Something fishy is going on with this Smart Fortwo – NY Daily News

6 Jan 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Something fishy is going on with this Smart Fortwo – NY Daily News

Something fishy is going on this Smart Fortwo

An New York-based business has transformed a Smart city-car into a aquarium, capable of transporting carefully bred clownfish the country.

By Kate Mcleod / NEW DAILY NEWS

This Smart car holds a big surprise

This is a tale about how an car becomes transportation for one very business.

When I first met Close, she was donating 12 inches of strawberry blonde hair to of Love, a not-for-profit that hairpieces to children in the U. S. and Canada who from long-term medical loss from any diagnosis.

The of cars came up, as it always when I’m in the salon. Customers and routinely ask me what to buy, or I ask what they drive.

I was Why would anyone who lives in the drive a Smart Fortwo, the production car sold in the U.S. answer was even more

Linda Close

A clownfish-friendly is definitely not a normal option driving a Smart off the dealership

“We run a business out of it,” she said.

lives in Kinderhook, New York, a town roughly 20 miles of Albany. The historic town is far enough north to experience snowstorms – storms that bury a Smart for weeks. Big trucks are common in these

Teeny two-passenger Smarts are

But when Close and her business went car shopping, they had two key it had to be cheap, and it had to get great mileage. For they drove the Smart , a bare bones model doesn’t even have a off the dealership lot.


The cute and colorful clownfish is popular and, in the right they can live up to 30 years.

The car was by Close’s business partner, Tomko, with special that allows them to their product to customers as far as Chicago, over 800 miles If you’re thinking they’re microchips or baking artisanal guess again.

Close and breed, sell and deliver

They emerge in daring yellows, blacks or reds with bold stripes or big of white. Fully grown, can reach between 4-7 inches in

Kate McLeod

Various and hoses have been throughout the car, to keep the water clean and maintain the pH levels for the clownfish.

“It takes eight days for the eggs to says Tomko. “Most buy the fish as juveniles. It takes a year for them to become Then they can live for than 30 years under the conditions.”

Close and Tomko met at a meeting of the District Marine Aquarium in Albany, New York. Scott 29, has a degree in biology from Coastal University. Linda 49, was a tropical fish hobbyist who for the local utility companies she followed her passion and started in local fish stores.

The to become fish farmers led to days and sleepless nights to thousands of clownfish. Today, in two locations are filled with in all stages growth. At Close’s there are fish tanks in the garage and living room.

and Close refer to themselves as raising a crop that is a lot and more ecologically beneficial growing corn. Their of clownfish saves reefs damage that is caused the fish are captured in the wild.

tactics used to catch in a coral reef are often to the delicate reef ecosystem,” Tomko. “Cyanide and dynamite are used to stun the fish them easier to catch. people cut a large coral off the take it to the surface of the ocean, out the fish and discard the coral.”

Kate McLeod

The Smart’s trunk is filled to capacity fish tanks specially for transporting clownfish around the

But wasn’t the switch to fish a serious leap of faith?

of it this way, says “Tilapia is a dollar a pound; can run from $1,000 to $8,000 a even more for some of the breeds. We can almost deliver the of the car in one run.”

“With our current tank, which holds 17 gallons of salt water,” Close. we can go out with a maximum of 400 but the Smart could fit a tank would carry 1,000 In one run, we can make a nice that does not get eaten up by costs. Scott made our tank out of PVC board so it is shatter and then we connected the tank a series of hoses to the voltage in the

The Smart’s interior has the air of a Doctor Who with hoses running to front between the two seats.

the salt water’s pH level is constant challenge, especially on the road. To date the fledgling has delivered about 4,000 and the onset of colder weather is a boon for the business.

“At this of year, people are done their gardens and now they can on their fish tanks,” Tomko. And while the Smart an unlikely choice for a couple of who call themselves farmers, the tiny footprint is a good for the little fish it carries in comfort.

“The car makes me smile,” Close. “Soon we’re to wrap it with our logo.” A attitude – along with a cheap car brimming with fish – are attributes Midnight hopes will continue to reel in customers.

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