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Catfish tiddlers rehomed in Cheshire after growing into monsters

Published date: 17 December 2013 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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A PAIR of giant catfish are the latest tank-busters to have found a new home at Blue Planet Aquarium in Cheshire Oaks.

The donated fish, a two-foot long giraffe catfish, which was housed in a four-foot tank and a redtail catfish that ate all its tankmates and can reach up to five foot in length, represent a growing problem with giant fish species.

The fish are purchased as babies by members of the public unaware they will quickly grow to massive proportions; regardless of the size of the tank they are kept in.

Blue Planet Aquarium freshwater aquarist, Steve Chester, said: “We have rehoused several large catfish from members of the public; these fish have the potential to grow to enormous sizes!

“The giraffe catfish was housed in a tank with barely enough space to turn around and the redtail catfish was bought in a shop as a two-inch tiddler with no warning of the size it will eventually attain.

“It ate all its tank-mates and quickly outgrew the three-foot tank it was housed in.

“We receive calls from the public every week asking us to rehouse numerous species of ‘tankbusting’ fish, it is only due to the fact we are designing a new aquarium for giant catfish that we can accept a very limited number of large fish over the next month.

“After that I just don’t know where these fish will end up; public aquariums cannot cope with the sheer volume of extra large fish that are sold each year,” he added.

Recently BIAZA (the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums) has been raising awareness of the crisis with their ‘Big Fish Campaign’.

The aim of the campaign is to lessen the number of large tropical and marine fish species which have to be rehomed every year by public aquariums and zoos after being sold to the public as pets.

Formed by the public aquariums themselves, and supported by many industry experts and hobbyists, the Big Fish Campaign was forged through concern over the high number of large fish species which are sold and subsequently  have to be found new homes when they have outgrown their owners’ tanks.

The idea for the campaign came about after research revealed that over a period of just four months, 11 UK aquaria were asked to house 144 fish that had outgrown their owners’ tanks.

For more information contact James Buchanan or Steve Chester on 0151 357 8806.

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