Sharnbrook Shrimp opens UK's first shrimp only retail store

Continuing an encouraging, recession busting trend, previous online-only shrimp seller Sharnbrook opens new bricks and mortar retail premises.

Saturday, December 14 sees Sharnbrook open shiny new retail premises in Rushden, Northants.

The purpose facility is intended to import, breed, wholesale and retail freshwater shrimps, in a move which owner Lucas Witte-Vermeulen believes to be the only one of its kind in the UK.

"Products will range from RO units, TDS meters to TMC's latest freshwater tropical lighting systems, shrimp soils, mosses and a whole host of other shrimp maniac treats," said Witte-Vermeulen.

"And 16,000 shrimp! Come and see our shrimp displays and pick some of your own  from our 6m/20' tank.

The store opens at 10am on December 14, 2013 and will stay open until late.

Win Japanese ranchu from Star Fisheries

The home of top-end fancy goldfish in the UK is giving away a ranchu worth £200 on its next open day.

Star Fisheries continues its winter roll out of consumer open days, announcing the next date as Sunday 1st December.

On the day hobbyists will be able to gaze at and buy fancy goldfish of all varieties, colours and sizes from China, top UK breeders and Japan.

For ranchu lovers Star is offering fish from both Jinchu Kai and Suzuki bloodlines with fish bred by top UK breeder Andrew James.

A raffle is running on the day to offer all visitors a chance of winning an Andrew James ranchu worth a cool £200 at retail value and Star will deliver it free of charge to the lucky winner’s home.

The raffle costs nothing to enter, just fill in your details on the day, hand it in to a member of staff, and the exclusive ranchu could be yours.

Tropical Expo at Romsey World of Water this weekend!

Romsey World of Water in Hampshire will be hosting its annual Tropical Expo event on November 9-10.

The event will feature special guests, exclusive weekend only discounts, a chance to see the new products from this year’s Aqua 2013 show and meet the manufacturers.

In attendance will be Tropical Marine Centre, New Era, Red Sea, OASE (Eden), Peter Golding, R+D Aquatics, Red Sea, Seneye, AquaOne and the Southampton and Eastleigh Aquatic Society. There will also be exclusive discounts on AquaOne (Aqua Reef 195/300) Eheim, Fluval, Tom Chambers Birdcare and all JBL electrical products.

The Tropical Expo takes place from 9am-6pm on Saturday and 10am-4pm on Sunday.

Get there early to receive a free goody bag!

Like and share Romsey World of Water's Facebook page for a chance to enter the raffle and win a selection of £2000 worth of prizes!

Romsey World of Water is at Greatbridge Road, Romsey, Hampshire, SO51 OHB. Tel. 01794 515 923.

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Charterhouse Aquatics opens UK's most exciting aquatic shop

Critics wanted to see bricks and mortar, so Charterhouse took on two East London railway arches and now they have more bricks and mortar than anyone else! What will they find to complain about next?

I've just got into the office from a 12:30am finish last night and I feel hung over, but not from alcohol — oh no, I was driving. Nope, instead I'm actually hung over from the amount of UK aquatic store happiness I expressed last night at Charterhouse Aquatics' private invite launch party.

Charterhouse is well known on the Internet and rank at the top of the searches for many popular products. Regular customers will have also noted that they hold some pretty premium products in stock too though: the likes of ADA, Elos, and Giesemann, yet short of emailing photos and physically describing over the phone, the PFK readers poll category winners had no way of showing their products off. Until now.

And show products off they definitely do, only unlike anywhere else I’ve ever seen before. The brick arches have been stripped down to their raw elements, and at considerable cost. The directors Paul and Matt Fry then drafted in an architect no less to design the whole place from showroom to dry goods warehouse, even the fishroom, so now it looks like what Apple would create if they ever got into the aquatics market, and I kept looking over my shoulder, half expecting Kevin McCloud to come in, declaring it a Grand Design, or George Clarke, an Amazing Space.

