The 2016 Festival of Fishkeeping looks as though it’s going to be the place to be on October 1–2. This year's event is going to be much bigger and includes what we are promised will be ‘the UK’s finest Betta display’ among the many highlights.
There will also be a world class Flowerhorn display, plus oddballs, predators and specimen fish all organised by Lisa Bradshaw of LJB Aquatics, some of whose amazing Betta and Flowerhorns appeared in the August issue of Practical Fishkeeping. Lisa herself will be in attendance to offer first hand advice on the fish she’ll have on display.
The event also hosts the 2016 British Discus Championships.The organisers are hoping for around 75 discus to entered in six classes, with prizes and trophies for 1st, 2nd and 3rd placed fish in each class, along with a Grand Champion. The judged element of the show will only be open to hobbyists — no professional dealers or breeders — so if you have a fish you’d like to show, why not get in touch? The judging panel consists of Mark Evenden (England), Mike O'Sullivan (Wales), Clive Brampton (England), Ricky Lim (Malaysia), and head judge Kaj Persson (Sweden).
Discus aquascaping masterclass
In addition to the British Discus Championships there will be a masterclass with top UK aquascaper George Farmer (Saturday only) on how to achieve up a jaw-dropping Discus aquarium, from the component parts to the best substrates and plants, plus Discus specialist trade stands, and Swedish expert Kaj Persson will give a talk and slide show about a recent trip to the Amazon.
Quite a few Discus enthusiasts have already booked accommodation for the weekend and the gathering is a good opportunity to put names to faces, meet the UK's leading Discus suppliers and see some of the very best fish in the UK.
Weird and wonderful
The Festival of Fishkeeping is the UK’s biggest display and competition of rare breeds, tropical fish and reptiles. It’s a unique and fantastic opportunity to get up close to exotic, weird and wonderful fish and reptiles that can’t be seen elsewhere, all in one place at one time. You certainly don’t have to be nuts about fish to appreciate the splendour of the fish on display, which include Japanese Koi, discus, killfish, Jinchu Kai, Betta and many more. If the weather is inclement, the undercover, heated environment will ensure comfortable viewing of the very best quality of fish and reptiles in full adult size and prime condition, brought together by fish breeders and hobbyists from around the country.
There will be lots of other attractions over the two days, along with trade and society stands, display set-ups and plenty in the way of refreshments. And of course, there will be loads of opportunity to meet up and talk fish with other like-minded people.
Fun for all the family
Visitors to the show can also enjoy the attractions at Hounslow Urban Farm, which includes five types of pigs, goats, cows, rabbits, ducks, geese, alpacas, rheas, peacocks and lots more.
Activities and events over the weekend will include the best in family entertainment including children’s animal encounters, bouncy castle, bird of prey displays, pig and ferret racing, animal feeding, children’s play zones, face painting, art and craft, animal games competitions, activities and demonstrations.
New to the line up is children’s Nerf Dog Target Practice with the world famous Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Blaster.
Ticket prices include entrance to the farm — it’s a full day ticket, so you can come and go as you please. Adults £7.50; Children (2yrs and over) £6; Students, OAPs and disabled visitors £6.75; Family ticket (two adults and up to two children) £24; Children under two go free!