East Idaho Aquarium now open to the public

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Photos: Rett Nelson | EastIdahoNews.com

IDAHO FALLS – The highly anticipated East Idaho Aquarium is now open for business.

During a tour of the exhibits Thursday, aquarium president Aaron Faires explained how this business got started.

“I used to clean people’s fish tanks. It’s always been a passion of mine. At all the tanks I’d go to, I’d see kid’s fingerprints all over it. You could tell where their nostrils and face had been. I thought, ‘This place needs something better than just the average fish tank,'” Faires said.

Faires wants people to come and interact with the animals, touch, feel and even feed them. Those who go to the aquarium will see a wide variety of fish on display, including the one seen in Finding Nemo and the sting ray–and these sting rays don’t bite.

“They (sting rays) go through a training period where people get in there and hand feed them. Their mouths are flat. They don’t even have sharp teeth. They have a bony plate, which you can sometimes feel when you feed them,” said one aquarium employee.

Even though the facility is now officially open, there are a few exhibits that will have to wait for later.

“A lot of our fish were coming from Florida until some things really got jacked up. Who knew Idaho would be affected by the hurricane?,” said Faires.

The shark tank and jelly fish exhibit are empty now, but Faires expects them to be here within the next few weeks.

“We’ll have a mermaid show with the sharks once it’s all up and running. We’re (also) working on an Idaho exhibit, our very last exhibit, which shows people our beauty and how our river goes into the ocean.”

Each exhibit is sponsored by a local business.

The East Idaho Aquarium is open daily from 9a-8p and is located at 570 E Anderson St. in Idaho Falls near Fred Meyer. Adults are $12 and youth are $9. Click here for more information.

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