The new edition of Practical Fishkeeping arrived with subscribers today and will be available in the shops from Boxing Day. We at Aqua Parade are thrilled that we are featured in the magazine’s famous “Shop Tour” section. In all 3 different Glasgow aquariums was visited by Practical Fishkeeping’s Nathan Hill, one of Britain’s most respected aquarists and he writes the following verdict about us:
“This is quirky, friendly, has great staff, great stock and plenty of dry goods. I’m sold on Aqua Parade and would be a regular shopper here if I lived closer.”
The review reads:
“Aqua Parade is one of the most welcoming stores you’ll visit, being filled with passionate aquarists who adore talking shop. There are a few staff, each with a specialisation, and the more I threw probing questions out there, the more I felt they really knew their stuff.
The site is only 22 months old, but has all the nice touches I expect from older stores. It has definitely found its feet.
I particularly liked the self-indulgent ‘Crystal Palace’ display for goldfish that you simply cannot miss. Yes, it might not be the most practical display in the world but I’m not maintaining it so it looks just the part.
I like the way that the livestock is sectioned loosely according to region, with an Amazonian section, Oceania, and so on. For someone interested in keeping things more specific, this is a great help. I quite liked the one bank of Oddball fish which, although not extreme, certainly had pieces to keep the unusal stocker happy. Scats, Polypterus and puffers map out just a few fish on sale here. I also liked the approach to labelling, which involved a traffic light system that clearly indicates aggression levels and compatibility of fish.
The store is not massive, but had a huge customer presence during my visit, which is always a superb sign. Marine are at the rear of the store and I’m told that the area is expanding soon. Currently, 10 tanks hold a nice mix of fish each well stocked with easy to keep ‘community’ species. Inverts please the eye, with both softies and ard pieces on sale. Time meant light stocking on a few bits, but there were more than enough for the store to be seen as a serious invert supplier.
For the size of the shop the dry goods were really well thought out, with anything from sundries to tanks and cabinets on show somewhere. Marines seemed to have more than the lion’s share of shelf space and it was nice to see a complete range of goodies available.”
We who are involved with Aqua Parade are obviously thrilled by this glowing review. We are deeply grateful to Practical Fishkeeping for choosing to visit us and impressed by Nathan’s understanding of the shop, the business and what we have tried to achieve. There was definitely a bit of pride glowing inside all of us today, it is all very much a team effort and will continue to be so.
We now have regular customers ranging from Isle of Lewis and Nairn in the North to Peebles & Kendal in the south. From Dunoon & Oban in the west, to Edinburgh in the east. Stirling, Dundee, Falkirk, Livingston and indeed the entire Central Belt, and with many, many customers from Ayrshire. We are humbled that you choose us despite the distance. We would like to thank you, our customers, local or not, for standing by us from the beginning, for your return custom and supporting us through our growth to become one of the leading aquatic suppliers in the West of Scotland.
May we finally take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!
Please note the following changes in our opening hours during the festive season.
Christmas Eve: 10am-3pm
Christmas Day: Closed
Boxing Day: 11am-5.30pm
New Year Eve: 10am-3pm
New Years Day: Closed
2nd January: 11am-5.30pm
All other days open as normal.
I must share a recent dispute I’ve been having in the shop. If not for anything else, then for my own well being. They say it’s good to write things down.
A man starts coming into the shop early this summer. He’s a budding marine keeper that my co-workers show an unwillingness to deal with. I don’t pay much notice until he one day calls to say that we have high levels of nitrate in our R/O water and we have killed all his fish & corals. I ask him to bring in the R/O plus a sample of his tank water & his test kit to ensure all bases were covered. Whilst waiting I ran around the shop in a panic testing our R/O water and all saltwater tubs previously made up. All results came back negative.
