So, despite the fact that I live a stone's throw from D.C., I had never actually been to the National Aquarium in the basement of the Commerce building until today. It was sort of a mixed bag, but an interesting experience.
The freshwater tanks generally looked good, although they had some pretty beat up bluegills and sunfish in with a huge common snapper. I can only venture to guess why the fish were beat up. They had a huge Amazon tank with a giant school of bleeding heart tetras, a big school of rummynose, tons of cardinals, and some hatchetfish. Another big Amazon tank had discus, uaru and some type of geophagus. Yet another had a big arowana and a tiger shovelnose. They had one tank full of spotted gar with about a zillion feeder guppies that were reproducing faster than the gars could eat them. They had a pair of Texas cichlids that had newly hatched fry.
The saltwater tanks, on the other hand, were much more disappointing. Almost none had real live rock or coral and instead had garish looking plastic stuff. Most of their saltwater fish looked to be in crummy shape. Even mediocre LFS's have better looking stock. They did have some shark eggs in an isolation basket in one tank, and you could see the baby sharks squirming around inside. Very cool.
All in all I wasn't completely disappointed, as it only cost $7 which is much less than the $20 or so entrance fee the National Aquarium in Baltimore is charging these days. The Baltimore aquarium is definitely much bigger and has much better exhibits though, for those of you fish geeks who find yourself in the area.
Sorry I don't have any pictures, but all I had on my was my phone and I still haven't gotten around to buying a data transfer cable for it. I know...I'm terrible with this photography stuff.