Outrage at fishy iPond sound system

Animal activists and pet shop owners on Monday called for a ban on a tiny fish tank designed to be hooked up to a music player such as an iPod and used as a speaker.

The iPond, which is reportedly sold in some Australia pet stores complete with a Siamese fighting fish, is a miniature fish tank which holds about 650 millilitres once rocks are placed at the bottom.

According to one report, the Aus$70 ($60) device is so popular with Christmas shoppers one Sydney story has sold out of the product.

But RSPCA Australia on Monday called for the iPond to be banned, saying it did not take animal welfare into account.

“It’s not appropriate. It’s not big enough—nowhere near it,” said the organisation’s New South Wales head Steve Coleman.

The device measures 152mm in height, 88mm across and 77mm deep and with those dimensions would struggle to keep a fish alive, he said.

“You would get a few weeks out of it at best,” Coleman said.

The Pet Industry Association of Australia (PIAA), which represents more than 650 retailers and manufacturers, also called for a ban on the iPond speaker, saying it raised concerns about the safety of the animal.

“While Siamese fighting fish have evolved naturally to live in confined water bodies this product appears to be taking this unique evolutionary trait too far,” the association’s chief executive Colin Bransgrove said.

“The PIAA has specific concerns for the fish relating to the small and restrictive volume of water; the impact of loud noise and the maintenance of water quality over time.”

A spokesperson for the Australian chain of pet stores which reportedly stocked the product was not available for comment. - AFP