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Updated: December 2, 2013 13:21 IST

Coming home to aqua pets

Deepika Muralidharan
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Fishes in aquarium displayed at Golden aquarium pet care centre in Tiruchi. Photo: A. Muralitharan
The Hindu
Fishes in aquarium displayed at Golden aquarium pet care centre in Tiruchi. Photo: A. Muralitharan

Home aquariums as a hobby is increasing primarily due to ease of care

Aqua pets are catching the fancy of more and more residents these days. Affordable costs coupled with easy maintenance have made home aquariums quite popular.

“The number of people choosing home aquariums as a hobby is increasing primarily due to ease of care,” said Ansar Ali, proprietor, Golden Aquarium, St. Joseph’s College complex. Mr. Ali, who has been in the business since 1984, says that hitherto there were only fabricated fish tanks available that had to be cleaned on a weekly basis by changing the water, but now in-built filtration techniques have been developed that require water to be changed just once in a month.

“Many people have embraced the apartment culture these days, where having a pet dog or cat at home is difficult or disallowed. Having a fish tank is a viable alternative for people fond of pets,” says Mr. Ansar.

Availability of compressed fish feed that will disintegrate gradually in the tank and auto feeders (can be set to dispense fish feed into the tank at appropriate time intervals) come in handy for those who have to leave their homes for a week or so. They don’t have to depend on others to feed their fish, say aquarium dealers.

The usual rectangle shape fish tanks have given way to more aesthetically designed round lens glass fish tanks that are the latest to hit the market, says K. Karupusamy, an employee of The Chennai City Aquarium on College Road. The new varieties come with in built lights filters and motors and are imported. They are priced at Rs. 550 and are costlier than locally-made tanks. Though the price of local tanks start at Rs.100, one needs to buy the motor, lights and other add-ons separately.

“I’m happy to have a home aquarium because it adds to the elegance of my home. There are innumerable varieties of imported ornamental fish available these days that are pleasing to the eye and serve as a stress buster,” says P. Ravikumar, a businessman. Goldfish, black shark, angel fish, lion fish and red parrot are the varieties widely preferred by the customers. Home aquariums are also considered a source of good vaastu thanks to the new variety of feng shui fish that can be bred.

Another interesting aspect of having a home aquarium is that one can recreate a marine atmosphere complete with sea water and different accessories. “When I realised that I can have sea water setting for my home aquarium, I jumped at the opportunity. It is fun to do up the aquarium to resemble a marine setting because there are so many accessories to choose from, be it plastic plants, rocks, ships, toy octopuses and more,” says S. Priyadarshini, a housewife.

If properly maintained, a fish can live up to 7 to 15 years. “Simple steps such as avoiding overfeeding , maintaining water temperature at around 30 degrees Celsius, and installing a good air pumping unit will ensure that fishes live long, says Mr. Ali.

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