A bizarre-looking batfish has been given a new home at Bristol Aquarium after growing too big for its tank.
The fish, which is a third-of-a-metre tall, was handed over to the aquarium in the same week they took delivery of a shoal of robin fish.
It was donated by a man from Barry in Wales after he realised he was no longer able to look after it.
After spending time in quarantine, the batfish will go into the aquarium’s giant 250,000 litre coral reef display –close to a thousand times the size of its previous home.
Bristol Aquarium’s curator, Dan de Castro, said: “The man has had the fish for 18 months and it has now outgrown his tank. He has taken very good care of it and the fish appears to be in excellent health, however it has simply grown too big for its home.
“What is most worrying is that this fish has barely reached half its ultimate size so it really is unsuitable for anything but the very largest of home aquarium.
“Every week we receive telephone calls from people enquiring if we can re-house fish which have outgrown their tanks.
“Fortunately, on this occasion, we have been able to help but we’re urging people to do their research before deciding to keep fish at home and ensure they are able to look after them responsibly.”
Originally found in tropical waters ranging from Japan to Australia the batfish has also been recorded off the coast of Florida, possibly as a result of individuals from home aquariums being dumped into the sea.
Also known as gurnards, the sea robin is a native species which spends most of its time on or near the seabed. They get their name from their large, brightly-coloured pectoral fins, which, when swimming, open and close like a bird’s wings in flight.
“It’s strange to get both batfish and robin arriving at the aquarium at the same time,” said Dan.
“However they probably won’t get to spend much time together as the sea robins are going into our open-topped sandy seabed display while the batfish is destined for our tropical reef display!”
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