The showroom
So the tank showroom looks very modern, conceptual and architectural, only the treat for us fishkeepers is that it's then decorated with beautiful, furnished aquariums, many of which just aren’t on display anywhere else, like top of the range Elos and Giesemann tanks coming in at a cool £7K plus.

Seven grand is silly money to most, myself included, but if there’s anywhere in the UK where someone will walk in off the street and pay that kind of money, it's London, home of the mega rich, and currently going through an extraordinary house price boom.

And although I could never afford it, I do maintain that it's nice to be given the opportunity just to see these tanks set up and looking great, so that you then have the opportunity at least to give it first refusal. The more conventional UK aquatic shops are often guilty of holding back such luxury items I feel, yet I know scores of people who will pay over £2000 just for a D-SLR camera body, so won’t be put off paying more for the tank they want to photograph.

Don’t get me wrong, it's not all like that though, and if you want a BiOrb, Peppa Pig tank or a good value Superfish tank, it's there too. And what’s nice, and what myself and most of the reps spent the night doing, was then comparing finishes and specs to the prices, trading ourselves up and down as we walked around the ranges and seeing just what you do get for your money with each tank.

And if none of them suit you, they’ve enrolled the services of who I feel is the UK’s best custom glass tank builder, Aquarium Connections, who won’t bat an eyelid if you try to shock them by giving them an order for a 20’ tank in Optiwhite, and what’s more, it’ll be the best quality tank you’ll have ever owned. But back to the shop.

So you can just walk into the showroom, warehouse or fishhouse and purchase livestock, a pot of fish food or a tank just as you would anywhere else, but Charterhouse being Charterhouse (progressive!) if you’re feeling pretty ultra-modern yourself you can look at the display tank, scan the QR code which takes you to the tank’s details, decide you want to buy it, walk over to one of the many tablet devices and customer card machines, order and pay for it on the spot on the tablet, chill out on a sofa for a few minutes and they’ll bring it out from the warehouse next door — or if you want, deliver it to your home — and if you just want a great looking tank without any hassle, they’ll even install and maintain it for you too. They really have got it all covered.

On our visit the store was pretty reef centric, with the balance of wet displays and livestock definitely leaning towards marine. The fishhouse had just a token display of tropicals and plants, so don’t rock up there quite yet expecting to walk away with an Asian arowana, P14 stingray or a Hypostomus luteus, but anything is possible and I’m sure they will adapt and grow in order to meet specific livestock demands. You would be able to get some nice corals from day one however, and as well as having lots of marine tanks, Charterhouse was also showing off many if not all of the latest LED lights and marine methodologies like Triton.

For the aquascaping community this store has so much potential, and I fully expect to see forum communities using the tank showroom as a place to meet up, socialise and talk tanks, and although there wasn’t a really good planted aquascape on display just yet, James Findley of The Green Machine is rumoured to be coming down to set up a full ADA tank, and I fully expect some highly respected UKAPS members to be queuing up soon to do a wet display and get their work shown off in such superb, and public surroundings.   

The staff
And to fit in with the look and ethos of the business, even the staff are young, modern, well dressed and mostly good looking. I think I’d struggle to get a job there even with my CV, as I’m the wrong side of 30 and my teeth are too wonky. The staff are genuinely really nice people though, all of them great lads, especially the owners, brothers Paul and Matt, who are great fun, very forward thinking and unusually for aquatic store owners, they’re not full of hate.

So the optimism and all round positive attitude just spread across the room last night, and it was great to see the likes of D-D, Red Sea, New Era, ITC, Reef Eden, Eheim, Reef One and Aquarium Connections all chatting away, all appreciating each other’s work, and all networking for the good of the UK aquatics trade and hobby. I think Charterhouse is light years ahead with their new store, I really do, and I wish them all the luck in the world.

I do feel for them however as every rep in the country will now smell the money trail and will be knocking on their architectural glass doors trying to pedal them all sorts of gear, and I also fully expect every micro blogger/blagger to turn up and try to declare Charterhouse as their very own territory and a place to then make themselves look good. But best of all, the owners will let it all wash over them while enjoying a celebratory beer, and I, like the whole UK aquatic trade, eagerly await the flood of new fishkeepers that the new Charterhouse Aquatics retail store will create.  

