Having been misidentified for some time, it’s great to see this pair of Lavender firefish (Nemateleotris lavandula) given proper credit at our Reefkeeper Rugby store. For years, this species was seen as helfrichi and may be more familiar to many keepers by that name. As often happens, the real helfrichi is slightly different and very rarely seen outside of its native habitat. Firefishes are all excellent choices for reef aquaria although liable to jump from uncovered aquaria.


Rainbowfishes are popular for larger aquaria where they can develop into robust fish that make the most of open water. Although often more numerous in captivity than in the wild thanks to restricted habitats that are vulnerable to destruction or pollution, the sight of more mature individuals is always impressive. These Madagascar rainbows (Bedotia madagascariensis) at our Wenvoe store were looking very robust.


Although the pond season may seem like a distant memory, some of our more specialized stores carry koi year-round. Looking at the quality of these Japanese koi (Cyprinus rubrofuscus) at Wenvoe, it’s clear to see why many keepers spend the winter months planning upgrades and refinements to their ponds. This is just one of several ponds at this store with something to prompt even the most sensible enthusiast to reach for the mini digger!


It’s always good to see a rarity as a captive-bred fish, and the locally bred Retroculus lapidifer at our Ascot store is a joy. Fish this rare don’t tend to have common names but these are specialized eartheaters adapted to fast-moving water, high in oxygen. Like their Geophagus relatives, they’re best kept as groups in large aquaria that allow them to avoid one another when the mood takes them. As these are close to their wild ancestors, give them soft water with minimal levels of nitrate and phosphate.

Whether hard or soft, corals are popular for their looks and many look like they’ve come straight from the set of the Avatar films. Whilst marvelling at the array of multicoloured frags and starter colonies at our Reefkeeper Rugby store, these Florida Ricordia mushrooms (Ricordia florida) caught the eye. Depicted without any filters or lenses, these stunning polyps have a lot of colour going on and are fairly straightforward to keep for a coral.