National Aquarium – Atlantic Coral Reef

There's Magic
in the Water

Atlantic Coral Reef

Hundreds of colorful tropical fish swim and school on an authentic fabricated reef in this 335,000-gallon, 13-foot-deep exhibit. More than 500 exotic fish surround visitors as they descend through the exhibit. Divers feed the reef’s fish several times each day.

Animals in This Exhibit

  • Bonnethead Shark

    While many of our visitors point and declare “hammerhead!” when they see this shark cruising through the exhibit, the bonnethead shark is easily distinguished from its much larger cousin.

    Bonnethead shark
  • Green Moray Eel

    The green moray is actually brown! The yellow tint of the mucus that covers its body, in combination with the drab background color, gives the fish its namesake green appearance.

    Green Moray Eel
  • Spotfin Porcupinefish

    Like most pufferfish, the spotfin porcupinefish can draw in water to inflate itself. When it does, sharp spines on its body stick out, which is how it got its name.

    National Aquarium – Porcupine Fish

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Holly Bourbon
Curator of Large-Fish Exhibits/Diving Safety Officer

pressroom striped fish

As the curator of large-fish exhibits, Holly's day-to-day responsibilities include managing our staff of aquarists and making sure that all of the animals under our care are doing well! Learn More

The Secret Harm in Sunscreen

Coral Reef infographic

Skin-protecting sunscreens are devastating coral reefs around the globe.

Learn More

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