Aglantis

Aglantis, a 300-gallon saltwater aquarium, is located on the lower level of the Texas A&M University Memorial Student Center under the Memory Cloud. It is maintained by Texas Sea Grant to educate people of all ages in the Brazos Valley about the Gulf of Mexico and it’s connected waters. Established in 2013 as an Earth Day gift to the Brazos Valley, the tank is home to many species of fish and invertebrates.  The residents were made Aglantis species ambassadors to ito promote ocean awareness and inspire the preservation of the world’s oceans for future generations.

 

aquariumheaderaglantis__large.png

The aquarium is 10 feet long, 2 feet wide and 2 feet deep. It was created and designed by The Fish Gallery of Houston. Webcams and server for the live video feeds of the aquarium have been donated by MacResource.

Aglantis Ambassadors

Aglantis contains animals from the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean. One of the first to arrive was the aquarium mascot, E. Crab Gill, a maroon-and-white Calico Crab.

 

Calypso

queen angelfish

 Queen Angelfish (Holacanthus ciliaris)
The queen of our tank, Calypso is usually spotted cruising her kingdom and visiting her subjects. 

Found mostly in the Caribbean, Atlantic, and Gulf of Mexico waters, these shy fish get their name from the black spot on their head that resembles a crown. As juveniles, they are mostly blue and as they grow older the blue is replaced with its stunning yellow coloration. In the wild, Queen Angelfish can grow to be 18 inches in length and their diet consists mostly of sea sponges and algae. 

 

Cindie

Caribbean Blue Tang (Acanthurus coeruleus)
Cindie is a busy body, often found moving in and out of the rocks keeping an eye on all the tanks affairs. 

Usually just known as the Blue Tang, these fish are found mostly in Caribbean waters, in and around the reefs. Juvenile blue tangs are bright yellow until they reach adulthood, at which time they turn a dark blue. In the wild they have a symbiotic relationship with Green Sea Turtles in which they remove parasites from the turtles skin. They also graze on algae and sponges to supplement their diets. 

 

Chomper

Pinfish (Lagodon rhomboides)
You’ll using find Chomper will come to you, just hoping for a bite to eat. He definitely earns his name at meal time!

Pinfish are commonly found in shallow waters all along the Gulf Coast. As a baitfish species, they are vital to both the fishing industry and the ecosystem they live in. They are one of the main prey items for fish such as Speckled trout, Red Drum, and Grouper. Being abundant, pinfish are highly sought after by fishermen to use as bait. Pinfish begin their lives as carnivores, but as they grow they become completely herbivorous. Pinfish are commonly seen at smaller sizes, but can grow to 4.5-6 inches in the wild. 

 

 Mr. & Mrs. Sharp

clownfish Orange Clownfish (Amphiprion percula)
You can usually spot the Sharps hanging out at the top of the tank.

Found mainly in the Indian Ocean, these fish were made popular in the disney film Nemo. In the wild, there fish engage in a symbiotic relationship with a multitude of anemone species, giving them the nickname Anemonefish. They are very popular in the aquarium trade, and because they are wild caught, this has put a serious strain on wild populations of clownfish. 

 

Mike and Ike

Royal Gramma (Gramma loreto)
These brothers are usually spotted hiding in the rocks at the back of the tank. The best time to spot these guys is during meal time! 

Native to the Western Atlantic Ocean, these fish are also known as Fairy Basslets.They’re generally very shy fish, as because of this they make their homes in and around rocks. In the wild they eat plankton and parasites from the skin of other fish. Unlike most saltwater fish in the aquarium trade, they are fairly easy to breed in captivity.

 

Speedy & Sneaky

Bluehead Wrasse (Thalassoma bifasciatum)
Usually found playing hide and seek all over the tank, you’d better catch a glimpse of them when you get the chance!

Found most commonly in the northwestern Atlantic, in the reefs surrounding the island of Puerto Rico, there speedy fish spend most of their time cleaning parasites off of other fish. As juveniles, the blue headed wrasse are yellow and black. However, as this age they acquire the blue coloration on the front of their body that gives them their names. In the wild, they are highly reliant on coral reefs for food and shelter so the loss of these reefs would be detrimental to the species. 

 

E. Crab Gill

Calico Crab (Hepatus epheliticus)
E. Crab Gill likes to bury himself in the sand during the day. At night he’s more liking to be out and about so look for him then. 

Famous for their beautiful shell, the Calico crab is most common along the coast of Georgia but often migrates into the warmer waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Much like E. Crab Gill, wild Calico Crabs like to burrow into the sand, both to avoid predators and the ambush potential prey. While they will catch and eat live prey such as small fish and invertebrates, they are mostly scavengers and will eat almost anything given the chance. It’s also not uncommon to find Calico Crab who have places Anemones on their shells as further protection from predators. Photo Credit: Meredith Faix

 

John David Crowstacean

Banded Coral Shrimp (Stenopus hispidus)
The shyest of our ambassadors, he spends much of his time behind the rocks, but will come out during feeding times. 

Even though the name suggests it, Banded Coral Shrimp aren’t actually shrimp at all! They are a type of shrimp-like decapod. Like most crustaceans, these guys are mostly nocturnal, feeding and . They live a fairly solitary life until they find a mate. Banded Coral Shrimp mate for life and if one shrimp dies, the remaining shrimp will not take another mate.

 

Spirit

Spirit yellow tang.jpgYellow Tang (Zebrasoma flavescens)
Usually found hanging out with his friend Felix and snacking on algae, Spirit is an easy one to spot!

 

 

 

 

Felix

One Spot Foxface (Siganus unimaculatus)
Felix loves munch on algae that grows on the rocks inside the aquarium. 

 

Marshmallow

Chocolate Chip Sea Star (Protoreaster nodosus)
To find Marshmallow, you’ll have to look everywhere! He can climb the rocks and walls so don’t forget to look up!

Aglantis Sea Lessons

K-12 STEM Literacy and Development Materials

Texas Sea Grant is excited to announce a new K-12 education outreach initiative to match our STEM Education strategic goals. We plan to foster the imagination and the STEM literacy of Texas students, through the periodic distribution of educational material packets. These will be lesson plans, worksheets, and other great classroom material on a wide variety of topics that are free to use. 

Teachers and Students are welcomed to download and use these resources in their classrooms. 

 

Educational Material Packets


Climate & Debris 
Whales
Meteorology
Climate Change and Oceans
Geography and Exploration
Marine Animals and Habitats One
Marine Animals and Habitats Two
Marine Animals and Habitats Three
Marine Animals and Habitats Four
Marine Animals and Habitats Five
Marine Animals and Habitats Six
Sea Turtles
Solar Power

Sponsors

 
 
 Mac Resources Logo 

Urban Aquatics logo
The Office of the Provost is the sponsor of the Ocean Awareness Initiative making the Aglantis aquarium possible.
 
Drew Casey

For More Information:

Drew Casey

Program Coordinator

Drew.Casey@tamu.edu

(979) 845-1245