Picture of an underwater battle scene witin thelargest privately owned aquarium in Australia owned by Mr Sean Buckley


Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Role in Project: Concept design, structural design, L.S.S design, acrylic supply, commissioning and initial maintenance (cycling).
Year of Build: 2011
Size: 30,000 litres +
Construction: Concrete, Steal, Acrylic and Glass
Time in Construction: 6 months
Annual Visitation: N/A


Reefscape Australia Aquariums were approached half way through the construction of an incredible 15 million dollar mansion being built by owner/builder Mr Sean Buckley.


Mr Buckley is an Australian entrepreneur, thoroughbred racehorse owner and most famous for the success his company Ultra Tune.


Mr Buckley contracted Reefscape Australia to provide a design solution which would allow him to squeeze a 30,000 liter marine aquarium through a 800mm wide doorway and place it between his gymnasium and entertainment room.


To make the challenge more interesting, Mr Buckley asked Reefscape to include a shipwreck into the design concept.


Reefscape Australia Aquariums accepted the challenge.


A giant hole would be cut in his newly built floor and the aquarium structure would then bridge and cantilever over the existing buildings footings, so not to touch the existing foundations which were supporting the upper stories of his brand new home.


Reefscape Australia Aquariums then also proposed a "Truk Lagoon" concept to support Mr. Buckley’s shipwreck idea.


Truk Lagoon is a famous World War II battle site which was a pivotal turning point in the second world war when the USA took revenge on Japan for the havoc they caused at Pearl Harbor. It is now visited by hundreds of divers a year keen to explore the coral incrusted incredible Japanese and American ship and plane wrecks found there.

Mr Buckley loved the idea!


Reefscape Australia Aquariums designed, manufactured, supplied and installed a 6m long replica battle ship and a 2m long plane within a stunning artificial coral garden.


The acrylic windows were designed and supplied by Reefscape Australia and delivered from their factory in Thailand to Toorak, Melbourne, by ship and crane truck.


An 8m long steel lifting structure was designed, dubbed "the big toast rack" to maneuver the huge acrylic windows into the building.


“The big toast rack”, sump stand and acrylic window supporting beams were constructed and installed by steel fabrication partners Structural Challenge PTY LTD.


Reefscape Australia’s rigging team, then posted both of the required 2.1 ton acrylic windows through the 0.8m wide door at once using 2 fork lifts.


The tank walls were constructed by contractor of many names, Mr Justin Dyke of Aquaplex Industries, Vogue Pools and Aquaman Projects PTY LTD. Mr Dyke was engaged by owner builder Mr Buckley, to build the aquarium slab, end walls, seal the acrylic windows and was responsible for waterproofing the tank.


The aquarium’s life support system featured two Reefscape Australia designed 2.4m high re-circulating protein skimmers featuring dwell times of over 6 minutes.

These custom designed skimmers were specially constructed for this project by the Reefscape Australia Aquariums team.


The tank was commissioned and initially maintained by Reefscape Australia prior to being handed over to LFS supplier Aqueous of St Kilda.


Reefscape would like to thank Mr. Bukley for the opportunity to assist him construct the largest and most spectacular privately owned aquarium in Australia.


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