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~~~Why did I buy it?~~~
A few years ago I was given some Argos vouchers as a leaving gift from a job. With some of them I was sensible and bought a duvet cover (something I needed) and with the rest I bought this Lava Aquarium Fish Lamp (something I wanted!) I bought it as I thought it would be nice to look at and I wanted to make the most of my vouchers and get something I would never actually spend my own money on.
To clear up any initial confusion, there is in fact no lava involved in this lamp. It is just named that as it shares the same iconic shape as an original lava lamp (and is presumably from the same brand).
The body of the lamp is glass and the top and base are metal. The whole thing stands at a height of 41cm tall. It comes with a variety of variously coloured plastic fish and little balls which get caught up in the bubbles which float up out of the base of the lamp. They float to the top, and sink to the bottom as they get knocked around by the bubbles.
The lamp requires distilled water and it does not come supplied with it. This is really not an issue though, as engine water for cars is distilled so most people will already have some of this lying around in the garage. If not, you can do as I did and pick up a bottle of it in Halfords for a few pounds. The top metal part of the lamp lifts off and underneath there is a black rubber plug which is removed so you can pour the water in and it's as simple as that.
What really makes this lamp pretty to look at is the coloured light that shines up from the base, illuminating the bubble column. There is a single silver button on the base which operates the different light settings and you just press it repeatedly to flick through the different colours which are: red, green, dark blue, light blue, yellowy orange and purple. The final setting automatically changes colour though all of them and repeats. I never tend to select that one as it changes very rapidly like some kind of crazy disco light and is quite distracting. The static colours, however, are very pleasant. If you wish, you can also run the lamp with the bubbles on and the light turned off which is a nice touch.
My lamp has 6 plastic fish in it which are all different shapes and colours, although most of them are yellow. Each fish also has a hinged tail which can move separately from the body to add to the movement they undergo in the stream of bubbles. The lamp also contains 5 different coloured see-through plastic balls. Of course, you can add and remove these as you wish. For a classier look you can take all that stuff and just have the coloured bubbles to look at.
I feel I should mention this as, although not an issue for me, I know that some people may be bothered by the noise. To create the bubbles, the lamp obviously has a pump in it which makes a humming noise much the same as an aquarium does. It also vibrates a bit if which you can feel if you put your hand on it. So it is not suitable as a bedside lamp or as a nightlight for example because it would be too distracting in a silent room. When I lived with my parents and had it on upstairs in my bedroom, my Dad used to say that it was like a helicopter hovering above the house! I think this is a monumentally huge eye-roll-worthy exaggeration but he genuinely felt that he could hear it on upstairs when in the room below because it vibrated through the desk that I had it on. At the time I put this down to my Dad having supersonic hearing but I have read other reviews where people have been bothered by the noise. So if some background humming would bother you, this is definitely not the lamp for you. Plenty of stuff hums in my house (fridge, boiler, water pipes, 2 fish tanks) so this really doesn't offend me being in the corner of the lounge!
This lamp costs £29.99 from Argos and although it may seem a bit expensive, the quality of the lamp does reflect the price so I feel that it was good value for money. I really like to watch it as it is quite mesmerising. I tend not to leave it on for too long as with all the bubbles and lights and movement going on in there it probably leaches a fair bit of electricity, although I have no information on its energy usage so I can't say for sure.
This is a really fun novelty lamp which looks funky and is also a quality product. If you want something more silent and peaceful, get a proper lava lamp but if you want something more fun and lively, this is a good choice of novelty lamp. I'll give it 4 stars overall as I really like it but it does feel like a bit of a decadent use of electricity and the humming noise means it's not perfect for everyone.
My children are all animals mad and as a lot of you older members may remember we used to have quite a few pets but as now we have down scaled to just owning a dog we have aquired lots of items like this with fake pets in them.
Jordann loves fish but I was not willing to have a fish tank for her down stairs in our house and couldnt trust her to have one in her bedroom as she is the type of child who cant resist messing so this seemed like a nice idea for in her room and for the price of £19.99 at the time I thought why not.
It is a novelty item so wont be something that appeals to all people but I do think it will appeal to fish lovers and children but before buying for a child please do be aware that you have to add your own distilled water to this which has ended with my messing child tipping the water out in the past so might not be suitable for all.
It is a mains operated item so care with it containing water does need to be taken and luckily ours wasnt plugged in when my daughter was messing with it. It has different settings on it so you can have it changing colour from green, red, blue and purple or you can just set it at one colour.
The bubbles created and the fish moving around really do make it look realistic as it looks just like an aquarium with a filter blowing the bubbles, so much so that my four year old Jessie is convinced they are real.
We all quite like this, it is a lovely attractive feature in my daughters bedroom that they use as a lamp of a night but also have it on just to watch during the day so it is both fun and practical.