The aquarium opened on 9 April 1993 in the site of the disused Battery Quarry, below the Forth Rail Bridge. It is owned and operated by the Spanish Aspro Ocio Group, who also run the Blue Planet Aquarium in England and many other aquaria in Europe.
One of the main attractions is the 112 m (367 ft) long transparent acrylic underwater viewing tunnel, which is one of the longest of its kind in the world. The curvature of the 6.5-centimetre (2.6 in) thick acrylic causes a de-magnifying effect on all of the creatures in the exhibit?roughly one third reduction. The tank with the tunnel contains 1,000,000 imperial gallons (4,500,000 l; 1,200,000 US gal) of sea water pumped in from the River Forth. This water is generally around 14 ?C (57 ?F), but varies with the season. Because of the low temperature most animals within the tunnel are from around Britain. Sand tiger sharks are generally found in warmer water, for example Florida and South Africa. They easily adapt to the change in temperature, but the lower temperature reduces the rate of metabolism.
The aquarium also displays various tanks and rock pools containing exotic fish and other sea animals.
In 2005, the aquarium opened a new seal enclosure which houses resident seals as well as injured ones rescued by the SSPCA.