Giant aquarium features a lift in the centre

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A massive new shopping mall in Morocco has installed an equally gigantic marine aquarium as its centrepiece and customers can now dive to its bottom without getting wet!

The huge, conical aquarium was designed and built by the American company International Concept Management (ICM) for the Morocco Mall in Casablanca and is called 'Aquadream'.

The vast, freestanding tank stands 9.3m/31' tall and holds around one million litres/264,000 gal. of water.

Made from acrylic panels over 12cm/4" thick, the main tank has a diameter of 13.4m/44' at its top and inside this is a smaller 3.4m/11' tube which contains a lift in which shoppers can travel to the bottom of the tank, exploring the underwater world and its inhabitants.

'Aquadream' contains over 3,000 fish and the five-minute lift ride is designed to be an educational experience, allowing customers to come face to face with at least 41 species of fish, including sharks and rays, from the comfort and safety of the glass sided lift, however more adventurous shoppers can choose to pay to scuba dive inside the tank instead.

Due to the potential for seismic activity in the area, the tank is seated on its own, independent concrete slab which helps cushion it against tremors while at the same time isolating it from any movement the mall itself may experience during quakes. This safety feature was tested successfully during the tank installation by two minor tremors, neither of which damaged the tank or its support systems.

The filtration systems are vast, filtering the entire tank's contents hourly, but despite Morocco Mall's close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean the tank is filled using freshwater and artificial sea salt.

Decor for the tank takes the form of a realistic looking coral reef, constructed from concrete rockwork covered in over 3,500 artificial corals.

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