Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay

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We love visiting the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay. The Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay is not as big as other aquariums that we’ve visited, however it has the fish I like and its easily accessible. Although it is called Shark Reef, there are other fish too. As soon as you walk in, you are actually greeted by a Crocodile, and then a Komodo Dragon!

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There are Cichlid tanks, a tank with huge Arowanas, giant Pacus, and of course Piranhas!

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Ok, Piranhas can be dangerous, so you cannot get too close to the Piranha tank as it is guarded by an employee. They are actually very relaxed when you see them in the tank. I remember when I was younger, my old room mate actually had Red Belly Piranhas, and they were very “SHY”. Yes, I know it sounds strange, but they actually didn’t eat until the room was dark and we all left the room. On the other hand, I have seen Black Diamond Piranha’s that were so wild, they had to be put in a tank with a custom lid, so you can feed them without opening the top. But as you can see in the video below, they are pretty relaxed.

The next stop that is popular with visitors is the Lion Fish tank. The Lion Fish are actually venomous. How venomous? Wikipedia says – In humans, Pterois venom can cause systemic effects such as extreme pain, nausea, vomiting, fever, breathing difficulties, convulsions, dizziness, redness on the affected area, headache, numbness, paresthesia (pins and needles), heartburn, diarrhea, and sweating. Rarely, such stings can cause temporary paralysis of the limbs, heart failure, and even death. Fatalities are common in very young children, the elderly, those with a weak immune system, or those who are allergic to their venom. Their venom is rarely fatal to healthy adults, but some species have enough venom to produce extreme discomfort for a period of several days. However, Pterois venom is a danger to allergic victims as they may experience anaphylaxis, a serious and often life-threatening condition that requires immediate emergency medical treatment. Severe allergic reactions to Pterois venom include chest pain, severe breathing difficulties, a drop in blood pressure, swelling of the tongue, sweating, runny nose, or slurred speech. Such reactions can be fatal if not treated.

My favorite part of the Shark Reef is the tunnel. When you walk through the tunnel Angelfish, Emperors, Tangs, and various sharks swim by you from all angles. You get a small taste of what it would be like to swim with these beautiful fish without actually going in the water.

I think we especially like coming here because they have fish that you can’t really raise at home. We’ve had freshwater and saltwater fish tanks at home before, but a lot of the fish you see here, you can’t just buy at your local store and put them in a tank at home. Some you can’t have at home legally. Did someone say Jelly Fish?

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The people you see behind the Jelly Fish tank are actually petting the Sting Rays. I believe they have a Sting Ray feeding too, but we didn’t watch it on our visit this time. The last thing I want to post is a video of the sting ray tank they have on display here. There are different types of sting rays on display here, however I didn’t see what species the ones in the video are.

So if you are in the Las Vegas area, make sure you visit the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay. General Admission normally costs around $20 per person. Children under 3 are free, and they have other packages / annual passes also.


Date & Times (02/16/2019)


Shark Reef: Sun – Thu10:00 AM – 8:00 PM, Last Admission: 7:00 PM

Shark Reef: Fri – Sat10:00 AM – 10:00 PM, Last Admission: 9:00 PM

Polar Journey: Sun – Thu9:30 AM – 8:00 PM, Last Admission: 7:30 PM

Polar Journey: Fri – Sat9:30 AM – 10:00 PM, Last Admission: 9:30 PM

Information – 702.632.4555

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