How long have you been keeping fish?
Since 2014, so since I was 17.
What was it that made you decide to turn your fishkeeping hobby into a career?
I had been out of school for a year and wasn’t happy at my previous job, it just wasn’t what I wanted to do. It made sense to apply for the job when it came up, always best to work where you are happy. I never expected the job to be this good if I’m been honest. The company has exceeded my expectations.
Which species do you most enjoy keeping and why?
Lake Tanganyika cichlids. Simply because of their character, colour and behaviour. Not enough people keep them!
What species was the trickiest or challenging for you to keep and why?
Probably my Eretmodus. Its aggression can be silly high and making sure it’s getting the correct food in a busy tank isn’t always simple.
What would be your dream aquarium?
A 150cm long x 60cm deep x 40cm high, Xenotilapia with Paracyprichromis. Little rock work with a thick bed of white sand with dim lighting with some bright spots.
What pearl of wisdom would you give to first time Fishkeepers?
Special blend. Use it. It smells bad, but it is amazing. Freshwater or marine, use it. It makes life easier and that’s always good. Especially with having multiple tanks, it helps me a lot. Every tank should have special blend!
What’s your favourite aspect of your work at Maidenhead Aquatics?
The customers, you meet some truly great people and fishkeepers.
What questions do customers ask you most often?
“Can I feed the fish?” is most likely. We have great koi pond for customers to feed them in store.
What’s your favourite/most useful piece if fishkeeping equipment and why?
I really like my Evolution Aqua In-Line Dechlorinator, makes water changes a lot easier for and reduces the amount of water conditioner I use.
What’s your top tip for customers taking their first plunge into marine fishkeeping?
Go as big as you can with tank size, even if it means waiting longer to get it. Bigger tanks are easier to maintain but gives you so many different option when choosing fish for it. Stocking small marine tanks is not as fun and can often be disappointing as even the smallest species often need a lot of space.
What species would you recommend for a child’s first aquarium?
That depends a lot on tank size. If it must be small tank, then a Betta. Colourful, flashy and has character. Plus, they are very easy to look after. Puffers are another great option, albeit some need bigger tanks and some need brackish conditions, South American Puffer would be a good choice.
What do you think is the future of fishkeeping and what development would you most like to see?
I think we are going to see continuous developments in the technology used in fish tanks. From water testing like the Proscan to the lights and everything in between. Things like the Hydra Pure tech is still young but already has shown how much of a difference technology can make.
Id like more gadgets, I like gadgets, I think there’s a big market for useful gadgets in fishkeeping and I think its obvious that mobile phones can play a big part in that.
How many aquariums do you currently keep at home and what are these?
At current there are 12 in my flat, but it varies between 10-14. They range in size from 12L to 420L. The biggest is a Discus tank.