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Shark Tank Facts

If the technical issues aren't trouble enough for Lisboa's outsized tank, what he wants to fill it with are just as troublesome: sharks. This might be one of the few private tanks large enough to house the ocean's perfect predator but the real challenge is finding the proper species for an engaging and safe display. A slew of factors need to be considered - some sharks are too docile, others are too aggressive; some are too large and others are too easily injured.

If the technical issues aren't trouble enough for Lisboa's outsized tank, what he wants to fill it with are just as troublesome: sharks. This might be one of the few private tanks large enough to house the ocean's perfect predator but the real challenge is finding the proper species for an engaging and safe display. A slew of factors need to be considered - some sharks are too docile, others are too aggressive; some are too large and others are too easily injured. (View larger version)

Photograph by National Geographic Channels

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  • The largest privately owned aquarium is in Saudi Arabia, holding 600,000 gallons of water. It was installed by Living Color.

  • Of the 307 known shark species, 50 are listed as vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

  • The Rosamond Gifford Zoo, in Syracuse, NY, has been in operation for nearly 100 years, first opening in 1914 on a 4-acre estate.

  • The Giant Pacific Octopus is an incredibly intelligent sea creature, documented as having learned how to open jars and solve mazes in lab tests.

  • The Giant Pacific Octopus has three hearts, one for circulating blood throughout its body and two pass blood over the gills.

  • Some of the most common fish injuries in aquariums include nipped fins, missing scales, damaged eyes, abraded barbels and dislocated jaws.

  • Tropical waters are most commonly associated with the world’s best scuba diving but the waters off British Columbia are considered the some of the best for scuba diving in North America.

  • In 2009, an octopus at a Santa Monica Aquarium actually disassembled a valve in her tank, releasing around 200 gallons of water into neighboring offices as exhibits.

  • "Like the other members of the octopus family… [Giant Pacific Octopi] use special pigment cells in their skin to change colors and textures, and can blend in with even the most intricately patterned corals, plants, and rocks."

  • In the wild, Giant Pacific Octopi only live for three to five years.