Aquarist rents a separate flat for his 42 aquariums


A fishkeeper from Turkey has become so obsessed with the hobby that he has moved his fish from the family home in Ankara and into a separate flat to save his marriage.

Önder DoÄŸanay’s wife told him it was either her or the fish, after his collection grew to 42 tanks housing thousands of fish, reports the Daily Sabah. As he has been unable to make a decision between the two, DoÄŸanay has rented a flat specifically for his fish until he makes up his mind.
"When I am with my aquariums, I forget every other event on the Earth," he admits.
DoÄŸanay, who is a radiologist, now has so many tanks that he has had to employ a fish-sitter to help him look after the fish while he is at work, as he says he’s so busy he cannot do all the maintenance required himself.
He adds that keeping fish is therapeutic and makes him feel positive. His collection includes discus, which he says are his favourite fish.
 
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Study suggests the Asian arowana is the ‘most primitive’ modern fish


Results of a new study contradict some of the views on the fish family tree...

A Malaysian-led research group from Monash University Malaysia has successfully sequenced the genome of a Malaysian fish: the Asian arowana, Scleropages formosus.
According to Prof. Christopher M. Austin, Genomics Cluster Leader at the School of Science, "The arowana belongs to a very old group of fish which you could refer to as 'living fossils'. One of the things we’re interested in is: Where does it fit in the family tree of fishes? Our study actually contradicts some views on the fish family tree.
"Every species carries its genealogical history in its DNA. Using genetic sequencing and bioinformatics methods, we can actually reconstruct the path of the evolution with considerable accuracy.
"Our study indicates that arowana is the most primitive of the modern fishes," Prof. Austin continues. "The evolutionary position of the arowana has been disputed in scientific literature — whether it’s the arowana group or the eel group that’s the most primitive form. Some recent publications suggested eels, but our publication suggests the arowana, which agrees with the more traditional scientific studies.
"Its appearance has not changed much over a very long period of geological time, and we’re talking millions and millions of years. But just because you’re primitive doesn’t mean you’re obsolete." He also cautions, "We can’t entirely say that the arowana is an all-round primitive fish because it’s not. The fact that it produces a small number of big eggs and that the males take care of the eggs is actually sort of more modern, if you like."
He likens arowanas to sharks, another fish that’s full of primitive characteristics but has survived millions of years.
This is the first Malaysian fish genome to be sequenced and the first achieved by a Malaysian university. The team hopes their work will contribute not only to evolutionary research but also to wildlife conservation in Malaysia.
The study, recently published in the journal Genome Biology and Evolution, was co-authored by Prof. Austin and Mun Hua Tan, a bioinformatician at the Genomics Facility, along with Dr. Han Ming Gan (corresponding author, research fellow and laboratory manager), Prof. Larry J. Croft (Malaysian Genomics Resources Center) and Michael Hammer (Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory in Darwin, Australia).
 
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Dead fish: The latest fashion accessories?


A Russian make-up artist has come under fire after she posted photos on her Instagram pages showing models wearing dead fish on their faces, which had been killed specially for the shoot.

The fish included Tiger barbs, angelfish and Neon tetras stuck to the models' faces alongside other decor, for a mermaid-themed shoot.

The images that Elya Bulochka then shared among her 25,000 followers caused a backlash with animal lovers calling her 'stupid' and saying that the fish had been killed unnecessarily.

One of her followers said: "'This is not art, just another stupid person killing animals for nothing." Another said: "Today one dead fish, tomorrow someone's finger. Disgusted that all this is referred to as the art of makeup."

You can find a link to one of several photos from the shoot below. 

 

 

 

 

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Fish recognise familiar faces


A new study by scientists in Japan has found that Daffodil cichlids, Neolamprologus pulcher, can recognise individual fish by looking at their facial features.

