The aquarium is located on the ground floor of the Exotarium, initially opened in 1989. In 2016, the enclosure was fully restructured and redesigned as part of a renovation and modernisation project, and placed under the guiding theme «Food, Glorius Food». The number of basins was reduced from 22 to 8. The new basins are larger and form individual habitats, such as a coral reef or a tide pool. The penguins' indoor enclosure, housing king penguins in summer and Humboldt penguins in winter, is part of the aquarium as well as are various exhibition elements, an interactive aqualab and a cinema.
Over 85 fish species live in the 8 basins of the aquarium (almost 1500 individuals). There are also various «cleaner species» such as shrimps, crabs, snails and starfish.
Habitats in the basins and main species that live in them:
- «Rivers and lakes in the Amazon basin» feat. electric eel
- «Mangroves in the Indo-Pacific» (tide pool with ebb and flow tides) feat. Archerfish and Mudskipper
- «Reefs and rocky coasts in the Indo-Pacific» (predatory and venomous fish basins) feat. Lionfish, Blue-spotted ray, Snowflake moray, Epaulette shark and Coral catshark
- «Coral reefs in the Indo-Pacific» feat. Clown fish and Palette surgeonfish
- «Seaweed beds in the Indo-Pacific» feat. Garden eel and Seahorse
- «Rivers and lakes in the Amazon basin» feat. Red piranha
- «Rivers and lakes in South-East Asia» (Asian fresh water basin) feat. :abyrinth fish and Gourami
- «Streams and rivers in Madagascar» (Madagascan fresh water basin) feat. Silverside and Powder-blue panchax
Part of international breeding programmes: Blue-spotted ray, Epaulette shark.
Over 1,500 soft corals, hard corals and gorgonia live in the 8 basins as well. They all stem from breeding programs. There are also various aquatic plants and mangroves.
Further individual basins outside the aquarium can be found in the turtle house (cichlid fish), with the otters (common barbel) and in the Masoala Rainforest information centre (ptychochromis grandidieri).
The penguin's indoor enclosure is also located in the aquarium. It houses king penguins in summer, and Humboldt penguins in winter. Zoo Zurich keeps both species as part of international breeding programmes.
Here you can listen to the voice of the king penguin:
Conservation Project ART
Protecting penguins in the wild is one of Zoo Zurich's eight priority conservation projects. The zoo is the Swiss headquarters of the Antarctic Research Trust ART. This organisation carries out research to ensure the long-term protection of penguins, albatrosses and their habitats in the Antarctic and Subantarctic.
Videos out of the Aquarium of Zoo Zurich (Youtube-Playlist).