So if you want to embark on a shop tour with a difference, and visit UK Aquatic store 2.0, make a day of it, arrange to meet other like-minded hobbyists there and go and talk all things aquatic. Who knows, you might even buy something!

The official consumer open day for the showroom is this Saturday, November 2 2013. It even has parking, but only for about eight cars I reckon, and for sat nav owners the postcode is E8 4ED. Enjoy!



Love fancy goldfish? Don't miss Star Fisheries Open Day on Sunday!

Surrey-based goldfish specialist Star Fisheries holds its first Open Day of the goldfish season on Sunday, October 20.

Star tells us: "We have lots new fish including rare breeds and colours and there will be some truly spectacular fish available for purchase on the day."

From China, there's the new "Oranchu", an Oranda/Ranchu cross, which is making its first visit to the UK. Plus short- and long-tail Ryukin, all colours, including some very nice one-off colours, Orandas all colours, Pom-pons, Celestials, Bubble-eyes — including "Panda" black and white — Lionheads, panda Oranda, panda Butterfly, tri-colour Ryukin and tri-colour Butterfly, Wakin, Moors and Telescopes — all colours — golf ball Pearlscales, crown Pearlscales, bubblehead Pearlscale, Butterflies, Fantails, Ranchu — all colours including chocolate, metallic blue and much more.

From the UK there will be Bristol and London Shubunkin, calico Veiltail, red Veiltail, yellow and yellow/black short tail goldfish, broadtail Moors, plus others — and also specialist UK bred award winning top quality Ranchu from Jin Chu Kai, bred by Andrew James, who Star rates as probably the best breeder of Ranchu in Europe.

Goldfish from Japan include top view Ranchu from three famous breeders including Kazuo Suzuki, also Nankin, Tokai Nishiki, Osaka Ranchu, Ryukin, Hamanishiki, Tosakin, and Jikin.
From Thailand there will be black Ranchu and black Oranda, as well as others of different colours.

The Open Day takes place from 10am-3pm. Parking is free.

Star Fisheries is at 94A Benhill Road, Sutton, Surrey SM1 3RX. Tel. 0208 915 0455.

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Fancy goldfish bonanza at Star Fisheries

Its fancy goldfish autumn harvest time and Star fisheries are gearing up for their largest ever selection of fish

Autumn is when the fancy goldfish fraternity have their fish shows, showing off the best of this year's fish. Its also the time when the best fancy goldfish are for sale.

The first open day of Star's Fancy season is on Sunday October 20th from 10.00-3.00 plenty of free parking.
Star Fisheries told PFK that they have increased and changed all their facilities recently so that they can hold and display more fish.
Truly spectacular fish of all sizes are promised to be available for purchase on the day

From China

The new "Oranchu", an Oranda/Ranchu cross, is making it's first time visit to the UK. Short and long tail Ryukin, all colours, including some very nice one-off colours, Orandas all colours, Pom pons, Celestials, Bubbleyes including "Panda" Black +White Bubbleyes, Lionheads, Panda oranda, Panada butterfly, Tri colour ryukin and Tri colour butterfly, Wakin, Moors all colours, Telescopes all colours, Golf ball pearlscales, Crown pearlscale, Bubblehead pearlscale, Butterflies, all colours, Fantails all colours, Ranchu all colours including Chocolate, Metallic Blue Ranchu and much more.

From UK

Bristol and London Shubunkin, Calico veiltail, Red veiltail, Yellow and Yellow/Black short tail goldfish, Broadtail moors, plus others.
From Japan

Top view ranchu from three famous breeders including Kazuo Suzuki, also Nankin,Tokai nishiki,Osaka Ranchu, Ryukin, Hamanishiki, Tosakin, and Jikin.
From Thailand

Black ranchu,Black oranda, Different colour orandas, ranchu,
Specialist UK bred

Award winning top quality ranchu from Jin Chu Kai, Bred by Andrew James, who Star rates as probably the best breeder of Ranchu in Europe.

