Welcome to the second ‘fishue’ of Fresh off The Net, where we will be looking at new and exciting products to hit our hobby over the coming months, along with insights as to what is happening within our industry.  

Although it’s starting to feel like a distant memory now, Christmas was preluded with the ‘treat’ of yet another General Election. In true festive spirit, we were all witness to what seemed to be a poorly produced pantomime which has finally been settled, and despite your political persuasion, the majority of people actually seem to be glad it’s finally over so we can get on with things and bring back some general confidence within the country again.

And with Christmas now being well and truly behind us, we turn over a new page to reveal a fresh canvas for the fishkeeping year ahead. In fact, we enter a completely new decade, where I’m certain we will see more and more technology and automation featuring within our hobby. If we look back over the past 10 years, we have seen a huge development in a lot of the equipment in both ponds and aquariums alike. Pond and aquarium lighting has to be the single biggest benefactor during this period, with the transition from old-style fluorescent lamps and bulbs to low energy, high output LEDs. Likewise, the majority of modern pond and aquarium pumps have become fully controllable, allowing the user to tailor the flow precisely to their requirements. This, along with the introduction of smartphone-based apps, give today’s fishkeeper more control than ever before!

home aquarium with lights

This time of year, when we are eating too many mince pies and sitting in front of the TV, it is a great opportunity to reconnect with your aquarium. We find many of our customers find themselves turning their head to the side and take the time to watch their aquariums - only to realise just what an amazing underwater world they have! Often this can be spurred on by the onset of hordes of visitors coming through your door during the holiday period. No one wants to be embarrassed by Grandma questioning “why are there no fish in your tank, son?”, or by your neighbours discussing “why is the aquarium so dirty?” between themselves. Either way, it’s the one true time of the year where you get the opportunity to appreciate how much your fish, plants or corals may have grown. Or, it may spur you on to realise that perhaps if you’re being honest with yourself, you need to spend a little more time tending to your aquarium’s needs, so it becomes the spectacle that it deserves to be. You may wish to read our article, ‘New Year Resolutions for the Fishkeeper’ where it gives you some ideas or the inspiration you may require to restore your aquarium to its former glory, or simply just make you a better fishkeeper going forward.

Maidenhead Aquatics New Year Resolutions list in book with cup

One thing Maidenhead Aquatics wants to pursue this year is to be more environmentally conscious and see how we can improve our carbon footprint, along with reducing unnecessary packaging and making our stores more energy efficient. Such things like our reinstated “Aquarium Fish Thermal Transportation Bag” is a simple yet perfect way to reduce the need for carrier bags. Not only will it carefully allow you to transport your fish home in a controlled and stress-free manner, but it can be used for a multitude of everyday tasks; my wife has been recently spotted happily using this for her weekly shop at a well-known supermarket for all our frozen and chilled produce. Apparently, they work amazingly well! And I’m certain they will also be seen frequenting many of the up-and-coming festivals and outdoor events over this summer too!

Maidenhead Aquatics Thermal Transportation Bag

Aside from our ongoing Aquarium Sale, there’s a couple of other things to look out for in our stores very soon. The first is a twist on our existing Aqua Marin Pro Marine range of aquariums. To complement the 3 sizes (900, 1200 and 1500 models) we are going to produce these as aqua-scaping versions. Being identical in footprint, the cabinet will be void of any sump or associated pipework, therefore resulting in a very large cabinet for external filtration, CO2 systems, and general storage for your aquarium. As with the marine version, the cabinets come in a choice of 4 colours: Mekong, matt White, matt Black and Hickory. The aquarium will be slightly shallower than the marine version and obviously won’t have any weir or return feeds but will be fully brace-less with a frosted back to the aquarium. And the best news of all, these will retail for just £499.99, £599.99 and £999.99 respectively. Giving you so much high-quality aquarium for your money!

Maidenhead Aquatics AquaMarin Aquariums

Secondly, our new and exclusive TMC Reef Pump ‘Connect’ models; the 3500 and 7000 pumps, will be arriving in stores very soon! These pumps are completely new, app-operated versions of the existing TMC REEF pumps but have many improved features and are even more energy-efficient than before. The 3500 model has a max. flow of 3500lph, with a max. head of 3.5m, and all this for a maximum power consumption of just 40W! The 3500 will retail for only £129.99! The 7000 model (max. flow 7000lph) has a max. head of 5m and consumes just 80W at full throttle! Once again, all this for just £169.99! These 2 models will only be available to purchase from Maidenhead Aquatics and will sit alongside our exclusive 'REEF-Pump 6000' pump. Please keep a lookout on our website and social media for updated delivery dates.

So, and before I sign off, wishing you all a buoyant new year and hopefully it will become crystal clear to see why you love this hobby so much! Let’s just call it 20/20 vision….