2 year 7 months
I have been fish keeping for 7 years.
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.
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).
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.
I dream of keeping a large koi pond.
My pearls of wisdom to first time fish keepers is don’t over feed.
My dream aquarium would be an Evolution Aqua Reef Pro 1800s in ultra- gloss metallic anthracite.
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.
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.
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.
The most common question I get asked is why do I have lots of snails in my fish tank?
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.
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.
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.
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.
The most unique species I have looked after at maidenhead aquatics would be our Motoro stingray pups.
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.
The most impressive, bizarre or interesting wild species I think is a Humboldt Squid.
My top tip for building a pond would be plan everything out first and don’t forget about ledges for plants.
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.