The man entered and a cloud sank in store. It was like someone dimmed the lights. He was adament he was right & that he had tested correctly and his entire demeanour reflected this, both in front of myself and other customers. He looked a bit sheepish after I had tested his R/O with both mine and his test kit which both showed zero nitrates. His tank water however, was impossible to test accurately as the colour changed to max before all the drops were in the vial. He left as I said, rather sheepish looking. Soon after this he asked me for a trade. He’s given up the marine and was going back to freshwater as he couldn’t manage a marine tank. I gave him over £200 credit for his live rock and bits and pieces. The deal was very good, partly because I felt sorry for him and partly because I was worried he’d kick off in a discussion about price. The truth is he almost bit the hand off me and accepted the offer immediately. He was very pleased, couldn’t thank me or praise us enough. He had fallen out with his previous LFS and would defo use us from now on. And indeed, so he did, until the credit ran out. One of the items he bought during the summer was an external filter to the retail value of £99.99.
Sunday morning he entered the shop for the first time in months. He claimed his filter was leaking and he wasn’t happy. I started processing the return and before I had finished he had already threatened me the first time with his brother who allegedly works for Trading Standards. As I’m standing there trying to help him I find it extremely provocative to be threatened with Trading Standards before I have even explained what is going to happen. So I make it clear, “There’s no need to get uppety about Trading Standards as I can assure you that we’ll ensure you get everything within your rights.” The argument is now a fact and nothing I can offer will please him. I explain that there is a 10 day turnaround as the filter will be picked up on Wednesday and a replacement or repair will not be delivered until the following week. In the meantime I offer to lend him an identical filter which he could run with his own filter media. He refuses as he wants a new filter there and then and calls his Trading Standards brother. He proceeds to talk on the phone for several minutes and I on purpose left the room until he was finished. When he finally comes off it he tells me I am wrong and he is entitled to a brand new filter today.
I remember his previous antics, and decide to shut him up. I get a new filter, place it in front of him and I say “You will never be happy. No one has ever got better deals from this shop than you. Not because I have to, but for an easy life I’m now giving you a new filter, however we will not be able to provide any further service to you in the future. He says that’s fine and shouts a threat about online reviews before he leaves. First stop Facebook. He writes (from his female partners profile):
I can’ believe it. He’s still arguing even though walking away with a brand new filter.
He claims I’m refusing to replace at the same time as he’s admitting to getting a replacement.
He says he called Trading Standards, but on a Sunday morning?
He calls the shop owner “The lacky?”
We won’t see anymore of your money? You never spent anything except some cans of R/O water!
He’s still calling Trading Standards because of his receipt? A barefaced lie as I gave him his original receipt back! The one stating he didn’t pay by cash or card BTW, but by a credit!
which.co.uk writes regarding faulty items:
You have the right to get a faulty item replaced or repaired if it’s too late to reject it. (Usually within 3-4 weeks) You can ask the retailer to do either, but they can normally choose to do whatever would be cheapest.
Under the Sale of Goods Act, the retailer must either repair or replace the goods ‘within a reasonable time but without causing significant inconvenience’
I believe that we are more than standing up to these requirements. So I PM’d the Facebook profile, stating clearly that I’d welcome a call from his brother or indeed anyone else working for Trading Standards. I also explained that the comment had been deleted and threatened with legal action for his defamatory comments. And a few more choice words, most of which concerned his actual legal rights, but also how he quickly is running out of aquariums to go to. And oh yes, a link to the Trading Standards website…
So instead of having a happy day, where a bunch of happy customers came in to the shop, I have been walking around like a thunder cloud. Because of one single customer that can not be pleased and we have served 8000 customer by now. I haven’t tested his old filter. He claims that it’s leaking. I’m not sure you know. He couldn’t test for nitrates… If not, it’ll come out of my pocket, but he’s like L’Oreal – Worth it, if never ever to be seen again.
