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 70 fish species live in the 8 basins of the aquarium (over 700 individuals). There are also various «cleaner species» such as shrimps, crabs, snails and starfish.
The habitats in the basins and the main species that live in them:
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 have all been bred. 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:
Protecting penguins in the wild is one of Zoo Zurich's seven priority nature 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.