Tuesday, October 03, 2006

It wood be nice

For some time now I've been looking for a strong and well-built item of furniture for an aquarium. The basic problem is that the fish tank I've had my eye on for a while will weigh close to half a ton once the weight of water, gravel, glass and fish are all totted up. So it's not small. Ikea, emporium of budget furniture from Sweden, had nothing suitable on offer. Any wooden box of approximately the correct dimensions had the ominous 'maximum weight 100kg' on the label. Good for a TV perhaps, but not a fish tank. I encountered the same problem in Homes R Us, Home Centre, Marina and Pan Home Furnishings. Lots of stuff, all the wrong size, or too feeble, and in most cases both.

Chipboard is out, as is MDF. The problem with these is they're not strong enough. They bend under the weight of paperback books, so a few hundred kilos of aquarium is entirely unsuitable. The fish-tank shop offered a custom-built box for the tank to sit on. But at over Dh1000 for the cabinet this didn't strike me as particularly good value for a few square feet of the dreaded chipboard veneer. And despite the catalogue showing several colours, Petland was happy to impersonate Henry Ford. "Any color[sic] you like, as long as it's black."

I even drew up some dimensioned sketches and touted them around the carpentry souq. No-one I asked was willing (able?) to provide what I wanted; they all wanted to use MDF and most demonstrated an inability to read drawings in third angle projection.

At this point one of my friends - yes, actually I do have some of those - suggested Pinky's in Sharjah Industrial Area. Chunky furniture, made of real wood, I was told. The map on the Pinky's business card is not particularly helpful, and after an hour of Sharjah traffic and asking unsuccessfully for directions, I got through to the warehouse courtesy of Directory Enquiries. I arrived at the door just as the man was locking up for lunch.

"Hi. I see you're shut. Oh well. At least I know where you are now. See you some other time."

Not at all. He re-opened the warehouse and let me wander among the Indian reproduction antique-style furniture for the next half hour. Yes, in his lunch break. Although I couldn't find anything quite right I thanked the salesman and promised to be back.

I did go back a couple of days later. I'm pleased to report that I found a suitable sideboard that looks the business, which was polished and delivered exactly as requested. What a star! The extremely pleasant surprise of getting decent customer service has warranted these words.

And now I await the delivery of the aquarium itself. Even as I write, it has arrived, so the rest of my evening is going to involve reaching into a big glass box.


Taunted said...

Woodn't it be nice....

In the scheme of things, I don't think that the weight of the fish will add too much to the overall mass of the tank!!

Keefieboy said...

Pinky's is still going?! I remember about ten years ago making a couple of expiditions to Sharjah specifically to check out Pinky's. We never found it. Mind you, I can never find anything in Sharjah - especially the way out.

nzm said...

We found Pinky's - and Lucky's too - after about 3 attempts, but the furniture was so expensive in comparison to what we had been told it should cost.

An Aquarium - hopefully a saltwater one, GG? I would love to have one of those, one day.

Grumpy Goat said...

I'm sticking with freshwater for the time being. Saltwater is an order of magnitude more difficult and more expensive, plus I might be tempted to bring home prizes from diving trips. Aside from environmental considerations this is a very good way of introducing diseases to the tank.

As at today it's New Tank Syndrome. I have to run the thing empty of fish for several weeks until the nitrogen cycle has started. I tell guests that the aquarium contains Amazonian Glassfish, which are almost transparent...and only stupid people can't see them ;-)

CV. Anindo Furniture Indonesia said...

We have some collections of white painted french furniture and sleigh bed, sleigh bedside cabinet, sleigh wardrobe, sleigh dressing tables made of solid mahogany plantation wood from Indonesia.
Thank you.
Paul Gang.


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