Aquarium

   
A tropical display tank at the Georgia Aquarium

An aquarium (plural aquariums or aquaria) is a vivarium, usually contained in a clear-sided container (typically constructed of glass or high-strength plastic) in which water-dwelling plants and animals (usually fish, and sometimes invertebrates, as well as amphibians, marine mammals, and reptiles) are kept in captivity, often for public display; or it is an establishment featuring such displays. Aquarium keeping is a popular hobby around the world, with about 60 million enthusiasts worldwide. From the 1850s, when the predecessor of the modern aquarium was first developed as a novel curiosity, the ranks of aquarists have swelled as more sophisticated systems including lighting and filtration systems were developed to keep aquarium fish healthy. Public aquaria reproduce the home aquarist's hobby on a grand scale — the Osaka Aquarium, for example, boasts a tank of 5,400 m³ (1.4 million U.S. gallons) and a collection of about 580 species of aquatic life.

A wide variety of aquaria are now kept by hobbyists, ranging from a simple bowl housing a single fish to complex simulated ecosystems with carefully engineered support systems. Aquaria are usually classified as containing fresh or salt water, at tropical or cold water temperatures. These characteristics, and others, determine the type of fish and other inhabitants that can survive and thrive in the aquarium. Inhabitants for aquaria are often collected from the wild, although there is a growing list of organisms that are bred in captivity for supply to the aquarium trade.

The careful aquarist dedicates considerable effort to maintaining a tank ecology that mimics its inhabitants' natural habitat. Controlling water quality includes managing the inflow and outflow of nutrients, most notably the management of waste produced by tank inhabitants. The nitrogen cycle describes the flow of nitrogen from input via food, through toxic nitrogenous waste produced by tank inhabitants, to metabolism to less toxic compounds by beneficial bacteria populations. Other components in maintaining a suitable aquarium environment include appropriate species selection, management of biological loading, and good physical design.

South East Asian fish in the aquarium at Bristol Zoo, Bristol, England. The tank is about 2 metres (6 feet) high.

History and development

Etymology

The word aquarium itself is taken directly from the latin aqua, meaning water, with the suffix -rium, meaning "place" or "building".

Ancient practices

Koi have been kept in decorative ponds for centuries in China and Japan.

The keeping of fish in confined or artificial environments is a practice with deep roots in history. Ancient Sumerians were known to keep wild-caught fish in ponds, before preparing them for meals. In China, selective breeding of carp into today's popular koi and goldfish is believed to have begun over 2,000 years ago. Depictions of the sacred fish of Oxyrhynchus kept in captivity in rectangular temple pools have been found in ancient Egyptian art. Many other cultures also have a history of keeping fish for both functional and decorative purposes. The Chinese brought goldfish indoors during the Song dynasty to enjoy them in large ceramic vessels.

Glass enclosures

The concept of an aquarium, designed for the observation of fish in an enclosed, transparent tank to be kept indoors, emerged more recently. However, it is difficult to pinpoint the exact date of this development. In 1665 the diarist Samuel Pepys recorded seeing in London "a fine rarity, of fishes kept in a glass of water, that will live so forever, and finely marked they are, being foreign." The fish observed by Pepys were likely to have been the paradise fish, Macropodus opercularis, a familiar garden fish in Canton, China, where the East India Company was then trading. In the 18th century, the biologist Abraham Trembley kept hydra found in the garden canals of the Bentinck residence 'Sorgvliet' in the Netherlands, in large cylindrical glass vessels for study. The concept of keeping aquatic life in glass containers, then, dates to at latest this period.

Popularization

The keeping of fish in an aquarium first became a popular hobby in Britain only after ornate aquaria in cast-iron frames were featured at the Great Exhibition of 1851. The framed-glass aquarium was a specialized version of the glazed Wardian case developed for British horticulturists in the 1830s to protect exotic plants on long sea voyages. (One feature of some 19th-century aquaria that would prove curious to hobbyists today was the use of a metal base panel so that the aquarium water could be heated by flame.) Germans rivaled the British in their interest, and by the turn of the century Hamburg became the European port of entry for many newly seen species. Aquaria became more widely popular as houses became almost universally electrified after World War I. With electricity great improvements were made in aquarium technology, allowing artificial lighting as well as the aeration, filtration, and heating of the water. Popularization was also assisted by the availability of air freight, which allowed a much wider variety of fish to be successfully imported from distant regions of origin that consequently attracted new hobbyists.

There are currently estimated to be about 60 million aquarium hobbyists worldwide, and many more aquaria kept by them. The hobby has the strongest following in Europe, Asia, and North America. In the United States, a large minority (40%) of aquarists maintain two or more tanks at any one time.

Function and design

From the outdoor ponds and glass jars of antiquity, modern aquaria have evolved into a wide range of specialized systems. Aquaria can vary in size from a small bowl large enough for a single small fish, to the huge public aquaria that can simulate entire marine ecosystems. The most successful aquaria, as judged by the long-term survivability of its inhabitants, carefully emulate the natural environments that their residents would occupy in the wild.

Freshwater aquaria remain the most popular due to their lower cost and easier maintenance, but marine (saltwater) aquaria have gained cachet as dedicated enthusiasts prove it is possible to preserve these challenging environments.

Design

Filtration system in a typical aquarium: (1) Intake. (2) Mechanical filtration. (3) Chemical filtration. (4) Biological filtration medium. (5) Outflow to tank.

The common freshwater aquarium maintained by a home aquarist typically includes a filtration system, an artificial lighting system, air pumps, and a heater. In addition, some freshwater tanks (and most saltwater tanks) use powerheads to increase water circulation.

Combined biological and mechanical filtration systems are now common; these are designed to remove potentially dangerous build up of nitrogenous wastes and phosphates dissolved in the water, as well as particulate matter. Filtration systems are the most complexly engineered component of most home aquaria, and various designs are used. Most systems use pumps to remove a small portion of the tank's water to an external pathway where filtration occurs; the filtered water is then returned to the aquarium. Protein skimmers, filtration devices that remove proteins and other waste from the water, are usually found only in salt water aquaria.

Air pumps are employed to adequately oxygenate (or in the case of a heavily planted aquarium, provide carbon dioxide to) the water. These devices, once universal, are now somewhat less commonly used as some newer filtration systems create enough surface agitation to supply adequate gas exchange at the surface. Aquarium heaters are designed to act as thermostats to regulate water temperature at a level designated by the aquarist when the prevailing temperature of air surrounding the aquarium is below the desired water temperature. Coolers are also available for use in cold water aquaria or in parts of the world where the ambient room temperature is above the desired tank temperature.

An aquarium's physical characteristics form another aspect of aquarium design. Size, lighting conditions, density of floating and rooted plants, placement of bogwood, creation of caves or overhangs, type of substrate, and other factors (including an aquarium's positioning within a room) can all affect the behavior and survivability of tank inhabitants.

The combined function of these elements is to maintain appropriate water quality and characteristics suitable for the aquarium's residents.

Classifications

Aquaria can be classified by several variables that determine the type of aquatic life that can be suitably housed. The conditions and characteristics of the water contained in an aquarium are the most important classification criteria, as most aquatic life will not survive even limited exposure to unsuitable water conditions. The size of an aquarium also limits the aquarist in what types of ecosystems he can reproduce, species selection, and biological loading.

Water conditions

A saltwater aquarium

The dissolved content of water is perhaps the most important aspect of water conditions, as dissolved salts and other constituents can dramatically impact basic water chemistry, and therefore how organisms are able to interact with their environment. Salt content, or salinity, is the most basic classification of water conditions. An aquarium may have fresh water (a salt level of < 0.5%), simulating a lake or river environment; salt water (a salt level of 5%–18%), simulating an ocean or sea environment; or brackish water (a salt level of 0.5%–5%), simulating environments lying between fresh and salt, such as estuaries.

Several other water characteristics result from dissolved contents of the water, and are important to the proper simulation of natural environments. The pH of the water is a measure of alkalinity or acidity. Hardness measures overall dissolved mineral content; soft or hard water may be preferred. Dissolved organic content and dissolved gases content are also important factors.

