Emma

Store Manager at Woodford

How long have you been a Maidenhead Aquatics Team Member?

Coming up for 10 years!

How long have you been keeping fish?

Since I was very young, so I would say about 25 years give or take.

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

My first own proper aquarium was an Interpet fish pod 48L and I kept silver tip tetras.

What was it that got you hooked on fishkeeping?

I’ve always loved animals and fish are no exception, I love the challenge of providing an ecosystem for the fish.

What was it that made you decide to turn your fishkeeping hobby into a career?

Just by chance, I stopped in to the branch and got chatting to the staff there, I asked if there were any positions available and here we are!

Which species do you most enjoy keeping and why?

I change from day to day as I always find something new to love, I love the Betta species, fancy goldfish, most gouramis, there are just so many of them!

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

I find most livebearers tricky to keep, just because they prefer harder water whereas my home water is exceptionally soft.

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

I would love to dedicate a big set up to a large puffer such as a Mbu or maybe a big Discus setup.

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

Please don’t neglect your water! Happy water equals happy fish! Change it regularly.

What would be your dream aquarium?

I would love to have a 300L+ planted hi tech set up with female fighters in amongst tetras.

What was your most memorable fishkeeping experience

When I successfully bred my betta splendens after a lot of false starts.

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

You’re not a fishkeeper per say more like a water keeper!

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

Learning something new every day, it’s different every day.

What question do customers ask you most often?

Is there a self cleaning fish tank?

What’s your favourite/most useful piece of fishkeeping equipment and why?

Filters, it’s the heart and soul of a fish tank!

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

The internet is an amazing place but it can lead to some bad advice.

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

The amazon would be truly amazing.

What’s the best customer you ever had and why?

We have a lovely guy called Mark that comes in to visit us, he is happy and polite, always listens to us. He a has a laugh with us and puts a smile on our faces.

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

Seeing someone become really excited by the hobby and willing to do everything to look after their pets.

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

Anything but a goldfish, looking at things like cherry barbs, minnows and other small temperate fish.

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

The Mbu puffer was amazing, she was like an actual pet and we fed her by hand.

Describe the trickiest fishkeeping problem you were ever able to solve for a customer

Everyday brings a new set of challenges and problems that we all have to deal with, I couldn’t just pin point one thing.

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

We had a Chubby plec that would roll over, a hand fed Mbu Puffer, a large Oscar which kids adored and a tin foil barb who is a grumpy old man!

Do you, or have you had a pond? If so, what is/was the best thing about it?

I do have a pond, I love the attraction of wildlife but I cannot have fish since my cats will see to that.

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

Blue whales, that something that big could occupy the oceans

What’s your secret fishkeeping “top tip”?

Water changes, water changes, water changes. Oh and write down everything you have – filter make, tank name, tank litres, fish you have in there! Its really helpful!

What do you think is the future of fishkeeping and what developments would you most like to see?

I would love to see more younger people getting into the hobby and getting a career in fishkeeping.

What’s your best tip for building a pond?

Pick the correct season, don’t build it in direct sunlight or under trees and be prepared to put a net over it!

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

I currently have 5 aquariums! A 202L, 123L, 36L, 20L and at 15L.