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Home» Women» Home» Ahmedabad loves to indulge in fishy trade

Ahmedabad deco turns fishy

Nikita Dudani | June 05, 2012, 12:50 PM IST
ahmedabad loves to indulge in fishy trade

Ahmedabad :



Decorating home is a tough job, we agree. It's a place where beauty and comfort must go hand in hand, and hence the confusion when it’s time to re-do. Sculpture, wall hangings and vases are now passe, making place for a new trend- aquariums. We toured the city to find out why Amdavadis, wary about non-veg food are now choosing fish to enliven their home décor. 
Vendors dealing in fish jars and aquariums have mushroomed all over Ahmedabad. Peep in, and you'll see families watching fish swirling in fish tanks, between animated discussions with vendors. The beauty of bright fish moving gently in water seems to cast a magic spell on people watching this graceful show.
What makes these humble fish catch the eye of Amdavadis, is what GGN tries to find out. We begin with a visit to an aquarium-shop called “Fish-n-Fun”. Vandana and Robison Christian who own the shop, talk about how a hobby turned into a business. As we walk around, Robinson points to his personal favourite - a live aquarium which he confesses is difficult to manage. “Aquatic plants need just the right amount of carbon dioxide released so that fish don’t die” he says.
A colourful fish tank is becoming a style statement for many middle class families and even denizens of posh bungalows. However, this is no passing fad and reasons for this new trend vary. Vijay Patel, proprietor of “Paradise” aquarium shop in Bapunagar says, “There is no particular class of buyers; animal lovers or believers of Feng Shui visit most frequently." 
For believers in Vastushastra or Feng Shui, aquariums are an important accessory.  Antika Chanda, resident of Naranpura and an animal lover says, “Our family loves animals and my mother, a Feng Shui consultant sees goldfish as auspicious. Mom is particular about cleaning the aquarium twice a month. This including the feed, we spend about Rs. 1500 a month.”
Fish are comforting for some when they’re lonely. Aakansha Keyur Shah, manufacturer of handicrafts says, “Besides being stylish decoration, fish are great company. I bought a jar aquarium for just Rs. 500, including fish and decorative items. I think films have popularized aquariums, and so has the belief that goldfish bring happiness.” 
Some prefer turtles instead, like Priya Indira, ex-employee of CIMS, who has shells and pebbles in her aquarium. She says, “Turtles are slow and gentle, their movement eases my hypertension. I even talk to them sometimes.”
Not surprisingly, in an age of anxiety, even the gradual rising of delicate air-bubbles makes for visual relief and a source of contentment to a few. “Some people keep aquariums for just the greens, filled with artificial plants and an oxygen machine” says Vishal Soni of “Matysyam” aquarium shop in Mithakali.
Fish are easy to keep and economical, it’s understandable why they’re popular. Aquariums are priced according to the type and size you buy. “The rectangular ones are most popular and the prices range from Rs. 2500 to lakhs of rupees, depending on the customer’s requirement,” adds Soni. 
Imported aquariums provide hassle free maintenance for those who can pay extra. “They use a single seamless glass which is costly. The Indian ones are five separate glasses joined together, hence economical, but they require greater maintenance.” says Robinson.
“The only flaw in an imported aquarium is that once it is broken, it can’t be replaced, unlike the Indian ones,” says Vijay Patel of “Margi” in Ghatlodia. 
Summer is unbearable for Amdabadis, so is the case with the fish. Varuna Sharma, student of St. Xavier’s says, “Fish are tropical and require stringent care in diet or they fall ill or worse, die in the summer. In winters, you have to feed them twice and change the water frequently. They require care as per climate.”
Tips for first timers:
•         People buying an aquarium for the first time should care to select fish according to the type of water as well as decorations which are compatible to them. “But if you haven’t, the solution is to convert the water,” say Robinson and Vandana Christian. “Add a little salt to normal tap water and it becomes “brackish water.” Another type is “marine water”, which can be converted by using an organic compound.”
•         It’s good to begin with an “artificial” aquarium of synthetic plants, as they will require only oxygen filters whereas a live one would require a carbon dioxide machine to sustain the real plants in the tank. An inappropriate release of carbon dioxide will kill the fish,” advises Robinson. 
Tips on taking care:
•         White spots on fish body are indication of diseases. They will not even eat much and lay down in a corner if they are not well.
•         Medicines for fish can be bought from shopkeepers who sold you the fish or they will subscribe readily available medicines.
•         “Whenever you change water, ensure that you always add little old water so that the fish are not suddenly made to adjust to a whole new environment” says Varuna.
•         If a fish dies, remove it right away to save water from turning poisonous.
•         Keep a fixed time table for feeding fish. Overfeeding and irregular feeding can both lead to poor health of fish.

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