Weald Aquatics | Aquarium & Pond Fish Shop in Kent | The Weald Aquatics Blog - Case studies


Coolings Green & Pleasant
Main Road, Knockholt, Kent TN14 7LJ

01959 532 963

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Andy's new aquarium - and the magic of a UV filter

Blog post written by Gary | 10 April 2019 | Category: Case studies

Not our Andy, but a customer, Andy Bruce who wanted to write a piece for our website about his new aquarium.

Last October I took the big step of buying a Juwel Rio 240 from Weald Aquatics.

Dutifully I went through the Nitrogen Cycle and added fish carefully over a period of time. By the beginning of December my tank had finished cycling and everything seemed to be going well, until...

I think I overfed my fish and an algae bloom started! Initially I saw a slight blur in the water and thought this might just be normal, but over the next few weeks things just got worse.


Initial blur in water early December
Initial blur in water early December


And what I woke up to on Christmas day!
And what I woke up to on Christmas day!


With the friendly help of Gary, Andy and Tom, over the next month or so we tried using both NT Labs Algae Gone as a flocculant and then Esha Protalon 707 anti-algae treatment. These and frequent water changes started to improve the water but as soon as the treatments stopped, the bloom would proliferate again! At this point I was starting to pull my hair out (and I don’t have much of that!).

Gary suggested an Ultra Violet Clarifier filter (UVC) made by Oase. This is a tube that contains an ultra violet light that kills bacteria and algae blooms and can help prevent other water based infections, a component often used in high-end drinking water systems. I was sceptical that after so many attempts to clear the bloom that a UVC filter could fix things for me, but I bit the bullet and bought one.

Installation was a breeze. A small submersible pump draws the water through the external UVC filter and back into the tank, just like an external canister filter.


Blue light shows UVC filter is working
Blue light shows UVC filter is working


The results ... wow!

After one day things were improving. I thought ‘OK don’t get too excited this might be a blip’, but after only three days ... crystal clear water, absolutely amazing!


Algae bloom ... what algae bloom (pictures taken March 2019)
Algae bloom ... what algae bloom (pictures taken March 2019)


Things are a lot clearer now
Things are a lot clearer now


In my opinion a UVC filter is a worthwhile investment that will improve the quality of your water and is a benefit to any new or existing aquarium.

To me, my UVC filter is the Kryptonite that kills algae blooms!

And lastly, once again a big thanks to Weald Aquatics for all their help getting me through this problem.


Oase ClearTronic 9w UVC Clarifier £59.99
Oase ClearTronic 9w UVC Clarifier £59.99
Newa Mini MN 606 £20.37
Newa Mini MN 606 £20.37

Jack's aquarium

Blog post written by Jack | 27 October 2017 | Category: Case studies

I had a 48-litre aquarium when I first started at Weald Aquatics and I have always wanted a nice big aquarium which I could populate with African Cichlids. After a short period of time I decided to upgrade to a Rio 125 aquarium which I filled with various fancy goldfish. But Andy constantly showed me pictures and videos of his cichlid aquarium, which made up my mind to  convert my coldwater setup into a tropical aquarium filled with African Cichlids.

I showed Andy videos and pictures of my new setup. (Let’s just say he was very impressed!) I religiously carried out large water changes to ensure that all the water parameters stayed correct and the water in tip-top condition. Because of my water changes, my fish started to breed! I then had to purchase a smaller aquarium in which I used to raise the fry.

After deciding that I wanted to keep the baby fish, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to upgrade my aquarium again. I purchased a Rio 240 aquarium in which I now have heavily populated with Cichlids.

I have lots of equipment in my new Juwel Rio 240 that helps to keep all fish in a perfect condition. These include a Juwel filter system, Eheim Ecco Pro 300, Newa High Flow Circulator and an Eheim Air Pump 400.   

As with the Rio 125, I carry out a large water changes on a weekly basis to ensure all water parameters stay stable. Take a look at the video of my aquarium below.

If you would like more information on my aquarium, please come into the shop and have a chat with me.


Lucy’s Aquarium

Blog post written by Gary | 22 June 2017 | Category: Case studies

Lucy’s daughter wanted a pet. Unfortunately Lucy’s husband Stuart has an allergy to animals with fur so they settled for an aquarium.

