Many Cory cats are found in pairs of matching species, with short and long nosed fish sharing a colour pattern as well as a habitat. It may be that the different snout lengths enable them to feed in the same areas without competition and the shared patterns give extra protection from predators. Whatever the reasons, it was good to see the Mosaic Cory (Corydoras haraldschultzi) during a visit to our Newbury store. As you might expect, this fish is the long nosed relative of the familiar sterbai. 

A world away from the creeks of the the Amazon’s tributaries, Common clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris) have been getting increasingly domesticated. As a species with relatively large young that don’t disperse very far, clownfish are prone to developing regional variations and this tendency has been exploited by breeders to produce new strains such as these clowns. A remarkable looking fish that’s quite tricky to photograph, these were at our Derby branch but can be seen in a number of our stores.

Some fishes are introduced to the hobby and quickly become part of the furniture. Familiarity notwithstanding, the Colombian tetra (Hyphessobrycon columbianus) remains a great choice for larger community set ups, or those stocked with large, peaceful cichlids such as Eartheaters or Severum. These gorgeous youngsters were seen at our Leeds South store. 

It may be cold outside but the pond season is approaching. The first deliveries of hardy plants for the water garden have been appearing in stores and they bring with them the promise of warmer times. It’s all about foliage at the moment but it’s a good reminder that not all moisture loving plants die back to nothing over the winter. As with any bed or border, buying plants throughout the year can enable you to sustain colour and interest.

A small fish that isn’t always easy to find, the Green Panchax (Aplocheilus blockii) is a more community-friendly species than some of its larger relatives. Happiest in planted aquaria, these surface dwellers can be prone to jumping. These gems were found at our Swindon North branch.