At Maidenhead Aquatics and Fishkeeper Scotland we stock a comprehensive range of “dry” goods such as our lovely exclusive AquaOak aquariums and Aquamanta filtration technology. Although these products among others are essential purchases for the avid fishkeeper we are well aware that what hobbyists get really excited about is good quality livestock at affordable prices.
We source our fish from around the world and have long standing relationships with many of our suppliers. These relationships are key to our success in bringing new varieties of fish to market before our competitors (see Golden Denisoni Barbs at Aquatics Live 2012) but more importantly allows us to have direct communication with the breeders and fish house managers rather than just dealing through an agent. It allows us to provide direct feedback – whether praise or constructive criticism so that only the best fish are supplied and packed with the greatest of care.
Last year we spent some time in the Czech Republic visiting dozens of small scale freshwater breeders and selecting those that offered the highest quality fish at the best prices. These fish are now being seen in our stores on a regular basis at lower prices to our customers than they were previously.
Over the next 10 days we are in South East Asia visiting breeders in Indonesia, Bali and Singapore, again searching for new varieties, better quality and better prices. We will be attempting to post regular updates of our trip with as many interesting images as possible. This will hopefully give you a snapshot of what you will get to see in our stores over the coming year and further helping you understand where the livestock in your aquarium comes from.
Singapore is a major hub location and benefits from being able to source and supply fish from all over South East Asia and beyond, regularly including new species as and when they are discovered. It is also the largest exporter of captive bred tropical freshwater fish in the world. We will be visiting six breeders here over 3 days.
In Indonesia we will find both freshwater and marine breeders as well as coral farms. The freshwater breeders are interesting in that they are investing large sums of money in expensive and hard to acquire species to build up broodstocks in order to supply more captive bred stock to the hobby at lower prices. We are for example hoping to see thousands of captive bred L046 Zebra Plecos ready for export along with hundreds of the priceless mature parents. For conservation reasons these fish have been banned for export from the wild for several years (they originate from the Rio Zingu in Brazil) however due to their desirability they have still been at risk of collection by unscrupulous individuals. By being able to supply ethically sourced and healthy stock we are helping to reduce the demand for wild stocks of these lovely fish. We will also get to see the Golden Denisoni Barbs we recently launched to the trade at source as well as many rare and unusual shrimps and invertebrates. The first handpicked LPS and Soft Corals will arrive in stores week commencing 19th November.
Bali is home to two of our favourite marine exporters who are both working hard towards working sustainably. Our fish supplier is producing a wide range of captive bred Clownfish among others and takes great care in the packing and transportation of their livestock. It will be interesting to see these fish at source and hopefully pick some of the best examples for our stores. We will also be visiting our cultured coral supplier who is doing great work growing both SPS and LPS hard coral varieties on artificial reefs whilst actively returning a percentage of what they farm back to the actual reefs themselves. We will be hand picking the best varieties and individual pieces to come back to our stores in two batches, first to arrive week commencing 26th November and the second the following week.
We look forward to providing you further updates over the next 10 days or so and hope you find them both useful and interesting.