When I came home he had posted the following:
So I started this rant. You know what? It feels really good to have it down in black on white. If you are reading this I felt reassured enough after writing it, to click “Publish”…
Anyway, although out of the system, not so much out of mind. I now have to call our solicitor in the morning to start proceedings to stop him carrying on like this. Not to mention calling Trading Standards…
I don’t feel we/I deserve it. I don’t feel it’s justified. He could cause us damage. It must stop. Oh Joy!
I was considering whether to hide the name on the posts or not. It was the 2nd post that made up my mind. He is insistent to get his message out, and albeit I have once again deleted his review from the public view on Facebook, I have now given him his wish on our very own website. Contradictory to his claims, we’ve not been found out and we’ve got nothing to hide…
There’s been a hectic activity in the shop lately. The freshwater section was finished a few weeks ago with the new Crystal Palace tank for the goldfish. It was then finally the turn of the marine section to be finalised, and we are pretty much there.
Friday 9th November we are rebranding our marine section “The Reef Shop” at Aqua Parade and we are expecting the first shipment of SPS & LPS corals this week. There will be arrivals on Friday too so if you wish to be amongst the first to see what’s new, please leave it until after 1pm to allow us to acclimatise everything properly.
We also would like to introduce you to John.
John is 47 and started his aquatic hobbyist life catching frogs and newts in the local pond at the age of 8. Had his first garden pond when 9, which was full of frogs and newts. From there he took the same route as most of us. Had his first aquarium at the age of 19 and kept Guppies, Swordtails, Neons & Angels, then a second tank with Gouramis before getting interested in American Cichlids, then Malawis, and he went on to breed Peacock Cichlids. His first marine tank came when he was 27 and he’s been keeping a reef tank ever since (20 years). The last 3 years John seen a vast improvement in his success and now have a thriving mixed reef tank holding a metric tonne of water in the system. We welcome John to our team, we are excited to have him on board and confident he will be a huge asset for both the shop and its’ customers.
The Reef Shop takes up a substantial part of the shop floor and is positioned at the back of the store. It consist of:
120 gallon display tank, created to inspire.
10 Marine Fish tanks (soon to become 20!).
Poseidon – 7ft Natural reef display with soft corals
Neptune – 6ft SPS/LPS table with 12 Nano Tanks for invertebrates.
The latter is lit by the amazing Kessil A350, please ask for a demonstration in store. After several problems with this tank and numerous floodings we jokingly named it Nemesis. The problems are long gone, the water quality is exceptional after maturing for 6 months and Nemesis has changed into Neptune, the Roman God of the sea. We couldn’t leave the 7 footer unnamed and it’s been duly named Poseidon, after the Greek equivalent…
The dry goods selection is always growing and will continue to do so. Marine Snow, Frozen Lobster Eggs & Sea Weed feeding clips are some of the newcomers on our stock list. Anything you would like us to stock? Please let us know!
As any dedicated reef keeper will know, it takes time to create a flourishing reef. When opening Aqua Parade we had little idea of what we had in front of us. The problems were standing in queue, they multiplied often quicker than we managed to solve them and the only thing we could do, and indeed did was solving problems. The set backs were more than I care to remember but little by little we managed to get our heads above water, no pun intended.
The marine section is finished much later than we had hoped, but although arriving late, we are confident it now arrives good!
We have slightly adjusted our opening hours. Our new hours are:
Sunday & Bank Holidays* 11am-5.30pm
The new hours should be easier to remember and we’re looking forward to seeing you in store.
*We will remain closed 25th & 31st December.
Nt Labs have just launched Tropical Food Probiotic, the only Probiotic diet on the UK market for community tropical fish species. It’s not in the shops until next week, but you can try it already now for free as we give away free samples with every purchase. (As long as stocks last)
Probiotic reduce waste keeping your aquarium cleaner for longer.
Spirulina to enhance the colouration of your fish
Stimune’ to help maintain the immune system keeping your fish healthy
Krill Meal & Squid Meal to maximise palatability
These are slow sinking granules that feeds surface, mid-water and bottom feeding Tropical Fish, all at the same time, all from the same tub.
