Maidenhead Aquatics/Fishkeeper

hypnogogia

Member
Joined
6 Apr 2017
Messages
594
Location
Oxfordshire
I remember when Maidenhead Aquatics was just a single shop near the centre of Maidenhead. I’m probably going back to some time in the eighties. They were nothing short of a revelation; in those days, most aquatic shops were pretty dire, and MA were the first shop to have a pretty high-tech centralised filtration system serving the whole shop, and the quality and health of their fish was amazingly good.

Then a few years later they opened an outlet in Bourne End garden centre, which I presume was their first franchise. Again, the model was the same: a centralised filtration system with excellent health and quality. And the business has grown exponentially, to the point where it’s almost difficult to find an aquatic shop that isn’t a branch of MA.

I personally think it’s easy to forget how bad most aquatic shops were back in those early days, and I really believe that MA are responsible for revolutionising the quality that we now expect from all aquatic stores, who have had no choice but to up their game. It’s certainly true that there has been some dilution of the quality that defined those first few outlets, but I think that’s inevitable.

It’s easy to criticise, but I really believe we should thank MA for raising the standards and the expectations for aquatic shops in this country.
I agree. I also remember the Maidenhead one (it was on King Street) and then the first one in Bourne End, which seemed like an aquatic superstore at the time.
 

rubadudbdub

Member
Joined
27 Oct 2015
Messages
130
I recently visited a MA coming from Daventry towards Rugby. It was very well looked after, clean tanks and healthy fish. Not sure if it's a new shop. Its mainly marine focussed with loads of frags and soft coral plugs.

For tropicals the fish selection was much better than others I've visited, staff were helpful and enthusiastic. They had 4-5 types of killies. Some amphyosemion spp, notobrachius sp and epiplatys annulatus. Some nice Corys, including scleromystax barbatus. Only downside were prices, which were on the steeper side and slightly limited plant selection. Although I'm not sure if this is a current trend elsewhere with freight costs increasing. Its a cut above your average MA and worth a visit, especially if you like marines.
 

Luketendo

Member
Joined
25 Feb 2008
Messages
632
Location
Australia
Any Maidenhead Aquatics is probably better than the one aquarium shop we have in Townsville Australia. Would probably never by dry goods in store since better to buy online. You can get good fish but Maidenhead is bigger and has more choice etc. Plants not great but I think that is more of an Australia problem in general.
 

Oldguy

Member
Joined
27 Aug 2018
Messages
383
Location
Gloucestershire, UK
It really does depend on branch and the staff. I have none local to me but I call in if passing. Found plant quality very variable but have recently bought some lovely plants both for my tank and for a indoor mini bog garden and patio bucket ponds. Have in the past negotiated price reductions on fish. Always appear to have different staff, but I am a very infrequent visitor.

Prefer to buy from micro/hobby businesses if they can be found. Hardware and dry goods I buy on line. However I seldom buy; fish swim, plants grow and I change the water.
 
Joined
30 Aug 2020
Messages
128
Location
Bristol
Being from Leeds - Maidenhead aquatics (Tong) is all I seem to have locally, I wouldn't mind an hours drive if anyone knows of anywhere really good! I did like the place. Staff we're nice but all just young people I didn't think any of them would be gurus but they could answer beginner basics.

Tanks and displays looked good.

I didn't mind paying the extra over buying online to get the shop experience, as said above nowt beats a trip out to buy fish, I make a day of it! Especially for live stock, posting them still doesn't seem right to me!

Suppose each location will be as good or bad as the people running it, cant tar them all with the rude staff brush.
pop into https://oceancoralsandreptiles.co.uk/gallery/ next time your near York
 

nigel bentley

Member
Joined
20 Oct 2019
Messages
96
Location
Wallington
I have been buying my livestock from Pets at Home in Waddon and they are always in good condition. Maidenhead are expensive I find and apart from a couple of guys not very helpful.

But for me the doyen of aquatic shops is Lynwoods, just of the A3. Good old fashioned family owned shop, plenty of fish varieties, service is second to none!

This sort of shop are becoming a rarity in my opinion
 
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