Singapore 3rd June 2011
You read it correctly, it is not fish tank, but fish tan. Today I read about a fish dealer who has come up with an artificial tanning light for fish! It fits on an aquarium and aims to make his fish look brighter and more vibrant. The LED light (what else!) was developed by the fish breeder over a period of 2 years and claims that if the fish is exposed over a period of 6 months under the light the tan will last about 5 months. More importantly for him the “tanned” fish sell for nearly double the price!
It seems well known to the initiated that some type of fish (Arowana’s or dragon fish) deepen in colour when exposed to sunlight, so creating an artificial device like these LED lights that emulates the sunlight (including the ultra-violet light) will allow controlled tanning of the fish. The species apparently are one of the top fish export products of Singapore…see, we learn something every day!
I am not sure what to think of this. First of all I am principally against artificial things if I can help it. If we already warn people not to expose themselves to sunlight too long for the risk of potential skin cancer, what would six month continuous exposure to a “sunlight” equivalent do to the fish? Aren’t there other ways to create deeper colour effects? I am no fish expert, just thinking out loud…
On this note I have to mention my friend’s 3D TV products. He recently developed with his company a software program for 3D TV to recreate a “live” aquarium, pretty amazing. The 3D effect really brings depth to the TV making it look like a real aquarium. What is more you can actually “feed” the fish (virtually of course) and the fish snoops down on the food. I thought it was really clever. The only drawback of the 3D TV is that you need to be about 3m+ away to have a sharp picture but the 180 degree viewing angle is really cool.
Light Watch 103: Fish tan; before and after