The original coldwater aquarium was purchased from another local garden centre about five years ago. After three years Lucy decided to upgrade her aquarium to a tropical set up. Her long-term friend Helen suggested she visited Weald as Helen herself had recently purchased a Juwel Rio 125 from us and was very happy with the aquarium and the fish.

Lucy purchased a Juwel Rekord 700 and started slowly introducing fish. After four months the fish started to die. On checking the aquarium water we found the nitrates had risen to a dangerous level. Although Lucy was regularly changing the aquarium water the nitrate levels did not reduce to a safe level. At this point we suggested to Lucy to try RO water with a mineral additive as this water will have zero levels of all pollutants including zero nitrate levels. Within a short time of using the RO water the nitrate levels had been reduced to very low levels and fish losses all but eliminated.

Lucy now pops into the shop every two weeks to purchase 20 litres of RO water, some food and replacement media for the Juwel aquarium. Fish purchases are now months apart due to the quality of the water.

Lucy’s Fish

2 x Ruby Barb
4 x Scissortails Rasbora
1 x Clown Loach
1 x Botia Loach
2 x Rosy Neon Barb
2 x Congo Tetra
2 x Red Eye Tetra

As the algae is kept at a low level due to the RO water there are no algae eating fish in the aquarium. Plants are plastic for easy cleaning and Lucy has added an air pump and stone for decoration and to increase the oxygen in the water.

When Lucy wins the lottery she has promised she'll buy a Rio 400 and keep cichlids - the same as the Weald cichlid show aquarium.


Jack helping Lucy pick more plastic plants for her aquarium
Jack helping Lucy pick more plastic plants for her aquarium


Lucy looking at the Rio 400 cichlid aquarium
Lucy looking at the Rio 400 cichlid aquarium, hoping her lottery ticket will be a winner!

The seven aquariums of Jenny (and her family)

Blog post written by Gary | 10 May 2017 | Category: Case studies

I have known Jenny for many years, but her love for fish goes back to 1985 when Jenny and her husband Paul bought their first tropical aquarium. This was followed by a second tropical hexagonal aquarium that I sold to her when I worked at Keston.

When Keston closed Jenny was finding it difficult to buy good quality fish and to get expert advice. However, in a chance meeting I had with Jenny in Petts Wood, I mentioned we had opened an aquatic shop at Coolings.

Jenny came into Weald and saw the wide range of fish and aquariums we have in stock and decided to buy a Juwel Rio 125, which was set up as a community tropical aquarium.

Noticing the cichlid display aquarium which had recently been set up Jenny decided to turn the Rio 125 into a cichlid aquarium with the community fish being moved to her son’s aquarium. When the Rio 125 became too crowded, Jenny upgraded the cichlids to a Juwel Rio 240 and populated the Rio 125 with gouramis.

Not content with two tropical freshwater aquariums, Jenny and Paul decided to install a tropical marine Juwel Lido 200 in the front room.

In February this year at Weald we set up a Betta Trio display aquarium but before we had filled the aquarium with fish Jenny had decided another aquarium was needed for the dining room. This brought the number of aquariums to four. Two months later Jenny added a Biorb Tube 30 to her collection of aquariums.

I asked Jenny if the Biorb was the final aquarium. Her reply was “I don’t think so”.

Other members of Jenny’s family have aquariums including her daughter Kate who has a small Aquael tropical aquarium and Jenny’s father-in-law whom I have known for many years and who travels up from Eastbourne to buy his fish and aquarium supplies from us. Finally, Jenny’s son is contemplating having a cichlid aquarium in his new house to keep Jenny’s grandchild entertained.

Jenny spends Saturday morning cleaning all seven of the aquariums, the Rio 240 taking the longest.

Asked what fish is her favourite, and she’ll tell you straight away that it’s cichlids. However Jenny has introduced discus into the Rio 125 so maybe she will change her mind.

Jenny’s Aquariums by room

Front Room

Lido 200 Marine Aquarium

Biorb Tube 30 Freshwater Tropical

Dining Room

Rio 240 Cichlid

Rio 125 Discus/Gourami

Betta Trio 2 x Crayfish/ 5 x Dwarf Puffers/ 3 x Frogs

Kate’s Room

Aquael Tropical

I will return to chat with Jenny at a later date to see if any more aquariums have been added!


