Refit over? Not quite. As usual a number of misshaps delayed the progress. Let’s start with the good news. We have a new marine section! Unfortunately the new marine racks aren’t working and all the fish and inverts are still in the old racks but hey, you can’t have everything I guess. So the factory have produced the pipework to one of the racks wrong so they don’t fit in one of two systems. The main pump of the other system has been installed incorrectly, a bit too much hose between the return pump and the UV steriliser meant that the hose has bent, and he apparently forgot to fix the UV steriliser to the back of the rack because it was lying on the floor behind the sump when he left. If you want a job well done, do it yourself and that is exactly what we are going to do tomorrow morning.
On a more positive note, the plant tank has been emptied, moved and refilled and we have the new coral table running. I say new… This tank started out as the humble plant tank, then graduated to become the Goldfish tank. Now it’s taken another huge promotion as the new coral tank. It will probably be Prime Minister in a few years!
To make room for the new marine racks we had to remove the old coral tank last night. To remove any 7 foot tank made out of half inch thick glass and cabinet is never a joke. Add a 5 foot sump and the grime and dirt that comes with a marine system that stood for 6 years… It’s a nightmare. We had to empty the tank for rocks, corals, hermits, snails and fish, then the water of course. We saved as much water as possible in buckets and tubs and spread them out out in every available spot overnight. Once the tank was empty we tried to dismantle it, but the pipework that had been siliconed together was not willing to move. As the pipework was attached to the main tank and went straight through the cabinet in to the sump we decided to cut the pipework but we still had to lift the tank to a considerable height before it detached from the cabinet. Ryan, Stuart, Rab, Joe, John and myself all agreed that it was heavy!
Once the tank and cabinet had been separated we moved on to get the tank out of the door. It took six of us to get it out. Stuart and Ryan took the heaviest short sides with the rest of us helping on the long sides. This went quite well until we hit the doorway. As the 2 young slim ones was on the short sides, it turned out that I was the only person slim enough to slide myself through the door along with the tank.
By the time we came out it was only 3 of us left holding it for a few VERY scary seconds. Thankfully that part of it ended successfully, although I’m not quite sure why. I credit Stuart and Ryan.
Next came the cabinet which was considerably lighter and I let the boys get on with it whilst I started preparing the external filters for the new coral table. Minutes later Stuart comes over asking if the cichlid tank at the entrance had been there when the cabinet first arrived. My blood started freezing to ice as I knew perfectly well it hadn’t. The cichlid tank stops us from opening the door completely and that single centimeter would come to haunt us for hours. The first solution was to get the door off. Rab went home and got the tools, but when he came back it turned out that the screws were… screwed! They were worn out and would not turn no matter what we tried. We tried to dismantle the cabinet. Every screw came out but it had been siliconed together. After a lot of carrying about we finally got the bottom off. That was surely the centimeter we needed? NOT! It ended up with basically having to rip the cabinet by force into several pieces. At one point I considered taking it out through the window, even though the window doesn’t open!
The full system finally left the shop around 9pm, and we were hours behind schedule. By the time we had cleared the space for the marine racks that was due this morning, moved the plant tank in to its final destination and refilled it with 700 liters of water and set up the new coral table it was well after midnight. We were actually finished just before midnight, but obviously we had to have the traditional refit leak when the inlet hose fell off the plant tank and much of the 700 liters we had just filled started to overflow the sump. We have had bigger leaks, and this one was contained very quickly but even so, it’s never been my favourite pastime at midnight!
This morning we were back, some of us fresher than others. lol. The marine racks arrived around noon and there wasn’t too much we could do whilst they were being installed, except helping installing them as the guy turned up alone and this is not a one man job. It was around 7 before he had finished and I have already explained the result above… Och aye.
So tomorrow we open our doors to the public again but if you decide to pay us a visit be aware that this is a work in progress. Most of the fish are still to be moved, a process we cannot start until the new racks are running. The movement of tanks have made certain blemishes very obvious and a good sanding and paintwork is required in a few places. One of the main features of this refit would be the planned canopy above the counter. This was meant to give us more space for drygoods as we just lost several shelf metres to the new racks and new position of the plant tank. This canopy is still to be built. Even though we have been planning this refit since December it took the manufacturer of the new tanks until last Friday to give us an installation date. By that time, the joiner is obviously booked and all our plans went down the drain. Instead it will be a longer process, probably lasting a couple to a few weeks but we aim to remain fully open throughout the rest of it.
