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Lagoon

Get Tropical

A swirl of vibrant, Day-Glo color. Swishing tails, fluttering fins. Leopard prints, neon yellow stripes, hot orange lips. It’s a balmy, tropical world in the Lagoon, with fish, eels and even a shark swimming in a sandy, Indo-Pacific reef.

Swim into the Lagoon

Feeding time.
(Krill, veggies, Cheerios.)
It's like taking a brush to an artist's palette and swirling it. When the lagoon fish get fed, it's a kaleidoscope of color, Ask our aquarists what everyone's eating!
11am Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun
See daily schedule
Find it
in the Zoo
Find the Lagoon in the upper South Pacific Aquarium, opposite Stingray Cove.
NOTE: No strollers, food or drink, please.
Plan your day
Wrasse
Time to clean up.
Wrasse come in many shapes, colors and sizes, from 3 inches to 8 feet.
Some maintain cleaning stations for other fish, removing parasites and dead tissue.
Tang tails
Slashing, slicing
Tangs are oval shaped fish with a sharp spine at the base of their tails.
It can slash intruders or be as exact as a surgeon's scalpel.
Angelfish
It's all about looks.
Angelfish have bright color patterns they use to identify threats to their territory.
Young fish look different from adults so they can swim nearby without being chased.

A Plastic Ocean?

Let's turn that tide.

THE THREAT: By 2050, scientists predict that there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. Plastic trash builds up on land and, despite our best efforts, eventually blows or washes out to sea, where it chokes and starves marine animals.

HOW TO HELP: Reduce your use of plastic. Choose reusable items like lunch wrappings and water bottles; say no to straws and extra packaging. Help protect our ocean.

Aquarium Stories

Making Turtle Waves

The look on Keilan Fowora’s face was priceless. “Are these real?” asked the seven-year-old, running his fingers over a sea turtle shell and the sharp teeth on a shark jaw bone. “Yep, they’re real,” assured Heather Detwiler, outreach associate for Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, standing behind the table at Tacoma’s STAR Center. Then Keilan’s … Continued

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Spider crabs make a scientific splash

Aquarist Mikiko Williams, clad in a black wetsuit, stood in the Japanese Spider Crab habitat at the Pacific Seas Aquarium, reached down, gently picked up an animal that weighed about 8 pounds and hoisted it up and out of the water. It was just after 8:30 a.m., the Zoo would open in an hour, and … Continued

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Caring for the small: Rockfish and seahorse

In a corridor surrounded by pipes, tanks and equipment, three women crouch over a tub. One – an intern veterinarian – carefully handles a Q-tip swab. The second – a veterinarian – readies a microscope slide. The third – an aquarist – has her gloved hands submerged, gently holding a china rockfish. A fourth aquarist … Continued

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Love the Lagoon?
Love the Lagoon? Then check out the Outer Reef, where 16 sharks glide through deep blue water.