Home aquarists typically use modified tap water supplied through their local municipal water system to fill their tanks. For freshwater aquaria, additives formulated to remove chlorine or chloramine (used to disinfect drinking water supplies for human consumption) are often all that is needed to make the water ready for aquarium use. Brackish or saltwater aquaria require the addition of a mixture of salts and other minerals, which are commercially available for this purpose. More sophisticated aquarists may make other modifications to their base water source to modify the water's alkalinity, hardness, or dissolved content of organics and gases, before adding it to their aquaria. In contrast, public aquaria with large water needs often locate themselves near a natural water source (such as a river, lake, or ocean) in order to have easy access to large volumes of water that does not require much further treatment.

Secondary water characteristics

Secondary water characteristics are also important to the success of an aquarium. The temperature of the water forms the basis of one of the two most basic aquarium classifications: tropical vs. cold water. Most fish and plant species tolerate only a limited range of water temperatures: Tropical or warm water aquaria, with an average temperature of about 25 °C (78 °F), are much more common and house most popular aquarium fish. Cold water aquaria are those with temperatures below what would be considered tropical; a variety of fish are better suited to this cooler environment.

Water movement can also be important in accurately simulating a natural ecosystem. Aquarists may prefer anything from still water up to swift simulated currents in an aquarium, depending on the conditions best suited for the aquarium's inhabitants.

Water temperature can be regulated with a combined thermometer/heater unit (or, more rarely, with a cooling unit), while water movement can be controlled through the use of powerheads and careful design of internal water flow (such as location of filtration system points of inflow and outflow).

Size

Simple hobbyist Aquarium, 80 x 30 x 40 cm, 96 liter

An aquarium can range from a small, unadorned glass bowl containing less than a liter of water – although generally unsuited for most fish (except, perhaps, air breathing fish such as Betta splendens or the Paradise Fish) – to massive tanks built in public aquaria which are limited only by engineering constraints and can house entire ecosystems as large as kelp forests or species of large sharks. In general, larger aquarium systems are typically recommended to hobbyists due to their resistance to rapid fluctuations of temperature and pH, allowing for greater system stability.

Aquaria kept in homes by hobbyists can be as small as 3 U.S. gallons (11 L). This size is widely considered the smallest practical system with filtration and other basic systems; indeed, the local government of Rome has recently taken the step of banning traditional goldfish bowls as inhumane. Practical limitations, most notably the weight (water weighs about 8.3 pounds per U.S. gallon (1 kg/L)) and internal water pressure (requiring thick, strong glass siding) of a large aquarium, keep most home aquaria to a maximum of around 1 m³ (300 U.S. gallons). However, some dedicated aquarists have been known to construct custom aquaria of up to several thousand U.S. gallons (several cubic meters), at great effort and expense.

Public aquaria designed for exhibition of large species or environments can be dramatically larger than any home aquarium. The Shedd Aquarium features an individual aquarium of two million U.S. gallons (7,500 m³), as well as two others of 400,000 U.S. gallons (1,500 m³). The Monterey Bay Aquarium has an acrylic viewing window into their largest tank. At 56 feet long by 17 feet high (17 by 5 m), it used to be the largest window in the world and is over 13 inches (330 mm) thick. The Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium is the world's second largest aquarium and part of the Ocean Expo Park located in Motobu, Okinawa. Its main tank, which holds 7,500 cubic meters of water, features the world's largest acrylic panel measuring 8.2 meters by 22.5 meters with a thickness of 60 centimeters. The size of public aquaria are usually limited by cost considerations.

Species selection

Several theories on species selection circulate within the community of hobby aquarists. Perhaps the most popular of these is the division of aquaria into either a community or aggressive tank type. Community tanks house several species that are not aggressive toward each other. This is the most common type of hobby aquarium kept today. Aggressive tanks, in contrast, house a limited number of species that can be aggressive toward other fish, or are able to withstand aggression well. In both of these tank types, the aquarium cohabitants may or may not originate from the same geographic region, but generally tolerate similar water conditions. In addition to the fish, invertebrates, plants, and decorations or "aquarium furniture" (all of which may or may not be natural neighbors of any of the fish) are typically added to these tank types.

Species or specimen tanks usually only house one fish species, along with plants, perhaps found in the fishes' natural environment and decorations simulating a true ecosystem. These tanks are often used for killifish, livebearers, cichlids etc. They can be simple as bare bottom with a few necessities or a complex planted aquarium. Some tanks of this sort are used simply to house adults for breeding. Such tanks are common in fishrooms, where people keep many tanks at home.

Ecotype or ecotope aquaria attempt to simulate a specific ecosystem found in the natural world, bringing together fish, invertebrate species, and plants found in that ecosystem in a tank with water conditions and decorations designed to simulate their natural environment. These ecotype aquaria might be considered the most sophisticated hobby aquaria; indeed, reputable public aquaria all use this approach in their exhibits whenever possible. This approach best simulates the experience of observing an aquarium's inhabitants in the wild, and also usually serves as the healthiest possible artificial environment for the tank's occupants.

Species selection for saltwater aquaria

In addition to the types above, a special category of saltwater aquaria is the reef aquarium. These aquaria attempt to simulate the complex reef ecosystems found in warm, tropical oceans around the world. These aquaria focus on the rich diversity of invertebrate life in these environments, and typically include only a limited number of small fish. Techniques of maintaining sea anemones, some corals, live rock, mollusks, and crustacea, developed since the 1980s, have made the recreations of a reef ecosystem possible. Reef aquaria are widely considered the most difficult and demanding of the common hobbyist aquarium types, requiring the most expertise in addition to the most specialized equipment (and corresponding high cost).

Source of aquarium inhabitants

A surface supplied diver interacts with viewers while feeding the fish

Fish and plants for the first modern aquaria were gathered from the wild and transported (usually by ship) to European and American ports. During the early twentieth century many species of small colorful tropical fish were caught and exported from Manaus Brazil, Bangkok Thailand, Siam, Jakarta Indonesia, the Dutch West Indies, Calcutta India, and other tropical ports. Collection of fish, plants, and invertebrates from the wild for supply to the aquarium trade continues today at locations around the world. In many places of the world, impoverished local villagers collect specimens for the aquarium trade as their prime means of income. It remains an important source for many species that have not been successfully bred in captivity, and continues to introduce new species to enthusiastic aquarists.

The practice of collection in the wild for eventual display in aquaria has several disadvantages. Collecting expeditions can be lengthy and costly, and are not always successful. The shipping process is very hazardous for the fish involved; mortality rates are high. Many others are weakened by stress and become diseased upon arrival. Fish can also be injured during the collection process itself, most notably during the process of using cyanide to stun reef fish to make them easier to collect.

More recently, the potentially detrimental environmental impact of fish and plant collecting has come to the attention of aquarists worldwide. These include the poisoning of coral reefs and non-target species, the depletion of rare species from their natural habitat, and the degradation of ecosystems from large scale removal of key species. Additionally, the destructive fishing techniques used have become a growing concern to environmentalists and hobbyists alike. Therefore, there has been a concerted movement by many concerned aquarists to reduce the trade's dependence on wild-collected specimens through captive breeding programs and certification programs for wild-caught fish. Among American keepers of marine aquaria surveyed in 1997, two thirds said that they prefer to purchase farm raised coral instead of wild-collected coral, and over 80% think that only sustainably caught or captive bred fish should be allowed for trade.

Since the 'fighting fish' Betta splendens was first successfully bred in France in 1893, captive spawning techniques have been slowly discovered. Captive breeding for the aquarium trade is now concentrated in South Florida, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Bangkok, with smaller industries in Hawaii and Sri Lanka. Captive breeding programs of marine organisms for the aquarium trade have been urgently in development since the mid-1990s. Breeding programs for freshwater species are comparatively more advanced than for saltwater species.

Aquaculture is the cultivation of aquatic organisms in a controlled environment. Supporters of aquaculture programs for supply to the aquarium trade claim that well-planned programs can bring benefits to the environment as well as the society around it. Aquaculture can help in lessening the impacts on wild stocks, either by using raised cultivated organisms directly for sale or by releasing them to replenish wild stock (Tlusty 203), although such a practice is associated with several environmental risks.

