Unlike almost any other type of animal, aquatic pets are totally dependent on the quality of their immediate environment to remain healthy. Although we all have access to clean and safe tap water, even this is harmful to our animals unless properly treated.
Captive fish are swimming in an environment which they are constantly polluting simply by living and breathing, so life support equipment is essential. Most aquarium filtration is bacteria powered and so an understanding of the nitrogen cycle is important in understanding your aquarium:
Many species of aquarium fish can be aggressive or predatory and research is vital to avoid problems. Our staff spend much of their working day advising on compatibility and outside of store visits, you’ll find a wealth of information in our Databank: https://www.fishkeeper.co.uk/help-and-advice. It’s also worth remembering that many fishes are social creatures that are most comfortable when surrounded by their own kind – make sure that you keep these shoaling types in large groups to avoid stress.
In our stores you’ll find a tempting array of attractive species, some of which outgrow average sized home aquaria. In the same way that your family dog may be a Chihuahua or a Great Dane, some people have different tastes in fish, and this should be reflected in the size of your facilities and the time you expect to invest in your new pets. Large fish grow rapidly and can live for decades if they get the right start in life. Before taking on such a commitment, make sure you have the facilities in place and don’t buy juveniles for a bigger tank which you are planning to get later – life has a habit of getting in the way of these kinds of plans and you really do need to check with your significant other before you finalise plans to turn your garage into a tropical pond! As above, our databank will provide details of adult size for most species you’re likely to see in our stores. It’s worth noting that there are some animals which we don’t stock as their requirements are near impossible to provide outside of public facilities such as zoos or public aquariums.
There are sources of information in many places but it’s sometimes hard to know who to listen to. With such a diverse hobby there’s more than one route to success and not everything’s black and white. With time, you’ll discover that there’s a difference between expertise and opinion and with livestock that can be the difference between life and death for the animals in our care. Building a good relationship with your chosen store will usually put you in direct contact with a professional fish keeper who’s experienced all of the trials and tribulations of the hobby and has hours of ‘flight time’ talking about aquarium care and taking care of large numbers of fishes and invertebrates. Many of the staff you’ll meet in our stores have their own specialist interests and you’ll soon discover the enthusiasm evident when they get the opportunity to talk about their favourite subject. Like our customers, some of our staff are at the beginning of their fishkeeping journey but they benefit from the support of more experienced colleagues who may have decades of hands-on experience. We also have an interest in the success of your hobby and your custom is what has kept us in business for nearly forty years, still owned and run by the same team.
School's out for summer and we have some great ideas for fishy fun, in-store and out, to keep the kids occupied during the long summer holidays. Our stores are also teeming with some fantastic pond plants that are starting to show off their stunning flowers - perfect for adding some late summer colour, attracting wildlife and helping to eradicate unwanted algae.
Occasional use of an Activa Block is a fantastic way to give your aquarium water a polish and remove any chemical residues without having to faff about placing it within your filter. It can be added or removed in seconds, making it easy to use in rotation with any additives that you don’t want taken out of your aquarium water, and it’s a great back up for those rare but stressful occasions where unusual measures are needed.