The Star Fisheries website went down for a period recently so any general enquiries about the fish or Open Day please contact or call on 0208 915 0455

Sheaf Valley Aquarist Society to hold UK’s first Shrimp show

Exciting times loom for this Sunday, September 29, as the guys and girls of Sheaf Valley hold the very first freshwater UK shrimp show, writes Nathan Hill.

Based at the Rockingham Center, Hoyland Common, Barnsley, S74 1DQ, the shrimp show starts at 12pm, with an auction later in the day.

The event coincides with a fish show at the same venue on the same day, making this a venture with the opportunity to see amazing livestock from both arenas — and having seen some of the Sheaf Valley entries in a recent show, I would expect the calibre of all displays to be exceptionally high. If you want to see how an amazing fish should look, then I strongly recommend you give it a whirl.

As well as an auction, there is talk of a ‘buy it now’ option on some shrimps as seen in tanks, and for visitors hoping to bid for goods and livestock on the day, there’s no need to register your details: it’s open to everyone!

There’s no entrance fee, and there’s even free parking on the day, so frankly there’s no reason at all not to get involved.

Goldfish Society of Great Britain Open Show in September

If you want to see what's probably the most impressive show of fancy goldfish in the UK, head to the GSGB's annual Open Show on Saturday, September 28.

The show takes place at St. Paul’s Church Hall, Chigwell Road, Woodford Bridge, Essex, IG8 8BS and features 67 different classes of goldfish.

Benching takes place at 9.30-11.30am and there's a goldfish auction at mid-day.

Refreshments will be available.

The show will be open to the public from 3pm.

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Alan is a supreme winner at Festival of Fishkeeping

Alan Finnigan of Leicester A.S. took this year's FBAS Festival of Fishkeeping by storm.

Alan (pictured above with FBAS Chairman Joe Nethersell) won the National Show League 2013 award (with 506 points from the year’s shows), the Organisers' Trophy and many firsts at the Festival (including a first in Supreme Pairs with 89 points for his Yasuhikotakia sidthimunki).

And he also won the Supreme Championship (along with 2nd, 3rd and 4th!). Alan's Supreme Champion of 2013 is a Eureka cichlid (Aulonocara jacobfriebergi).

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Don't miss the Festival of Fishkeeping this weekend!

If you're looking for something to do this weekend, why not have a day out at the 2013 Festival of Fishkeeping, which will be taking place from September 7-8 at Hounslow Urban Farm in Middlesex?

The Festival offers a great chance to see some of the very best fish in the UK at what is the biggest event in the FBAS calendar.

"Because of the 'competitive' aspect of some displays, you will be able to see the very best quality of fishes all in full adult size and in prime condition," explains the FBAS.

There will also be Japanese Koi, Discus, a pond display, furnished aquariums, demonstrations on how to set up, furnish and maintain various types of aquariums and advice on all aspects of fishkeeping.

"We are very grateful to all our sponsors because without them there would be no Festival," the FBAS says.

"We are pleased to welcome Rolf C Hagen, Exo-Terra, Fluval, Mars Fish Care (Aquarian), Practical Fishkeeping, API, FishScience, Anglo-Aquarium Plant Co., Amwell Aquatics, Corban Discus, Chen Discus and many others."

PFK will be at this year's Festival, with editor Jeremy Gay and technical writer Nathan Hill both in attendance.

You'll find something for children of all ages at the Aquarian/API Kids’ Zone with face painting, bouncy castles, a Find the Fish hunt, and a colouring competition. There will be goody bags for the children.

There's also a petting zoo, birds of prey displays, a chance to feed the animals and animal rides.

The normal daily admission charges to the Urban Farm (including access to all areas at the Festival) apply:
Adults: £6.00
Children (aged two and over): £4.50
Students and OAPs: £5.25
Family (two adults and up to two children): £19
Children under two: Free

Your ticket is valid for the whole day, so you can come in and out as you please.

Exhibitors who have qualifying fish for the the British Open, Pairs, Breeders, Diamond Finals and Supreme Championship Final will be given free admission passes, along with those pre-booking more than five entries into the Festival Open Show (Sunday).

