Marine Feeding

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Marine Feeding

Feeding your marine fish should be an enjoyable part of the hobby – and you need to get it right!

All fish require a varied diet, and many small feeds are better than one or two large ones.

It is also very important to provide the correct food for the species of fish you’re feeding as some fish, when fed the wrong die,t will not live long and may ,show repeated signs of disease – for example Tang need algae in their diet and may suffer from repeated oodinium outbreaks if fed shrimp on a daily basis.

Brine Shrimp (Artemia)

Frozen brine shrimp is possibly the most used feed for marine fish but as an every day diet it is not very nutritious but new types of brine shrimp with additives fed or added to the shrimp before freezing have made this food much better.
We stock frozen Brine shrimp plus garlic, Brine shrimp plus omega 3 and Brine shrimp with spirulina all designed to balance the diet.


Fish like Tang’s, Angelfish etc need algae in their diet as a main source of food, these fish spend all day grazing the reef eating algae, their intestine is short compared to a fish that eats high protein diets that consist of other fish or shrimps, so when fed shrimp alone they have problems digesting this, which then leads to other problems like weight loss and diseases like oodinium (marine white spot) which is not easy to cure in a mixed reef system. Seaweed Select produce three types of marine algae all has been enhanced with garlic to aid better digestion.

Variety is the spice of life!

All fish need to have a varied diet so include different foods at each feed change, from brine shrimp to mysis shrimp or krill and don’t forget the benefit of a good marine flake food this has many extra vitamins added to promote longer and healthier lives.Remember, when using frozen fish food’s, to defrost it before feeding.The easiest way of doing this is to take a small cup of water from your aquarium and drop the portion of food in to defrost for a few minutes, then as you pour it into your aquarium it will disperse allowing all the fish to feed.


Corals need feeding as well, some benefit from direct feeding with a pipette most are happy with a liquid food such as Marine snow or Phyto plankton, feed sparingly so as not to build up a high nitrate or phosphate reading.


Anemones need food, a feed of defrosted whole mussel or cockle every now and again possibly only once a fortnight. If you have clown fish hosting in an anemone give them a piece of food that is to large for them and they will push it into the anemone and it will feed itself. Remember that on the reef no one goes around shoving food in anemones so if you give them too much food they will regurgitate it later in the day and it will rot in the tank.


Lighting plays a part with food for corals and anemones, all these creatures have a symbiotic algae in them, it goes by the complicated name of Zooxanthellae algae, this algae needs to stay alive for the coral or anemone to stay alive so the correct lighting for a reef is a must, this will be a marine matter for the future.


The use of garlic cannot be under estimated, it helps with digestion and enhances the immune system of fish which in turn helps prevent disease.
Some foods come with garlic added to them but a garlic supplement is available to pre-soak foods before feeding.

All foods and additives are available from us in store where we can guide you to a happier aquarium.

Tropical Plants

Posted on by c4devadmin in Tropical Fish & Aquaria, Tropical Plants Leave a comment

Tropical Plants

A well stocked planted aquarium is a stunning addition to any home or office. Aquascaping provides a real slice of nature which can bring a rewarding and interesting appeal to all fish keepers. Creating a planted aquarium is something that can be achieved by the experienced or the novice; here are our suggestions to help you to get the best results.


Plants need good lighting, you are not going to achieve good growth with only one tube, two is the minimum. T5 lighting is better than T8 and replace your tubes annually.

Fluorescent tubes lose 90% of their output in 12 month’s and here’s a little known fact, we as humans see the yellow mid point of the spectrum where as fish and plants see the blue and red ends of the spectrum, with this in mind tube manufacturers make tubes with a high peak in the yellow part of the spectrum so the light looks bright to us, so when the tubes are old we still think that they look bright when they may not be to the fish and plants.


Plants need fertilizer in the water; some plants absorb nutrients through the leaf and some through the roots so a liquid additive may not be suitable for all types of plant so a combination of liquids and tablets are best.

When setting up your aquarium it is advisable to use a plant substrate under the gravel this not only provides a better rooting media but some of the clay based ones hold onto plant additives and releases them over a longer period, also a substrate heater can be used to keep the root system warm and encourage better growth.


