Johannes Schwarze

Sales Assistant at Fishkeeper Melville

How long have you been a Maidenhead Aquatics Team Member?

Just over a year.

How long have you been keeping fish?

For over 10 years, hard to remember exactly.

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

The classic story. My grandad got me a goldfish and a bowl when I was 7 or 8.

What was it that got you hooked on fishkeeping?

The amazement that you experience when you have a whole ecosystem flourishing and thriving in your living room.

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

A few years ago I made a deal with myself to never do anything I wasn’t passionate about again.

Which species do you most enjoy keeping and why?

An impossible question to answer. However, I do have a Mantis Shrimp called Bella which is one of the most fascinating creatures I have ever encountered.

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

Mudskippers and Archerfish.

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

Research as much as possible from as many different sources as possible, start with something simple and don’t overthink everything.

What would be your dream aquarium?

A huge hillstream system with every single type of goby you can think of that would excel in that type of enviornment.

What was your most memorable fishkeeping experience?

The first time my Morgurnda Adspersa spawned.

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

That goldfish produce ethanol when they are in bad water conditions.That goldfish produce ethanol when they are in bad water conditions.

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

Seeing all the beautiful and varied species, working with my team and meeting enthusiastic fish keepers every day.

What question do customers ask you most often?

What kind of fish should I buy/is suitable for my tank?

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

Oversized external filters on most of my tanks. They allow me to keep my tanks healthy and happy with minimal maintenance.

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

Again research as much as possible. Speak to lots of marine keepers. Don’t be intimated and be prepared to be patient

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

Hardy tetras in a medium/large sized tank.

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

A Gem Tang. I called him Freddy.

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

Some of our large Koi. They are like puppies!

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

Nope but I would love to have on in the future!

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

Thalassophryne Amazonica (Prehistoric Monster Fish), Brachirus Panoides (Freshwater Flounder) and many more.

What’s your secret fishkeeping “top tip”?

Every single tank is different and develops differently. Study your tank like book and work out what makes your ecosystem flourish.

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

I would like to see more captive breeding for marine fish. I would also like to see fish keeping being looked at more as having a pet, rather than having a hobby

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

I have 6 tanks at the moment. -a big community tank with different types of tetras, gobies and dwarf cichlids -a big community tank with larger south American cichlids, catfish, G udgeons and tetras. - a small community tank with nano tetras, rasbora,