There will be entertainment, food and refreshments on the Saturday evening (7pm-11pm) at £5 per head, to include a raffle ticket and a snack.

Hounslow Urban Farm is located on Faggs Road, Feltham, Middlesex TW14 OLZ.

For more information contact Joe Nethersell, Festival Organiser on 020 8847 3586 or email

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British Aquarist Festival to run again this year

The Federation of Northern Aquarist Societies (FNAS) held it annual meeting in August and agreed to run the British Aquarist Festival (BAF) again this year.

The BAF will be held at Darwin Community Centre at Sudelside Street in Darwen, Lancs. (that is BB3 3DL for your Router) on Sunday, October 13 2013. 

There will be 40 classes including "Champions of Champions" Coldwater and Tropical. 

To qualify for C of C your fish needs to have won 1st, 2nd or 3rd in Best of Show at your local club or an Open Show.
Hot and cold foods will be available and an auction will be held during judging.
For more details visit the new (temporary) FNAS website.

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Festival of Fishkeeping offers fun for the whole family!

The Festival of Fishkeeping 2013 takes place on September 7-8 at Hounslow Urban Farm in Middlesex.

The Festival of Fishkeeping is the biggest event in the FBAS calendar and attracts the UK's best fish show-goers and their prized tropical and coldwater fish.

Hounslow Urban Farm is a new venue for the Festival, which offers something for the whole family.

You won't need to worry about the weather, because most of the events will be under cover, and on level concrete flooring - in fact the marquees are being erected now, ready for the Festival.

The FBAS says: "We are very grateful to all our sponsors because without them there would be no Festival.

"We are pleased to welcome Rolf C Hagen, Exo-Terra, Fluval, Mars Fish Care (Aquarian), Practical Fishkeeping, API, FishScience, Anglo-Aquarium Plant Co., Amwell Aquatics, Corban Discus, Chen Discus and many others.

"At this event, there will be UK’s biggest display of hobbyist fish, independent traders, Japanese Koi and Discus displays, a pond display, furnished aquariums, demonstrations on how to set up, furnish and maintain aquariums and advice on all aspects of fishkeeping.

"There will be Aquarian/API Kids’ Zone for children of all ages, including face painting, bouncy castles, a Find the Fish hunt and colouring competitions with prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners. There will also be goody bags for the children and lots more."

Admission charges
Exhibitors will have their own dedicated entrance to the site, with free admission passes issued to exhibitors who have qualifying fish for the following competitions: British Open, Pairs, Breeders, Diamond Finals and Supreme Championship Final.

Exhibitors pre-booking more than five entries into the Festival Open Show (Sunday) will be issued with a free Admission Pass (see above). Pre-booked entries must be registered with the Show Secretary by 9pm on September 4, 2013.

Please note that free admission passes are valid for the individually-named exhibitor only and are not transferable.

The normal daily admission charges to the Urban Farm (including access to all areas at the Festival) will apply to all other visitors:
£6.00 per adult
£4.50 per child (2 years and over)
£5.25 for students and OAPs
£19 per family (two adults and up to two children)
This is a full day ticket - you can come in and out all day and children under two years enter for free.

Saturday evening entertainment
In keeping with previous Festivals, there will be entertainment, food and refreshments on the Saturday evening at the Urban Farm.

Admission to the Saturday evening (7pm-11pm) costs £5 per head and will include a raffle ticket and a complementary snack.

Hounslow Urban Farm is located on Faggs Road, Feltham, Middlesex TW14 OLZ

For more information on the Festival email:

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Fishkeeper Glasgow celebrate with cake and open weekend

The store is marking its three year anniversary with novelty cakes and a family open weekend on Saturday August 31 and Sunday, September 1.

