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Move Over, Catio! It's Time for the Fantasy Fish Tank

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The catio's 15 minutes of fame are officially over, and it's time to move on to the next high-end pet-centric residential amenity: the six-figure fish tank. The Times devotes a story today to those New Yorkers who buy 450-gallon aquariums in what is "one of the last surefire ways to impress their peers." They might not have quite the architectural potential of the catio, but the tanks are suited for those who spend to impress: a 450-gallon aquarium starts at $50,000, plus the $600-$5,000 cost of each fish. And the average $1,000/month aquarium maintenance bill probably explains the recent $1 million PriceUpper on this place.

For most homeowners, the fantasy fish tank is but a drop in their apartment's ocean of square footage?a few New York Yankees and one Time Warner Center resident are name-dropped in the Times piece as aquarium owners?but a few studio dwellers have also embraced the concept. One is an art appraiser and consultant who used a five-foot-long, 150 gallon coral reef tank to separate the living and dining rooms in his tiny Murray Hill pad. Sometimes, he tells the Times, he stares at the tank until 2 a.m., but it sounds like only the aquariums of the very rich come with a high-tech panel of buttons to turn colorless fish blue.
· Home Aquariums as Decorating Elements [NYT]