The ABQ Biopark Aquarium, located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States is a facility of the Albuquerque Biological Park and is located next door to the Rio Grande Botanic Garden. The ABQ Biopark Aquarium exhibits Gulf of Mexico saltwater species from a variety of habitats, including surf zone, shallow waters, coral reefs, open ocean and deep ocean.
The highlight of the aquarium is a 285,000 gallon shark tank with a 38-foot (12 m)-wide, 9-foot (2.7 m)-high, 8-inch-thick acrylic viewing window. Jellies: Aliens of the Sea, featuring moon jellies and Japanese sea nettles, and the Moray Eel Tunnel are popular with aquarium visitors. The South Pacific Gallery features seahorses, pipefishes, and colorfully patterned reef fish.
The Rio Grande at Central Bridge exhibit in the aquarium lobby offers visitors an opportunity to compare the kinds of fish that lived in the Albuquerque reach of the Rio Grande 100 years ago and those found today. The newest exhibit, Shark/Ray Encounter, allows guests to have a guided, up-close experience with bamboo sharks and stingrays.The Albuquerque Biological Park is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).
The Albuquerque Aquarium was built as a themed aquarium, with visitors starting at a fountain that depicts the headwaters of the Rio Grande and ending at a 285,000-US-gallon (1,080,000 l) saltwater tank which holds species from the open ocean of the Gulf of Mexico.
After entering the museum, visitors first view freshwater tanks that display fish from the Rio Grande, both currently found and those no longer found in the river today. Adjacent to this exhibit is a model boat exhibition hall and a movie theater displaying informational films on aquatic life.
Following this is a Gulf of Mexico Coast Gallery, which contains several exhibits depicting the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, with fish and bird species from this region as well as stingrays and a retired shrimp fishing boat.
A replica of a coral reef displaying such fish as parrotfish, angelfish, gunts, porcupinefish, and triggerfish comes next; followed by an eel cave which displays green moray eels, spotted eel, purplemouth eel, and goliath groupers. The next exhibit is a series of small tanks exhibiting "oddities" such as clownfish, seahorses, pipefish, and jellyfish.
The Albuquerque Aquarium currently runs a facility that focuses in the conservation of fishes found in the Rio Grande. The project includes the Rio Grande Silvery Minnow breeding program and the Socorro Isopod.
In January 2008, three blacktip shark pups were born at the Albuquerque Aquarium, making it the first birth of this species of shark ever recorded in captivity. The births were caught on video, which is available for viewing.
The stated mission of the aquarium is to educate the public about the world oceans and the animals that live within. Events are held year round and include monthly sleepovers, a "Shark Week", camps for children during the summer and spring, and celebrations for World Oceans Day, and Earth Day.