Jenny is finding it hard to choose the next Malawi Cichlid
Jenny is finding it hard to choose the next Malawi Cichlid


"Which corals can I have?" Jenny asks
"Which corals can I have?" Jenny asks

An Update on Bob and Jean’s Aquariums

Blog post written by Gary | 20 November 2015 | Category: Case studies

This month we are revisiting Bob and Jean’s aquariums two years on to see how the fish have grown and the aquariums have matured.

Bob and Jean purchased their first Juwel Vision 180 aquarium in early 2013 and, having had great success with this aquarium, another Juwel Vision 180 was purchased 6 months later.  

Aquarium Number 1

This aquarium has gravel with a Tetra plant substrate under the gravel to promote plant growth. The plants are a mixture of Cryptocoryne, Hygrophila and Anubius planted on bogwood, the majority of the plants are from when the aquarium was first set up.

The fish include a Gold Gourami, Harlequins, Platys, Otocinclus also three Corydoras Sterbas and one White Cloud Mountain Minnow from the original set up. The Platys are now on the fourth or fifth generation.

Aquarium Number 2

Bob and Jean decided to have a sand substrate for this aquarium, again to help plant growth. As in the first aquarium there is a mixture of Cryptocoryne and Hygrophila plants, Anubius on bogwood and Hair grass growing through the sand.

This aquarium houses larger fish including two angelfish, three Clown loach, five Corydoras and a mixture of Tetras.

To keep both aquariums in tip top condition Bob carries out a 25% to 30% water change weekly. He says he notices the aquarium housing the Angelfish and Loaches tends to need an extra water change occasionally because of the size of the fish. When carrying out the water changes Bob uses Tetra Aquasafe to condition the water and Bacterlife to help breakdown the fish waste. Every three to four weeks Bob uses the electric gravel cleaner to help keep the gravel clean. The filter systems are changed regularly according to Juwel’s recommended timetable, and Bob has also kept a diary to keep a track of both cleaning the filter systems and when the fish have been purchased for both aquariums.

Having extra air being pumped into the aquarium via external air pumps, Bob has found the fish livelier and the water seems cleaner.

Bob reckons his excellent plant growth in both aquariums is being achieved by the weekly water changes replacing the minerals absorbed in the water by the plants and the lights being turned on for three hours in the morning and then for five hours in the evening.

To keep the fish happy Bob and Jean feed the fish on Tetra Pro Colour, Tetra Pro Algae, Hikari Algae Wafers, Bloodworm and Fish Science Shrimp and Algae tablets which all the fish love. Also for a treat he occasionally gives his fish a small chunk of cucumber!

The final question I put to Bob and Jean: what are your favourite fish?

Bob: "The Corydoras Sterbas in the first aquarium, as they are some of the original fish and have a deep yellow streak on their dorsal fin with a nice spotted body."

Jean: "The two Angelfish in the second aquarium because of their colour and size."


Bob and Jean in the shop
Bob and Jean at the shop topping up on their supplies


Bob and Jean's impressive aquarium
Bob and Jean's impressive aquarium

Brian's marine aquarium

Blog post written by Gary | 13 March 2014 | Category: Case studies

This month we are continuing our interviews with Weald Aquatics club members and I have spoken to Brian who has been keeping tropical fish since the early seventies and who has been a customer for over 16 years.

Shortly after retiring Brian purchased a bow-fronted, made-to-measure aquarium. However this eventually sprung a leak, which meant Brian had to find an aquarium very quickly. His next aquarium was a Juwel Rio 240 which he purchased from us when we worked at Keston and which he filled with Discus and shoals of Tetras. To keep the Discus happy Brian used RO water for the water changes. When Keston closed down Brian was on the verge of shutting down his aquarium as he was having difficulty in finding a shop which could supply RO water and quality tropical fish.

In early 2011 Brian was told about Weald Aquatics. After speaking to Andy, his enthusiasm for keeping tropical fish returned and he immediately changed his aquarium to an African Cichlid set up. Not content with the Rio 240, Brian then upgraded to a Rio 300 for his large collection of Cichlids in the August of 2011. Having enjoyed the African Cichlids for a couple of years Brian was then looking for a new challenge.

