What's in store? - May 2018Posted on the 1st May 2018
Spring is well and truly sprung! Our Ashford store is one of many currently filled with beautiful moisture-loving plants to bring a touch of glamour to any water garden. As with any planting, buying a succession of plants in flower helps to extend the season and brings in pollinating insects as well as beauty.
Everyone knows the Harlequin Rasbora but as with any family, there are some more obscure relatives that deserve attention. The Copper harlequin (Trigonostigma espei) or Lambchop Rasbora reveals beautiful burnished hues if kept as a shoal in a planted aquarium. Although they prefer soft water, they’ll adapt to harder conditions as long as nitrates remain low and they looked suitable at home in our Ramsgate store.
A group with some very well known and hardy members, the gourami tribe also has its share of sensitive rarities. Amongst these is the Chocolate gourami (Sphaerichthys osphromenoides), a blackwater beauty that rewards the skills of dedicated aquarists that provide soft, acidic water with mouthbrooding breeding behaviour and a range of warm brown tones that would put a Dulux colour chart to shame. These were thriving at our Shirley store.
Rather more robust that their gourami cousins, snakeheads suffer through association with the misdemeanours of the giant species that used to be all too commonly imported. Smaller types, such as Channa pulchra are great pets if their modest requirements are met in the home aquarium - plenty of hiding places and cool temperatures. These were looking tempting at the Chester store.
There was a time when the first piece of advice given to prospective marine keepers was to go for a large aquarium to ensure stability and avoid frustrating limitations. Having seen the widespread success of ‘off the peg’ nano tanks like this one at Weybridge, it seems that keeping a tiny piece of ocean is now firmly within the reach of anyone.
Many of the animals associated with these tanks are now captive bred and the same store had a fine batch of tank bred Banggai cardinals (Pterapogon kauderni) which, only a couple of decades ago, were a fantasy fish for many of us.