Then there will be a party and you are invited. We didn’t celebrate our 5th birthday nor our 6th a couple of weeks back so we are making up for it once the refit is finished. Watch this space.
In the meantime,
I’m off to rehab.
We are closing for our final refit Tuesday 14th & Wednesday 15th March. During these days all sales of livestock will be suspended and there will be no entry to the shop. We will instead run a kiosk service for dry goods by the door.
I say final, because when we opened the shop, just over 6 years ago, it felt like we had unlimited space and we were scratching our heads, thinking how will we ever be able to fill the space. Back then we had 5 banks of fish tanks, the original 5ft plant tank that later became the common goldfish/axolotl tank, and 2 x 50cm cube tanks that were used for Goldfish at first, now used for live rock. A few months later came the 7ft coral tank, and roughly a year and a bit after we opened we had the first large refit. That gave us 2 more banks, the 6ft plant tank, the 5ft cichlid tank at the entrance and the Crystal Palace that has been housing our fancy goldfish until now. Within months the last of the space had been used up, so now we had to think differently. We were considering removing the false ceiling and installing a mezzanine to display dry goods and aquariums but in the end we lacked 3-4 inches under the ceiling to be able to make this a feasible solution. What we came up with in the end are still big changes and we are really excited about the new floor plan.
First of all, we are getting a brand new marine section. The 7ft coral tank is going and in it’s place we are getting 2 brand new fish racks for marine fish which will bring the total number of banks to 9. The plant tank will be moved the other way so that it faces the entrance side of the shop, and in its place will be the 2 live rock tanks and a different smaller coral table. The 7 footer just took too much space and the new table will be able to host as many, if not more corals than the old one. With that we should be left with more floorspace in the marine section, by moving the live rock tanks and take away the bottle neck they create.
The old marine racks, Rack 6 and 7 will be converted to freshwater and Rack 1 will be converted to coldwater. All goldfish will be gathered in one space, also with room for temperate fish, so no need anymore to look for the handwritten T’s on the labels. This will make Crystal Palace our new fish hotel. We are currently struggling to deal with certain larger fish that’s grown out of customers tanks. That’s now history, we should be able to take in pretty much anything after the refit.
Finally we are getting a canopy above the counter built within the next few weeks. The counter will have kind of a bar look, and at the top of it we will display empty aquariums that will free up some floor space so that we can stock more decorations, rocks and wood.
The aquatic systems will be stocked like this after the refit:
Rack 1 – Coldwater and Temperate Fish
Rack 2 – Community Fish
Rack 3 – Livebearers, Odd balls and Turtles
Rack 4 – Fish from Oceania
Rack 5 – African Cichlids
Rack 6 – American Cichlids
Rack 7 – Fish from the Amazon
Rack 8 – Marine Fish & Inverts
Rack 9 – Marine Fish
I shall try and update on our progress on a daily basis, whilst the work starts tomorrow evening.
July is fast approaching, schools are off already… It’s time for us to slow down too.
The new opening hours are:
Our summer opening starts Tuesday 30th June and will last until the school holidays are finished in August.
Everyone is welcome to our 4th birthday party this coming weekend Friday 6th-Sunday 8th March.
There will be cake and balloons, special offers and competitions. We are giving away a Fluval Chi in our adult competition and a Finding Nemo tank for the childrens colouring in contest.
We also have a surprise for you. Our new staff uniforms will be revealed… We are not saying anything more than that right now, but we are very proud to wear them!!
SPECIAL OFFERS. Available from Friday 6th to Sunday 8th.
We are offering Vision open top nano tanks with built in filtration and LED lighting. Was £59.99. NOW ONLY £29.99!
We have special offers on livestock too. We have pulled in a few favours from our suppliers and can therefore offer some very special prices for our birthday. How about Cardinal Tetras for only £1 ea?! Yes, it’s true, it’s a One Pound fish. (Max 6 per household) Or Male Guppies for only £1.50. (Max 6 per household) Swordtails are also reduced from £2.25 to £1.50. (Max 4 per household)
We have some amazing longfin Angels Normally £8.99 but this weekend only £4.99. (Max 2 per household) And no less than 5 different types and sizes of Bristlenose Plecs at very good value prices.