This page will be continously updated during the evening.
The last customers have left the shop and counts and draws are under way…
We are correcting quiz sheets at the moment The winner appears to have 12 correct answers…
1. What come first? Nitrite or Nitrate?
The answer is Nitrite
2. The common name for Cyrtocara Moori is Blue Dolphin Cichlid.
3. Labyrinth fish is species with labyrinth organs that need to access the surface to breath. Examples of such are Siamese fighting fish and Dwarf Gouramis.
4. Surgeon fish is also called Tang.
5. The teacher in Finding Nemo was a Sting Ray named Mr Ray.
6. A Puffer blows up when threatened.
7. There are 4.546 litres in every Imp. gallon. That means there’s 455 litres in 100 gallon. We have accepted any answer between 450 – 460 litres.
8. If only female livebearers are present in a tank one or more will develop male genitalia and actually turn male.
9. The general guideline for stocking a tropical tank is 1cm of fish per liter of water. No one had the correct answer. To avoid further confusion (or controversy): These guidelines changes for coldwater fish, pond fish, marine fish only, and marine reefs.
10. If you’re Nitrates are high it almost always is due to over feeding.
11. PH below 7.0 is considered acidic.
12. A reflector can increase the strenght of light by 100%.
13. R/O stands for Reverse Osmosis. A process where water is pushed through membranes, becomes completely saturated and pure.
14. White Spot is a parasite.
15. There are 3 great cichlid laskes in the African Rift valley. If you answered Victoria, Malawi or Tanganyika you are correct.
16. Anthia belong to a group called Wreck fish.
17. Ocean Rock will buffer you water, but to be correct you needed to say it increases the PH.
18. There are many venemous fish. Lionfish, Scorpion Fish, Cowfish, Boxfish, Stingrays, Puffers & Corydoras are some of them.
19. Discus should be kept at around 28 degrees celcius.
20. A fish only grows to the size of it’s tank. Yeah right! Thankfully everyone got this one right!!!
2nd runner up and receiving a goodie bag with 9 correct answers is:
Wei Hau Wong
Runner up with 10 correct answers was Neil Tennant. Goodie bag for you too.
Winners with 12 correct answers, obviously benefiting from having both children, marine & freshwater tanks in the house is: Frank & Linda. Congratulations on you Betta Nano tank.
All winners can pick up their prizes as of tomorrow.
Gaby, Morgan, Naomi, Emma, Amy Jo, Kyle & Morgan S. You have all been awarded with a SSPCA medal that can be picked up in store for your wonderful drawings that are decorating the shop.
The raffle draw is next. Stand by…
We are drawing 10th-4th place first. Prices are a goodie bag containing food, remedies, plant fertiliser etc.
The winners are:
66-70 – John Ormiston
156-160 – Steven Fisher
406-410 – Paddy O’Rourke
276-280 – Anne McKinlay
96-100 – Chris Brown
91-95 – Michael Fraser
321-325 – Chris Yacomine
Main prizes coming up…
3rd-2nd prize is a GBP20 Livestock Voucher
76-80 Mrs Gilliland
301-305 Kirsty Cafferty
1st prize: An Aqua Fashion aquarium.
176-180 Garry Dryburgh
Please contact us and let us know which colour tank you prefer.
We have a couple of smaller goodie bags extra.
41-45 W McIntosh
666-670 Frank & Linda
The total amount raised for the event so far is 455.38 with a further 150.00 pledged. If everyone who has pledged can bring the money in to the shop ASAP we will be able to send a cheque for 605.38 to the Scottish SPCA Friday 26th October.
A big thank you:
To Steven for his sponsored climb. Natalie for her cupcakes.
To the Aqua Parade Ltd board for their administration and donation.
To Aquarian & EasyLife.
To all of you who came and supported us & the SSPCA this weekend.
