Gary Packer

Store Manager at Fishkeeper Braehead

How long have you been keeping fish?

Grown up my whole life with aquariums, but kept my first aquarium which I looked after aged 12, so 18 years overall

What would be your dream aquarium?

A large Amazon biotype at the center of my house, viewable from all sides, with a staircase wrapped around it leading to top viewing platform.

What was your most memorable fishkeeping experience?

A bad one, came home to find my airline had detached from the air pump, and syphoned a 1/3 of my tank onto my bedroom carpet.

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

Having access to a large number of species of different fish, aquariums and equipment.

What question do customers ask you most often?

‘How many fish can I have in my tank’

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

Might sound silly but a glass aquarium, it’s the blank canvas to build on.

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

Patience, there is no short cuts

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

The reefs surrounding the Galapagos islands

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

Customer who had Ammonia issues, told him to do small water changes every couple of days. Came back after 10 days and Ammonia had climbed, asked him to bring in tap water. Ammonia in his tap water was crazy high, turned out his house when built, had the drinking mains supply running under the waste supply. The waterboard dug up his garden and confirmed it, safe to say he quickly moved house.

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

Our Pygmy puffers, they are very inquisitive and always seem to be on the search

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

Cuttlefish, their whole movement, hunting etc are so alien but extremely interesting

What’s your secret fishkeeping “top tip”?

If you buy cheap, you buy twice. Invest in the beginning with the best affordable equipment.