Water gardening is like many other areas of garden design, it’s not all about the flowers. The distinctive leaves of Arrowhead (Sagittaria sagittifolia) add contrast to the most chic of formal fishpond planting, as well as being a native plant suitable for even modestly-sized wildlife ponds.

Freshwater pufferfishes are popular pets and with good reason, they have lots of personality and bags of charisma. This is just as well, as they’re usually antisocial little croutons with powerful beaks that need their own aquarium. The Figure of eight puffer (Dichotomyctere biocellatus) is a classic Asian favourite that is easily catered for and will eat snails by the handful. This batch at our Stratford store were an impressive size.


Tiny fishes are always popular, especially since the rise in aquascaped nano tanks. Previously known as Dario sp. ‘Myanmar’ the Black tiger dario (Dario tigris) is perfect for cool planted aquaria with leaflitter and the kind of keeper willing to provide a diet dominated by live foods. Their territorial behaviour and rapid colour changes make them fascinating to observe and this group at Lechlade were a tiny highlight.

Tetras come in all shapes and sizes and the deeper-bodied species are ideal for adding a feature in communities of smaller fishes or providing visual impact to large aquaria housing peaceful cichlids such as eartheaters which will gain confidence from the presence of dither fish. These Bleeding heart tetras (Hyphessobrycon erythrostigma) at our Crawley store have developed into handsome young adults.


Everybody knows what Dory looks like (it is the school holidays after all) but this has to be one of the most unique Regal tangs (Paracanthurus hepatus) that we’ve ever seen. No mention of this species would be complete without a reminder that these are a fish that needs a large aquarium and excellent water quality, with high oxygen levels and water movement. Having described most reef set ups, there’s not many tangs that look like this one at Reefkeeper Rugby.


Some of the most striking fish in our pond systems aren’t Koi but Goldfish. The scarlet and white Sarasa comet (Carassius auratus) has to be one of the most popular pond fish that we stock, and they bring that splash of colour to ponds that may be too small for carp, as well as being happy to live alongside pond plants.