IF spending five or six figures on an aquarium is not for you, there are plenty of other options guaranteed to impress friends and neighbors.
Guests will find a trip to the powder room more memorable if you own the Moody Aquarium Sink, a glass basin that can be filled with goldfish or other hardy specimens for a vaguely tropical hand-washing experience. It costs $4,500, plus $75 shipping, at Opulentitems.com, which sells a variety of other oddball aquariums, including the Labyrinth ($6,500), a sculptural tank with six bubblelike chambers for the fish to choose from.
If your tastes run to a 400-pound see-through coffee table with its own filtration system, look no further than the AquaTable line from Midwest Tropical. These tanks come in squares, hexagons, pentagons and other shapes, and have acrylic sides and tempered glass tops, perfect for resting your cocktail on while admiring a marine tableau.
The novelty tables, which cost between $300 and $600, were the brainchild of the company’s owners, Susan Burnett and her husband, Kenneth, who had been frustrated by a leaky, clunky rectangular aquarium they kept in their apartment.
“We said, ‘Let’s think about functional furniture to fit in small spaces,’” Ms. Burnett said. “We wanted something that was translucent, something that would glow, that would add a particular design element to the room.”Continue reading the main story
Depending on how hard you want to look — and how much you want to spend — you can find almost any kind of aquarium you can imagine, including an aquarium headboard for your bed or an aquarium bar for your liquor collection. But be warned: products that are fun might not always be practical.
“A lot of that novelty stuff like bars or coffee tables, they’re nothing but nightmares,” said Joseph Caparatta, owner of Manhattan Aquariums, one of the bigger tank design and supply stores in the city. “They’re really limited in their ability to keep aquatic life healthy.”
Ms. Burnett of Midwest Tropical disagrees. “Because the coffee table aquariums are very wide, fish do extremely well in them,” she said, though she said that the AquaTables work best with freshwater fish, particularly those that cost less than $5 each, which tend to be the most resilient. The Burnetts also sell column-style aquariums, including a 6 1/2- foot Octagonal AquaTower that holds 55 gallons of water but not a lot of fish. “These things, they’re mostly lighting and artwork, and a limited amount of fish adds so much to the design,” Ms. Burnett said. “You don’t need to put a $100 fish in it.”Continue reading the main story