I’ve never thought much about having fish as pets. They’re not interactive enough for my taste, and I can only imagine the chaos that Beatrice and Maggie, our two cats, would cause trying to see to their demise.
But then I saw the Fishhotel, designed by Teddy Luong for Umbra ($35, umbra.com), on the cover of Skymall magazine during a recent flight, and my interest in aquatic pets was piqued.
The Fishhotel is a cube-shaped glass fishbowl with a white plastic outer shell that can be stacked to create a hotel effect. It’s very Southern California midcentury modern. The bowl can be removed for cleaning. It won the 2010 Housewares Design Award, and I can see why. It’d look great on a coffee table or bookshelf in a crisp, modern room.
After a little sleuthing, I found a couple of other fish bowls that are so cool they make me reconsider the bland personalities of our finned friends. The Tetra waterfall globe aquarium kit ($49.99, Petco) caught my eye. It has a waterfall, LED lighting and low-voltage power adapter. You provide the gravel and decor.
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Reviews do mention leaks, splashing from the waterfall and that the glass bowl is very delicate. But it mostly gets positive reviews and is striking to look at.
Uncommon Goods carries Glasscape, a hand-blown fishbowl with its own glass mountain range ($79). It was designed by Johan Liden and Rinat Aruh of the New York concept and design group Aruliden, and has won several design awards. Glasscape can also be used as a terrarium or punch bowl with ice-shaped fish. The latter might be more my speed.