There will be goody bags and special offers over the weekend as well as a free to enter prize draw to win fishkeeping equipment worth hundreds of pounds. 
For the junior fishkeepers there will be free face painting, a colouring in competition to win a starter aquarium, novelty cakes and balloons and there's a children's soft play area on site. Previous events have seen slices of Zebra plec and Clownfish cake handed out to visitors.
Maidenhead Aquatics, parent of Fishkeeper Scotland, opened their first Scottish store Fishkeeper Glasgow in 2010, which has already netted several awards including “Best Aquatics Shop in Scotland”. 
Following on from this success, more stores have been opened including the Fishkeeper Edinburgh store in August 2012 and Fishkeeper Inverness in July 2013.
Colin Christian, Maidenhead Aquatics partner, says “Our Fishkeeper Glasgow anniversary weekend has become a regular fixture in our calendar and is always such a fun weekend for those involved. Even more so this year we are holding the event in conjunction with Mackinnon Mills who are fundraising for the Chidren’s Hospice Asscociation Scotland. We look forward to giving something back to all of our loyal customers.”
Fishkeeper Glasgow is open seven days a week and is located within Mackinnon Mills on Kirkshways Road, Coatbridge, just off the A8 and A725 junction.

Pets at Home get the UKAPS treatment this weekend

Pets at Home is preparing to convert two of the largest aquariums in a UK retail store to planted aquascapes.

The refurbishment of the New Malden and Stockport tanks is part of what the retailer claims is a pioneering project by themselves and its plant supplier, Tropica Aquarium Plants, based in Denmark, to demonstrate the move towards planted aquariums with Pets at Home customers.  
The project also draws on the expertise of CASCO Europe, the pet and aquatic shop fitting specialists.
The gigantic tanks, the largest measuring 4.5m and 1.5m deep and capable of holding 10,000 litres of water will be teeming with life, and will be home to thousands of tropical fish once completed, according to Pets at Home. 
The tanks will be completely overhauled by CASCO to prepare them for their new tropical freshwater forest environments. The aquariums will use plants specially grown by Tropica and wood ethically sourced from Malaysia, whilst Mars Fish Care will advise on the water’s conditioning. 
Pets at Home and Tropica have been planning and working behind the scenes since the start of this year in preparation for the refurbishment.
"The planting of the aquariums involves careful planning and a large team to create an abundant underwater forest, and crucially, planting will take place as the water is added to the tanks to ensure the plants remain wet," Pets at Home stated.
"A variety of species, including fish, shrimp and snails, will be introduced first, in order to keep the tanks free from any unwanted algae, in readiness for the arrival of their colourful counterparts once the tank has matured."
"Every aspect of the new fishes’ arrival will be carefully managed to ensure that they are gently acclimatised to their new home."
"The vast array of species will include cardinal tetras and other tetra species, discus, freshwater angelfish and freshwater stingrays, a close relative of the shark."
Pete Carey, Freshwater and Marine Biologist, at Pets at Home, says:
“This isn’t just an important move for Pets at Home, but for the retail aquatics industry as a whole. The refurbishment of these two tanks is an enormous project and has involved months of planning from Pets at Home and Tropica Aquarium Plants." 
“They will allow our customers to see how amazing planted tanks can be, and our colleagues at both stores are extremely excited about demonstrating their knowledge of the underwater planted landscape.”
The tanks are currently home to two collections of large marine fish, and in order to prepare the tanks for freshwater species, the tanks will be completely drained, emptied of all rock and sand and thoroughly cleaned before being carefully planted.  
The current saltwater fish will move to their new home at the Sealife Centre, Manchester and the Blue Reef Aquarium in Portsmouth in late August.
What we think
"Pets at Home's decision to convert two of their very large marine aquaria into freshwater aquascapes reflects just how big planted tanks and aquascaping is becoming," says PFK and PPM editor Jeremy Gay, "and we always welcome any big tank, small fish, set ups as its the best way to create and then be able to observe small species like tetras living and behaving as they would in the wild." 
"The mention of stingrays being added does start alarm bells ringing with me however, as they will predate small tetras, shrimp and snails, uproot all the plants and stir up all the specialist planting substrate. I wouldn't recommend any species of freshwater stingray for a fully planted set up as they will cause chaos." 
"The only scenario you could get away with would be ferns and anubias on wood, with a substrate consisting of a large expanse of open sand, and no small fish, but then that's more of a stingray tank with a few token plants added, than the sort of aquascape you would associate with Takashi Amano and nature aquariums - the sorts of aquascapes regularly created by UKAPS members."
"Also I think the purpose of an effective retail display tank is to entice and drive sales of the creatures featured within it. There is no doubt that people will then want to buy stingrays, which aren't usual Pets at Home fodder, and require both specialist care and larger aquariums than Pets at Home stock and sell." 
"We've been invited to visit and feature the two tank overhauls by Pets at Home, but I think whether they decide to include stingrays or not will either make or break them as effective planted aquascapes."
"I would love to be able to advise Pets at Home on their livestock choice both for these display tanks and as part of their ongoing aquatic offering as a whole. It's great that they sell Practical Fishkeeping magazine at all their counters, but if just a small part of the excellent advice we give month in, month out, could be applied to their fish and plants then the UK's largest aquatic retailer would also have a chance of winning over more dedicated fishkeeping followers."   

