A TINY fish tank that doubles as a music speaker has sparked outrage among animal activists and aquarists. The iPond – up to 15 times smaller than the recommended tank size for the fish it contains – is proving a hit with Christmas shoppers. One Sydney store has sold out of the $70 device and other outlets are reporting brisk sales. But the RSPCA has called on the device to be banned because it is too small to provide fish with adequate oxygen supplies and a clean environment. The iPond is sold nationally by the Pets Paradise and Pet Goods Direct chains. Users can play their iPods through a speaker built into the bottom of the brick-shaped tank.

The tank’s water capacity is about 650millilitres once rocks are placed in it. Pets Paradise is selling Siamese fighting fish with the iPond. The fighting fish are native to South-East Asia and have a “labyrinth lung” that allows them to take in oxygen from air. Typically they live in puddles and rice paddies.

A Melbourne Aquarium spokesman said Siamese fighting fish required a minimum tank size of 10 litres – dramatically more than the iPond provides. Animal Liberation Victoria’s Noah Mark said he was disgusted by the invention. Studies proved fish had memories well beyond a few seconds and were social creatures that experienced pain and boredom, he said.

“The fish in this thing does not look like it has very long to live and it can barely move,” he said. “Even if it does live it’s not [a] life worth living … it’s really just a torture box.”

Acoustics expert Jason Gedamke said there was no doubt noise from the speaker would escape into the water. “The speaker is directly coupled to the outside of the tank … [so] you are going to have a small level of sound introduced,” Mr Gedamke said.

“It’s the same as putting a fish tank on a speaker.”

RSPCA spokesman Hugh Wirth said despite the fighting fish’s ability to breathe air from the surface, the tank was far too small for it to receive adequate oxygen. The small volume of water would lead to rapid temperature change and this meant the tropical fish would not live long, he said. The iPond should be banned, Dr Wirth said.

Marketing manager for the Pets Paradise and Pet Goods Direct chains, Alyse-Grace Robertson, said the tanks had gone on sale in September and were selling briskly. The group that manages the stores had received one formal complaint about the product. Customers sometimes asked questions about the welfare of fish in iPonds.

“A few people ask, ‘is the fish OK?”‘ Ms Robertson said. The chains were satisfied that fish in iPonds did not suffer.

She said before selling the tanks the chains had consulted the Pet Industry Association of Australia. Output from the speakers was small and fish in iPonds seemed to flourish, she said. A spokesperson for Apple said the company was willing to comment on its own products, but not on accessories made by third parties.

Source: smh.com.au

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Helena21 December 17, 2007 at 7:35 am

OH MY GOD!! I can’t believe people are putting fish in these!! I hope they all get banned. I feel really sorry for those poor helpless fish πŸ™

tom December 17, 2007 at 8:23 am

Awwwww…the power of the almighty dollar. This easily proves people will do anything for a buck.

jeffry r. johnston December 17, 2007 at 11:52 am

It doesn’t even look real. I agree that “it’s really just a torture box.”

ishar December 18, 2007 at 12:54 pm

wow… that is sickening… I honestly cannot believe people would buy that :S. Not only would the speaker suck, but people can’t really believe that a fish would be ok in that… can they?

Kissyboots December 18, 2007 at 5:58 pm

You know what’s really sad is that someone would even come up with that and think it would sell. Yeah, sure, it’s another iSomething, but that is seriously wrong.

meghatron December 18, 2007 at 6:52 pm

How could a fish even turn around in that? Nothing can live for long, let alone ‘flourish’ in a tiny box. That’s just cruel.

