Duman Aquarium may very well be the only major aquarium facility in the world that is more than 3,000 km away from the ocean. Kazakhstan is a huge Central Asian country, the ninth largest country and the biggest landlocked country in the world. There is no huge body of water in sight, aside from the many icy blue lakes and a portion of the Caspian Sea. Duman Aquarium is the first and only aquarium attraction in Kazakhstan. It is made up of over 2,000 marine life forms representing 100 species and in 3 million liters of water that make use of 120 tons of special sea salt.
To keep the aquarium running and the fishes healthy and happy, a total of 11 kilometers of pipework, 34 powerful pumps and six large sand filters are necessary. Each of the filters can work on 200 thousand liters of water. The tedious filtering and clearing process makes sure that the correct and essential chemical composition and clarity are maintained. Duman Aquarium has a huge main tank and two exhibition areas that are made up of eleven tanks with varying sizes. The main tank has an underwater 70-meter long tunnel with a moving walkway that allows visitors to almost literally walk on the seabed. The leading attractions here are sharks, giant groupers, Napoleon wrasses, bat fish and so on.
On the other hand, the exhibition tanks showcase a number of fish species and important information about them. Inside the first exhibition area are fresh water fishes, such as piranhas and pacus (vegetarian piranhas) from South America and Southeast Asia. There are also starfish, hermit crabs, lobsters and crabs. The second area has tanks filled with seahorses, pipe fish, cowfish, Japanese boxfish, dog fish and sea anemone, while another tank has only dangerous fishes such as lionfish, stone fish, moray and porcupine fish. An important attraction is to actually watch how all these fishes are fed. Aquarium divers plunge into the waters two times a day every day to feed them, and as expected, the feeding of the sharks gets the most attention.
The Kazakh people are thousands of kilometers away from the ocean. What they have is a vast almost-barren land that is mostly made up of endless steppes. Kazakhstan is the largest landlocked country in the world, which is why viewing the aquarium is quite a treat to the local people. Duman Aquarium, the only marine entertainment center in the country is clearly like no other Central Asian attractions. All the major attractions in this former Soviet state are forest reserves, peaks, mountain, caves and canyons. The aquarium is open every day, all year round. It is found in the city of Astana, the second largest and capital city of Kazakhstan. Other important landmarks in the capital city are Bayterek Tower, which commemorates the time when the city became the country’s capital in 1997, the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation (or Pyramid of Peace), The Islamic Center, Nur-Astana Mosque, Kazakhstan Central Concert Hall, Ak Orda Presidential Palace, and Transport Tower, as well as the city museums and theaters.