Sneak Peek at Via Aquarium in Schenectady

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SCHENECTADY, N.Y. -- The Via Aquarium situated inside the former Rotterdam Square Mall will cut the ribbon this weekend.

"There's 37 exhibits with 75,000 gallons of water," Via Aquarium Director David Gross said.

An estimated 2,500 fish now call the aquarium home.

"We have a coast-to-coast experience from Cape Cod to California to Hawaii," Gross said. "Our two tunnel tanks, which are the finale, we're visiting Australia and Key West.

"We're traveling all over the place showing you some really cool animals."

The aquarium  will bring visitors on a trip around the world through fish, from the Adirondacks to Thailand and Australia. Crews have been working on the aquarium since February.

"Hopefully it will get them to care about what's going on with their water and realize that they're downstream from someone else and that what they do effects what's downstream from them," Gross said.

Along with all of the exhibits, there's interactive exhibits, kids activities, and even a chance to feed sting rays and coy fish.

The new aquarium is part of a larger turnaround plan for the former Rotterdam Square Mall, now owned by Via Properties, which has already added an arcade, restaurant, bowling lanes and entertainment space. The 25,000 square foot aquarium is now ready to open with an emphasis on education.

"It's a big, wide world and there's a lot of cool things living with us and we need to protect them to protect ourselves," Gross added.

The Via Aquarium will hold a grand opening on Saturday and be open seven days a week.

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