Freewebs.com/jourdy288 December 21, 2007 at 8:21 pm

That’s disgusting!

jackson December 24, 2007 at 3:01 am

All i can say is im ashamed to call myself a human being, this is a sick world we live in!!!! Soon you’ll be able to buy the new iCage , where you buy a human in a clear box just big enough for him to sit in , its a coffee table , they will have no food or water and we’ll see how long he lives for, that sounds like a good idea doesn’t it.

ishar December 30, 2007 at 7:02 pm

well with all of this talking about animals not even being able to turn around or whatever, do some research on pig farming. These pigs get quite large (trust me on that) and they are kept in slots with only enough room for them to stand and lay down- no exaggeration. It is similar to chicken and turkey farming. Check it out. It is happening all over that place.

animal luver June 23, 2008 at 12:57 pm

That is the meanest thing I have EVER seen!!! I have a Simamese Fighting Fish (red, blue, and white), but she’s in a huge tank with 3 Sunset Platties (they love each other. You can tell she was DELIGHTED to get out of that cramped cup, and it is just tourture for them to be in that, THAT THING!!!!! Thosecompanies need sueing, and whatever country permits that needs some serious STRAIGHTENING UP!!! WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING!!!

Chorlyonis November 30, 2008 at 3:37 am

Why not just have a video of a betta swimming around? Wouldn’t that accomplish much the same without having a dead fish in a few days?

Honestly people, close your wallets and turn on your brains.

kate October 24, 2009 at 8:23 pm

Looks cute, but is VERY CRUEL! Unless you can put seamonkeys or something no bidder than 2cm, I say no way, it shouldn’t be advertising fish that big some idio*s will actually put a fighter in there!

Donna October 26, 2009 at 3:25 pm

This is completely outrageous for a fish–but that doesn’t mean it’s a completely worthless little toy.

This item should have been marketed with something that CAN survive in such a small space–such as sea monkeys, or snails and a bit of a live plant, for example. I would get one, if it wasn’t so expensive, and put some little pond creatures that won’t mind the small space in there.

chelsea February 22, 2010 at 6:19 pm

its not bad ! i would only put bettas in there cuz bettas are used to living in rain puddles and rice paddies ! they r also used to cloudy/dirty water and are known to breath air at times ! they dont need heated or filtered water like other think cuz they r not gold fish ! a gold fish would die in that ipond not a betta ! they r known to live over 5 years in their natural habbitat jumping form puddle to puddle ! so its just like their natural enviroment, just add the sounds ! and trust me its big enough for them ! like what do u expect ? fish dont need all that room they r not like a dog or a cat ! they dont b\need excersice cuz they dont play fetch !

chelsea February 22, 2010 at 6:33 pm

that tank is not small ! there are alot of betta bowls that r as big !
if u googled betta bowls u will see most of them are small ! and or around the same size its because bettas are not like other fish as i stated, they r happy in their lil bowls ! since thats what they r used to !
its not cruel unless u dont feed it !

Luckster April 15, 2010 at 3:19 am

Chelsea…I don’t know if you’ll ever come back and read this…but you’re stupid.

You’ve obviously never owned a Betta fish, so how would you know for sure about how much room they need? I bet if you do have on, you keep it in a small glass.

Look at the picture! That’s smaller than the container Betta fish normally sit in while waiting to be bought at pet shops! He has no room to actually turn around comfortably!

Rae Rae August 23, 2010 at 8:41 pm

I work in the fish room of a pet store, and I actually DO know what I’m talking about.
The bigger the tank, the more stress you will place on your Beta. I have an iPond, and my Male Crowntail Beta, Pinyin absolutely loves it. I only added a layer of gravel two pebbles deep, and I have a fake plant on the bottom. All day long, Pinyin is swimming around the plant, up and down and all around.
The only thing that you have to be careful with is you amonia and nitrite/ nitrate levels, but a weekly water change of 25-50 % of the tank keeps the water clear and clean. I also get my water tested every week to make sure that it’s okay for Pinyin.
He’s way more active at night, when my iPod is plugged in and I have Tokio Hotel playing. It looks like he’s dancing.
I don’t see why everyone’s so upset over it. Just add less gravel then the picture has, and he’ll have a litre of water to swim in and poop in. They’re fine in the iPond.

