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National Aquarium’s stingray tank may get gussied up

Even stingrays ought to have new digs.

That’s the theory behind a loan request scheduled to come before the Baltimore City Board of Estimates on Wednesday.

The board is poised to vote on a request for $500,000 by officials of the National Aquarium in Baltimore to renovate the stingray tank.

The exhibit, first opened in 1981, is one of the aquarium’s most popular, greeting all who enter because of its ground-floor location.

Inside the 265,000 gallon tank, dozens of stingrays of all shapes and sizes, some even with polka dots, glide through the water, back-lit by accent lights. They share the large tank with sea turtles and a few sharks.

The planned improvements would allow for reinforcements of the concrete walls in and underneath the exhibit and an upgrade to the electrical system.

The aquarium is located at 501 E. Pratt St. and is home to 16,500 aquatic critters.