New aquarium exhibit unveiled at Center in the Square

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ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - Center in the Square pulled the wraps off a new aquarium exhibit on Tuesday morning.

As more than a hundred students from Roanoke Catholic School looked on, Center staff unveiled the new Predators of the Amazon aquarium. The aquarium features some of the fish that grow extremely large in the wild.

Before the unveiling of the 400-gallon tank, Center's education manager and aquarium curator explained the value of the Amazon River and the rain forest to the world's ecology and environment. The students saw examples of the fish that come from the river, which are often sought by anglers because of their large size.

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Though the specimens in the aquarium at Center in the Square are much smaller, they still serve as an opportunity to raise awareness about the world's environment.

"We decided to do Predators of the Amazon because it's very exciting to showcase to students. It's a great educational opportunity to learn about something that is thousands of miles away in a different country, but still impacts us on both global climate, and we impact their economy," said Center Education Manager Tiffany Beheler.

The largest fish in the aquarium are currently four silver arowanas. There are also a number of peacock bass, and a school of piranha-like fish called red hooks – which are not nearly as dangerous or voracious as their sharp-toothed cousins. The display also includes a rip-saw catfish and a tiger shovelnose catfish. More fish may be added over time.

The Predators of the Amazon aquarium, along with the living reef, jellyfish exhibits and seahorse aquarium, is open and free to the public Center in the Square's regular business hours

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