Crystal Palace – the home of our cold water fish is a spectacular sight and the first thing you see when entering the shop. A 150 gallon system in a 5ft brace less tank with three upside down towers with contrasting heights and individual effects.
After 6 months in the planning “Crystal Palace” has finally opened the flood gates and the first few fish have today taken in their new surroundings.
The system is designed in store and the tanks and sump are built by DC Aquariums, Bonnybridge.
“Crystal Palace” is intended for retail use with dividers creating 6 or 7 different compartments to house individual species, but we can design similar systems for businesses & indeed smaller ones for private homes. Please contact us for more details.
The staff at Aqua Parade is organizing a charity event for the benefit of SSPCA – Scottish Society for Prevention of Cruelty against Animals. The main event will take place in the shop on Saturday 13th & Sunday 14th October and will include a number of events to raise money for a hard working organisation which does such important work and we all respect very much. You can find more financial information about the event further down.
Raffle: £2 each. 1st prize is an Aqua Fashion tank (RRP 75.00) in a choice of colours. 2nd-3rd prize is £20 Aqua Parade Livestock voucher. 4th-10th: Goodie package containing Food & Remedies.
Quiz: Entry £2.
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the most knowledgeable fish keeper of all?! 1st price is a Betta Nano tank (RRP 59.95).
Colouring In Competition for smaller fish keepers.
Special Offers in store:
An amazing 20% off all Juwel & Eheim aquarium & stands ordered during the weekend.
30% off all Tetra Products incl air pumps.
Buy a livestock voucher for the value of £20 for only £10!! (The voucher will become active after the event. Only 1 voucher per household. Can not be used in conjunction with other offers. Valid for purchase of Freshwater fish, plants and Frozen & Live Food only)
Buy £10 of live plants and buy a disposable CO2 set for only £5 (RRP £13.95).
Buy any air run decoration and buy a budget air pump for only £5 (RRP £9.99)
Buy 2 – Get 1 free on all plastic plants. (Cheapest item free)
Both days 4pm:
Seminar: Ground course in marine keeping.
How to move into marines?
Sunday: Special Charity Cupcakes sold in store. Thanks Natalie!!
Aqua Parade Ltd is covering all costs so every penny collected will go straight to SSPCA. The business will further donate 3% of the takings from the weekend and will also donate the prizes. Whether the staff will appear in fancy dress or not is still to be confirmed and is subject to heated discussions on a daily basis!
Steven kicked it off on Tuesday by celebrating his birthday climbing Ben Lomond. Sponsor sheet are available in store so please continue to support Steven in his efforts.
We hope to see as many as possible coming this weekend!
The staff at Aqua Parade is organizing a charity event for the benefit of SSPCA – Scottish Society for Protection against Cruelty against Animals. The main event will take place in the shop on Saturday 13th & Sunday 14th October and will include a number of events to raise money for a hard working organisation which does such important work and we all respect very much.
Aqua Parade Ltd is covering all costs so every penny collected will go straight to SSPCA. The business will further donate 3% of the takings from the weekend and will also donate the prizes. There will be both a raffle & a quiz sheet. Whether the staff will appear in fancy dress or not is still to be confirmed and is subject to heated discussions on a daily basis!
Steven is kicking it off on Tuesday 9th October by celebrating his birthday climbing Mount Everest. Sponsor sheet are available in store so please support Steven in this tremendous effort. The idea of a charity event was Steven’s brain baby born on a staff night out. Impressed? So were we, but when we sobered up Mount Everest had turned into Ben Nevis. A week in to the planning of the event Nevis was subsequently changed to Lomond. Never the less, for someone who’s getting to that age where he’d rather go hill walking than thinking about getting yet another year older, our hats go off to you for turning a personally traumatic experience into a positive charity event. We will therefore consider you the same age for another year, and we urge all customers to do the same.
More information about the charity event will be posted here once it is available, but please make a note of the dates and pop down and see us that weekend.