Amy Heming

Assistant Manager at Stratford-upon-Avon

How long have you been a Maidenhead Aquatics Team Member?

2 year 7 months

How long have you been keeping fish?

I have been fish keeping for 7 years.

What was your first aquarium and what fish did you keep in it?

My first aquarium was a small 15L tank without a light or a heater. I kept 2 goldfish in it, which then outgrow the tank and they went into a pond in the summer.

Which species do you most enjoy keeping and why?

The fish I enjoy keeping the most are a pair of apistogramma agassizii Double reds and plecos. I have two varieties of pleco’s in my tank which are true starlight bristlenose (L183) and zebra plecos (L46).

Which species was the trickiest or challenging for you to keep and why?

The trickiest fish I have ever kept is a pair of discus. The only reason I found them hard was monitoring the GH, the KH and keeping it stable.

Which species haven’t you had a chance to keep yet but dream of having one day?

I dream of keeping a large koi pond.

What pearl of wisdom would you give to first-time Fishkeepers?

My pearls of wisdom to first time fish keepers is don’t over feed.

What would be your dream aquarium?

My dream aquarium would be an Evolution Aqua Reef Pro 1800s in ultra- gloss metallic anthracite.

What was your most memorable fishkeeping experience?

My most memorable fish keeping experience is when my discus laid there fish batch of eggs on my inlet tube in my tank. When I found these eggs I haven’t sure what have laid them at first and then I realised it was my discus.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned since joining Maidenhead Aquatics?

The most interesting thing I have learned at maidenhead aquatics is that some fish can have symbiotic relationships with other fish like the sulphur goby and a pistol shrimp. The sulphur goby helps to keep the pistol shrimp safe when it comes out from its home under a rock. When danger is appears the goby will let the pistol shrimp know and they will retreat back into their home.

What’s your favourite aspect of your work at Maidenhead Aquatics?

My favourite aspect of my job is helping kids and parents with their first aquarium and suppling them with all the information they need and the answering any questions they have. I also enjoy fish deliveries as we are always getting in different varieties of fish in.

What question do customers ask you most often?

The most common question I get asked is why do I have lots of snails in my fish tank?

What’s your top tip for customers taking their first plunge into marine fishkeeping?

My top tip for a first time marine keeper is. Do research, but be careful where you get your information from and take your time.

Which aquatic habitat, like the Amazon or the Red Sea, would you most like to visit?

I would like to visit the Great Barrier Reef to see all the coral and fish in their natural habitat and Brazil to see the pleco’s in the river system.

What’s the most rewarding experience you’ve had at Maidenhead Aquatics?

My most rewarding experience was a mother and her daughter about 7 years old came into our store with a water sample. The water quality was poor. It turned out that the young girl had been cleaning the tank a few times a week and feeding a bit too much. She thought this was the best thing she could do for her fish. We gave her some advice and told her what to do and after 2-3 weeks her water quality was within the levels it should be. This was rewarding as this little girl did most of the work with the help of her mum.

What species would you recommend for a child’s first aquarium?

For a child’s first aquarium I would recommend guppies as they are colourful, have long tails, a huge variety of colour and are very active.

What’s the most unique species you’ve ever cared for at Maidenhead Aquatics?

The most unique species I have looked after at maidenhead aquatics would be our Motoro stingray pups.

Which of the fish in your store has the most character?

The fish with the most character is our store I would say are our pygmy puffers. They always seem to be interest in what you’re doing.

Which wild species do you find the most bizarre, interesting or impressive?

The most impressive, bizarre or interesting wild species I think is a Humboldt Squid.

What’s your best tip for building a pond?

My top tip for building a pond would be plan everything out first and don’t forget about ledges for plants.

How many aquariums do you currently keep at home, and what are these?

I have currently only got one fish tank at home. It is an aqua oak 110DD which is 200 litres. I have this set up as a planted tropical tank.