The Amazon Rainforest habitat at the Long Island Aquarium reminds us of our responsibility to our planet’s environment and animal life by showcasing some of the largest and most interesting Amazon fish and aquatic life.
A vastly threatened wilderness, the Amazon Rainforest supports the Earth’s greatest diversity of animal and plant life. Over 2,000 species of tropical freshwater fish swim in the streams, ponds, and tributaries of the winding Amazon River. However, the ecosystem of the rainforests is being destroyed due to deforestation. This doesn’t only affect the land animals and plants in the Amazon, it also affects the fish and aquatic creatures as well.
Many Amazon fish, unfortunately, wind up being harvested for the pet trade. While beautiful and interesting, most hobbyists and pet owners are not prepared to handle the size and care requirements that these fish need as they get older. All of the fish in this exhibit have been rescued from people who did not have large enough facilities to keep them. For instance, red pacus (Piaractus brachypomus) are often sold as pets when they are the size of a quarter, but they quickly grow to twelve inches in length, and they eventually grow to four feet!
As you enjoy these magnificent creatures, please remember that they belong in the wild or at a professional aquarium – not at home!
Don’t forget to check out some of our other beautiful Amazon residents, including a silver Arowana (Osteoglossum bicirrhosum), a dolphin catfish, our motoro and tiger stingrays, and many more!