Other animals, such as chimpanzees, are able to recognise individuals in this way, but it wasn’t previously known whether fish had this ability.
Neolamprolgus pulcher lives in large family groups in Lake Tanganyika. In the study, researchers from Osaka City University exposed the cichlids to digital images showing different combinations of familiar and unfamiliar faces and body colours.
They found that the fish looked at the pictures of unfamiliar faces for longer and from further away than those that showed familiar faces.
Researchers said their study showed that "facial features are the visual cue used for individual recognition in the social fish," and that the results strongly suggest that fish can distinguish individuals accurately using facial colour patterns.
 
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School aquarium replaced following attack by vandals


A school in Hampshire has its tropical aquarium up and running again after the original tank was smashed during a violent break in.

Earlier this month, staff and pupils at Grange Community Junior School in Farnborough were greeted by the sight of the smashed tank and gallons of water all over the floor in the reception area when they arrived at the school the following morning.
Police had arrived at the scene late on the evening of November 3 after the school’s alarm was activated. They managed to save some of the fish, which had been left lying on the carpet, by putting them back in water, reports Get Hampshire, and those surviving fish have since been transferred to an aquarium at another school. But unfortunately, some of the fish were beyond help.
 
Headteacher Paola Burgess told Eagle Radio that not much had actually been taken in the break-in and that it seemed to have been little more than an act of vandalism, with doors, tables and glass being broken. But the children at the school had been left particularly upset by the deaths of the fish. 
However, there’s a happy ending to the story. Local aquatic retailer Lynchford Aquatics has stepped forward to help, and has donated a new aquarium to the school, free of charge. The first fish went in last week and have settled in nicely.
 
Kevin Rose of Lynchford Aquatics told PFK that there were several reasons why he wanted the store to get involved. "We looked after and maintained the original aquarium and following the vandalism it was clear the children were really upset about it and the tank would be missed. I felt it would be a nice thing to do by donating and installing the aquarium and contents. I am also on the board of directors with OATA and feel it's really important to try and engage children with keeping fish to help preserve the hobby. This school is especially keen to involve the children, so everyone benefits. 
"We have also been approached by local companies with offers of donations to help restock the aquarium. It seems that they have been moved by the story and have felt compelled to offer help which is really nice."
  
"We are so very grateful to them," Ms Burgess said, adding that the smiles are now back on the faces of the children. "We are just so, so happy to have it back again. To see the fish tank back in its place again, it's wonderful." 
 
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Man electrocuted while cleaning garden pond


An Australian pondkeeper living in Bali has died after being electrocuted while cleaning his garden pond.

Philip Henry Hyde’s girlfriend said she heard him shout, and when she went outside she discovered him in the pond, which was live with electricity, reports News.com-au 
After switching off the electricity she and neighbours managed to get Mr Hyde out of the water and to hospital, but unfortunately he died.
It appears that an electric cord and plug had fallen into the water while Mr Hyde was cleaning it.
 
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Fish cannot be returned to town pond following overhaul


A councillor has branded as 'ridiculous' a ruling by the Environment Agency that dozens of Koi and goldfish cannot be returned to a Kent pond following dredging.

Work began on the pond at the Putlands leisure centre near Paddock Wood, Tunbridge Wells, earlier this week, reports the Times of Tunbridge Wells. The town council has had the pond reclassified as a fishery so it could apply for a permit to enable the ornamental fish to be returned afterwards, along with the native species. The pond already has fishing platforms and has been used for fishing in the past.
But the EA has refused to give permission for the Koi and goldfish to go back into the pond.
Councillor Robert Turk said: “It doesn’t make much sense to me that we’re in this position, as the fish were perfectly happy in the Putlands pond. However, the Environment Agency doesn’t want non-indigenous fish getting into the watercourses.
“For the fish to get out they would have to go through the outlet pipe, through the surface water system, if there was even enough water flowing, swim through the sewage system, the sewage farm, and out the other side into the river Medway.
“The chance of that happening is absolutely zero. It’s rather ridiculous as, at the end of day, most fish get transferred from one place to another by eggs on birds, so why don’t we shoot all the birds?” 
However, the EA has said that the Common carp can be returned so long as a screen is installed over the outlet pipe.
An EA spokesman said: “The Environment Agency does not allow stocking of non-native fish in waters deemed unsuitable.
“In this case, these fish are likely to have been unwanted pets and we only allow such fish to live in fully enclosed waters where there is no risk of escaping.
“The pond in question is connected to a river system where fish can escape."
He added that non native cyprinids, especially goldfish, are known vectors of parasites and diseases which could affect native fish.
The fish are currently being cared for by contractors Mid Kent Fisheries.
 
