The tank is so clean you hardly notice it’s there. It’s almost like there’s a bunch of fish just floating around in the air. Then, as you catch a glimpse of the shark and start to dive for cover, your fellow shoppers bust out laughing and fill you in on the Abt Saltwater Aquarium, a 7,500-gallon tank that houses a school’s worth of exotic fish.
“The inspiration for our aquarium came from seeing the large fish tank at the Mirage in Las Vegas, which sparked the idea that we could do something like that, on a smaller scale, here in our store,” says company CEO Bob Abt. “It makes a great display area for our cameras and camcorders and gives customers something interesting and colorful to view as they test them out. A lot of kids on field trips and from day camps come here to see the fish, and it’s really educational and a lot of fun for them.”
There are more than 100 fish in the aquarium, including a leopard shark, moray eels, puffers, triggers, and many other species that enjoy the tank’s artificial coral reef, modeled after an actual section of the Great Barrier Reef. To keep this 20-foot long, 8-foot deep aquarium in pristine condition, a diver enters the tank twice a week to give it a thorough cleaning.
When you visit Abt, we like to have you relax and enjoy all the attractions and boutique shops within our store. You might even catch the fish watching some of the nearby TVs (they’re currently enjoying “Shark Week” on the Discovery Channel). But don’t stay too long past closing time. We’d rather not have our customers end up sleeping with the fish. —by Graham W.