Bank holidays have been a rollercoaster of high and low temperatures and we’ve had a good amount of rain. It can only mean one thing – spring is here!


  • Start treating with algae preventatives, action now can save a lot of time and trouble later. With a few days of sunshine, algae can often run riot before plants are able to compete. Now is the perfect time to review your algae-management techniques and whether your problem is green water or blanket weed. Talk to your favourite store about the best way to ensure clean, clear water.

  • Replace old ultraviolet lamps. After a year of use, old lamps will still produce visible light but not the critical UVC wavelength that kills green water algae cells.

  • New fishes can be safely added to established ponds but test water parameters first to be on the safe side, especially as factors such as KH can drop with rain water input and give newly-added fishes a poor start if they’re accustomed to higher levels.

  • Watch goldfish for signs of spawning. This involves lots of chasing and may require additional pond plants or spawning mops to ensure success. Physical damage can occur to females and they may need a precautionary treatment with an anti-fungus remedy to avoid secondary infections.

  • Consider a summer holiday for temperate ‘tropicals’ in a filtered water feature such as one of the Rattan patio kits. Larger features can be used for more messy options such as Fancy goldfish, just make sure they’re safe from predators such as herons who can’t resist an exotic snack. As water temperatures rise above 18c, many subtropical species can enjoy a summer in the sunshine until September brings cool weather. As always, make sure that you can house these fishes properly inside in an unheated aquarium. Pumps can be replaced in the depths to ensure more thorough circulation.

  • Add beneficial bacteria such as a Pond Bomb to help restore filter function and aid water quality. This is a good time of year to upgrade filtration and avoid extra work in high summer. As filters are largely only as effective as the bacteria they house, a filter that clogs regularly and needs lots of cleaning will be less efficient.

  • Re-pot aquatic plants as they come into growth. These are hungry plants that reward good feeding with lush growth and benefit from the addition of specialist fertilisers for best results. Don’t forget to top-dress the container with gravel or pebbles to stop fishes disturbing the roots or in the case of koi, emptying the container of soil and eating the roots!

  • Consider adding new plants, seasonal colour is always good and early-season nectar plants are still putting on a show.


  • Consider adding chemical media to make maintaining your aquarium easier. Nothing replaces the need for regular water changes but for targeted roles such as phosphate removal or removing tannins from bogwood it’s hard to beat resins or carbon.

  • Try some fine dining for fishes – if you only use a single variety of flake food, consider mixing it up a bit and giving some alternatives. For fishes that prefer to feed lower in the water column, need a bit of algae in their diet, or even just to enjoy your pets feeding from the front glass, tablets and pellets are available. Then there’s always the ‘Sunday lunch’ option courtesy of live or frozen foods.

  • No mention of feeding is complete without water quality so I’ll take this massively unsubtle opportunity to mention the importance of water testing for a successful aquarium.

  • The last few years have seen some exciting developments in the field of aquarium lighting and LED units have played a massive part in these advances. If your aquarium is lit by a couple of fluorescent tubes sitting on your cover glasses, take a look at some of your other options that include more energy-efficient compact fixtures.

  • Have you got your bag for life yet? We’ve teamed up with the World Land Trust to preserve a patch of Colombian rainforest, so buying and using one of these bags can help creatures you’ll never meet as well as any new pets you might be transporting home. We also have our insulated fish transport bags available, or for larger fish, there’s always the option of a polystyrene box – both can serve equally well for keeping tins or bottles chilled as the barbeque/picnic season approaches!