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Novelty Aquariums Catching On with Consumers

Jan 8, 2008
Most of us remember the days when the average fresh water home aquarium was geared towards the fish hobbyist. Plain looking affairs, the setup usually consisted of a rectangular tank, a heater, a pump, lighting and some aggregate material. By aggregate material, I mean that ubiquitous colored gravel and my favorite color as a kid was day glow blue.

I became a bit of hobbyist and was surprised how much knowledge I gained about caring for my aquatic friends. Still there was a great deal of maintenance required to keep a large tank clean, the water properly balanced, and the fish healthy and happy.

While many aquatic hobbyists are sticking with the standard, there is new line of small aquariums that make life easy for the novice fish owner. New novelty aquariums are a decorative and fun alternative to larger tanks. Smaller and easy to maintain, novelty aquariums often reflect a certain theme that can cater to novices and fish hobbyists alike. Once found only in specialty shops, mass retailing has brought novelty aquariums in reach of most consumers.

Most novelty tanks are small, averaging between two and five gallons. These unique aquariums come complete with everything you need with the exception of the fish. Small enough to fit on a table top, these fun habitats are perfect for your home or office. The trend stated with hexagonal shaped tanks that were often made of glass. The tanks can now be found in many different shapes with tanks made of plastic.

The novelty fish tank is not a new concept. Some creative hobbyists would often modify items of furniture and even appliances such as old televisions. At first, I found it hard to imagine the frustration of not being able to use my remote control. That was quickly overcome by the lack of commercials so to speak. Turning a fairly simple fish tank into a conversation piece appeals too many of us and is part of what drives the interest in these fun fish tanks.

Just as with any aquarium setup, it is important to consider what mix of fish is right for the habitat. Many species of tropical fish need the extra space available in a larger tank. As for the smaller novelty aquariums, there are many species that are well suited for life in a smaller environment. Small fish such as guppies, mollies and gold fish are good choices for the novice fish enthusiast. If you chose to setup a novelty fish tank, be mindful about the fish you select. Be sure to avoid overstocking, that is putting too many fish into too small a habitat. Just as important is to avoid fish species that are simply too large.

Many of these small aquariums are available at larger retail stores, some of which have modest pet departments. Some big box retail stores do sell fish, though that would not be my first choice. Not to disparage the folks who work at large department stores, but the level of training and knowledge may be lacking. Buying fish from a department store is pretty much of a buyer beware situation.

A local pet shop or aquarium dealer may be a better place to shop for fish. Local shops will be happy to give you solid advice, even if you did not buy an aquarium there. A reputable retailer will want your business for the long haul.

Whether you are six or sixty, novelty aquariums can be a lot of fun. They are great way to bring the beauty of tropical fish into your home without the expense of establishing a larger environment for your new aquatic friends.
About the Author
Mitch Endick is a short article writer, editor and website developer for the popular pet site petpages.com. www.petpages.com is a pet information site with free pet ads, dog classifieds, and puppy for sale info. Petpages.com also offers information on cats, fish, reptiles, birds, ferrets, rabbits, mice and even pet bugs.
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