If you’re looking to get up close and personal with aquatic wildlife, you don’t have to take a trip to Sea World or to The Aquarium of the Pacific. Located on Arch Street in Newhall, the Newhall Aquarium is a small place that’s home to some impressive species.
Founder Tony Taymourian started the aquarium over a year ago. He graduated with a degree in marine biology from USCB and started off doing maintenance work at small public aquariums. This experience taught him how to take proper care of tanks and how to keep animals alive.
He decided to marry his aquarium maintenance skills with his passion for marine life and started a small aquarium of his own.
“I happened to have an opportunity come up. The owner of this spot knew I was interested in this location and we were able to come up with an agreement. It took a long time to get all the stuff set up, and this is the final product. We’re happy with it, but we’re trying to get different tanks, bigger tanks, anything to keep the animals happier. It’s a small place but it’s a start,” Taynourian says.
The Newhall Aquarium is home to all kinds of sea creatures. The cold water system in the front of the aquarium contains local California species such as grouper sharks and sting rays.
Other tanks have tropical fish that are imported and delivered by plane. Since Tony has been involved in the business of aquariums for a while, he can easily import a variety of fish.
“I can pretty much get whatever I want. When I get some of these things I like other people to be able to see them and appreciate them as well.”
The aquarium’s operations are small for now, but there’s hope to expand in the future.
“We’re definitely talking to people that are considering sponsoring us to get something bigger. We don’t know where that’s going to go yet, but I think it’ll probably end up going somewhere more large scale.”
For now the aquarium is open everyday of the week except for Thursdays with visiting hours between 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Tony says the reason for the short hours is due to limited funding for staff.
The staff at the Newhall Aquarium also make trips to elementary schools and bring their creatures along with them. They host private events inside the aquarium and put on “under-the sea” themed birthday parties for kids.
Right now admission is free but donations are highly encouraged. Tony’s goal is to keep admission free for as long as possible so everybody has the opportunity to learn and have fun.
“My mission statement is to be able to be here for the public free of charge, and to be here for the people who can’t afford to spend $30 or $40 at The Aquarium of the Pacific or The Monterrey Bay Aquarium. Something smaller like this brings the community together.”
For more information visit the Newhall Aquarium Facebook page, or contact them at 818-357-6567.