THEY have become the most familiar faces at a Hampshire nightspot.

For 13 years, Ratsy, Reiss, Terrance and Bazza have been part of the furniture for revellers visiting Southampton’s Orange Rooms and even have their own Facebook account.

But now bosses at the Bedford Place bar are looking for a new home for the tropical pacu residents as pressure mounts from animal welfare campaigners who say they are not being treated fairly.

They claimed the fish, known as “vegetarian piranhas”, are being kept in ‘unacceptable conditions’, their tanks are too small and the setting was ‘inappropriate’.

One campaigner, Corinne Dugdale, who is a student at the University of Southampton, was so distraught when she launched a petition to find them a more suitable home. It has now been signed by more than 55 people.

The 21-year-old English student told the Daily Echo: “I thought these fish were too big for the tank, it was quite distressing and it was hard to see them in such a small location.

“I’ve always been interested in animal rights since I was little and I find it very moving.”

The petition claims: “The tanks are too small for the size of the fish and the setting is inappropriate.

“The upstairs tanks are particularly distressing: one of these tanks houses four large fish in extremely cramped conditions at ground level. These fish cannot avoid close contact with the other fish around them.

Daily Echo:

One of the Orange Rooms' tropical pacu fish

“As well as the size issue, Orange Rooms is a night club/bar venue and the music is extremely loud and full of bass sounds. This is not an appropriate environment for the fish who cannot escape.”

Last night Orange Rooms bosses told the Daily Echo they have been on the lookout for a new home for the foursome since last summer, having realised they had outgrown their tanks.

But they insisted they had done all they can to ensure the fish are cared for properly and are kept in top condition – feeding them daily and ensuring their tank is serviced every two weeks.

Chloe Adams, Orange Rooms marketing manager, said: “It will be sad to see them go because they are part of the Orange Rooms family. We have been trying to rehome them since last summer because they have maxed out their growth.

“We were surprised about the petition, but at the end of the day they are animals in a nightclub environment, but they have been very popular with the punters here and they are well looked after.”

Daily Echo:

Orange Rooms have approached Marwell Zoo and other establishments, but say they couldn’t take the fish because of new aquatic laws.

If you want to rehome Ratsy, Reiss, Terrance and Bazza email