Many fish tanks are empty; some have no lights
The Bangalore Aquarium, also known as Government Aquarium, is poorly maintained. One-third of the 30 tanks at the aquarium are empty. A dozen of them don’t have fish, while six lack lights.
Shruti Madar, the officer-in-charge of the aquarium, informed The Observer they do their best to maintain the aquarium but at times it gets difficult
“At the end of the day, it is maintained by the government. It comes under the Department of Fisheries. There aren’t many visitors even after lockdowns were lifted,” she added.
Rashmi KV, a Bengaluru resident who visited the aquarium with her two children, said she was disappointed to see the condition of the aquarium. “I wanted my children to see various kinds of fish. Sure, there are many fish here, but according to me, the best ones are missing. For example: the Golden peacock is a fascinating fish to look at. They don’t have that.”
On the other hand, her children Vishwa and Isha, aged 13 and 11 respectively, were happy to see the fish . “We don’t know the names of many and are happy to click photographs of the fish that are there,” said Vishwa.
The aquarium has an entry fee of Rs 10. There are 14 tanks on the ground floor and 16 on the first floor.
The Observer noted that 12 tanks had nameplates but didn’t have fish in them. Some nameplates said: Platies, Yellow, White and Black Mollies, Red Rukim Goldfish, Golden Peacock, Oranda and Red Rukim Goldfish and Crab.
Asked about the missing fish, Madar said: “Some of the fishes are temperature- sensitive. Because of cold weather, they die. We cannot keep dead fish in the tank… and don’t bring new ones.”
Shashwat and Sandhya Kesari, tourists from Chennai, said they visited the place because it’s located inside a famous garden. “Cubbon Park is in the middle of the city. We wanted to visit all the important places. This popped up on Google. We didn’t know that some of the fish were missing,” Sandhya said.
Ashutosh KP, a software engineer who is interested in marine biology, was left disheartened when he found the aquarium closed on Tuesday. “The signboard outside clearly says the aquarium would be closed on all Mondays and second Tuesdays. Today is the fourth Tuesday. Even Google says they are open,” he said.
Nirali, a student of class 11, said there are some tanks that had fish but no lights and this is inconvenient for visitors.
Madar added: “We clean the tanks regularly and frequently give food to the fish. . As far as the lights are concerned, I will look into it.”
Rekha K, deputy director, Department of Fisheries, said: “The cold weather does not suit many fish. We still manage to get some for the aquarium, but even after utmost care, they die. We are finding solutions for it. Also, the aquarium is dimly lit as that is beneficial for the fish.”
Bangalore Aquarium is the second largest aquarium in India, after Udaipur’s Under the Sun Aquarium. Established in 1983, it is managed by the Karnataka government’s Department of Fisheries.