It was really hard to find a bright spot at Moody Gardens, which is sad given the facility’s potential and great location.