Ever fancied a cichlid tank? This weekend is a great opportunity to get started with our amazing offer of assorted colourful Malawi Cichlids (2”) for only £2.99 each. (Max 4 per household) Also 1.25” Lombardoi aka Kenyi Cichlids Only £2.99. (Max 3 per household) Usually retails for £8-9.
Frozen foods normally £2.50. NOW ONLY £1.50!
Free R/O water with any purchase above £5. (Max 50l. per household)
As you see, many reasons to join in the festivities this weekend. We’ll see you here!
Welcome to Halloween at Aqua Parade!
We have cobwebs and pumpkins and some really cool stuff in. How about Vampire Crabs, Dracula Plec, Ghost Knife Fish, Ghost Glass Cats, Black Mollys and Swordtails, Blood Parrots & Red Devils, not too mention our resident terrors!!
As promised we are doing a sale starting today and lasts as long as stock lasts. No, we are not closing down, merely changing the livestock selection.
The discounts are continuing to increase day by day, with 10% off all livestock Friday, 20% on Saturday, 30% on Sunday, and we will continue the sale until Tuesday next week.
That’s not all. some species we want to clear will be up at 90% and we are aiming to have some of these offers at all time through the sale. Look for the yellow stars
We are also getting rid of the Aqua Qubic XL with stand that is currently displayed in our window. Raffle tickets are a quid a shot, the draw is happening Tuesday evening.
Any discount can not be used in conjunction with any other offer, however, Aqua Proud vouchers will be honoured.
The idea of entering Glasgow’s east end may seem scary during the games, but this is the information we have received from the Council.
Cumbernauld Road where we are situated and every access point to M8 and M80 will remain unaffected during the games, with the exception of the following dates:
23rd July, Opening Ceremony at Celtic Park 8pm, expect normal football traffic during late afternoon.
31st July, Bycycle race, the route passes us, the road is closed from 3am until midnight, so we have decided to close the shop on this day.
In addition there will be no parking allowed on Cumbernauld Road from the 29th July-30th July, but there should be ample parking options in the side streets.
All other times we should remain unaffected. If still in doubt, remember Alexandra Parade train station is just a 2 minutes walk from the shop.
Here, we go. The east end of Glasgow is ready to welcome the world. Good luck to the athletes. Good luck Glasgow!
So it all begin, albeit with a slight head start. At closing time Monday all four of us was in and started draining systems so that we could (in theory) start moving livestock Tuesday Morning. The most entertaining aspects of the evening must have been the revelation of Big Bad Butch Steve’s complete irrational phobia (which I will take great pleasure in sharing with you all a little bit later), and Helen’s accident in one of the coral tables where she “dipped” a certain body part long enough to now enjoy the title of Miss Wet Aqua Parade T-Shirt 2014.
The sad look of drained tanks, and the shop freezer doubling as staff comfort provider.
The draining of the 2 systems went quite well, with the shop’s floor, for a short period having just over a ton less weight on it’s shoulders.. eh.. Floor boards! The cleaning of 2 years worth of coralline algae before refilling the systems took slightly longer…
Steven was suffering from, according to him, the well known condition “Dayafterworldcupfinalitis”, and retired shamefully at 8.45, but in fairness he had been in since 9.30 and done very welll, with the exception of the star fish… I’m not too shamed to admit that I am no fan of anything with more than 4 legs. That goes for aquatic creatures as well and lobsters and especially crabs remind me a bit too much of spiders for me to handle them with any kind of confidence. This to Steven’s great amusement and my subsequent ridicule. Until now… So as Steven was draining one of the marine systems, one final inhabitant had to be moved. A brittle star fish. All we heard was a sudden “Oh No! I can’t deal with this. Someone else need to bag it. I can’t touch it. Oh it moves its legs. Yuk!”
At 9pm John, Helen and I called a kebab which was like knock in Solar Plexus and sent us all into a dreamlike state which made the rest of the refilling more of a nightmare. 10pm was all we managed, we took the dogs and walked home. Tired, but very relieved that Refit 2 – The Sequel, finally was underway…
Easter is upon us and Aqua Parade is open every day:
Good Friday 11.00-16.30
Easter Saturday 10.00-17.30
Easter Sunday 11.00-16.30
Easter Monday 11.00-17.30
Throughout Easter we will be running the following offers:
80 Aqua Proud bonus points on purchases above £40!
(That gives you a £5 voucher immediately)
Half Price on all Live Plants with compliments from Cichlid Steve
Half Price on Frozen Food. That’s only £1.25 ea!
