The Waikiki Aquarium was built in 1904 and is considered as the third oldest aquarium in the United States. Located in 2777 Kalakaua Avenue, Waikiki, the aquarium is part of the University of Hawaii and is built on the shores of Waikiki. Aside from providing exhibits about the marine life in Hawaii, the aquarium also serves as a research facility for the aquatic life in the tropical Pacific. Every year, 320,000 people including 25,000 school age children visit the Waikiki Aquarium.
The facility features more than 3,500 marine animals and aquatic plants, representing 500 species from throughout Hawaii and the Tropical Pacific. It also boasts of a coral reef exhibit which provides visitors a close-up look at reef sharks, living coral, sea jellies, reef fish, and more. You probably won't be able to see them, but there are also water flow and circulation tools hiding in the tanks to ensure that the aquariums seem as natural as possible to the inhabitants. The fish are used to the flow and circulation of the sea, so this needs to be replicated for them to ensure they remain healthy and fit. It's recommended that all fishkeepers who run a reef tank install powerheads/wavemakers in their tank to ensure their fish remain healthy, and to ensure there are no dead spots in the tank where harmful bacteria can build up. If you're feeling inspired, and want to bring a slice of Hawaii back with you, then you might want to consider checking out Clear Water Aquariums. They offer custom set ups, so you can fill your tanks with a wide range of different aquatic life.
Outside the facility is a 75,000 gallon Edge of Reef habitat, Moi hatchery and the endangered Monk seal pool. Waikiki has pioneered efforts to farm corals, which visitors can see at the coral farm. Aquariums from around the world request live corals from Waikiki.
To get to the Waikiki Aquarium, take Kalakaua toward the Honolulu Zoo. After crossing Kapahulu, get in the right lane and the Waikiki Aquarium will be on the right. The aquarium is open daily from 9am-4:30pm daily.