As a small boy I was always obsessed with ponds and streams but my first memory of ‘posh fish’ is of a tank full of little Green Pufferfish in a pet shop. After this it was only a matter of time before tropical fish became part of the household and soon I was cycling home from the local shop with danios hanging from my handlebars, if I couldn’t get a lift from mum. Around forty years later, fishes are still a source of wonder and fascination
Tappers And Aquarium

My job with Maidenhead Aquatics involves helping to make sure the fish in our stores are happy and healthy, as well as visiting some of our breeders and suppliers all over the world. As well as all the other things that make up my working day, one of the best things about my job is talking about fish with other people who find them as amazing as I do.

Over the years I’ve kept lots of different fish, including a few years spent working in a zoo with some huge and unusual types. Despite all of these exotic species, if I had to pick a favourite it would probably be our native Stickleback - they’re clever, brave, colourful and really, really interesting fish to watch in the wild or in an aquarium.

Today most of the fish I keep are in ponds outside, where I can give them loads of space to roam but I also keep one of my childhood favourites - Rosy barbs, which spend the summer outside but come in to avoid the cold.

My top five tips for new young fish keepers are:

1. Be patient. It takes time to build a little wet world in a box and the longer you take, the better. Don’t start too small. You can’t take your fish for a walk, or let them out to run around the room, so make sure they’ve got plenty of space.

2. Do your homework. Find out as much as you can about your fish before you take them home - where do they come from? How big do they get? Do they have any special requirements?

3. Learn how to spot good advice. Not everyone who gives you advice will know what’s best, learn to tell the difference between opinion and expertise.

4. Be choosy. It’s a lot easier to add fish than take them out and there’re thousands of different fishes to choose from. You’ll run out of space long before you run out of choices.

One of the most rewarding experiences I’ve enjoyed during my years with Maidenhead, was seeing the difference that farming corals had made to a bay in Bali. Because the pollution would harm the corals, it was the cleanest area I saw and free of plastic and other litter. Not only that but the beach was kept pristine and was an important nesting area for turtles, as well as being one of the rare areas of intact mangrove swamp. It was a great example of the benefits that our hobby can bring to distant parts of the world and the people and animals that live there.