Co2 (carbon dioxide) is probably the most used extra piece of equipment that helps good plant growth, all plants require Co2 to enable them to grow and photosynthesize, there are many kits available, from the most simple yeast based reactors, to the easy to use injector system, to the full automated pressurized systems all at very different prices some give better results than others.

Water Conditions

Most plants do well in neutral water conditions but some plants like Cabomba and Limnophila species require softer water this is easily achieved by using a tap water and R.O mix to reduce the hardness. R.O is reverse osmosis water which is soft with no carbonates in. If you intend to soften your water, be sure to test your water with test kits regularly to maintain your optimum water conditions.

Whether you are setting up from scratch or making changes to an existing tank, with our regular deliveries of potted and bunched plants, we have all the inspiration you need to create a stunning display.

Pet Care at Christmas

Posted on by c4devadmin in General Pet Care Leave a comment

Pet Care at Christmas

The Christmas festivities can be a stressful time for pets, so here are some helpful dos and don’ts to make sure you all have a Merry Christmas!

  • Do remember to include your pet. With so many gift choices available, why not spoil them with a little something? Festive toys, treats and stockings are always well received; we even have empty stockings at only 50p each for you to fill with all your pets’ favourite things.
  • Don’t forget that all the Christmas excitement can be stressful for some pets. Pets should be allowed their own quiet space to retreat to away from all the fun and frolics.

  • Do try to stick to your regular routines for feeding, walking and grooming, this will allow your pet a sense of stability.

  • Don’t give your dog chocolate. Human chocolate can be toxic to dogs, even in small amounts. Be sure to keep any chocolate tree decorations well out of reach. Grapes, raisins and sultanas can also be very toxic, so Christmas cakes and Mince pies should also be kept out of paws reach. We all want to give in to temptation and spoil our pets, but any new or unusual foods may cause stomach upsets, so avoid dishing up turkey and all the trimmings! Most dogs will enjoy a raw carrot or apple piece to chomp on, otherwise stick to regular treats which always go down well.

  • Do enjoy spending extra time with your pets at this special time of year, a nice long walk followed by curling up in front of the fire – bliss.

The Cherry Barb

Posted on by c4devadmin in Tropical Fish, Tropical Fish & Aquaria Comments Off on The Cherry Barb

The Cherry Barb

This stunning little fish is often over looked because it belongs to the Barb family – and Barbs have a reputation for being fin nippers. This is very true of the Tiger Barb but most of the rest of the family make good community fish.

Community Fish

The Cherry Barb is a superb example of why this Barb should be included in any community aquarium.

It is a very colourful red fish with the male being much brighter red than the female, she is much more of an orange colour the photo shows the difference.

The male is a showy chap with his fins extended whenever a female is present, and he will spend all day trying to attract a mate.

How many?

Five or more make a good shoal but the more the better.


Cherry Barbs will eat almost any type of food; dry flakes, live foods like daphnia or blood worm and frozen foods of the same.

An easy to care for fish which makes no demands on water conditions – but it does require a mature aquarium that has had fish in for more than three weeks.

So why not include some in your aquarium?

Algae Growth in Marine Aquaria

Posted on by c4devadmin in Marine Aquaria, Marine Fish & Aquaria Leave a comment

Algae Growth in Marine Aquaria

This month’s topic is one that a lot of customers are asking us about – and that is algae growth in the aquarium.

The answer to this is not always simple – but there are a few simple checks that you can make to help find out the cause.


Nitrate should be as low as possible – but in our humble opinion not zero – some creatures, like anemones, clams and micro algae need nitrate to feed on and ultimately stay alive.


Phosphate should be as low as possible – and if you can achieve it, zero.


Check the calcium level – it should stay at 420 ppm and remain stable, if it fluctuates this can cause problems.


Ph must also remain stable at 8.2.

Weekly tests are a must – but let’s be honest, do we all do this? Most of the time the readings are correct – but the time we don’t test is when problems occur.

A quick tip – if your test kits are over six months old the reagents will have oxidized and will not give correct readings.


Maintenance is the key – when we keep tropical aquaria we use a gravel cleaner and keep the substrate spotless. Most marine keepers don’t use this but it is a great tool for getting muck out of the sand and always pay attention to those dead spots.