Fill up your cans with free R/O water when making a purchase of £20 or more.
Let us also take the opportunity to wish you all a very Happy Easter from the whole team in Aqua Parade,
John, Steven, Helen & Chris
A huge thank you to everyone who attended our birthday weekend celebrations.
Here is the correct answers to the quiz.
1. The river crossing almost an entire continent is the world’s longest and although the next world cup and olympics are in Brazil, the correct answer is the Amazon.
2. Nemo’s father is called Marlin.
3. Nauplii is to Brineshrimp, what Cyclops is to… Daphnia!
4. A PH below 7.0 is not alkaline. It’s acidic. Most got this one wrong.
5. The 3 largest African rift lakes are Lake Malawi, Lake Tanganyika & Lake Victoria. This question scored 3 points.
6. From Ammonia, to Nitrite and finally Nitrate. Most got this one right.
7. How many cm of fish can you add to a 54 l tank. This question was flawed as the answer changes depending on what type of fish you are keeping. With our apologies, we have decided to not reward any points to this question.
8. Polar bears does not eat penguins because they live on different continents.
9. A UK gallon is the same as 4.5 litres. We have accepted answers between 4 and 5 l.
10. The all female Swordtail tank that suddenly started producing babies and why? Swordtails have the ability to change sex if there are no males present.
11. Trick question. There’s always one. Artemia & Brineshrimp is exactly the same thing. No one got this right.
12. The world’s first artificial coral reef is currently being built in Dubai.
13. The killer whale that lives at Sea World Resort in Orlando is an actor who once played in Free Willy. That was not the answer. His name is Shamu.
14. There are many types of livebearers, but the most common are Platy, Molly, Guppy, Swordtail and Celebes.
15. Aqua Parade has just finished celebrating its 3rd birthday.
16. Carassius Auratus is the latin name for…. Goldfish!
17. It’s not sardines. It’s not mackerel. It’s the anchovy that gives Worcester sauce its unique taste.
18. Our Crystal Palace is cleaned quick and easy with the help of a simple algae magnet.
19. Out of a hundred customers that come to the shop, we estimate that 70% reached for the pound that is glued to the floor by the door. We have not awarded points for the last two questions.
And we have a winner. With only 2 mistakes is Brian McClure. Please pop in to the shop and get your gift voucher.
Then there was the “How much water in the bowl” competition. The answers ranged from half a liter to 250 liters. The correct answer was 8.4 liters and the person closest was Steven MacDonald who guessed 8.49 liters. Please pick up your gift voucher when you are next in store. Susan McDougall and Brian Clark both guessed 8 liters and there’s a goodie bag waiting for you in store.
Thank you everyone once again. Here we go, into our 4th year!
Aqua Parade is 3 years and we are celebrating with the theme “Under old management”. The business has always been changing, sometimes for the better but now time had come to go back to basics. We are thrilled to have the old team back in place and John, Helen, Steven and myself are ready to move Aqua Parade forward and into the next era of the shop that we hope will become a prosperous and happy one.
The birthday celebrations will be held on the weekend 7th-9th March and there are loads of things happening in store with competitons, a quiz and several seminars for those wishing to broaden their aquatic knowledge. You’ll find a list with the content of the seminars at the bottom of this page. Look out for special offers on tanks. There are a couple of amazing offers coming up as we need to clear some space. The prices on these items will come down almost by the hour during the weekend until they are sold. Follow this on facebook.
Also a brilliant time to join our new loyalty club Aqua Proud, unless you already have done so. We are giving away double points on everything all weekend!
Finally, of course as usual, there will be free cake with every purchase.
Friday 7th March
10.00-18.00 Shop open with extended opening hours and double Aqua Proud points on everything
Competitions and quiz gets going, cake sliced.
Saturday 8th March & Sunday 9th March
10.00-18.00 (Sunday close 17.00) Shop open with extended opening hours and double Aqua Proud points on everything
Competitions, quiz and free cake continue.
11.00 SEMINAR Live Food Production – An overview of the production techniques and uses of live feeds incl. Phytoplankton, Rotifers, Artemia and Copepods.
16.00 SEMINAR Basic Marine Keeping for beginners – We look at how to enter marine in an uncomplicated and easy to understand manner.
16.45 SEMINAR Fragging Soft Corals – Aims at giving an overview of fragging, incl. techniques and health & safety. Maybe even try fragging one yourself?
We hope to see you there. Welcome!