Top fish on show at major event
Hundreds of fishkeepers from all over the UK attended the Festival of Fishkeeping weekend during late October, and got to see some of the UK's highest quality fish on display.
The event, which was organised by the Federation of British Aquarist Societies (FBAS), included stands from many of the major clubs including the Goldfish Society of Great Britain (GSGB), the Catfish Study Group (CSG), the Anabantoid Association of Great Britain (AAGB), Viviparous and the UK Discus Association.
The catfish section had some particularly impressive fish on show.
A number of the larger aquatic companies and specialist retailers were also in attendance including Aqua Medic, Tetra, Hagen, Aquarian, Devotedly Discus and Plymouth Discus. Practical Fishkeeping also went along for the weekend.
There were hundreds of extremely high quality fish benched in the show, and we saw some of the most stunning Koi and goldfish on display that we've ever seen, as well as some truly outstanding tropical freshwater fish.
Two members from Port Talbot AS scooped four of the eight top prizes in this year's event, with Roy Davies winning the British Open Championship for his magnificent "Cichlasoma" robertsoni, and John Egan winning the FBAS Supreme Champion award for his Botia histrionica; Best in Show in the Catfish Show for his cracking Scobiancistrus aureatus and the Organiser Trophy for the most place points in the British Open and the Supreme Championship.
The Goldfish Society of Great Britain put on a display of some absolutely stunning goldfish varieties including this magnificent Shubunkin.
In the Hagen Masters Open Show, Phil Austen of Portsmouth AS took the top spot with his killi, Cynolebias nigripinnis, while Ron King took Best in Show in the Goldfish Society of Great Britain's show, which saw some superb goldfish on display.
This year also saw the first UK Discus Championship take place at the Festival of Fishkeeping.
The event, which was organised by the UK Discus Association, included 45 tanks of high-quality Discus on show, with some of the fish having travelled from the other side of the world to be exhibited.
International exhibitor Tony Tan of IP Discus won first and second in the Open with two spotted strains of Discus and went on to win the Supreme Champion trophy, while John Dempsie from Leicester Discus took third place in the Open, and won Tropical World's Best UK Discus 2005 award for his stunning Scarlet spotted Discus.
Most of the major fishkeeping societies were present, many of whom had some lovely fish on display on their stands.
The UK Discus Championships also included lectures from some of the leading names in the Discus world, with Jeffrey Tan speaking on general fishkeeping, Heiko Bleher talking about his Discus discoveries and David Lim talking about the development of strains of Discus.
The Festival of Fishkeeping 2006 has been rescheduled and will now be taking place on the weekend of the 6th-9th October at Mill Rhythe Holiday Village in Hayling Island, Hampshire.
We're definitely going back to next year's event, which is looking like it should be even bigger and better in 2006.
For more details contact Grace Nethersell at the Federation of British Aquarist Societies on 020 8847 3586 or write to: FBAS Festival of Fishkeeping, 8 Acacia Avenue, Brentford, Middlesex, TW8 8NR.
Trade stands are welcome again in 2006, so if you're interested in booking a pitch, please get in contact with the FBAS.