They might not be as generous as the easter bunny, but rabbitfish are very giving when it comes to algae control. This One-spot fox face (Siganus unimaculatus) at Reefkeeper Rugby makes a great alternative to the more active tangs but will reach a size that necessitates a spacious aquarium. Every time I write about these fishes I wonder why the old common name of Badger fish isn’t more widely used, but then the native name of Spinefoot (thanks to their stinging venomous dorsal spines) is perhaps more deserved in areas where they’re caught as food fish.

Easter sees the traditional start of the pond season and up and down the country batches of Koi (Cyprinus rubrofuscus) like these pictured at our Basingstoke store, are ready to explore new homes. Although they start small, koi are fast growing and are often the reason pond owners end up extending their facilities as they grow. If you’ve bought small carp before, you’ll know that their charismatic nature means that by the time you’ve had them a few years you’re willing to do whatever it takes to keep them happy. Pet keeping at its best!

Somewhere between the temperate, unheated aquarium and the warm, totally tropical twenty-five centigrade plus of the truly tropical biome are the species which inhabit cool habitats in warm parts of the world. These are often streams and rivers that carry water from high-altitude to steamy lowlands and many barbs, loaches and catfish thrive in these conditions. One such fish is the Zodiac loach (Mesonoemacheilus triangularis) a bottom-dwelling character best kept in groups large enough to keep them busy, much like their barb cousins. These were seen at our Bristol branch, which may well have moved to a posh new location by the time you read this.

Pond plants are looking lush and full of promise in our pond sections right now, with early-flowering species adding a splash of colour amongst the many verdant greens. Like many seasonal plants, some will take a while to come into growth, such as water lilies, but adding these to the pond now before they produce this year’s leaves will make for a much easier transition.

Although many people are initially attracted to marine fish because of their dazzling colouration, it’s true to say that they tend to score highly on personality too. One of the most vibrant species in its size class, the Lemonpeel angel (Centropyge flavissima) has a specific name that translates as ‘very yellow’ and that’s certainly true. This beauty at our Huntingdon branch certainly caught our eye and was quite curious about us too.


It’s hard to imagine, but the Green barb (Barbodes semifasciolatus) is the wild ancestor of the familiar Gold barb. Like its ubiquitous descendent this is a great choice for the unheated aquarium and is both hardy and peaceful, with that common name well earned, looking at the metallic green sheen on these fairly recent arrivals. Males develop a bright red belly when in breeding condition and there’s no reason why you couldn’t mix them with their yellow domesticated kin. This batch were seen at our Cwmbran store.