Ecology

Ideal aquarium ecology reproduces the equilibrium found in nature in the closed system of an aquarium. In practice it is virtually impossible to maintain a perfect balance. As an example, a balanced predator-prey relationship is nearly impossible to maintain in even the largest of aquaria. Typically an aquarium keeper must take steps to maintain equilibrium in the small ecosystem contained in his aquarium.

Approximate equilibrium is facilitated by large volumes of water. Any event that perturbs the system pushes an aquarium away from equilibrium; the more water that is contained in a tank, the easier such a systemic shock is to absorb, as the effects of that event are diluted. For example, the death of the only fish in a three U.S. gallon tank (11 L) causes dramatic changes in the system, while the death of that same fish in a 100 U.S. gallon (400 L) tank with many other fish in it represents only a minor change in the balance of the tank. For this reason, hobbyists often favor larger tanks when possible, as they are more stable systems requiring less intensive attention to the maintenance of equilibrium.

Nitrogen cycle

The nitrogen cycle in an aquarium.

Of primary concern to the aquarist is management of the biological waste produced by an aquarium's inhabitants. Fish, invertebrates, fungi, and some bacteria excrete nitrogen waste in the form of ammonia (which may convert to ammonium, depending on water chemistry) which must then pass through the nitrogen cycle. Ammonia is also produced through the decomposition of plant and animal matter, including fecal matter and other detritus. Nitrogen waste products become toxic to fish and other aquarium inhabitants at high concentrations.

A well-balanced tank contains organisms that are able to metabolize the waste products of other aquarium residents. The nitrogen waste produced in a tank is metabolized in aquaria by a type of bacteria known as nitrifiers (genus Nitrosomonas). Nitrifying bacteria capture ammonia from the water and metabolize it to produce nitrite. Nitrite is also highly toxic to fish in high concentrations. Another type of bacteria, genus Nitrospira, converts nitrite into nitrate, a less toxic substance to aquarium inhabitants. (Nitrobacter bacteria were previously believed to fill this role, and continue to be found in commercially available products sold as kits to "jump start" the nitrogen cycle in an aquarium. While biologically they could theoretically fill the same niche as Nitrospira, it has recently been found that Nitrobacter are not present in detectable levels in established aquaria, while Nitrospira are plentiful.) This process is known in the aquarium hobby as the nitrogen cycle.

In addition to bacteria, aquatic plants also eliminate nitrogen waste by metabolizing ammonia and nitrate. When plants metabolize nitrogen compounds, they remove nitrogen from the water by using it to build biomass. However, this is only temporary, as the plants release nitrogen back into the water when older leaves die off and decompose.

Although informally called the nitrogen cycle by hobbyists, it is in fact only a portion of a true cycle: nitrogen must be added to the system (usually through food provided to the tank inhabitants), and nitrates accumulate in the water at the end of the process (or contribute to a growth in biomass via plant metabolism). This accumulation of nitrates in home aquaria requires the aquarium keeper to remove water that is high in nitrates or remove plants which have grown from the nitrates. A balanced system, in which the fish eat the plants, is generally difficult to create.

Aquaria kept by hobbyists often do not have the requisite populations of bacteria needed to detoxify nitrogen waste from tank inhabitants. This problem is most often addressed through two filtration solutions: Activated carbon filters absorb nitrogen compounds and other toxins from the water, while biological filters provide a medium specially designed for colonization by the desired nitrifying bacteria.

Cycling

New aquaria also do not usually have the required populations of bacteria for the handling of nitrogen waste. In a process called cycling, aquarists cultivate these bacteria as fish and other producers of nitrogen waste are gradually added to the tank over the course of several weeks. Aquarists use several different methods to jump start this process, including the use of water additives containing small populations of the bacteria, or "seeding" a new tank with a mature bacterial colony removed from another aquarium (such as can be found on gravel or biological filter media).

Other cycling methods that have gained popularity in recent years are the fishless cycle and the silent cycle. As the name of the former implies, no fish are kept in a tank undergoing a fishless cycle. Instead, small amounts of ammonia are added to the tank to feed the bacteria being cultured. During this process, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels are tested to monitor progress. The silent cycle is basically nothing more than densely stocking the aquarium with fast-growing aquatic plants and relying on them to consume the nitrogen products rather than bacteria. According to anecdotal reports of aquarists specializing in planted tanks, the plants can consume nitrogenous waste so efficiently that the spikes in ammonia and nitrite levels normally seen in more traditional cycling methods are greatly reduced, if they are detectable at all.

Improperly cycled aquaria can quickly accumulate toxic concentrations of nitrogen waste and kill its inhabitants.

Other nutrient cycles

Nitrogen is not the only nutrient that cycles through an aquarium. Dissolved oxygen enters the system at the surface water-air interface or through the actions of an air pump. Carbon dioxide escapes the system into the air. The phosphate cycle is an important, although often overlooked, nutrient cycle. Sulfur, iron, and micronutrients also cycle through the system, entering as food and exiting as waste. Appropriate handling of the nitrogen cycle, along with supplying an adequately balanced food supply and considered biological loading, is usually enough to keep these other nutrient cycles in approximate equilibrium.

Biological loading

Biological loading is a measure of the burden placed on the aquarium ecosystem by its living inhabitants. High biological loading in an aquarium represents a more complicated tank ecology, which in turn means that equilibrium is easier to perturb. In addition, there are several fundamental constraints on biological loading based on the size of an aquarium. The surface area of water exposed to air limits dissolved oxygen intake by the tank. The capacity of nitrifying bacteria is limited by the physical space they have available to colonize. Physically, only a limited size and number of plants and animals can be fit into an aquarium while still providing room for movement.

In order to prevent biological overloading of the system, aquarists have developed a number of rules of thumb. Perhaps the most popular of these is the "one inch of fish per U.S. gallon" rule, which dictates that the sum in inches of the lengths of all fish kept in an aquarium (excluding tail length) should not exceed the capacity of the tank measured in U.S. gallons (about 7 mm per liter of water). This rule is usually applied to the expected mature size of the fish, in order to not stunt growth by overcrowding, which can be unhealthy for the fish. For goldfish and other high-waste fish, some aquarists recommend doubling the space allowance to one inch of fish per every two gallons.

The true maximum or ideal biological loading of a system is very difficult to calculate, even on a theoretical level. To do so, the variables for waste production rate, nitrification efficiency, gas exchange rate at the water surface, and many others would need to be determined. In practice this is a very complicated and difficult task, and so most aquarists use rules of thumb combined with a trial and error approach to reach an appropriate level of biological loading.

Public aquaria

A 335,000 U.S. gallon (1.3 million liter) aquarium at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California displaying a simulated kelp forest ecosystem

Public aquaria are facilities open to the public for viewing of aquatic species in aquaria. Most public aquaria feature a number of smaller tanks, as well as one or more large tank greater in size than could be kept by any home aquarist. The largest tanks hold millions of U.S. gallons of water and can house large species, including dolphins, sharks or beluga whales. Aquatic and semiaquatic animals, including otters and penguins, may also be kept by public aquaria.

Operationally, a public aquarium is similar in many ways to a zoo or museum. A good aquarium will have special exhibits to entice repeat visitors, in addition to its permanent collection. A few have their own version of a "petting zoo"; for instance, the Monterey Bay Aquarium has a shallow tank filled with common types of rays, and one can reach in to feel their leathery skins as they pass by.

Also as with zoos, aquaria usually have specialized research staff who study the habits and biology of their specimens. In recent years, the large aquaria have been attempting to acquire and raise various species of open-ocean fish, and even jellyfish (or sea-jellies, cnidaria), a difficult task since these creatures have never before encountered solid surfaces like the walls of a tank, and do not have the instincts to turn aside from the walls instead of running into them.

The first public aquarium opened in London's Regent's Park in 1853. P.T. Barnum quickly followed with the first American aquarium, opened on Broadway in New York. Following early examples of Detroit, New York and San Francisco, many major cities now have public aquaria. Most public aquaria are located close to the ocean, for a steady supply of natural seawater. An inland pioneer was Chicago's Shedd Aquarium that received seawater shipped by rail in special tank cars. In contrast, the recently opened Georgia Aquarium filled its tanks with fresh water from the city water system and salinated its salt water exhibits using the same commercial salt and mineral additives available to home aquarists.