Rae Rae August 23, 2010 at 8:43 pm

Oh yes, and the Beta in the picture is abnormally huge. Only feed your Beta once every TWO DAYS. Pinyin hasn’t eaten all weekend, and he’s really active.

Medis October 8, 2010 at 8:35 pm

There is just no way this is acceptable πŸ™ Not for any creature. I don’t mean to rant, but it really strikes deep… I don’t care what weak excuses people make, about how human life is so much more important, about how fish are lower life forms because they are less complex life forms- God, I hope you all get a big slap in the face someday, and realise the pain and suffering such ideas cause.

The inherent differences between us warm-blooded creatures and say, cockroaches, wearing their skeletons on their outside (and we model our aliens after them, too…) and scuttling about with no feeling we can ascertain, and fish, cold-blooded and expressionless, surely must have no feelings. Truth is, a fish owner will set you straight. I can tell when my fish is begging for attention, I can tell when they are nervous, and in pain. They can be happy, and playful, and if you hand-feed them, they can learn to be affectionate with you. They’re so much more than pretty objects. They’re living, breathing organisms, and their bodies go limp and pale when they die, and their eyes go blank just like ours. They exist for more than our entertainment. So please, just be good to any creature you pick up, whether it be a silkworm or a beetle or a discus or a stick insect or a betta fish. They might look very different to us, and live in different environments than we do, but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve well-researched and equipped carers. Because that’s all we are, really. We care for these creatures, they don’t belong to us. Nothing gives us the unique right to keep them in conditions that are less than perfect and we always must try our best. If our best isn’t good enough- for godsakes, rehome them.

It wouldn’t be kind to keep snails or sea monkeys in the iPond, either. Any aquatic creature requires fresh, filtered water. Stagnant water gets rancid fast and requires frequent changing, two times a day if you are keeping them in something as small as the Ipond. Slight changes in the water chemistry of the water you put back in can over time weaken and kill the betta. Rae Rae, that’s just not true. Betta fish love larger tanks, especially if it is a betta community tank. They will feel more safe if they have enough space to be terretorial.
Read up on the nitrogen cycle if you are going to give your betta the proper care. It doesn’t take much. A simple 5 – 10 gallon aquarium, which you can get for a dollar second hand, a filter and a heater is all that is needed.

I think the myth about the rice paddies is what makes people think that bettas prefer still water. They don’t like strong currents, but that doesn’t mean they don’t require fresh water to survive. Comparing an isolated container with rice paddies, far larger bodies of water, is crazy! Large bodies of water are self-regulating, of course a filter isn’t necessary there.

Please, take care of each other. We were put on this earth to be more than just ourselves, to care for more than just our own kind! We have such capacity as human beings… why must we be too lazy to better ourselves?

Shicky256 November 28, 2010 at 3:14 pm

Someone ought to put the creators of this abomination in a small box with barely enough room to turn around and only clean it every week or so. Oh. I forgot. And blast music into it from a speaker that is underneath. That’s what they do to Betta Fish.

zetta May 11, 2011 at 3:57 pm

Honestly i know a lot about animals and im sure a lot of other people do too. i think that this is neat and not cruel. i mean you dont know how wide it is unless you have one.

Fishy July 3, 2011 at 4:48 pm

Rae Rae-
I have 6 male bettas all in filtered aquariums varying from 1.5 to 10 gallons. i have raised, rehabilitated and rehomed sick and abandoned bettas for 6 years now. One thing i have noticed with my bettas is that the only fish i NEVER have heath problems with is the purple delta veil i keep in my 10 gallon. All of my aquariums have filters and i clean all of the aquariums out 75% once every week. i use the same ratio of aquarium salts in all of my tanks and i feed all of my fish the same food. In all my years of raising bettas i’ve found that the bigger the aquarium the healthier and happier the fish.

alex July 27, 2011 at 12:59 pm

bettas need at least 5 gallons of water all to themselves. chelsea and raerae,you guys are as wrong as possible. i have a betta in my 10,and she loves it. i also know someone with a betta in a 125 ,and his betta is thriving. these measurements are gallons,not liters

Gunia February 16, 2012 at 8:40 pm

Come on guys, would YOU want to live in a closet with loud music beating half the time? I think not. A 10 gallon tank to a betta is like a nice house to you. I’m pretty sure you would pick the nice house over the closet.

