Shreveport Aquarium delays opening - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

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Shreveport Aquarium delays opening

Workers filled the tanks at Shreveport Aquarium on Saturday afternoon. (Source: Bubba Kneipp/KSLA News 12) Workers filled the tanks at Shreveport Aquarium on Saturday afternoon. (Source: Bubba Kneipp/KSLA News 12)
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -

Shreveport Aquarium has pushed back its opening date.

Officials announced Wednesday that the venue will not open until late September or early October.

Why?

For one thing, the original project has grown.

SALT originally was planned as a cafe. Now it is a full-service restaurant.

Also, they now are building a parking lot.

Another reason is plans for the arboretum dome have expanded, and the area will be an event space. 

Also, the chemistry of the water in the aquarium's tanks will take longer to be ready, officials said.

The Big Ocean Tank was filled over the weekend. It is undergoing acid treatment.

"We're at the mercy of the chemistry of the water, so we want to make sure that it's done right because saltwater fish are very delicate once you pull them from their natural environment," aquarium spokesman Jake Wood said. 

Once the water reaches the proper pH level, crews will need to start running the life support system and add salt before fish can be added.

Shreveport Aquarium likely will hold a soft opening for small groups at the end of September.

That's because the marine life needs to be acclimated to small groups of people first.

Crews are working six days a week and will be making finishing touches and adding water to the other exhibits over the next few weeks. 

"We're moving forward just as quickly as we possibly can to get this place open. We're excited to see everyone here."

Officials think there's no reason to rush. 

"It is a little bit disappointing to not be able to open as planned on Aug. 31st," Wood said. 

"We feel like we owe it to Shreveport and the people of Shreveport to do this and do it right."

Shreveport Aquarium is part of Planet Aqua Group, the company that recently took over management of Sci-Port: Louisiana's Science Center.

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