In January 1985 Kelly Tarlton began construction of the first aquarium to include a large transparent acrylic tunnel in Auckland, New Zealand, a task that took 10 months and cost NZ$3 million. The 110-meter tunnel was built from one-tonne slabs of German sheet plastic that were shaped locally in an oven. A moving walkway now transports visitors through, and groups of school children occasionally hold sleepovers there beneath the swimming sharks and rays.

Top public aquaria are often affiliated with important oceanographic research institutions or conduct their own research programs, and usually (though not always) specialize in species and ecosystems that can be found in local waters.

For a partial list of public aquaria worldwide, see list of aquaria.


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For a partial list of public aquaria worldwide, see list of aquaria. It should also be noted that some voice actors of the GTA III's major characters are well-known American actors, some of whom have stared in several films and television shows. Top public aquaria are often affiliated with important oceanographic research institutions or conduct their own research programs, and usually (though not always) specialize in species and ecosystems that can be found in local waters. With the success of Grand Theft Auto III and its sequels, several of these characters or their relatives reappear in future GTA titles with major or minor roles, and their personal background expanded, particularly Leone Mafia don Salvatore Leone, media mogul Donald Love, Phil, the One-Armed Bandit, 8-Ball and Catalina. A moving walkway now transports visitors through, and groups of school children occasionally hold sleepovers there beneath the swimming sharks and rays. Most of the characters encountered center around corruption, crime and a fictional drug called "SPANK", which was a growing menace in the city. The 110-meter tunnel was built from one-tonne slabs of German sheet plastic that were shaped locally in an oven. The storyline, while not a major draw of the game, shows the character development of several individuals and bosses as the player progresses though the game.

In January 1985 Kelly Tarlton began construction of the first aquarium to include a large transparent acrylic tunnel in Auckland, New Zealand, a task that took 10 months and cost NZ$3 million. This would imply that Rockstar could have conducted some or all such changes before the attacks and without the effects of the attacks. In contrast, the recently opened Georgia Aquarium filled its tanks with fresh water from the city water system and salinated its salt water exhibits using the same commercial salt and mineral additives available to home aquarists. In particular case of Darkel, the removal of a character and the transfer of missions to other characters would had required additional time for last-minute programming and voice acting, which could had potentially resulted in GTA III's delay from public release if it had only begun after 9/11. An inland pioneer was Chicago's Shedd Aquarium that received seawater shipped by rail in special tank cars. Argument against the theory that Rockstar was influenced by the September 11, 2001 attacks to perform all the mentioned modifications point that it may not be possible to cut or change any game contents within a short period, as the interval between 9/11 and GTA III's release date was only six weeks. Most public aquaria are located close to the ocean, for a steady supply of natural seawater. As the reason behind the removal of Darkel was never disclosed by Rockstar, gamers have speculated and suspected the removal of Darkel was due to his terrorism-like missions; other have also pointed out the manner of his attire, resembling that of a stereotypical Middle East terrorist, in addition to sporting a long beard [4][5].

Following early examples of Detroit, New York and San Francisco, many major cities now have public aquaria. Rockstar later decided that they would like to go back to the original system of giving out rampages as featured in Grand Theft Auto and Grand Theft Auto 2. Barnum quickly followed with the first American aquarium, opened on Broadway in New York. Darkel was also originally expected to give out Rampage-esque missions and even had his voice recorded for this part. P.T. One scrapped mission involved stealing a bus, using it to pick up a certain number of passengers, then blowing it up. The first public aquarium opened in London's Regent's Park in 1853. Darkel was to be a revolutionary street urchin who vowed to bring down the city's economy.

In recent years, the large aquaria have been attempting to acquire and raise various species of open-ocean fish, and even jellyfish (or sea-jellies, cnidaria), a difficult task since these creatures have never before encountered solid surfaces like the walls of a tank, and do not have the instincts to turn aside from the walls instead of running into them. A character by the name of Darkel, who made it into the pre-release version, was also deleted from the final version of the game but remains listed in the manual's credits, and has a character texture on the game's data files. Also as with zoos, aquaria usually have specialized research staff who study the habits and biology of their specimens. An obvious change was the new colour scheme of the LCPD which is modelled after the black and white like the LAPD, while the old colour scheme of blue stripes (seen in previews and the manual map) resembles that of the NYPD [3]. A few have their own version of a "petting zoo"; for instance, the Monterey Bay Aquarium has a shallow tank filled with common types of rays, and one can reach in to feel their leathery skins as they pass by. Although often rumoured, no airplane missions were altered or changed in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks, as there were no missions to remove. A good aquarium will have special exhibits to entice repeat visitors, in addition to its permanent collection. These included removing the ability to blow limbs off non-player characters and stopping the selection of certain character models when using cheat codes in the PlayStation 2 version of GTA III.

Operationally, a public aquarium is similar in many ways to a zoo or museum. A number of changes were suggested to be made in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center. Aquatic and semiaquatic animals, including otters and penguins, may also be kept by public aquaria. For similar reasons, a lawsuit has erupted over Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. gallons of water and can house large species, including dolphins, sharks or beluga whales. The lawsuit is still pending as of the end of 2004. The largest tanks hold millions of U.S. District Court on October 29, 2003 that the "ideas and concepts as well as the 'purported psychological effects' on the Buckners are protected by the First Amendment's free-speech clause." The lawyer of the victims, Jack Thompson, denied that and is trying to get the lawsuit moved into a state court and actioned under Tennessee's consumer protection act.

Most public aquaria feature a number of smaller tanks, as well as one or more large tank greater in size than could be kept by any home aquarist. Rockstar and its parent company, Take Two, filed for dismissal of the lawsuit, stating in U.S. Public aquaria are facilities open to the public for viewing of aquatic species in aquaria. On October 20, 2003, the families of Aaron Hamel and Kimberly Bede, two young people shot by teens William and Josh Buckner (who in statements to investigators claimed their actions were inspired by GTA III) filed a USD$246 million lawsuit against publishers Rockstar Games and Take Two Interactive Software, retailer Wal-Mart, and PlayStation 2 manufacturer Sony Computer Entertainment America. In practice this is a very complicated and difficult task, and so most aquarists use rules of thumb combined with a trial and error approach to reach an appropriate level of biological loading. Among other things, the censored version removed the ability to pick up prostitutes; however it was later found that standard gore (where limbs may actually be shot or blown off a non-player characters) was still available if unlocked by entering what in other countries' versions was a "nasty limbs" cheat code, and the uncensored version was also playable by changing the computer's time zone to that of the United States. To do so, the variables for waste production rate, nitrification efficiency, gas exchange rate at the water surface, and many others would need to be determined. Interestingly, whilst the sequel Vice City was censored by the OFLC, the next sequel San Andreas was not, despite featuring more "mature" content (although San Andreas was once given a Refused Classification rating amid the "Hot Coffee" controversy), leading many to conclude that the only reason the game was banned in the first place was that the OFLC was angry at Rockstar for not submitting the game for review.

The true maximum or ideal biological loading of a system is very difficult to calculate, even on a theoretical level. Australia still does not have a R rating for videogames like it does for movies. For goldfish and other high-waste fish, some aquarists recommend doubling the space allowance to one inch of fish per every two gallons. Lacking a suitable R18+ rating (the highest rating being MA15+), the game was "Refused Classification" and banned for sale because it was felt that the game was unsuitable for an audience older than 15, but younger than 18. This rule is usually applied to the expected mature size of the fish, in order to not stunt growth by overcrowding, which can be unhealthy for the fish. A key reason why this course of action was taken was that Rockstar did not submit GTA III to the Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC), the body that, among other things, rates videogames according to their content in Australia. gallons (about 7 mm per liter of water). After its initial release in Australia, the game was banned—the only country to do so—and a censored version of the game was released in its place.

gallon" rule, which dictates that the sum in inches of the lengths of all fish kept in an aquarium (excluding tail length) should not exceed the capacity of the tank measured in U.S. It was because of GTA III that the Wal-Mart chain of retail stores announced that, for games rated "M" by the ESRB, its stores would begin checking the identification of purchasers who appeared to be under 17. Perhaps the most popular of these is the "one inch of fish per U.S. Several minors arrested for car theft in the United States claimed their motivation was derived from playing the game. In order to prevent biological overloading of the system, aquarists have developed a number of rules of thumb. Various critics hypothesized that if children were to play the game, they might acquire sociopathic attitudes toward others. Physically, only a limited size and number of plants and animals can be fit into an aquarium while still providing room for movement. In addition, all in-game crimes incurs the wrath of the police, and it is also possible to play without committing the aforementioned criminal acts.

