With the seemly constant wet and stormy climate of late, it feels that we definitely need a break in the weather soon. It’s heartbreaking to see so much damage and upset caused by these storms and we sincerely hope all of those affected are able to regain normality as soon as possible. Whilst we have had a few issues with a couple of our stores, fortunately, the majority have been generally unaffected, and all the fish have been safe. No doubt we will hear of ponds where the fish within have been completely ‘washed away’, or homes that have been either flooded or without power for long periods of time, and as a result critically affecting the aquariums inside. If you, or anyone you may know, is in need of assistance relating to this then please do get in touch so we can do our very best help wherever we can.
And without wanting to sound completely full of doom and gloom, it comes to no surprise to mention the worrying daily news regarding the coronavirus situation. It’s times like these that really do focus the mind and make you realise that we shouldn’t take anything for granted. I had a very surreal experience last week during a routine family breakfast when the presenters and guests on the television were educating us all how to properly wash our hands. But then again, its perhaps just as worrying to think we need a potential pandemic to get people to wash their hands correctly in the first instance- worrying times indeed! Whilst I’m certain that the wonderful world of medical science and all the heroic personnel therein will be able to contain this sooner rather than later, there is another worrying (albeit far less critical) underlying problem this is causing. Ever since the recent Chinese New Year, many of the factories manufacturing a huge wealth of products including many aquatic items are either still closed, restricted in some way, or greatly behind schedule of production. In fact, it’s quite sobering to think that there cannot be many products we buy on a daily basis that are not dependent on China in one way or another. Additionally, many of the container shipments have been delayed or stuck at the port awaiting clearance, resulting in goods being caught up in this bottleneck. If the situation does not significantly change in the coming weeks, then I’m certain we will start to see gaps appearing in the products we supply. Likewise, the pending ‘Interzoo 2020’ exhibition in Germany could be in jeopardy if things do not improve beforehand. Since this is the world's biggest trade fair for the global pet industry, where manufacturers, wholesalers and service providers from over 60 countries showcase products for pets and innovative pet supplies. This makes this exhibition a key source of inspiration for the aquatic industry over the next few years and if cancelled could result in the delay of many new and innovative product releases. And let’s not even start with the supply of fish for now, but with everything crossed and with a ’glass half full’ mentality, I’m confident the situation will have resolved itself within enough time for our stock to arrive as planned and for the exhibition to run as if nothing ever happened!
In just over 2 weeks’ time, all of us will be celebrating our mum’s in one way or another and remembering just how wonderful they have been throughout our lives. For some unbeknown reason, the hobby of keeping fish is predominantly a male pastime. However, we are delighted to see a growing number of ladies (many of these being mums) turn to the hobby and realise the huge benefits from keeping fish. So, perhaps if you’re stuck as to what special token of appreciation you can give to her this Mothering Sunday, a gift card would be the ideal gift? Being redeemable in any of our stores, over a period of two years, it’s the perfect gift to purchase anything from livestock to filters and ornaments to aquariums and everything in between. Loaded with anything from £10 to £500, our electronic gift cards are safe and versatile. For more information visit https://www.fishkeeper.co.uk/gift-ideas/gift-cards. Failing that, we are delighted to announce that are hugely popular Clownfish Clothing socks (https://www.fishkeeper.co.uk/clownfish-patterned-sock) are now available in a smaller size (UK shoe size 4-7) so perhaps if you’re looking for a completely unique gift then give her a pair of these too!
For our ‘salty’ fishkeepers there has been a lot of excitement regarding the new Ecotech Radion Generation 5 (G5) LED lights. G5 includes the most sophisticated lens design available- Hemispherical Edge Illumination (HEI) lenses deliver the light uniformity and colour mixing without sacrificing the power and efficiency of the LEDs. The G5 heat sink has been designed from the ground up to maximize surface area and allow for superior heat dispersion, where multiple channels provide unrestricted airflow. This effective heat management greatly reduces the need for active cooling, which decreases fan and airflow noise. There are essentially two sizes; XR15 and XR30 with two models available for both; Pro and Blue. The Pro allows the user to illuminate their aquarium exactly how they want to, where there is a high likelihood that the coral you know, and love has been already grown or “coloured-up” under a specific light spectrum using a previous generation of Radion LEDs. The Gen 5 Blue is a full-spectrum light, but the LED selection favours the blue channels and high output for use with EcoTech’s ‘Coral lab AB+’ spectrum. Although not a cheap lighting system (the XR15 retails for £376.99) the quality and power of these LEDs speak for themselves! And the good news is, that our more specialist marine stores, along with our online shop, will have these in stock. Alternatively, these are available to order from any of our stores throughout the UK.
Another great addition to our stores this month is the next version of our exclusive Aqua Marin aquarium range. As highlighted in the January edition, this range has been created specifically with the aquascaper in mind. Whist the aquarium is simple and modern in design, we have made sure all necessary features are included. The frosted background of the aquarium allows the addition of mood lighting if required. Similarly, clear silicone and an open-top provides the minimalistic look required and allows the choice of any lighting to be used in order to illuminate the aquarium as you wish. The cabinet is spacious inside, meaning any filtration, CO2 sets and all other equipment has ample room to be safely hidden from view. Once again, the handy electrical plug bar offers easy and practical access to all your equipment making maintenance a breeze! All three models (900, 1200 and 1500) are now available to order from any of our stores or our online store.
Other items to look out for in-store this month are the new TMC Reef Connect Pumps (also mentioned in the January edition), an exclusive auto top-up system also from TMC and the long-awaited Red Sea Reef Wave gyre style circulation pump. Based on gyre patented, crossflow technology, the Reef Wave smart pumps are virtually silent, smart, powerful and easy to maintain. They provide optimal water flow for corals in a wide range of reef scapes, regardless of their position in your aquarium.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get the chance to cover any pond items this time but given the current weather conditions, I thought it only best to leave this again until next time where I hope to cover this in some depth. But as a quick aside, please ensure you start to prepare your pond for the pending change in the weather as the days slowly start to draw out!
Until next time, keep enjoying this amazing hobby!
Tis the season for goodwill to all and this includes pets. I’d like to think that we all know the value of the companionship and pleasure that our wet pets give us and so it’s nice to include them in the festivities. So, what do you get for the fish that has everything?
Old favourites tend to be in the hobby for a long time with good reason, usually, it’s because they combine a lot of desirable traits. The metallic form of the Gold barb (Barbodes semifasciolatus) makes an excellent aquarium fish suitable for both tropical and temperate (unheated) setups. These young fishes at our Pyle store are a perfect beginner’s choice.