Louise Fuender

Store Manager at Fishkeeper Melville

How long have you been a Maidenhead Aquatics Team Member?

Since 2015.

How long have you been keeping fish?

About 10 years.

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

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

What was it that got you hooked on fishkeeping?

The variety and behaviour of the fish.

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

I love animals and find aquatic life very fascinating. I started working in a pet shop with a fish and reptile department just after I had turned 16 years and really enjoyed working with the livestock.

Which species do you most enjoy keeping and why?

I love my little Chilli Rasbora. They have got lovely characters and are very calm fish in general. Watching them helps me to "switch off" after a long day.

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

Boulengerella lateristriga. It took a lot of time and research to set up a tank for them and turned out to be tricky getting them to accept food. After settling in they were all fine and great fish to care for.

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

Blue Tetra (Boehlkea fredcochui) ! The transformation from a young, grey fish to a medium sized, stunning blue/purple coloured adult is incredible.

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

Be patient and do research. Choose first what fish you like and then research on how to keep it before setting up a tank. A common mistake is that people set up a small tank just to realise that the size is not suitable for the fish they wanted or really

What would be your dream aquarium?

A large amazon biotope aquarium.

What was your most memorable fishkeeping experience?

We had a lovely breeding pair of Angelfish. It was interesting watching them how they looked after their eggs and how they cared for their fry.

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

I always kept pond fish and tropical fish, but since I have joined Maidenhead Aquatics, I have learnt a lot about marines too.

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

Working together with likeminded people and working with such a huge variety of Livestock.

What question do customers ask you most often?

How many fish can I have in my tank' is the most asked question closely followed by 'Can I keep these fish with my current fish?'

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

Filters! No Filter = No Fish. Always get the correct filter for your aquarium and the fish you are going to keep in it.

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

Go as big as you can. Take your time and do plenty of water testing and research before adding the first animals to it.

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

One of the best experiences in my life was travelling to Brazil, exploring the habitat of our aquarium fish. I'd love to go there again at a different time of the year.

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

I had a lovely couple looking for their first fish tank. They listened to all the advice I gave them, carefully researched what they wanted to keep and when they decided that they like Malawi Cichlids, they got a huge tank for them with the correct Equipm

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

I always find it very rewarding if customers come back saying that they are happy with our service, that their tank is going well and that their fish are happy.

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

I would recommend something small and easy to look after. Minnows are great, they show an interesting behaviour and are suitable for a temperate aquarium. For a tropical aquarium, I would recommend small tetra. I would highly recommend to not choose a Gol

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

Our Gem Tang.

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

We have got a very friendly Koi carp in our indoor pond who is very different to all our other fish.

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

Yes. Goldfish are awesome to watch, and Koi Carp behave just like dogs. It is nice to sit by the pond, interacting with the fish and watching them. Besides that, it is awesome providing the right plants for all different kinds of animals that visit the po

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

Elachocharax georgiae. I can barely think of any other species that could beat their character and the way they live and are able to survive even in a very difficult environment.

What’s your secret fishkeeping “top tip”?

Be patient and do you research.

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

During a trip with Project Piaba in Brazil in 2018 I interconnected with the local communities that make a sustainable living from the aquatic industry. Project Piaba is a non-profit organisation which researches the sustainable aquarium pet fish collecti

What’s your best tip for building a pond?

Ensure it is deep enough to avoid issues with your fish in the winter. Never forget to use underlay underneath your liner.

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

One. It is a planted aquarium with Chilli Rasbora, Otocinclus and some Cherry Shrimp.