The capacity of nitrifying bacteria is limited by the physical space they have available to colonize. This action, while permitted ("sex" restores the player's health, up to 125% of its normal maximum), is never actually required. The surface area of water exposed to air limits dissolved oxygen intake by the tank. The player is rewarded with cash for various illegal and immoral actions: one allegation, frequently cited in the press, was that in the game, players had to carjack a car, pick up a prostitute, have (implied) sex with the prostitute, and then kill her and steal her money. In addition, there are several fundamental constraints on biological loading based on the size of an aquarium. For examples of video game violence, many TV news channels often show a play session of GTA III where the main character is gunning down pedestrians and blowing up police cars. High biological loading in an aquarium represents a more complicated tank ecology, which in turn means that equilibrium is easier to perturb. GTA III is controversial because of its violent and sexual content, and it generated moral panic upon its release.

Biological loading is a measure of the burden placed on the aquarium ecosystem by its living inhabitants. Despite its roughness and glitches, the game featured a world draw distance that was unparalleled at the time, and an overall sense of ambience and immersion that many other developers have tried and failed to emulate, even years later. Appropriate handling of the nitrogen cycle, along with supplying an adequately balanced food supply and considered biological loading, is usually enough to keep these other nutrient cycles in approximate equilibrium. Also, it was widely believed that GTA III lacked the vast development resources of its sequels, since it was considered a risky gamble at the time. Sulfur, iron, and micronutrients also cycle through the system, entering as food and exiting as waste. Part of GTA III's technical problems was due to the need to accomodate the relatively underpowered PlayStation 2 (compared to the Xbox, PC and even Dreamcast in certain respects). The phosphate cycle is an important, although often overlooked, nutrient cycle. There were also serious recurring problems such as clipping (when characters and objects get "half-stuck" in walls and the ground), a bug which caused vehicles to disappear, relatively poor AI for NPCs; many of these issues were not fixed in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.

Carbon dioxide escapes the system into the air. Such graphics are similar on the level of Half-Life and subpar to Quake III, but this was rarely criticized and GTA III routinely received higher graphics scores than other smaller-scaled yet better-looking games. Dissolved oxygen enters the system at the surface water-air interface or through the actions of an air pump. One example were the "ugliness" and simplicity of GTA III characters and objects which became especially noticeable if the main character was walking around instead of driving. Nitrogen is not the only nutrient that cycles through an aquarium. While GTA III's sequels undoubted improved on many aspects of gameplay, many technical gliches were also carried over. Improperly cycled aquaria can quickly accumulate toxic concentrations of nitrogen waste and kill its inhabitants. Alternatively, many reviewers were biased in favour of the GTA series.

According to anecdotal reports of aquarists specializing in planted tanks, the plants can consume nitrogenous waste so efficiently that the spikes in ammonia and nitrite levels normally seen in more traditional cycling methods are greatly reduced, if they are detectable at all. In other words, GTA III and especially subsequent GTA games following the GTA III formula were so sure to be critically acclaimed blockbusters that they were not seriously scrutinized (most flaws were downplayed) during early reviews. The silent cycle is basically nothing more than densely stocking the aquarium with fast-growing aquatic plants and relying on them to consume the nitrogen products rather than bacteria. Aside from its violence (see #Controversy), there was criticism, often for the "lack of criticism" that surrounded the Grand Theft Auto series after the launch of Grand Theft Auto III. During this process, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels are tested to monitor progress. [1], [2]. Instead, small amounts of ammonia are added to the tank to feed the bacteria being cultured. The game was touted as revolutionary by several game review websites and publications, and received such rewards as Game of the Year from GameSpot, GameSpy, and Cheat Code Central, and Best Action Game of 2001 by IGN, receiving an average of about 95% from the review websites and publications.

As the name of the former implies, no fish are kept in a tank undergoing a fishless cycle. All subsequent games in the series have followed the GTA III formula and have been best-selling and critically-acclaimed (and controversial) as a result. Other cycling methods that have gained popularity in recent years are the fishless cycle and the silent cycle. As a result of these shrewd moves, the Grand Theft Auto series was now a blockbuster franchise. Aquarists use several different methods to jump start this process, including the use of water additives containing small populations of the bacteria, or "seeding" a new tank with a mature bacterial colony removed from another aquarium (such as can be found on gravel or biological filter media). Also notable is that GTA III was the first in the series to be released on video game consoles before the PC, citing the growing size of the console market. In a process called cycling, aquarists cultivate these bacteria as fish and other producers of nitrogen waste are gradually added to the tank over the course of several weeks. Although multiplayer was discarded, it had a minimal impact as the many major improvements won legions of fans over to a series which formerly enjoyed a cult following.

New aquaria also do not usually have the required populations of bacteria for the handling of nitrogen waste. All of this is seemlessly integrated in the realistic setting of a (dysfunctional) urban environment which parodies a real-life city. This problem is most often addressed through two filtration solutions: Activated carbon filters absorb nitrogen compounds and other toxins from the water, while biological filters provide a medium specially designed for colonization by the desired nitrifying bacteria. Grand Theft Auto III was the first game in the series to feature a deep storyline with high quality voice acting and navigable three-dimensional graphics. Aquaria kept by hobbyists often do not have the requisite populations of bacteria needed to detoxify nitrogen waste from tank inhabitants. The Double Pack's success for Xbox was due to several factors, the critical acclaim (not just for the GTA series but also for the Xbox improvements) and controversial game content, two games in one, graphical improvements, and lastly the Double Pack debuted at half the price of a regular Xbox game. A balanced system, in which the fish eat the plants, is generally difficult to create. GTA III continued to sell well as part of the Xbox Double Pack, even though it was two years old when the Double Pack hit shelves in December 2003.

This accumulation of nitrates in home aquaria requires the aquarium keeper to remove water that is high in nitrates or remove plants which have grown from the nitrates. This was a remarkable achievement in an industry where most games experience strong drops in sales despite price drops, as gamers have a strong tendency to purchase only the "next new thing". Although informally called the nitrogen cycle by hobbyists, it is in fact only a portion of a true cycle: nitrogen must be added to the system (usually through food provided to the tank inhabitants), and nitrates accumulate in the water at the end of the process (or contribute to a growth in biomass via plant metabolism). Later discounted to $19.95 as part of Sony's "Greatest Hits" program, it continued to sell well and went on to become the second best-selling video game of 2002, behind only the next game in the series, 2002's Vice City. However, this is only temporary, as the plants release nitrogen back into the water when older leaves die off and decompose. Upon its release, GTA III unexpectedly emerged as a smash hit at its initial US$49.95 price and became the #1 selling video game of 2001 in the United States. When plants metabolize nitrogen compounds, they remove nitrogen from the water by using it to build biomass. Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (2005) was released for the PlayStation Portable, also set in the same location as GTA III, but taking place in 1998, three years before the events in GTA III.

In addition to bacteria, aquatic plants also eliminate nitrogen waste by metabolizing ammonia and nitrate. Grand Theft Auto Advance (2004) was initially intended as a Game Boy Advance port of GTA III, but has since introduced a new storyline set in Liberty City, roughly one year before the events in GTA III. While biologically they could theoretically fill the same niche as Nitrospira, it has recently been found that Nitrobacter are not present in detectable levels in established aquaria, while Nitrospira are plentiful.) This process is known in the aquarium hobby as the nitrogen cycle. Two handheld titles based on GTA III have also been released. (Nitrobacter bacteria were previously believed to fill this role, and continue to be found in commercially available products sold as kits to "jump start" the nitrogen cycle in an aquarium. The Double Pack was not released for PC. Another type of bacteria, genus Nitrospira, converts nitrite into nitrate, a less toxic substance to aquarium inhabitants. The Xbox version of the Double Pack has improved audio, polygon models, and reflections over the PC and PS2 versions of the game.