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Buy a fish to put on the wall!


If you’re looking for that extra special Christmas present — or want to drop a few hints — check out the selection of stunning Flick Ford fish prints now available in the UK at the Aqualife Gallery.

The choice includes 25 prints from world renowned artist Flick Ford’s celebrated book; WILD 75 freshwater tropical fish of the world. Created with incredible attention and eye for detail, these true-to-life watercolours are accompanied with common/scientific names and size for each species. 
 
 
 
Two sizes are available: 8 x 10in and 11 x 14in, priced at £35 and £45 respectively. In addition to the Agassiz's dwarf cichlid and Red-bellied piranha pictured here, the choice includes many of the hobby’s most popular species, including Kribensis, discus, angelfish, Fighter and Zebra plec.
 
Check out the full range on the Aqualife Gallery website. 
 
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First ever UK Aquascaping Champion crowned!


The final of the first UK Aquascaping Championship took place on the J&K stand at the AQUA trade show this year by way of a live 'scape off. Antoni Dimitrov was crowned the first ever UK Aquascaping Champion.

The finalists who were the top three ’scapers from round one — Antoni Dimitrov, Stephen Rhodes and Manuel Arias, ’scaped from 10am-5pm during the first day of AQUA. Spectators were able to vote for the best ’scape in the ballot boxes below the tanks from 1pm on the Wednesday and until 3pm on the Thursday. Antoni had already scooped first place in the first round and went on to produce the winning ‘scape in the final.
 
The competition was sponsored by Dennerle, Arcadia, Tetra, Eheim and J&K Aquatics. In the first round, Antoni won £500 cash, an Arcadia OTL LED (ce100f), Eheim Ecco Pro 3 2075 and Tetra goodies, trophy and certificate by coming first. Stephen Rhodes came second to win £350, Arcadia OTL LED (ce60f), Eheim Ecco Pro 300 and Tetra goodies and certificate and Manuel Arias came third to win £200, an Eheim Ecco Pro 200, Tetra goodies and a certificate. 
 
The round one ’scapes were judged by Paul James (J&K Aquatics), Chris Lukhaup (Dennerle GmBH), Stefan Hummel (Dennerle GmBH), Serkan Cetinkol and Alastair Treymaine.
 
 
 
The three finalists are pictured above, from left: Manuel, Stephen, Paul James (J&K MD) and Champion Antoni.
 
All three finalists got to keep their creations including the 50 l/11 gal Dennerle ‘Scapers tank and Antoni won a £150 cash prize. The contest was a resounding success and the source of much interest at AQUA.
Want to enter next year’s contest?
The UK Aquascaping Championship will take place during autumn next year and entries will open on February 1, 2016. For further details on how to enter visit the UK Aquascaping Championship website. 
 
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Nature photographers inflate live fish with air to attract eagle


Footage of a group of wildlife photographers allegedly filling live fish with air and styrofoam in order to snap that perfect shot has sparked outrage.

The cruel act was carried out to make the unfortunate fish float on the water surface to entice a rare eagle down for some photos.
After using a syringe to pump air into the swimbladder of the live fish, one of the photographers forced pieces of styrofoam into its mouth with a twig before it was thrown into the water at a park in Bukit Gombak, Singapore, to await the approach of a Grey-headed fish eagle.
Their actions were caught on camera by horrified amateur nature photographer Charlie Gordon who shared the video on Facebook.
The website, 10000 birds.com, which shared the video said: "Aside from the incredible cruelty of tampering with a live fish’s swimbladder and force-feeding it with polystyrene, there is the important issue of the critically endangered fish eagles consuming pieces of polystyrene foam when they eat the fish.
"This is no longer nature photography and it is nothing that anyone should be proud of."
Grey-headed fish eagles are listed as critically endangered in Singapore, with only a dozen or so breeding individuals left in the wild.
Due to the nature of the video, we haven’t posted it here, but if you want to see it, you can watch it on the New York Daily News website.
 
