But come relaxation in lockdown and aquarists are complaining of sales dipping by 40 per cent past two months. They rue that with people getting back to work routine, they are no longer after ornamental fish. Unlike other businesses, the aquarium business in the city was doing well during the lockdown as they delivered the ornamental fishes online. Since people were stuck at home after the lockdown was imposed, setting up an aquarium and watching pet fishes at home was a relief and timepass, especially for children and senior citizens.
“Many people have said that it has helped them overcome depression and improve the mental health of senior citizens at home. But when relaxations were announced, people started going to work and nobody is purchasing anything, which has affected us badly. The aquarium business has come down by 40 per cent post lockdown. Now, only our regular customers are buying fish for their aquarium,” said Needhipathi V, member of Chennai Aquarium Development and Traders Association, who also owns Virumandi Aquarium at KK Nagar. Aquarists in the city said it is not the lack of aquarium lovers that is posing the real problem.
“Most of those who already have ornamental fishes at home now turning to online products while purchasing aquarium accessories and food is what impacting our business most,” said an aquarist. “Though we didn’t get enough customers during the lockdown, we were at least able to get income by selling aquarium accessories and food items for fish. But when these online platforms announced offers and etc, people started purchasing online, and this has affected our business. Now, we visit customers’ places to clean or repair their aquarium, which is the only source of our livelihood. Also, workers have come down in the shops post lockdown for there is no proper sale for the past two months,” said Vinetha B, who works at Aquastar at Kolathur.