The dates of the ‘Big Planting Weekends’ are: New Malden 24 and 25 August, Stockport 7 and 8 September.

The Deep's going quiet in September

The Deep aquarium in Hull is holding a Quiet Day next month to allow those with hearing impairments to enjoy a visit without background noise.

On Thursday, September 12, the audio will be turned off to make the attraction more accessible to those with hearing problems and who normally find some of the sounds distracting.

The Deep’s Operations Manager, Louise Kirby explains: "Our Quiet Days are ideal for deaf and hearing impaired visitors, or those who simply prefer a quieter environment. Our audio visual elements will be turned down and lighting will be brighter. In addition there will be scheduled signed presentations in British Sign Language (BSL) throughout."

The following sessions will be taking place:
10.30am - Touch pool session at the Discovery Corner (BSL)
11.00am - Endless Oceans presentation (BSL)
11.30am - Touch pool session at the Discovery Corner
12.00pm - Lagoon feed at the Lagoon of Light (BSL)
13.00pm – Lagoon of Light presentation (BSL)
13.30pm - Touch pool session at the Discovery Corner (BSL)
14.00pm - Endless Oceans presentation (BSL)
14.30pm - Touch pool session at the Discovery Corner (BSL)

The Deep says it would suggest the following arrival times so that visitors can incorporate all signed presentations and other interactive sessions within their visit:

10.00am arrival - Touch pool, Endless Oceans presentation, Lagoon feed
11.30am arrival – Lagoon feed, Touch pool, Endless Oceans presentation
12.30pm arrival - Lagoon of Light presentation, Touch pool session, Endless Oceans presentation.

Everyone is welcome to visit and normal rates apply. If you would like to bring a group of more than 10 people, contact The Deep to make a discounted group booking on 01482 381000.

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Make tracks for the East of England Koi Show next weekend

If you're looking for something to do next weekend (July 20-21), why not have a day out at the East of England Koi Show?

This year’s show, the biggest of the year so far, is sponsored by Koyoshi Premium Koi Foods, The Japanese Koi Company and RotoInnovations and will have 50 vats of Koi being displayed in the centre ring, which is being exclusively sponsored by the UK Ogata Koi Dealers Network via their representative UK dealers of Coastal Koi, Dock Koi, Koi Logic and Koi Masters.

The organisers anticipate having around 350 of the best Koi in the UK being exhibited from just 15cm/6" right up to nearly 1m in length for you to cast your eye over!

Once you’re done looking over the Koi and trying to work out for yourself which one is going to take the Grand Champion prize, you’ll find a wide array of Koi dealers selling both all the dry goods you could possibly need for your pond as well as a wide range of Koi for you to choose from and a selection of craft and plant stalls.

There will also be regular demonstrations on how to create a bonsai from a stock plant as well as the ability to bring your own along for a trim, reshape and health check up if required.
There will be a fantastic display of another Japanese fish, the Ranchu, by the United Kingdom Ranchu Association who will be bringing along some of their show quality fish.