Gary February 18, 2012 at 6:17 am

I sure would hate to take any of you fishing! I stick a hook through the eye balls of a minnow catch a nice bass then cut his head off and filet him while he is still alive. 9billion animals per country every year butchered but no one cares about that when they order a burger. You people are probly eating some nuggets while your blogging this stuff! If it was bad for the fish it would stress and aquire an illness. That fish looks pretty healthy to me.what about pet stores that have 30 out of a hundred bettas die from what there put through just to keep there shelves stocked. At least these people will feed and change the water in there ipond.i think it looks sweet.

Julia March 12, 2012 at 8:36 pm

Rae Rae you idiot. Do you really think working in the fish room of a pet store makes you so much more intelligent! Read the stupid article, a spokesperson Forman aquarium says it is too small!! And since you work in the fish room of a pet store, you should know that many betas die because of the conditions they are shipped in! And Gary, you are not just an idiot, but a monster!!!! How would you like it if I put a hook through our eye and decapitated you while you were still alive!! Studies have shown that people who enjoy torturing animals usually suffer from some kind of aggression. Your lack of respect for life makes me worried for you. And what you said about the commenters eating nuggets is stupid and immature. I’m proud to say that I have been a vegetarian for over nine years. You enjoy those big macks Gary, because every time you eat one, you are cutting your life even shorter. Just know that my choice to not eat animal carcasses means that I will outlive you. To people out there who thinks this is cool. I hope someone puts ou in a box so tiny you can’t sit down or turn around and blasts music in your ears until you die.

marie March 27, 2012 at 7:58 pm

i think they are cool and i love it!

Just Me August 9, 2012 at 8:25 am

@ Rae Rae – you do realize that AQ salt in a betta tank is killing them, correct? Studies found that being in AQ salt for any extended period of time cause kidney and liver failures since they are fresh water fish… AQ salt is used for treating external health problems, only a certain amount and for only a certain length of time. If you know bettas as much as you claim, you will know that using AQ salt is not a proper way of keeping them and you are dehydrating them internally…. ….

@ Gary – I have no qualms about fishing (even though I keep fish myself, bettas being my favorite) so I am not going to say anything about your hobby. But I will say that the fish in the picture isn’t actually in that box, it was put there by computer after the picture was taken. If you want an accurate photo of a fish in that box, then take a picture of one a week+ after being in it – if one survives that long.

People need to realize fish aren’t decorations- but living animals. They require care just as any other animal.. the ammonia that will build up in that box within a day will be high enough to poison a betta. Anyone who thinks this is appropriate for a living thing shouldn’t be having any animal.

case March 18, 2013 at 7:48 pm

I think that the ipond is not for a fighting fish. I have 2 baby guppies in my ipond and they are fine. I’m thinking that you guys need to stop flaming this site and go hug some trees or something. Let the company do what they want because you can’t stop them. And btw @Julia if you were to put someone in a tiny box and blast music in their ears until they die then you would be jailed for murder. That is all.

Danny April 29, 2013 at 2:55 am

@ Rae Rae, working at a pet store doesn’t qualify you to know jack sh*t. Anyone who spends any time in the hobby knows the 1 gallon per one inch of fish rule. And the idea that these fish live in puddles is false.

Use your f*cking brain. A puddle dries up after a few days of warm weather. That’s not enough time for any fish to develop an ecosystem or live a life span.

You need to stop listening to idiots and do some real research… or at the very least try to use what fragment of brain matter you have.

I have been taking care of Bettas for 8 years – and I get them to live for around 5 years on average. Lets see how long your fish lasts swimming around in its own waste.

F*cking dumb c*nt.

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