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And the award for 'Best Athlete' goes to...


When you think of the world’s greatest athletes, names like Usain Bolt generally spring to mind, but scientists have discovered the best athletes could in fact be fish.

It turns out that fish are far more effective at delivering oxygen throughout their body than almost any other animal, giving them the athletic edge over other species.

"Fish exploit a mechanism that is up to 50 times more effective in releasing oxygen to their tissues than that found in humans," says study lead author, Dr Jodie Rummer from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University.

"This is because their haemoglobin, the protein in blood that transports oxygen, is more sensitive to changes in pH than ours and more than the haemoglobins in other animals."

This is especially important for fish during times of stress, to escape from predators, or when they are living in water that is low in oxygen. They can double or even triple oxygen delivery to their tissues during these critical times.

For the past decade, researchers have been using Rainbow trout to investigate oxygen delivery in fish. They first discovered and tested this mechanism by monitoring muscle oxygen levels in real-time in trout.

Now they have determined just how powerful that system can be and have compared the results with medical studies on humans.

"This information tells us how fish have adapted this very important process of getting oxygen and delivering it to where it needs to be so that they can live in all kinds of conditions, warm or cold water, and water with high or low oxygen levels," says Dr Rummer.

"This trait may be particularly central to performance in athletic species, such as long distance swimming salmon or fast swimming tuna," adds co-author, Dr Colin Brauner from the University of British Columbia.

"For fish, enhanced oxygen delivery may be one of the most important adaptations of their 400 million year evolutionary history," Dr Brauner says.

 

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Fish rescued from abandoned aquatic shop


More than 100 fish had to be rescued from a US aquatic shop last Friday after concerned members of the public contacted police.

Almost a dozen officers from Corpus Christi Police Department and Animal Care Services teamed up with experts from Texas State Aquarium and the Rockport Aquarium to rescue the fish, along with marine invertebrates and corals, which had been left at the Aquarium Masters store at Corpus Christi, Texas, in filthy tanks without power.

The store's owner, Eric Wayne Kite, had been arrested a week ago on charges of harassment and then arrested again last Wednesday for stalking, reports KristTV.com. His arrests had left the fish unattended in the store.

The rescued livestock, which includes marine sharks, puffers and sea stars, have been transferred to Texas State Aquarium and the Aquarium at Rockport Harbor.

It's unclear whether the owners of the Aquarium Masters store will now face charges of neglect. 

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Pond thief has expensive taste!


The identity of a thief that has stolen more than £10,000 worth of fish from a garden pond over a four-month period has been revealed - and it’s an otter!

John and Anne Newiss, who live in Hopton, near Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, had a laser alarm system set-up to alert them to any intruders in their back garden after some of their valuable Koi began to disappear from their 20 x 30ft pond.

The system caught the thief red-pawed on the patio, and the couple have now had to build a 3ft high fence around the pond to prevent further raids, reports Eastern Daily Press.

It’s thought that over 50 Koi have been taken since June, with the bodies of some of them being left by the pond. Most of the fish have been over 90cm/36in in length and one had been with the couple for more than 30 years.

The closest natural habitat of otters is Lound Lakes, around two miles from Hopton, but according to an expert at Suffolk Wildlife Trust, the animals have a territory of up to 40 miles, which they’ll patrol over about a week, making the village within easy reach.

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Fish tank disaster knocks two thirds off value of luxury home


A luxury apartment in New Zealand has had its value slashed by a third - after a fish tank in the apartment above it overflowed!

