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article imageiPond: iPod Speaker With Built-in Fish Tank Infuriates Animal Rights Activists

By Chris V. Thangham     Dec 16, 2007 in Crime
The iPond is a speaker for iPod that also comes with a built-in fish tank. It is sold for $70 in Sydney Australia. But the tiny aquatic music box is causing outrage among animal activists who say it's the equivalent of a torture chamber for fish.
The iPond has a tiny fish tank, up to 15 times smaller than the recommended size by aquariums. But consumers don’t seem to mind, as they are buying this product in large quantities and the gadget is selling out in some places in Australia.
This product is sold in pet stores across Australia. Shoppers can play their iPods through a speaker built into the bottom of the brick-shaped fish tank. Pets Paradise, one of the pet stores, 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."
Though it may look cool for kids and music fans, it is not cool for fish.
According to Melbourne Aquarium, this Siamese fighting fish requires a minimum tank size of 10 liters, whereas iPond provides only 650 milliliters (0.65 liters).
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) wants the iPond to be banned on grounds that the tank is too small for a fish to thrive with adequate oxygen supplies and a clean environment. Since this is a small enclosure, there will be high temperature fluctuations and may pose a danger to the fish.
Animal Liberation Victoria's Noah Mark was very vocal against this product and considers this a torture tank for fish. He said fish are a social creature that experience pain and boredom, so putting them in this tank is equivalent to putting one in a torture box.
Acoustics expert Jason Gedamke said the music sounds will easily escape into this tiny fish tank and it will be like putting a fish tank on top of a loud speaker.
Marketing manager for the Pets Paradise and Pet Goods Direct chains, Alyse-Grace Robertson, said they received only one complaint about iPond so far. She also said fish seemed to flourish inside the tank.
Apple was asked about this product, but the company would not respond, saying they will only talk about Apple products and not about third-party products.
Personally, I hope this product becomes a fad soon. In my opinion, they should put the inventor of this thing in a small box on top of a speaker and make him or her live there for a few days.
If this iPond is offered in your marketplace, would you buy it?
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