Marine aquariums

The oceans and seas cover over 70% of the Earth's surface. These waters harbor secret worlds inhabited by many different animals ranging from microscopic bacteria to sharks and whales. Some of these animals feed near coral reefs where marine fish are the most plentiful.

The first floor of the Gdynia Aquarium is home to the Coral Reef exhibit which houses the largest living coral reef in Poland. The largest tank on this floor, which holds 3,000 liters of water, is home to about thirty species of hard and soft corals and invertebrate animals like giant clams, sea cucumbers, and starfish. The Gdynia Aquarium's coral reef delights with its extraordinary colors and richness of forms. Other animals that inhabit the reef include the red firefish, clown anemonefish, pufferfish, damselfish, orbicular batfish, tang and angelfish, moray eels and many, many other species.

Red firefish
Laced moray
Clown anemonefish
Copperband butterflyfish

One of the inhabitants of the coral reef biotope is the seahorse (Hippocampinae), which is the symbol of the Gdynia Aquarium and of the mysteries that are hidden in the world's oceans.

The seahorse is one of the rare fish that swims in a horizontal position. It accomplishes this trick thanks to the movements of its dorsal fins and the rowing motion of its pectoral fins. Seahorses hide in the underwater meadows of the oceans, where they use their thin, prehensile tails to attach to plants. One of the defensive mechanisms seahorses have against predators is the ability to change skin color to blend in with their surroundings. The seahorses on display were reared in captivity at the Gdynia Aquarium. Here, you can observe the peculiar reproduction strategy of this animal. The females deposit their eggs in the males' incubation pouch, where the eggs develop until they hatch.

The Aquatic Animal World exhibit is in the dark room on the first floor. This exhibit houses a wide variety of animals that inhabit the cold depths of the oceans, the coastal waters of the Atlantic and the Indo-Pacific, and Poland's own Baltic Sea.

The blacktip reef shark will catch your eye with its dangerous appearance. Although not as dangerous as the great white shark, which is also known as the man-eating shark, this species also enjoys a bad reputation as it is known to attack humans bathing in shallow coastal waters. In the wild, this shark will grow to a length of 2 meters. Two young blacktip reef sharks currently inhabit a transparent aquarium located on the first floor in dark room that houses the Aquatic Animal World exhibit.


One of the Gdynia Aquarium's most interesting residents is Karolina, a North Pacific giant octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini). This octopus species is the largest in the world, and it usually inhabits the cold depths of the Pacific Ocean. Karolina not only thrills visitors with her size and color, but her behavior is also fascinating to observe. Everyone who is lucky enough to watch her at feeding time says that it was the highlight of their visit.


Some of the animals that inhabit coastal and warm waters include the lookdown, also known as the silver moonfish from the warm Atlantic, the horseshoe crab from Atlantic waters and the southeast coast of the Pacific, and the grouper, or sea bass, from the coastal waters of the Indo-Pacific. You'll even be able to see one of the world's smallest sharks - the Australian marbled catshark that inhabits the shallow waters of the coastal zone of Atlantic.


Not all the animals on exhibit come from oceans that are far, far away; many species indigenous to the Baltic Sea are also on display such as the cod or flatfish. You can also see diadromous species that migrate between fresh and salt waters including the indigenous common pike, carp, sea trout, whitefish, sturgeon, and European eel.


In addition to these exhibits, the Wet Room on the ground floor lets you have a 'hands-on' experience with its open-topped aquarium. Observe the fish up close and even reach out and touch them! This aquarium is home to round gobies, sturgeon, and Baltic flatfish. Everyone can find out for themselves which fish is smooth or rough to the touch. The room is open to all visitors, and it is also used during educational classes for children led by the Marine Education Section.