Nitrite is also highly toxic to fish in high concentrations. However, the agreement was amended in 2003 and the Grand Theft Auto: Double Pack containing both GTA III and Vice City was released for PS2 and Xbox in December 2003. Nitrifying bacteria capture ammonia from the water and metabolize it to produce nitrite. The Xbox version was initially supposed to be released in spring 2002 but it was shelved when Sony signed an agreement with Take-Two Interactive (Rockstar Games' parent company), making the GTA series a PlayStation 2 exclusive until November 2004. The nitrogen waste produced in a tank is metabolized in aquaria by a type of bacteria known as nitrifiers (genus Nitrosomonas). The PC version does, however, support higher resolution textures and a custom option for MP3s playback in cars. A well-balanced tank contains organisms that are able to metabolize the waste products of other aquarium residents. This was due to technical issues; the game engine rendered everything within the draw distance, even things hidden behind buildings or trees, whereas Vice City only rendered what could actually be seen.

Nitrogen waste products become toxic to fish and other aquarium inhabitants at high concentrations. The PC version of the game, released on May 21, 2002, has been criticized for performance problems, especially in light of the much smoother performance of the next game in the GTA series, Vice City. Ammonia is also produced through the decomposition of plant and animal matter, including fecal matter and other detritus. The list of Grand Theft Auto III radio stations is as followed:. Fish, invertebrates, fungi, and some bacteria excrete nitrogen waste in the form of ammonia (which may convert to ammonium, depending on water chemistry) which must then pass through the nitrogen cycle. The radio ads also gave out their official phone numbers which were also (apparently) registered by Rockstar; however in this case curious gamers only found an answer phone at the other end. Of primary concern to the aquarist is management of the biological waste produced by an aquarium's inhabitants. However, although looking very much like genuine online stores, all links to purchase or order the products actually led to Rockstargames.com.

For this reason, hobbyists often favor larger tanks when possible, as they are more stable systems requiring less intensive attention to the maintenance of equilibrium. All of these sites actually existed; they were set up to tie in with the game. gallon (400 L) tank with many other fish in it represents only a minor change in the balance of the tank. These ads often referred to their advertisers' official websites, such as Petsovernight.com. gallon tank (11 L) causes dramatic changes in the system, while the death of that same fish in a 100 U.S. Each station featured various commercials at intervals. For example, the death of the only fish in a three U.S. One of the stations was a full-length talk show, and many of the callers were actually characters from the story missions, often demonstrating the same views and eccentricities that had become apparent to the player during the missions.

Any event that perturbs the system pushes an aquarium away from equilibrium; the more water that is contained in a tank, the easier such a systemic shock is to absorb, as the effects of that event are diluted. Much of the music was specially written for the game (as well as many songs originating from the first two GTAs), however the Xbox and PC ports allowed the player to use their own MP3s, and later games included actual, licenced music. Approximate equilibrium is facilitated by large volumes of water. One of the game's subtler inclusions was a variety of radio stations (part of the official soundtrack). Typically an aquarium keeper must take steps to maintain equilibrium in the small ecosystem contained in his aquarium. Some of these features, notably monetary awards and the top-down view, would eventually be removed in following GTA titles. As an example, a balanced predator-prey relationship is nearly impossible to maintain in even the largest of aquaria. These included monetary awards for crashing onto cars, blowing up vehicles, and killing pedestrians (although the last feature would require that the player pick up the money dropped by dead pedestrians on foot), a crusher, vehicle import-exports, train services, and an optional top-down camera view synonymous in the game's previous installments.

In practice it is virtually impossible to maintain a perfect balance. As a direct descendent to Grand Theft Auto and Grand Theft Auto 2, Grand Theft Auto III retained several features that were common in the previous two titles. Ideal aquarium ecology reproduces the equilibrium found in nature in the closed system of an aquarium. Pedestrians sometimes get into fights, and car accidents between non-player vehicles may occur on their own, without any player interference to trigger these events. Aquaculture can help in lessening the impacts on wild stocks, either by using raised cultivated organisms directly for sale or by releasing them to replenish wild stock (Tlusty 203), although such a practice is associated with several environmental risks. The game is also noted for the emergent behavior of its non-player characters. Supporters of aquaculture programs for supply to the aquarium trade claim that well-planned programs can bring benefits to the environment as well as the society around it. Law enforcement and members of rival gangs can be attacked and will respond with weapons of their own.

Aquaculture is the cultivation of aquatic organisms in a controlled environment. Citizens can be beaten up, robbed, run over, or shot, allowing the player to extract money and/or weapons. Breeding programs for freshwater species are comparatively more advanced than for saltwater species. Cars can be smashed or stolen; carjacking was often required if the player doesn't have (or had lost) their own vehicle and was required to travel quickly. Captive breeding programs of marine organisms for the aquarium trade have been urgently in development since the mid-1990s. Passing vehicles and pedestrians are not just cosmetic "flavor" for the environment, but are actually part of game play. Captive breeding for the aquarium trade is now concentrated in South Florida, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Bangkok, with smaller industries in Hawaii and Sri Lanka. The game is remarkable in its depiction of what seems to be a very large city with things happening all the time in different neighborhoods.

Since the 'fighting fish' Betta splendens was first successfully bred in France in 1893, captive spawning techniques have been slowly discovered. Thanks to the strikingly open-ended game design, it is quite possible—and common—for players to ignore the main missions and play the side missions, or simply cruise around enjoying Liberty City's sights. Among American keepers of marine aquaria surveyed in 1997, two thirds said that they prefer to purchase farm raised coral instead of wild-collected coral, and over 80% think that only sustainably caught or captive bred fish should be allowed for trade. As the player completes missions for different gangs, rival gang members will come to recognize the character and subsequently shoot on sight (if armed). Therefore, there has been a concerted movement by many concerned aquarists to reduce the trade's dependence on wild-collected specimens through captive breeding programs and certification programs for wild-caught fish. Similarly, the player's place within the story will affect his view in the "eyes" of non-playable characters. Additionally, the destructive fishing techniques used have become a growing concern to environmentalists and hobbyists alike. However, the nature of the game does demand some limits to the player's freedom: just as new areas become open, some will be permanently denied of access once the player fulfills their purpose.

These include the poisoning of coral reefs and non-target species, the depletion of rare species from their natural habitat, and the degradation of ecosystems from large scale removal of key species. As can be expected from a video game with a linear plot, new neighborhoods and districts in Liberty City will become open to the player's exploration as missions are completed and the game's story unfolds. More recently, the potentially detrimental environmental impact of fish and plant collecting has come to the attention of aquarists worldwide. Police and Fire Fighter missions are similarly available. Fish can also be injured during the collection process itself, most notably during the process of using cyanide to stun reef fish to make them easier to collect. If the player acquires a taxi cab, he can pick up designated non-player characters as fares and drop them off at different parts of the city for a cash payment; carjacking an ambulance lets the player pick up injured NPCs and drive them to the hospital for a cash reward. Many others are weakened by stress and become diseased upon arrival. Alternately, he may choose to drive around the city, stealing cars, running over pedestrians, and avoiding (or opposing) the police.

The shipping process is very hazardous for the fish involved; mortality rates are high. He is able to go on missions (shaking down a local business for "protection money", clearing the streets of drug dealers, or assassinating leaders of rival gangs, for example) in order to advance in the ranks of his current gang. Collecting expeditions can be lengthy and costly, and are not always successful. The player's character has a degree of freedom in his actions that, although being heavily inspired by Rockstar North's (then DMA Design) earlier Nintendo 64 game Body Harvest, was groundbreaking in 2001 and has arguably been only surpassed by the game's sequels. The practice of collection in the wild for eventual display in aquaria has several disadvantages. However, if the main character attacks pedestrians or gang members, the cop will give chase. It remains an important source for many species that have not been successfully bred in captivity, and continues to introduce new species to enthusiastic aquarists. If the main character is attacked by pedestrians or gang members, a patrolling cop will ignore the offending attackers.