The one-bedroom apartment, overlooking Wellington harbour was previously on the market for $1.85 (around £760,800), but will now go under the hammer on October 8 with bidding starting at just $550,000/£226,180, reports NZ Herald.
The wrecked apartment was apparently once one of the most amazing on Oriental Parade, with a fit out that would have won awards. but it is now described as being stripped bare and just a ‘blank canvas’. The fish tank responsible has since been removed from the upstairs apartment.
Should you be interested in making a bid, you can find the ad for the apartment on the Trade Me site.
 
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20 Koi stolen from Somerset pond


A pondkeeper returned from holiday to find his collection of Japanese Koi had disappeared.

Ray Ricards, from Farmborough, had 20 fish, all between 60–90cm/24–36in in length. They were valued at an estimated £25,000.

Mr Ricards has been keeping fish for 40 years. It's thought the pond was deliberately targeted by thieves who knew it was there.

He told Bath Chronicle: "I kept them as pets really and each one had its own name. They represented something in life. It's not the value of them that I care about. They were my fish."

Mr Ricards has reported the theft to the police and he is also offering a reward for the safe return of the fish.

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Female fish develop genitalia to deter unwanted males


Female mosquitofish in the Bahamas have developed ways of showing males that “No means no.”

In an example of a co-evolutionary arms race between male and female fish, North Carolina State University researchers have shown that female mosquitofish have developed differently sized and shaped genital openings in response to the presence of predators and — in a somewhat surprising finding — to block mating attempts by males from different populations.

"Genital openings are much smaller in females that live with the threat of predators and are larger and more oval shaped in females living without the threat of predation," said Brian Langerhans, assistant professor of biological sciences at North Carolina State University.

"Our lab previously showed that male mosquitofish have more bony and elongated genitalia when living among predators. When predators lurk nearby, male fish must attempt to copulate more frequently – and more hurriedly – with females. So females have evolved a way to make copulation more difficult for unwanted males."

Female and male mosquitofish genitalia in two different Bahamian locations show contrasts between living in waters with and without the threat of predation.

The study also shows that females have evolved differently shaped genitalia to deter unwanted advances from males of different populations. This 'lock and key' theory suggests that females can better choose advances from wanted males by shaping their genitalia to promote copulation with desired males of their own population or species. Female fish, then, can provide the 'lock' best suited to a favoured male’s 'key', and consequently avoid hybridisation with maladapted populations or other species — think of low-fitness results in nature like the sterile mule.

"This suggests that genitalia can evolve, at least partly, to reduce hybridisation and thus could be involved in the formation of new species, although more experimentation is needed," said Christopher Anderson, the paper’s first author.

The paper is published in the journal Evolution.

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Huge shake-up in cichlid taxonomy


Middle American cichlids have been subject to a long-overdue revision. We now have eight new genera of cichlids to learn, plus a heap of modifications to be aware of.

The revisions were published in 'Zootaxa' by the ichthyologist Caleb McMahon in August 2015, and used a mixture of morphological and DNA sequencing techniques to identify new classifications.

Some herichthyin fish have now been rediagnosed, with extra genera raised. The changes include:

Trichromis, represented by a single species, Trichromis salvini (formerly Cichlasoma or 'ex' Cichlasoma salvini), at long last.

Herotilapia is back with the single species Herotilapia multispinosa.

Mesoheros is a new genus containing three formerly Cichlasoma species, now named as M. festae, M. ornatus and M. atromaculatus.

Thorichthys now consists of eight species: T. affinis, T. aureus, T. callolepis, T. ellioti, T. meeki, T. pasionis and T. socolofi, with T. ellioti acting as the type species (though it is here regarded as a synonym of T. maculipinnis, so further work is still needed).

Theraps has been reorganised, now containing T. godmanni, T. intermedius, T. irregularis, T. micophthalmus and T. nourisatti.

Nosferatu is a genus that was raised earlier in the year, containing N. bartoni, N. labridens, N. molango, N pantostictus, N. pratinus and N. steindachneri.

Maskaheros incorporates fish formerly known in Paraneetroplus and Vieja, containing both M. argenteus and M. regani.

Vieja
is left with eight species, containing V. bifasciata, V. breidohri, V. fenestrata, V. guttulata, V. hartwegi, V. maculicauda, V. melanura and V. zonata.