If you have never used one before, you’ll be surprised at how much fine brown dust comes out of the sand – particularly next to the live rock, this mulm is a major cause of phosphate.

So clean the tank, do a 10% water change weekly, clean your filter (in water taken from the tank to preserve the bacteria) and keep your protein skimmer clean to maximise its efficiency.

If you need to, add nitrate removers like Seachem’s de-nitrate and change it regularly. For high phosphate use Phosguard or Rowaphos – these are best used in reactors but work well in filters.

Turbo snails will keep algae down – and for tanks that have a lot of algae, particularly hairy growths, a sea hare is a super addition to the aquarium – not the prettiest thing in the world (see picture) but it will demolish algae!


Lighting also plays a part, fluorescent tubes last twelve months after this time they have lost 90% of their output!

Although they still look bright to us, they aren’t to the creatures in your aquarium. Old light tubes give the wrong spectrum of light and will lead to excessive algae growth.

Leave your lights on for eight to ten hours daily.

With a little extra care we all can have a happy aquarium!

Winter care for Small Animals

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Keep your furry friends warm in winter

As winter approaches, and the freezing temperatures are already making an appearance, it’s time to prepare your hutches to ensure your rabbits and guinea pigs stay warm.

The easiest solution is of course to bring your pets in for the winter; there are many different sizes of suitable indoor cages available.


If it is not possible to move them inside, it is essential to provide a good supply of fresh, clean and warm bedding and to replenish it regularly. It’s a good idea to cover the hutch at night to keep out the cold and wet weather – you can use blankets, old carpet or hessian sacking for warmth but also use polythene or tarpaulin for protection against the rain – alternatively hutch covers are available.

Always remember to allow good ventilation.


You will need to keep a close eye on your pet’s water bottle, as these can freeze as the temperature drops, bottle covers are a great way of insulating them.

You will find it useful to keep a spare bottle to hand in case freezing causes the bottle to crack – bottles and bottle covers are available in store for that handy spare.

When the weather worsens and heavy frosts and snow arrive you should move your hutch into a shed to give further protection from the cold temperatures.


Your pets will still need to have plenty of exercise as well as regular “cuddle” time – don’t let them miss out because you don’t want to be out in the cold, bring them in for some fun and fussing!

We have everything you need to keep your furry friends cosy in winter, so visit us today to stock up on your essential supplies!

Winter Pond Preparation

Posted on by c4devadmin in Pond Care, Ponds Leave a comment

Prepare your pond for winter

November’s cooler weather means that now is the time to prepare your pond for it’s winter sleep – here’s a list of jobs to help make the most of your pond.


Pond plants will need trimming back and this is a good opportunity to re-pot or split existing plants – replacing damaged mesh pots as necessary.

Use new aquatic compost and hessian liners to re-pot plants that have outgrown existing pots or to pot up new or divided plants – add aquatic fertilizer at the same time to give plants a boost in the spring then top off with clean gravel and place pots carefully back into the pond.


Falling leaves can be a problem over winter – so removing this decaying matter is a necessary job.

You could use a fine net to scoop the leaves – although this can be a cold, wet and messy job and you may end up with cloudy water as you are disturbing other waste at the bottom of the pond – and take care not to overload the net as it may put a strain on the net handle.

A much easier and cleaner method of removal is to use a pond vac. This also refreshes the pond by performing a partial water change at the same time – remember to add tap water chlorine remover to any new tap water used.

We stock a range of products – including the Hozelock Pond Vac – to help you keep your pond in tip top condition.

Filters and Pumps

Clean your pond filter and pump so it performs well over the winter – no one wants to put their hands in freezing cold water in the middle of winter to fish out a pump that has stopped.

Remember to use water from the pond to do this so that the beneficial bacteria are not disturbed.


Fish need less food in the colder months, the type of food is governed by the water temperature.

  • Above 10 degrees Celsius feed normally.
  • Between 5 and 10 degrees Celsius feed wheatgerm foods sparingly.
  • Below 5 degrees stop feeding completely as fish will not be able to digest the food.

It is a good idea to have a pond thermometer in your pond as the water may be cooler than the air temperature – and remember that it’s usually cooler in the mornings and late evenings.

We stock everything you need to make the most of your pond – so come see us soon to pick up any supplies you need to carry out these tasks before it gets too cold!