In many places of the world, impoverished local villagers collect specimens for the aquarium trade as their prime means of income. The police AI follows a double-standard. Collection of fish, plants, and invertebrates from the wild for supply to the aquarium trade continues today at locations around the world. Unfortunately, completing certain missions inevitably causes the player to gain the attention of local police enforcement. During the early twentieth century many species of small colorful tropical fish were caught and exported from Manaus Brazil, Bangkok Thailand, Siam, Jakarta Indonesia, the Dutch West Indies, Calcutta India, and other tropical ports. The only way to get rid of wanted levels is to pick up police-bribes or repaint the car the player is driving at the three local Pay 'N' Sprays. Fish and plants for the first modern aquaria were gathered from the wild and transported (usually by ship) to European and American ports. Gunning down pedestrians and destroying cars will further raise the wanted level (the maximum level is six stars) and eventually bring increasingly stronger police enforcement in the form of SWAT teams, FBI agents, and the National Guard.

Reef aquaria are widely considered the most difficult and demanding of the common hobbyist aquarium types, requiring the most expertise in addition to the most specialized equipment (and corresponding high cost). Cops will chase after the player by foot and car but will do little else. Techniques of maintaining sea anemones, some corals, live rock, mollusks, and crustacea, developed since the 1980s, have made the recreations of a reef ecosystem possible. Minor infractions such as carjacking or fist assaults will cause a one-star wanted level. These aquaria focus on the rich diversity of invertebrate life in these environments, and typically include only a limited number of small fish. Any type of infractions will raise the player's wanted level and thus cause the police to give chase. These aquaria attempt to simulate the complex reef ecosystems found in warm, tropical oceans around the world. The Liberty City Police Department (LCPD) is the city's police agency.

In addition to the types above, a special category of saltwater aquaria is the reef aquarium. These risk-reward balances give the game more subtlety than the nature of the in-game actions would suggest. This approach best simulates the experience of observing an aquarium's inhabitants in the wild, and also usually serves as the healthiest possible artificial environment for the tank's occupants. However, attempting to car-jack a Mafia vehicle often results in pursuit by the former occupant (who is invariably armed). These ecotype aquaria might be considered the most sophisticated hobby aquaria; indeed, reputable public aquaria all use this approach in their exhibits whenever possible. Each car has its own particular performance characteristics; for instance, a "Mafia Sentinel" car is much faster and able to corner much better than a minivan. Ecotype or ecotope aquaria attempt to simulate a specific ecosystem found in the natural world, bringing together fish, invertebrate species, and plants found in that ecosystem in a tank with water conditions and decorations designed to simulate their natural environment. The principal activity in the game is carjacking: the player may walk up to the side of a passing car and press a single button to yank the driver out of the car, get in, and start driving.

Such tanks are common in fishrooms, where people keep many tanks at home. He then takes on work as a local thug and rises in power as he works for multiple rival crime gangs. Some tanks of this sort are used simply to house adults for breeding. While he is being transferred, an attack on the police convoy sets him free. They can be simple as bare bottom with a few necessities or a complex planted aquarium. He is double-crossed by his partner/girlfriend, Catalina, during a bank robbery and sent to jail. These tanks are often used for killifish, livebearers, cichlids etc. He received the name "Claude" in a brief cameo in the series' later game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas; because of this name he is theorized to be "Claude Speed" from GTA2).

Species or specimen tanks usually only house one fish species, along with plants, perhaps found in the fishes' natural environment and decorations simulating a true ecosystem. Black". In addition to the fish, invertebrates, plants, and decorations or "aquarium furniture" (all of which may or may not be natural neighbors of any of the fish) are typically added to these tank types. Throughout the story, the main character is never named (though he is referred to in the fan community variously as "Fido", "The Kid", or "Mr. In both of these tank types, the aquarium cohabitants may or may not originate from the same geographic region, but generally tolerate similar water conditions. The game takes place in Liberty City, a fictional city on the East Coast (based on New York City). Aggressive tanks, in contrast, house a limited number of species that can be aggressive toward other fish, or are able to withstand aggression well. .

This is the most common type of hobby aquarium kept today. It is the third in the Grand Theft Auto series and was the #1 selling game of 2001. Community tanks house several species that are not aggressive toward each other. Grand Theft Auto III, or GTA III, is a video game developed by DMA Design, published by Rockstar Games in October 2001 for the PlayStation 2 video game console, May 2002 for Windows-based PCs, and in November 2003 for the Xbox video game console. Perhaps the most popular of these is the division of aquaria into either a community or aggressive tank type. Grenades (Slot 12). Several theories on species selection circulate within the community of hobby aquarists. Molotov cocktails (Slot 11).

The size of public aquaria are usually limited by cost considerations. Flamethrower (Slot 10). Its main tank, which holds 7,500 cubic meters of water, features the world's largest acrylic panel measuring 8.2 meters by 22.5 meters with a thickness of 60 centimeters. Rocket launcher (Slot 9). The Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium is the world's second largest aquarium and part of the Ocean Expo Park located in Motobu, Okinawa. Sniper rifle (Slot 8). At 56 feet long by 17 feet high (17 by 5 m), it used to be the largest window in the world and is over 13 inches (330 mm) thick. M-16 (Slot 7).

The Monterey Bay Aquarium has an acrylic viewing window into their largest tank. AK-47 (Slot 6). gallons (1,500 m³). Shotgun (Slot 5). gallons (7,500 m³), as well as two others of 400,000 U.S. Uzi (Slot 4). The Shedd Aquarium features an individual aquarium of two million U.S. Pistol (Slot 3).

Public aquaria designed for exhibition of large species or environments can be dramatically larger than any home aquarium. Baseball bat (Slot 2). gallons (several cubic meters), at great effort and expense. Fist (Slot 1). However, some dedicated aquarists have been known to construct custom aquaria of up to several thousand U.S. Chatterbox FM. gallons). Flashback 95.6.

gallon (1 kg/L)) and internal water pressure (requiring thick, strong glass siding) of a large aquarium, keep most home aquaria to a maximum of around 1 m³ (300 U.S. MSX FM. Practical limitations, most notably the weight (water weighs about 8.3 pounds per U.S. Game Radio FM. This size is widely considered the smallest practical system with filtration and other basic systems; indeed, the local government of Rome has recently taken the step of banning traditional goldfish bowls as inhumane. Lips 106. gallons (11 L). Rise FM.

Aquaria kept in homes by hobbyists can be as small as 3 U.S. K-Jah. In general, larger aquarium systems are typically recommended to hobbyists due to their resistance to rapid fluctuations of temperature and pH, allowing for greater system stability. Double Cleff FM. An aquarium can range from a small, unadorned glass bowl containing less than a liter of water – although generally unsuited for most fish (except, perhaps, air breathing fish such as Betta splendens or the Paradise Fish) – to massive tanks built in public aquaria which are limited only by engineering constraints and can house entire ecosystems as large as kelp forests or species of large sharks. Head Radio. Water temperature can be regulated with a combined thermometer/heater unit (or, more rarely, with a cooling unit), while water movement can be controlled through the use of powerheads and careful design of internal water flow (such as location of filtration system points of inflow and outflow).

Aquarists may prefer anything from still water up to swift simulated currents in an aquarium, depending on the conditions best suited for the aquarium's inhabitants. Water movement can also be important in accurately simulating a natural ecosystem. Cold water aquaria are those with temperatures below what would be considered tropical; a variety of fish are better suited to this cooler environment. Most fish and plant species tolerate only a limited range of water temperatures: Tropical or warm water aquaria, with an average temperature of about 25 °C (78 °F), are much more common and house most popular aquarium fish.

cold water. The temperature of the water forms the basis of one of the two most basic aquarium classifications: tropical vs. Secondary water characteristics are also important to the success of an aquarium. In contrast, public aquaria with large water needs often locate themselves near a natural water source (such as a river, lake, or ocean) in order to have easy access to large volumes of water that does not require much further treatment.

