Why did the fish tank break?: Expert calls AquaDom a "time bomb"

Despite its uniqueness, the Berlin AquaDom received official approval at the turn of the millennium with rather lax test specifications, as reported by the "Bild" newspaper.

Why did the fish tank break?: Expert calls AquaDom a "time bomb"

Despite its uniqueness, the Berlin AquaDom received official approval at the turn of the millennium with rather lax test specifications, as reported by the "Bild" newspaper. An expert also tells the newspaper that the manufacturer should have pointed out that the AquaDom "doesn't last forever".

According to an expert, the operators and designers of the burst AquaDom in Berlin were too careless for such Plexiglas structures. The former owner of the company Schuran Seawater Equipment, which also manufactures large aquariums, Hermann Schuran, told the "Bild" newspaper: "It's a time bomb."

According to his own statements, the Dutch entrepreneur was also asked to build the AquaDom at the turn of the millennium, but according to the "Bild" newspaper he canceled because he thought it was too big. He now said: "You can't generally say how long something like this lasts. There are calculation examples with 25 years."

The AquaDom was opened 19 years ago, but its dimensions are without precedent. According to Schuran, the company ICM Concept International Management, a subsidiary of the acrylic glass manufacturer Reynolds Polymer, should have said: "The dome won't last forever." Nevertheless, in the summer of 2001 the company applied for a special permit from the Berlin building senate, which was approved six months later. This did not contain a time limit.

According to Schuran, the operator had to check the AquaDom at least every two years, "otherwise it's negligent". According to the "Bild" newspaper, such concrete test specifications were not included in the official approval. According to the newspaper, the building senate only says that the approval stipulates the obligation to carry out “regular” checks on the construction and individual parts.

Schuran's statements suggest an oversight in the production of the AquaDom: "The entire aquarium should have been heated to 80 degrees with an oven after construction and later after the renovation. That is possible, but very expensive." Failure to do so could result in stress cracks in the glass, says Schuran.

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