The most common size for a home aquarium tank is probably 29 or 30 gallon, though some aquarists have constructed aquariums of many thousands of gallons. Public aquariums can be dramatically larger than any home aquarium. But only a few are big enough to make it to our list of largest aquariums in the world. The kind of aquarium that can hold whale sharks and manta rays. It takes a very large tank to hold these kind of aquatic creatures.
In order to compare these large aquariums we have looked at the size of their biggest tank (in gallons). Most aquariums have several tanks and the combined volume of water can be much larger but it is only the largest aquarium tank that is counted. So here’s a list of the largest aquariums in the world.
Located in a coastal suburb of Perth, the Aquarium of Western Australia, or AQWA in short, contains Australia’s largest aquarium tank. The aquarium’s main tank is 40 meters (130 ft) long and 20 meters (66 ft) wide and holds 3,000,000 liters (793,000 gallons) of seawater. It incorporates a 98 meter (322 ft) underwater tunnel. For a fee, snorkelers and divers can get even closer to the fish, sharks, and rays by joining the aquarium’s dive master in exploring the main tank.
Built for Expo 92, the Aquarium of Genoa in Italy is one of the largest aquariums in Europe. The aquarium’s 70 tanks reproduce marine and terrestrial habitats from throughout the world and provide a home for more than 6000 animals. Some tanks reproduce natural environments from different areas as the Mediterranean, the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. The most spectacular ones are those housing the sharks, the dolphins and the seals.
The Shanghai Ocean Aquarium is one of the largest aquariums in Asia. It is composed of 9 exhibition zones of all over the world, including the China Zone, the Antarctic Zone and the Australia Zone. The China Zone is home to several endangered Chinese aquatic species, including rare and precious species from the Yangtze River. The biggest attraction of the aquarium is the underwater tunnel. At 155 meter (509 ft) it is the longest underwater tunnel in the world.
The uShaka Marine World is a theme park located in Durban, South Africa. It contains the largest aquarium in Africa boasting 32 tanks. The sea creatures found in the aquarium range from small sea horses all the way through to sharks and dolphins. The Aquarium is built to look like an old wreck and contains a number of restaurants and cafes. The most notable of these restaurants is “The Cargo Hold” restaurant which contains a full wall sized aquarium containing a number of sharks which are visible from most of the dining area.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium is located on the site of a former sardine cannery on Cannery Row in Monterey, California. Among the aquarium’s numerous exhibits are two gigantic tanks. The centerpiece of the Ocean’s Edge Wing is a 10 meter (33 foot) high 1,3 million liter (0,33 million gallon) tank for viewing California coastal marine life. The other one is a 4,5 million liter (1,2 million gallon) tank in the Outer Bay Wing which features one of the world’s largest single-paned windows. Sealife on exhibit includes stingrays, jellyfish, sea otters, and numerous other native marine species, which can be viewed above and below the waterline.
Opened in 2009, Turkuazoo is Turkey’s first giant aquarium featuring a rainforest, flooded forest and tropical seas zones. The aquarium is located inside the Forum Istanbul Shopping Mall and contains a 80 meter long underwater tunnel. Turkuazoo holds about 10,000 sea creatures including tiger sharks, giant stingrays and piranhas in 29 different exhibits where the largest holds 5 million liters (1,32 million gallons) of water.
L’Oceanogràfic is a marine complex where different marine habitats are represented. It is integrated inside a complex known as the City of Arts and Sciences inside the city of Valencia, Spain. The Oceanogràfic features the largest aquarium tank in Europe and houses more than 45,000 marine creatures. They populate nine under water towers, structured on two levels that represent several marine ecosystems. Two underwater towers are joined by a 35 meter underwater tunnel and it’s tank is filled with sharks, rays and 7 million liters (1,85 million gallon) of water.
The Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium is located within the Ocean Expo Park in Japan and was opened in 2002. The main tank of the aquarium, called the Kuroshio Sea, holds 7,5 million liters (1,981,000 gallons) of water and features an acrylic glass panel measuring 8.2 by 22.5 meters (27 by 74 feet) with a thickness of 60 centimeters (24 inches), the largest such panel in the world when the aquarium was opened. Whale sharks and manta rays are kept alongside many other fish species in Kuroshio Sea. As of July 2010, there have been a total of four manta rays born in the aquarium.
The Dubai Mall, one the world’s largest shopping malls in the world, is part of the 20-billion-dollar Burj Dubai complex in Dubai. The centerpiece of the mall is the gigantic aquarium tank, with the capacity to hold 10 million liters (2,64 million gallons) of water. The aquarium has more than 33,000 living animals including over 400 sharks and rays combined. It officially earned the Guinness World Record for the world’s “Largest Acrylic Panel”. The panel measures 8.3 by 32.88 meter (27 by 108 feet) and is 75 centimeters (30 inches) thick beating Japan’s Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium to the punch. In February 2010, the shark filled tank sprang a leak causing an evacuation and brief shutdown of the mall.
The Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta is the largest aquarium in the world housing more than 100,000 sea creatures. Funded mostly by a $250 million donation from Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus, the aquarium opened in November 2005. The Georgia Aquarium is the only institution outside of Asia to house whale sharks. The sharks are kept in a gigantic 24 million liter (6.3 million gallon) tank in the Ocean Voyager exhibit. There has been controversy surrounding the decision of the Georgia Aquarium to house whale sharks. Concerns about keeping the whale sharks in captivity were heightened by the deaths of two of the whale sharks originally obtained.