Center In The Square

Carlin Aquarium Systems and Center in the Square

Carlin Aquarium Systems is proud to maintain the beautiful aquariums at Center in the Square, the Arts and cultural Center of Roanoke, Va.

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Ben Carlin talks to school children before a demonstration dive in the reef tank.
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The Reef Aquarium at Center in the Square

Center’s aquariums include the beautiful 8,000 gallon living reef, featuring fish and corals from the Indo-Pacific region of the world.  Stop by and see the clownfish (Nemos) and Hippo tangs (Dories) and all the other colorful fish and living corals.

Just open as of September of 2015 is the new Predators of the Amazon Aquarium.  This 400 gallon exhibit features silver arowans, peacock bass, red hooks (cousins to the piranha) electric blue acara, rip saw catfish and tiger shovel nose catfish just to name a few.

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The new Predators of the Amazon Aquarium
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The jellyfish and seahorse aquariums at Center in the Square.

One of the favorites at Center in the Square are the dual jellyfish cylinders.  Graceful moon jellies pulse happily in the gentle current changing colors with the subtle LED lighting.  People often tell us they take a break from work  for the therapeutic effect of watching the jellies swim.

Nestled between the jelly tubes is the Seahorse aquarium, featuring aquacultured seahorses native to the Atlantic Ocean.  This aquarium offers visitors an up close view of not only the seahorses, but a variety of other sea creatures and fish that specialize in hiding among the rocks of the reef.

It’s the job of Carlin Aquariums Systems — namely Curator Ben Carlin and Chief aquarist Stephen Sinnes to make sure these aquariums are always ready to entertain the public.  Ben dives in the reef tanks regularly to clean the glass and plant and tend to corals.  But most of the work happens in Center’s massive life support center, located in the basement just below the aquariums in the atrium.  Carlin Aquarium Systems staff work tirelessly in the bowels of the building, doing water changes, testing water parameters, quarantining fish and even growing corals for the non-profit MountainCroals.org.

The massive tank, like the others in Center’s lobby, was designed by Reef Aquaria Design of Florida, and is based on the Center in the Square concepts created by lead architect David Bandy at Spectrum Design of Roanoke.

View the full installation on our flickr stream.