It’s been a few months since I last wrote this column, and for the simple reason, there wasn’t a lot to report. Since the resurgence of COVID-19 seems to be gaining pace and we face more and more restrictions once again, the trade as a whole is on ‘go slow’ regarding news and product launches. That said, our stores have never been busier throughout this whole crisis! It is still lovely to see so many new customers enter our stores for the very first time and immerse themselves in this fascinating hobby. And hopefully each and every one of them will reap the huge rewards and relaxation from becoming a fishkeeper of one kind or another!
I’d once again like to thank all of you that have continued to come into our stores and respectfully observe all of the necessary guidelines put upon us: the most recent of which, face coverings, has been a challenge for both staff and customers alike. And trust me, having to don a mask and work in a hot, humid shop environment for full day is no easy task, but with your help and support it certainly does make our job much easier, and it is very much appreciated.
One trend that unfortunately does appear to be the fallout from the earlier period of full lockdown are supplier issues. With the increasing demand of both products and livestock, supply chains are at their most stretched in trying to maintain stocks. The severe reduction of air freight has resulted in many of our livestock shipments being cancelled or postponed. Fortunately, our supply networks are both vast and very well established, and we are continuously working hard to ensure all of our stores are as full as can be expected. If necessary, alternatives have been sourced to fill in any potential gaps within our shops. Hopefully the rescheduled ‘Interzoo 2020,’ to be held in June 2021 will reignite the release of many new and innovative products within the trade. Interzoo is a key source of inspiration for the international pet industry where trade visitors get a global market overview of all the current and latest aquatic products, and rest assured we’ll be at the front of the queue to get these products into our stores for your perusal.
And if, for any reason, you are not able to visit any one of our stores, we’re delighted to see our webstore growing day-by-day, with new products being added daily across all of the 3 main genres of fishkeeping: tropical, marine and ponds. We have also been concentrating on increasing the depth and range of spare parts, ensuring you can keep your equipment working and in tip-top order. That, alongside a brand-new search facility, vastly improved product navigation and a unique returns system, allowing you to return products purchased online to both stores as well as directly to our office* (please see our Returns policy terms & conditions) means shopping online with us has never been easier! And all this being back by our Price Match policy- ‘find any product cheaper elsewhere, we’ll match the price!*’ (subject to our Price Match Policy terms & conditions: https://www.fishkeeper.co.uk/price-match) So, now you can really buy with confidence knowing you have the backing of our expert advice and convenience of a local store- why would you want to buy elsewhere?!
So, with all that in mind, I’m pleased to showcase a few new and exciting items that will be hitting our shelves in the very near future.
Firstly, we have three new and exclusive aquarium ranges arriving soon. I’m delighted to announce we have just received the final prototype of the third addition to the Aqua Marin aquarium range, the ‘Fresh’. This design is the missing link within the range, featuring an enclosed lid and trim, allowing you to fit a multitude of equipment and LED light bars to suit your requirements, whilst maintaining the clean look to the top of your aquarium. This model will initially be available in 2 sizes, 90cm and 120cm, and will be released very early in the new year- more information will appear soon, so make sure you keep your eyes open for that!
On a vey similar note, our exclusive Aqua Manta Nano range is about to have a larger model introduced this November. The Aqua Manta Nano 80 will be similar in design to the other 2 sizes in the range, albeit being 80cm in length and feature an enlarged LED canopy light. Ideally suited to fit onto the Inspire 80 cabinet, this makes a great aquarium set all for the price of only £349.99!
And finally, the Aqua Marin Nano from TMC is the perfect ‘starter’ aquarium for small freshwater or marine aquascapes, micro corals/frags and suitably sized invertebrates. It holds approximately 15 litres and is made from high quality acrylic design, allowing a much clearer view and being compact, this self-contained design makes it ideal for bedrooms, kitchens, living rooms and offices. The built-in filtration system and integral pump with multi-directional outlet ensures optimum water quality and minimum maintenance. It comes complete with an ilumenair Nano+ 3-in-1 multi spectrum LED light and a condensation lid, and also includes a FREE air-driven protein skimmer (this requires an additional air pump to operate). The confirmed price and availability will follow very shortly- please monitor our social media channels for the latest news on this.
Last, but by no means least, we have added an Aiptasia control into our highly successful AquaCare range of treatment and medications. AquaCare Marine Elimi-Tasia is an easy to use treatment for combating pest Aiptasia and Majano anemones in the marine aquarium. Aiptasia are a common pest in marine aquariums, sometimes called Glass, Rock or Tube Anemones which multiply at a phenomenal rate and aggressively compete for food and space. The 100 ml bottle can provide up to 400 applications, each one being easily applied into the oral disk of the anemone using the syringe and applicator included, which stimulates it to ingest the material without causing it to withdraw. Being harmless to filter bacteria this solution makes it a very easy way to control any number of these nuisance pests within your aquarium.
Until next time, please stay safe and well, and keep enjoying this amazing hobby!
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.
It’s that time of year when the heating goes back on, and this is something that many of us have in common with our pets. To ensure they remain healthy, it’s important to know that your aquarium heater is working properly and is set to the right temperature for the fishes you keep.