IT sounds like a bit of a fishy tale, but a creative aquarist has made a tank for his koi carp from a Nissan Micra using 400 copies of the Northern Echo.

Aquarium enthusiast Andy Tate used recycled editions of the newspaper to make papier mache filler for his pet piscine project, lining it with fibre glass over a ten month period.

Now it has been completed, the 44-year-old, has also installed LED lighting so it can be lit up, although he is wary about keeping his beloved fish outside in his garden overnight in case one of the windows is broken by vandals.

The madcap idea has raised a few eyebrows among neighbours on Mr Tate’s street, on a housing estate in Consett, County Durham.

He said: “People just think I am crackers.

“We had people out in the street the other night when we had it lit up and they were taking videos.

“A few people who did not know what it was have seen it and been quite shocked.

“It is not what you expect.”

Mr Tate, who works at The Feed Warehouse, has a You Tube channel, Dramatic Aquatics, offering advice about keeping fish and making fish tanks and ponds.

He has previously made an aquarium from a polytunnel for Lanchester Garden Centre.

Mr Tate said: “The car is a cross between a water feature, an aquarium, a fish tank and a pond.

“It is just about being a bit silly and taking my hobby a bit further.

“I am hoping to give it different looks over the next few months so there will be Halloween, Christmas and Valentines themes, that sort of thing.

“There is not a specific purpose, other than doing something for You Tube.”

The married father-of-three set himself the challenge of creating his ‘masterpiece’ for free last summer

Mr Tate said: “I contacted some local firms and negotiated free materials and services from them and in return we would give them a mention on our channel.

“Quite frankly, they looked at me and thought I was nuts, but with their support, and help from friends, we got everything we needed for free to pull this project together.”

Burnopfield Metals donated the car, Stanley Autos Recovery delivered it to Consett while RCH Property Maintenance provided fibreglass and expanding foam and local graffiti artist Dan Walls, spray painted the car.

AC Aquatics donated silicone for sealing up the windows, free chipboard was acquired from NESP in Harelaw, a filter and pump was donated by ALF with banners from Funky Frog Designs in Burnopfield.

Mr Tate said: “I wanted to do something that had never been done.

“Turning a car into a fish tank is something I have always wanted to do even as a kid, but I have got no idea where it comes from.

“It just proves, with a bit of positive thinking, imagination and determination, anything is possible.”