More than just a showpiece

Aqua Life

In recent times, thanks to modern technology, aquariums of all shapes and sizes have emerged to fit into just about any space.They have transformed from a living habitat to a more decorative set-up for shops, houses and offices. However, sometimes, the real purpose of an aquarium gets lost or is forgotten. 

“About 90 per cent of the people who keep aquariums have no clue about what these are and how to maintain them. Some of them keep them for the sake of vaastu and competely ignore it as time passes,” says Shanta Manohar from the Aquarist Society of Karnataka.

“One simply doesn’t go and buy an aquarium and put fish in them. That’s the wrong way to go about. Aquariums should be brought, filled with water and left a day or two before adding fish. You add two or four fish and wait for them to settle down.

Then youtry adding your fancy and costly fish. Unfortunately, this happens the other way round,” he says.

The lack of knowledge and time has made it a risky and dying hobby. “When malaria and dengue were on the rise, a few aquarists from Hesaraghatta called on us and gave us fish for free so that we can put them in our ponds, fountains and wells in and around our neighbourhood to eradicate the breeding mosquitoes.

So the concept of aquarium shouldn’t be confined only to a glass,” says MRE Wilson, assistant professor, Department of Environmental Science, St Joseph’s College.

 One forgets the fact that fish (pet) love to enjoy their space. So putting them in places like ponds, fountains make them more happier than a confined glass container. Fish in the aquarium require a lot of air, food at the right time and maintenance. During the summer season especially, the water needs frequent changes. 

“Each fish species has its own niche, their own territory. One is the habitat, the other the profession and the profession is called niche. The one keeping these fish should throughly understand if the fish are compatible and not just buy them for the colours and looks,” says Wilson. 

MS Nayak, an aquarium hobbyist, adds, “The lack of knowledge is a big issue with upcoming aquarists. People end up mixing territorial species with less aggressive ones causing harm for fish.

The shop-keepers sell whatever they wish. They mix breeds and create a huge imbalance. There is a lot of knowledge available these days on the internet that one should read up and understand before getting an aquarium.” 

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