Not all pond plants rely on flowers for colour, the hardy and vigorous Houttuynia cordata 'Chameleon' has leaves which add a splash of colour to the shallows and pond surroundings. Although it likes to have its feet in the water and its head in the sun, this plant will also thrive in moist soil, where it provides great cover for the pool margins and hides both the liner and any small creatures using the pond.

A very rare sight in our systems, the Cross River pufferfish (Tetraodon pustulatus) has been gracing a few of our stores recently and this one was a highlight of a recent visit to our Cwmbran store. A fish for the dedicated puffer enthusiast, this relative of the Fahaka puffer (T. lineatus) can have an unpredictable temperament and is best kept in a species aquarium where any antisocial tendencies can be managed. Curious and intelligent, these fish make very rewarding pets that are often keen to interact with their keepers.

Fancy goldfish are extremely variable and even fishes from the same brood can vary dramatically in appearance. Part of the charm of these classic pets is that many have unique looks to match their personalities. Like pedigree dogs (and Koi) it’s possible to find specimens which are perfect examples of their breed, but each and everyone will have lots of character. This fish was part of a batch of Redcap oranda (Carassius auratus) at our Cirencester branch, but also has the high body of a ryukin. Their requirements are much the same – large, well-filtered aquaria with good water quality and lots of partial water changes.

Advances in the formulation of specialist dry foods have made keeping demanding marine fishes easier. As a means of providing a staple diet that ensures all of the required vitamins and minerals are provided, even fussy feeders like this beautiful Regal angelfish (Pygoplites diacanthus) seen recently at our Crawley store, can thrive. Supplement this with frozen and live foods to keep things interesting.

Although still one of the all-time aquarium classics, domesticated Angelfish (Pterophyllum sp.) still keep giving, with forms such as this Red devil far removed from anything that exists in the wild. This strain needs a diet rich in natural pigments to retain the bright orange tones and made a great contrast next to the wild-type angels also seen at our Leicester store.

It’s no wonder that fans of these little catfishes find them so compelling, just when you think you’re familiar with them, along comes an undescribed species to add to the mix! Despite looking like the related Adolofo’s and Duplicate Corys, this Corydoras sp. ‘C121’ always has a ‘rosy cheek’ marking that distinguishes them from the other fishes in this group. This batch was amongst a number of tempting trops on offer at our Ascot store.