Animal Aid

AQUABABIES - Action for captive fish

Posted 1 June 2001

A fishtankLate last year, we were informed that new mini-aquariums were being sold from stalls in several shopping centres around the country. These consist of small acrylic cubes, measuring just over four inches. Each contains coloured gravel, a plant and one or two live fish.

An investigator working for the Captive Animals' Protection Society observed shoppers shaking these new curios, believing them at first to be snow shakers. Manufacturer instructions include feeding a small pinch of food once daily or every other day through a tiny hole in the top of the cube, via the tip of a wet toothpick.

Fish confined in these cubes are very likely to suffer a slow poisoning from the build up of toxins in the water, which is likely to result in a dramatically shortened life span.

Animal Aid has reminded several local authorities who permit the sale of these products that it is illegal to sell pet animals other than from licensed pet shops. We successfully persuaded Tunbridge Wells Borough Council to refuse a licence application.

We are aware that aquababies are currently sold in the St John's Centre in Leeds, Broadmarsh Centre in Nottingham, the Eagle Centre in Derby, the Brunel Centre in Swindon and the Trafford Centre in Manchester. Perhaps there are other locations?


  • Please call Animal Aid if you know of shopping centres where aquababies are being sold. Also, look out for ornamental flower vases containing fish.
  • If they are being sold in your area contact Animal Aid to find out how you can help the campaign.

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