You’ll also find the attendance of the Japanese Akita Welfare Trust, who will be promoting the work they do in helping rescue and rehabilitate Akitas in need.
There’s a range of catering options available should you find yourself craving something to eat, and for those of you that aren’t driving, there’s a licensed bar on site for the weekend as well.
The show is being held at The Huntingdon Racecourse, Brampton, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire,  PE28 4NL which is just minutes from the A14, A1 and M11 over the weekend of July 20-21. Entrance is £5 with under 16’s free when accompanied.
For the latest news and updates as well as directions to the show, visit the show website.

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Limia is a winner at Yorkshire show

The Yorkshire Aquarist Festival 2013 was held on July 7 as an Open Show at Stockton on the Forest, near York.

The event took place on the same day as the Wimbledon final - and it was also the hottest day of the year – both of which had an impact on the entries which were at an all-time low this year of 170.  

But members of most Yorkshire clubs turned up and the auction lasted all afternoon.  

The Fish of Fishes for 2013 was a Humped-back Limia (Limia nigrofasciata) owned by Bernard O'Neill — a fish that had won a First at both Ryedale and Castleford Aquarium Clubs.

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An evening of shrimp

Up for an evening of snacks, drinks and shrimp? Then July 6 at the Aquatic Design Centre could be just the thing you’re after.

Featuring a collusion between the Aquarium Design Centre and shrimp retailer Lucas Witte-Vermeulen of Sharnbrook Shrimp, there will be a huge amount of both new and familiar varieties available, including Taiwan Bees, King Kongs, Blue Bolts, Blue Jellies, Gold-eyed Blue Tigers, Red Sakuras, Cherries, Blue Rilis, Royal Blue Tigers, Black Sakuras, Crystal Reds, Crystal Blues, Oranges, Yellows and more!

Experts will be on hand to answer any shrimp related questions you might have, and a number of nano tanks will be brimming with new and exciting strains to buy.

The event will also be supported by a large range of shrimp keeping dry goods, including the introduction of the new official Mosura line of products.

To add to the informal air, some food and drink will also be laid on, So starting at 6pm you’ll be able to indulge in a comfy, invertebrate heavy evening for all.

The Aquatic Design Centre can be found at 109 Great Portland Street, London, W1W 6QG.

For further details either contact the store on 0207 5806764, or email them on You can also visit their website at www.aquatic

Association of Midland Goldfish Keepers Open Show this weekend

The AMGK is holding its annual open show of goldfish tomorrow (June 29) in Coventry.

Goldfish fanciers around the country will be travelling to Coventry either to show their prized goldfish or just to meet up with other club members and see goldfish being shown.

Top breeders will be vying for their fish to take first place and visitors can expect to see many fancy and single tail goldfish varieties all bred, grown on and shown to exacting Nationwide Standards.

There will be the best of every variety including Bristol and London shunbunkins, Veiltails, Broadtail moors, Orandas and Japanese rarities like Tosakin.

Benching of fish goes on until 12:00 midday, then there is an auction at 1pm, giving visitors the chance to buy up rare varieties and tap into some exclusive bloodlines.

The fish display will open back up in the afternoon at 2.30-3pm onwards for visitors to see which fish won and for their owners to receive their awards.

The event is being held at the usual venue, West Orchard Church Hall, Coventry, CV3 6FP.

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UK's largest multi-pet event is looking for aquatic displays

The Pet Show takes place on July 20-21 at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire and they've got in touch with PFK to ask for help.

The show is going to have nearly 200 stalls and exhibition stands, according to the organisers, but what they really need is some aquatic stands and displays.

That's where you come in, because the event needs an aquatic section, and the organisers are offering free stand space to get you there.

You could be a group of hobbyists, a club or society or an aquatic shop or company. What they need is for you to set up some great looking wet displays or even a whole stand, and promote fishkeeping to the thousands of pet loving visitors.

You can even sell your goods or services, just not livestock.

Interested? Want to up your public profile and even sell a few bits at the same time, or recruit new members? Get in touch with

Why not take out a subscription to Practical Fishkeeping magazine? See our latest subscription offer.

Don't forget that PFK is now available to download on the iPad.