Paraneetroplus
is reduced to three species, containing P. bulleri, P. gibbiceps, P. nebuliferus.

Herichthys
is also reduced, now with seven species, containing H. carpintis, H. cyanoguttatus, H. deppi, H. minckleyi, H. tamasopoensis, H. tepehua and H. teporatus.

Kihnichthys is a new genus with a single species, K. ufermanni (which has spent time in both the Vieja and Theraps camps).

Cincelichthys is also new, with two species, containing C. bocourti and C. pearsei.

Oscura changes the fish that was Theraps heterospilus, now becoming O. heterospila (note the change of species name, too).

Chiapaheros
is another new genus containing the singular C. grammodes.

Rheoheros
replaces a couple of former Theraps species, containing R. coeruleus and R. lentiginosus.

And finally, Tomocichla now contains two species, T. asfraci and T. tuba.

Good luck getting to grips with them all!

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Fish shot in hotel pond with a speargun


Three men have been charged after one of them allegedly shot a fish in a hotel pond with a speargun.

The metre-long barramundi was swimming in the pond in the foyer of the luxury Cairns hotel when it was shot. The three 18-year-old men then took the fish to a house where they cleaned and filleted it. But they didn’t get the chance to eat it as they were arrested the following evening when they reportedly went back to the same hotel to take a picture of one of the other fish swimming in the pond.

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Watching your fish is good for your health - and your mood!


Fishkeepers and other people who spend time watching fish in aquaria could see improvements in their physical and mental wellbeing.

In the first study of its kind, experts from the National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth University and the University of Exeter have found that viewing aquarium displays led to noticeable reductions in blood pressure and heart rate, and that higher numbers of fish helped to hold people’s attention for longer and improve their moods.

While spending time in 'natural' environments has been shown to provide calming effects on humans, there has been very little research into the role that underwater settings could have on health and wellbeing.

Deborah Cracknell, a PhD student at Plymouth University and Lead Researcher at the National Marine Aquarium, conducted the study and believes it provides an important first step in our understanding. She said: "Fish tanks and displays are often associated with attempts at calming patients in doctors’ surgeries and dental waiting rooms. This study has, for the first time, provided robust evidence that ‘doses’ of exposure to underwater settings could actually have a positive impact on people’s wellbeing."

The researchers benefited from a unique opportunity in order to conduct their study when the National Marine Aquarium refurbished one of its main exhibits, in a large 550,000 l tank, and began a phased introduction of different fish species.

They were able to assess the mood, heart rate and blood pressure of study participants in precisely the same setting, as fish numbers in the main exhibit gradually increased.

Dr Sabine Pahl, Associate Professor in Psychology at Plymouth University, said: "While large public aquariums typically focus on their educational mission, our study suggests they could offer a number of previously undiscovered benefits. In times of higher work stress and crowded urban living, perhaps aquariums can step in and provide an oasis of calm and relaxation."

The research is published in the journal Environment and Behaviour.

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Video: Aquarium lets you design your own fish


Draw your own fish and bring them to life with the new Pictureium from Japanese toy manufacturer Takara Tomy Arts.

The Pictureium uses a smartphone app to project your hand drawn underwater creatures to life in a virtual aquarium. You can even feed them snacks. Or why not take a selfie and swim around the tank yourself?

The package comes with the aquarium and lid, plus the special cards you need to draw on (you can download additional cards from the Takara Tomy Arts’ home page if you run out. You'll have to supply your own smartphone though.

Just create your fishy design (or mermaids, sea monsters — whatever you like), place your smartphone on top of the tank, wave your drawing over the camera's phone and your fish will be projected into the tank, where it can be seen swimming around.

You can interact with the fish to some degree by drawing food for them to eat and they will even follow your finger around.

The Pictureium costs 1,922 yen (around a tenner) and will no doubt provide hours of fun should it appear on the UK market.

The video below explains more — it's all in Japanese, but is fairly simple to follow.

 

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