Directions: Off the A46 and into birstall village.
What they offer or specialise in: Tropica Plants, tropica substrate, tropica ferts
Over all verdict of the shop: The only shop I know that has Tropica plants on display and carry good stock. For personalised orders they order on a monday and stock arrives on a thursday. Online orders also available.
Off Outer Circle Road (road next to Charles Warner) Lincoln
Last time I went in there was a year ago and it had only just opened. basically a bare shop with tanks of fish and supplies.
Went in yesterday (I live near there now) and they have Tropica plants galore and said if I asked them on Fridays they could order what I wanted. Yippee. Bought some more Wendtii Green (that were suffering crypt rot) as the owner said I could have them for Â£1.50 each. Bargain
Shop looks good now too. Great selection from Marine to Brackish to Freshwater. Planted Tanks. Good Selection of natural decor (wood/rocks)
The stunning bit for me was watching the seahorse for half an hour (and I hate the look of marine tanks. lol)
It's only new, but appears to have good beginnings. The wood they had was amazing - large branchy bits that would have filled my 200 litre tank. Also Aquascaping rock, and planty products.
The selection fo fish was amazing too - plenty of fish suitable for nano aquariums, like ember tetras, boraras brigittae and other boraras. Staff are friendly and very knowledgable (for the cory enthusiasts, Ian Fuller works there and there were probably about 20 varieties of cory on show).
Visited Birstall Garden centre and Maidenhead aquatics Stapleton (Nr Hinckley) this weekend.
Spoke to one of the staff and told him about UKAPS. Mentioned about having some flyers in the shop. He seemed quite interested, so hopefully he'll be visiting the site/forum shortly and helping to promote UKAPS in the store.
They have Tropica PN, PN+ & substrate in store and will be keeping it in stock. Didn't see anything in the way of pressurised CO2 though.
Not much in the way of drift/bog wood. A selection of 'coloured' mopani wood, stained with various shades of red, blue and green
Maidenhead Aquatics Stapleton:
One of the staff commented that they are going to be stocking a wider range of JBL plant products, including substrate and ferts.
I'll need to go back there in a week or so to swap some CO2 bottles over, so I'll drop them in a few UKAPS flyers.
A limited amount of drift/bog wood and rocks. I think they are expecting more in soon.
Location: Dukeries Garden Centre, Welbeck, Worksop, Nottinghamshire, S80 3LW
What they offer or specialise in: Aquarium plants & African Cichlids
Over all verdict of the shop:
An excellent shop with very friendly & helpful staff, they will not sell you anything if the plant or fish requires anything like an aggressive fish... I would definatley reccomend this place.
This is probably the best fish shop I have visited, I have been on several occasions now with Jo, each time Iâ€™m more and more impressed with the selection of fish and dedication of the staff to help and deliver the service we all want.
Onsite tank making facilities are stunning, we were lucky enough to get a show round of this to look at where they make all the tanks and cabinets, some of the stuff is breathtaking, quality is second to none.
Marine and coldwater have dedicated rooms to each, I donâ€™t know much about these, but the tanks are always clean and stocked with what looks like healthy fish.
Dry goods, they have a wide range of filters, heaters etc, etc for all budgets, from the cheapest sponge filter to the top end Ehiems etc. Great range of foods including live and frozen, plenty of variety on the dry foods side too.
Plants are generally ok, but Iâ€™m generally unimpressed with the quality, sell non aquatic plants too.
Tropical fish, many day to day fish, massive selection of Mbuna and Tangs. Oddballs will literally pop your eyes out with an impressive selection, including a massive 1500gal(i think) show tank full of big tankbuster fish. Great selection of South American cichlids and plecs including some rarer specimens. Ricahrd is the main tropical man, his knowledge is huge and doesn't mind taking the time to talk to customers about their fish selection and when he gets it wrong he is happy to learn something new
All together a pretty great place, tropical section is being overhauled soon, I got to see some of the new MASSIVE corner tanks being made
As they haven't been listed yet, and it's the only store in my area I can reach (public transport, on foot or by taxi):-
Hollybush Garden Centre and Aquatics
500 yards from J11 of the M6, on the A462.
Plants: frankly they are rubbish for plants, mainly as the tanks they keep them in are poorly lit so the plants all look half dead, they also sell a lot of plants that aren't true aquatics, like dracena. Annoying really as the same plants are in pots in their house plant section.
Equipment: A good selection, including some very nice tanks. Some of their prices seem a little high, but this is compared to internet prices.
FIsh: A good range of livestock, including a coldwater section (including Axlotls), rift lake cichlid section, marine and invertebrate section and of late they have also been stocking quite a few different kinds of freshwater invertebrate, including cherry shrimp, long claw shrimp and bamboo filter shrimp. The livestock I have purchased from here has always been very healthy, and thrived in my aquarium, including my powder blue dwarf gourami. They quarantine all new arrivals in situ.
If you have kids, the miniature train ride is fun, but if you are as big as me (6'5" tall and weigh about 19 stone) it becomes more of a thrill ride as you feel like it's going to tip over at any second. The staff are the usual mix of people who have never even kept a goldfish, and people who can guess what you are doing just from looking at what you are buying. They tend not to give dodgy advice though, I was present once when they refused to sell angelfish to a lady who was also buying small neon tetras.
In summary: For livestock they are great, for equipment they are ok, for plants you'd do better going elsewhere.
I have and to be honest, while the place is big I think they have gone downhill. For such a large place they do not have the level of equipment that one would expect for specialising i.e the planted tank, where is their t5 tubes? actually I think they may have started to stock the Hagens.
The biggest criticism i have is some of the staff they employ, people who seem to have very little knowledge. Not all off them, but some i have been served by people who were well below par. I understand it could be difficult to get the staff, but aquatics outlets are supposed to be professional (IMO) not Tescos.
Maidenhead Aquatics(Earlswood)have got it much better, they actually employ people who know thier stuff and and the store is well presented and stocked.
I tend to go to Coventry Aquatics largley for my euipment, the people there are dedicated and very competitive on price. The livestock is limited compared to Shirely or Maidenhead outlets.
I am disappointed with Shirely aquatics(the main branch), find it a bit shoddy at the moment, when it could be an excellent place.