Now that the dining room is making a comeback, you might be looking for a bold way to make a statement with your design. (After all, the dining room is the perfect space for moody paint colors and splashy wallpaper patterns). But have you ever considered a dining room table with a river running through it — complete with swimming fish?
Probably not, but it’s totally possible! Check out this amazing, unique river table that brings green interior design to a whole new level. It’s taken the internet by storm and people — not surprisingly — have a lot of thoughts.
We’ve all seen some pretty elaborate centerpieces, but this one definitely wins for most inventive. This TikTok video — which has 1.4 million likes — features fish being deposited into a water feature in the center of a table while tea is poured in the background.
If you’re looking for a creative way to add a little tranquility to your space, this definitely counts.
While this certainly looks cool, both TikTokers and Redditors had a lot of questions:
- What happens if you have pets or kids?
- What happens when food inevitably lands in the water?
- What happens when someone jostles the table and water spills everywhere?
- How can you possibly clean that, especially with fish?
- Is there even enough water for the fish to survive?
It’s true that there’s not nearly enough water in this river (or pond — it’s unclear whether there’s a filter moving water around) for fish to survive long term, but TikTokers were quick to point out in the comments that the fish were only added for the tea ceremony; they live elsewhere, and this was merely a quick stop for them (not unlike when you transfer your fish to a safe place while you clean out their tank. However, the questions do raise some good points.
Keeping pets and kids out (and water in)
If you have a cat, I’m sure you immediately spotted the trouble with this table. Redditor GeekyBookWork87 noted, “It’s a cat buffet table!” GozerDGozerian added to the sentiment: “There’d be water all over the floor, and rotting fish halves hidden under the couch and who knows where else throughout the house” but that the cats would “definitely love it.”
And if you’ve got kids or a rowdy group, you can also see the issues even if the water feature holds no fish: water splashing up when someone tells a raucous joke or pasta spilling into the water after a careless attempt to scoop more food onto a plate.
Reddit’s solution, of course? Adding glass on top.
Keeping the table clean and habitable for fish
In the top comment on Reddit, user Charming_Clothes_994 noted, “Good luck cleaning that out every other day with no filter.”
Redditor spirituallyinsane pointed out, “The stone and moss themselves will also act as a filter once there’s a good biofilm on them,” but added that, personally, they would “just use a sump or canister filter and call it done.”
In response to a comment that the filter could be hidden at one end of the table or underneath it, NoelMuaddib added, “The water could drop into a multi-level sand/lava rock/micro bacterial sponge, using small sub pumps are relay back to the beginning creating the river effect.”
In short? While it’s possible for a table like this to work, there’s a lot that goes into the maintenance. (And while a water feature is one thing, it’s not a great idea to keep fish in there long term. Not only are there issues with cleanliness and having enough water, but the constant clatter of dishes and serving ware being placed on the table wouldn’t be good for them.)
Do you love the idea of this table, but not all the work that would go into maintenance and cleaning? Or are you worried about how your pets or kids might react? You could always try an epoxy table, which features wood planks with epoxy resin in between, imitating the look of a river, but without using any actual water.
Regardless of how impractical a table with real fish might be for everyday life, we love the creativity that inspired the design. Dining rooms don’t have to be stiff, formal spaces anymore, and finding ways to inject a little personality into this multifunctional room helps turn it into a space where you can eat, work, or just play cards with family and friends.
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