What's in store? - June 2018Posted on the 7th June 2018
With ideal temperatures and good feeding, our stores are home to lots of promising young koi (Cyprinus carpio). In these conditions they settle fast and grow quickly, showing why they make such great pets as they quickly learn where the food comes from. This batch was trying to persuade me to feed them during a visit to our Stapleton store.
Between the dwarf cichlids and the big beasts
that need huge tanks, South American cichlids have something for everyone. One
of my favourites could be seen at Thornbury and although best suited for large
tanks in mixed-sex groups, the Red-hump eartheater (Geophagus steindachneri) is compatible with community fishes too large to
swallow. The lump on the forehead of male fish is responsible for their name
and seems to be a means of communicating rank between neighbours. In a group of
three or more males sharing a spacious tank with plenty of territory, you can
expect them to get the hump with one another in a healthy way which diverts
their attention from the females.
Speaking of community fish, these gorgeous Gold tetras (Hemigrammus rodwayi) at Bourne End were very eye catching. The beauty of common names overlooks the fact that they’re more silver than gold but that colour comes from the fishes’ immune system responding to a threat of parasite attack in the wild by laying down a protective layer of guanine crystals. As they’re not as domesticated as most of their relatives, these are best kept in soft water with low nitrates.
Hawkfish have a lot of character and the Long-nosed hawk (Oxycirrhites typus) is no exception. That neat check pattern is great camouflage against the gorgonians and corals on which it usually perches. Despite an appetite for tiny fish and shrimp tank mates, this is an established all-time favourite and hard to resist, even when surrounded by the many tempting marine fish typical of our Reefkeeper Windsor store.
The summer-flowering pond plants are starting to appear and nothing looks quite as lush as a Canna lily with its feet wet. Although not winter hardy, these magnificent plants make a bold statement and add a touch of tropical splendour to the water garden, although they’d be just as happy in a tub that adds a modest source of water for wildlife on the patio. These were looking verdant at Taunton.