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Coral Reef Regulator

Experience the thrill of a thriving Florida Keys coral reef

In the Coral Reef Regulator Encounter, our visitors immerse themselves in our 200,000 gallon salt water tank, a diverse coral reef environment with a wide variety of unique species of Coral Reef inhabitants native to the Florida Keys.  Participants do not need to be certified to participate in the coral reef regulator encounter. If a participant is not certified, they will stay at the surface using a regulator.  If a participant would like to go to the bottom of the tank, they must either be certified or purchase an Aquarium Encounters Dive Course. Certified participants who would like to dive to the bottom of the tank, must have a dive buddy.

Want to experience what it’s like on the reef?

Our Coral Reef Tank is one of the best parts of our Florida Aquarium, filled with a living ecosystem that closely matches what one would find on any coral reef just a few short miles from our location in the Florida Keys

The coral reef regulator encounter enables visitors to get in the water and be a part of the action in the thriving ecosystem that exists in our aquarium environment. This unique Encounter makes us one of the best aquariums to visit in Florida and introduces our visitors to the reef environment in the best way possible, via immersion in our exclusive Coral Reef tank.

Experience life as it exists in nature

During the Coral Reef Regulator Encounter, visitors will experience a personal interaction with a wide variety of marine fish species, while swimming over our custom creation of a simulated Florida coral reef patch.

The most exciting feature of our Coral Reef Regulator Encounter is that it is separated from our shark tank by a clear plexiglass window. This allows participants in the Coral Reef Encounter to come face to face with sharks while being protected from the predators!

As one of the best aquariums in Florida, we've developed a unique experience for our participants who are looking to get a bit more “hands-on” during the Coral Reef Regulator Encounter, our uniquely designed aquarium technology allows diving participants the opportunity to feed sharks and other predatory fish from our underwater feeding ports that connect the tanks.

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Schedule of Events

The Coral Reef Regulator Encounter runs daily between the hours of 10 AM – 3 PM

The normal schedule of events during the Coral Reef Regulator Encounter includes the following sample schedule:

*Please arrive 15 minutes before your encounter to fill out necessary waivers.

:00-:40 Meet your instructor and watch an educational video about the Keys National Marine Sanctuary and learn what to expect during your Coral Reef Regulator Encounter. Shower, meet back at Coral Reef tank, change into wetsuit, receive your gear and prepare for your encounter at one of the best aquariums in Florida.
:40-:55 Fish feeding and gear review.  Get comfortable in the water using your regulator from the platform.
:55-:20 Explore the main tank environment and interact with a variety of tropical fish species.
:20-:30 Post question and answer with your dive instructor, remove wetsuit, shower off then pick up your free photo in the photo room and fill out a questionnaire about your experience.

A typical Coral Reef Encounter includes:
  • Exclusive access to enter our Florida Keys Coral Reef Tank.
  • All necessary supplies for a safe tank experience including use of Wetsuits, Mask, Fins & Regulators/Snorkels.
  • Private Changing Rooms with hot showers to slip into your Coral Reef Encounter Gear.
  • Time in our Coral Reef Tank with the guidance of our Dive Instructors to explore the underwater coral reef environment.
  • Close Interaction with a wide variety of local marine species
  • Opportunity to feed predatory fish in the adjacent Shark Tank!
  • Souvenir photo of encounter

While you are experiencing your time “on the reef” members of trained staff will be ever-present to provide you with guidance and safe supervision during any part of your experience in the Coral Reef Encounter.

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Coral Reef Encounter Information

Look who you will meet on the Reef!

SCHEDULE:

Coral Reef Encounters Run Daily on the Hour between 9 AM – 4 PM. Please see below for booking and availability of the Coral Reef Encounter.

RELEASE WAIVER:

Click here to download the Coral Reef Encounter Liability Release Form prior to visiting our facilities.

DURATION:

Each Coral Reef Regulator Encounter lasts roughly 90 minutes with a total of roughly 30 minutes in the Coral Reef Tank.

 

Requirements

Participants do not need to be certified to participate in the coral reef regulator encounter. If a participant is not certified, they will stay at the surface using a regulator.  If a participant would like to go to the bottom of the tank, they must either be certified or purchase an Aquarium Encounters Dive Course. Certified participants who would like to dive to the bottom of the tank, must have a dive buddy.

Participants must be over the age of 5 in our Coral Reef Regulator Encounter and must be at least 8 to dive below the surface of the tank. Any age is welcome to participate in our Coral Reef Snorkel Encounter. No matter if you’re diving or at the surface you still get the opportunity to feed all the animals—including the sharks!

Children under 5 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian in the tank. A parent/guardian must be available on deck (dry) if their 5-12yr old is participating in a snorkel encounter. A parent/guardian must be in the FKAE facility if their 12-16yr old is participating in a snorkel encounter. Any child between the ages of 5-12 participating in a Regulator Encounter must be accompanied in the water by a parent/guardian. A parent/guardian must be available on deck (dry) if their 12-18yr old is participating in a Coral Reef Regulator Encounter.

Maximum of 8 participants per Coral Reef Regulator session.

A magical, tropical experience you won't forget.

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