More sophisticated aquarists may make other modifications to their base water source to modify the water's alkalinity, hardness, or dissolved content of organics and gases, before adding it to their aquaria. Brackish or saltwater aquaria require the addition of a mixture of salts and other minerals, which are commercially available for this purpose. For freshwater aquaria, additives formulated to remove chlorine or chloramine (used to disinfect drinking water supplies for human consumption) are often all that is needed to make the water ready for aquarium use. Home aquarists typically use modified tap water supplied through their local municipal water system to fill their tanks.

Dissolved organic content and dissolved gases content are also important factors. Hardness measures overall dissolved mineral content; soft or hard water may be preferred. The pH of the water is a measure of alkalinity or acidity. Several other water characteristics result from dissolved contents of the water, and are important to the proper simulation of natural environments.

An aquarium may have fresh water (a salt level of < 0.5%), simulating a lake or river environment; salt water (a salt level of 5%–18%), simulating an ocean or sea environment; or brackish water (a salt level of 0.5%–5%), simulating environments lying between fresh and salt, such as estuaries. Salt content, or salinity, is the most basic classification of water conditions. The dissolved content of water is perhaps the most important aspect of water conditions, as dissolved salts and other constituents can dramatically impact basic water chemistry, and therefore how organisms are able to interact with their environment. The size of an aquarium also limits the aquarist in what types of ecosystems he can reproduce, species selection, and biological loading.

The conditions and characteristics of the water contained in an aquarium are the most important classification criteria, as most aquatic life will not survive even limited exposure to unsuitable water conditions. Aquaria can be classified by several variables that determine the type of aquatic life that can be suitably housed. The combined function of these elements is to maintain appropriate water quality and characteristics suitable for the aquarium's residents. Size, lighting conditions, density of floating and rooted plants, placement of bogwood, creation of caves or overhangs, type of substrate, and other factors (including an aquarium's positioning within a room) can all affect the behavior and survivability of tank inhabitants.

An aquarium's physical characteristics form another aspect of aquarium design. Coolers are also available for use in cold water aquaria or in parts of the world where the ambient room temperature is above the desired tank temperature. Aquarium heaters are designed to act as thermostats to regulate water temperature at a level designated by the aquarist when the prevailing temperature of air surrounding the aquarium is below the desired water temperature. These devices, once universal, are now somewhat less commonly used as some newer filtration systems create enough surface agitation to supply adequate gas exchange at the surface.

Air pumps are employed to adequately oxygenate (or in the case of a heavily planted aquarium, provide carbon dioxide to) the water. Protein skimmers, filtration devices that remove proteins and other waste from the water, are usually found only in salt water aquaria. Most systems use pumps to remove a small portion of the tank's water to an external pathway where filtration occurs; the filtered water is then returned to the aquarium. Filtration systems are the most complexly engineered component of most home aquaria, and various designs are used.

Combined biological and mechanical filtration systems are now common; these are designed to remove potentially dangerous build up of nitrogenous wastes and phosphates dissolved in the water, as well as particulate matter. In addition, some freshwater tanks (and most saltwater tanks) use powerheads to increase water circulation. The common freshwater aquarium maintained by a home aquarist typically includes a filtration system, an artificial lighting system, air pumps, and a heater. Freshwater aquaria remain the most popular due to their lower cost and easier maintenance, but marine (saltwater) aquaria have gained cachet as dedicated enthusiasts prove it is possible to preserve these challenging environments.

The most successful aquaria, as judged by the long-term survivability of its inhabitants, carefully emulate the natural environments that their residents would occupy in the wild. Aquaria can vary in size from a small bowl large enough for a single small fish, to the huge public aquaria that can simulate entire marine ecosystems. From the outdoor ponds and glass jars of antiquity, modern aquaria have evolved into a wide range of specialized systems. In the United States, a large minority (40%) of aquarists maintain two or more tanks at any one time.

The hobby has the strongest following in Europe, Asia, and North America. There are currently estimated to be about 60 million aquarium hobbyists worldwide, and many more aquaria kept by them. Popularization was also assisted by the availability of air freight, which allowed a much wider variety of fish to be successfully imported from distant regions of origin that consequently attracted new hobbyists. With electricity great improvements were made in aquarium technology, allowing artificial lighting as well as the aeration, filtration, and heating of the water.

Aquaria became more widely popular as houses became almost universally electrified after World War I. (One feature of some 19th-century aquaria that would prove curious to hobbyists today was the use of a metal base panel so that the aquarium water could be heated by flame.) Germans rivaled the British in their interest, and by the turn of the century Hamburg became the European port of entry for many newly seen species. The framed-glass aquarium was a specialized version of the glazed Wardian case developed for British horticulturists in the 1830s to protect exotic plants on long sea voyages. The keeping of fish in an aquarium first became a popular hobby in Britain only after ornate aquaria in cast-iron frames were featured at the Great Exhibition of 1851.

The concept of keeping aquatic life in glass containers, then, dates to at latest this period. In the 18th century, the biologist Abraham Trembley kept hydra found in the garden canals of the Bentinck residence 'Sorgvliet' in the Netherlands, in large cylindrical glass vessels for study. In 1665 the diarist Samuel Pepys recorded seeing in London "a fine rarity, of fishes kept in a glass of water, that will live so forever, and finely marked they are, being foreign." The fish observed by Pepys were likely to have been the paradise fish, Macropodus opercularis, a familiar garden fish in Canton, China, where the East India Company was then trading. However, it is difficult to pinpoint the exact date of this development.

The concept of an aquarium, designed for the observation of fish in an enclosed, transparent tank to be kept indoors, emerged more recently. The Chinese brought goldfish indoors during the Song dynasty to enjoy them in large ceramic vessels. Many other cultures also have a history of keeping fish for both functional and decorative purposes. Depictions of the sacred fish of Oxyrhynchus kept in captivity in rectangular temple pools have been found in ancient Egyptian art.

In China, selective breeding of carp into today's popular koi and goldfish is believed to have begun over 2,000 years ago. Ancient Sumerians were known to keep wild-caught fish in ponds, before preparing them for meals. The keeping of fish in confined or artificial environments is a practice with deep roots in history. The word aquarium itself is taken directly from the latin aqua, meaning water, with the suffix -rium, meaning "place" or "building".

. Other components in maintaining a suitable aquarium environment include appropriate species selection, management of biological loading, and good physical design. The nitrogen cycle describes the flow of nitrogen from input via food, through toxic nitrogenous waste produced by tank inhabitants, to metabolism to less toxic compounds by beneficial bacteria populations. Controlling water quality includes managing the inflow and outflow of nutrients, most notably the management of waste produced by tank inhabitants.

The careful aquarist dedicates considerable effort to maintaining a tank ecology that mimics its inhabitants' natural habitat. Inhabitants for aquaria are often collected from the wild, although there is a growing list of organisms that are bred in captivity for supply to the aquarium trade. These characteristics, and others, determine the type of fish and other inhabitants that can survive and thrive in the aquarium. Aquaria are usually classified as containing fresh or salt water, at tropical or cold water temperatures.

A wide variety of aquaria are now kept by hobbyists, ranging from a simple bowl housing a single fish to complex simulated ecosystems with carefully engineered support systems. gallons) and a collection of about 580 species of aquatic life. Public aquaria reproduce the home aquarist's hobby on a grand scale — the Osaka Aquarium, for example, boasts a tank of 5,400 m³ (1.4 million U.S. From the 1850s, when the predecessor of the modern aquarium was first developed as a novel curiosity, the ranks of aquarists have swelled as more sophisticated systems including lighting and filtration systems were developed to keep aquarium fish healthy.

Aquarium keeping is a popular hobby around the world, with about 60 million enthusiasts worldwide. An aquarium (plural aquariums or aquaria) is a vivarium, usually contained in a clear-sided container (typically constructed of glass or high-strength plastic) in which water-dwelling plants and animals (usually fish, and sometimes invertebrates, as well as amphibians, marine mammals, and reptiles) are kept in captivity, often for public display; or it is an establishment featuring such displays.

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