Tropical Fish & Aquaria

The Corydoras Catfish

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The Corydoras Catfish

There are many different species of Corydoras available, all of which have great a character and make a fascinating addition to any tropical community aquarium. They originate from the river basins of South America, although most are now captive bred.

They are a fish that naturally swims in schools and therefore, are best kept in groups three is a good number. They are bottom dwellers and will happily spend their time keeping the bottom of the aquarium clean while they search for food. Corydoras are very peaceful and undemanding.

There are many types available which vary greatly in size, from the tiny Corydoras pygmaeus at 2.5cm to the much larger Corydoras barbatus which reaches 12cm. Although many of the more commonly kept species such as the bronze catfish C.aeneus, or peppered catfish C.paleatus typically reach a size of approx 7cm.

A natural aquarium set up with a silver sand or fine gravel substrate, a few plants and some bogwood would be ideal for these cheerful little fish. They will accept most foodstuffs, although be sure to include some sinking catfish pellets or bloodworm in their diet.

The Bosemani Rainbow

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The Bosemani Rainbow

The Bosemani Rainbow fish makes a stunning addition to a community tropical aquarium.

The males will exhibit a striking colour of half purple and half orange, which certainly makes them stand out from the crowd! Although it may take up to twelve months for their full splendid colouration to develop.

They are a peaceful and active schooling fish. They will grow to 8-10 cm and require a tank size of at least 90 cm  Ideal water conditions would be a ph of 7 and a gh of 8-15 degrees.

Tropical flake food is widely accepted, although they will benefit from the addition of live food. Tetra Pro Colour will also enhance their vivid colour.

A planted aquarium with open areas of swimming space will create a spectacular effect.

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Aquarium Lighting

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Aquarium Lighting

Get the best from your fish and plant by keeping up with your light maintenance.

Fish and plants need good quality lighting so keeping the tubes clean helps more light penetrate through the water. Adding reflectors will give up to 50% more light penetration, and also the age of the tubes plays an important role – after twelve months the output of the light tubes will have been reduced by ninety percent so they need to be replaced.

Adding the right lighting combination will enhance your fish and plants – a colour corrected “pink” tube at the front and a white tube at the rear will give a balanced spectrum for everything.

You may even consider changing your lighting to the new style led lighting, while the initial expense may seem high, the fact that no replacement tubes for ten years and the lower running costs may be much more appealing.

So come and see us when it’s time replace your lights – and if they don’t need replacing yet, then why not ask us if they can be improved easily!

Tropical Plants

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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.

The Cherry Barb

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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?