At about this time we had started stocking marine fish and corals. Brian had become interested in the marine show aquarium in the shop and decided to upgrade his Rio 300 to a marine aquarium. With our help Brian’s African Cichlids were transferred to our show Cichlid aquarium and his Rio 300 upgraded to a marine aquarium. This required the addition of a Juwel Protein skimmer, marine lighting and an external filter to compliment the original Juwel filter.

We aquascaped Brian’s aquarium with live rock and filled with RO salt water allowing Brian to start stocking his aquarium immediately, to date in the aquarium there are:

  • 5 x Clownfish
  • 5 x Green Chromis
  • 6 x Yellow tailed Damsel
  • 1 x Coral Beauty
  • 1 x Copperband
  • 2 x Cleaner Shrimp

There is also a large number of soft corals including Xenia, polyps and mushroom corals.

With the help of our regular aquarium service, Brian is continuing to add fish and corals to his aquarium. To keep all his fish and coral in good condition, Brian feeds a variety of frozen food which includes Brineshrimp, Krill and Mysis, and for the corals, a special coral food produced by Salifert which has balanced nutrition for all the soft corals in the aquarium.

Brian has said he will now sit back and enjoy his marine aquarium as every time he looks at the aquarium, he finds another crab or coral polyp has appeared on the live rock.


Brian's marine aquarium
Brian's marine aquarium


Brian in the shop selecting some more fish for his tank
Brian in the shop selecting some more fish for his tank

Bob and Jean’s Aquariums

Blog post written by Gary | 06 February 2014 | Category: Case studies

This month, we thought you would like to read how other customers enjoy and maintain their aquariums.

Bob and Jean had kept tropical fish for many years but due to the pressure of work and family they gave up. However when Bob retired they decided it was time to set up a tropical aquarium again. Having looked at several aquatic shops they then found Weald Aquatics on the internet and were impressed by the Weald website. In February 2013 after much discussion Bob and Jean decided on the Dark Wood Juwel Vision 180. As Bob said “I liked the curve of the front glass”.

The aquarium was set up in the living room as a focal point where Bob and Jean could sit and enjoy the fish.

The aquarium has a natural gravel substrate with a number of real plants all of which have rooted and grown since planting in February last year, including Amazon Sword, Hygrophila Guanensis, Hygrophila Polysperma, Crytocoryne, Moss balls and two plants on bogwood, one of which Bob created himself.

The fish population consists of large shoals of Harlequins, Zebra Danios, Various Corydoras, White Cloud Minnows and Platys. Bob will be adding more shoals of fish as the aquarium matures.

After having had the aquarium set up for six months with great success with both fish and plants, Bob and Jean decided they would like an aquarium in their dining room. Having firstly looked at the new Juwel Lido 200 they finally opted for another dark wood Vision 180 to complement their original aquarium.

For the second aquarium Bob decided on a sand substrate again with real plants. This time Bob has planted Vallis, Ludwigia Glandulosa, various Cryptocoryne plants, hair grass and again two plants on bogwood.

Bob decided to have a shoal of six Angelfish with various Corydoras, Clown Loach, Silver Tip Tetra, Plecostomus and a large shoal of Phantom Tetra.

To keep both aquariums clean and to encourage strong plant growth Bob performs a 25% weekly water change using hot and cold water to keep the water temperature the same, also adding Tetra Aquasafe to condition the water before adding it to the aquariums. He also wipes round the inside of the aquariums using an API algae pad to remove any algae and then adds Waterlife Bacterlife to help break down the fish waste and prevent further algae build up.

The filter system is cleaned and sponges changed according to the Juwel maintenance schedule. The gravel is cleaned using the Aquarium Systems power gravel cleaner.

The fish are fed using a mixture of Tetra Pro Colour and algae crisps every day. Frozen bloodworm is fed every two days along with sinking pellets for the Clown Loach and Corydoras.

The lighting on the aquariums is turned on for two hours in the morning then a further six hour from 4 pm to 10 pm giving plenty of light for strong plant growth. Bob has also fitted a reflector on each of the front lights to give extra lighting for the lower plants.

Since Bob set up the first aquarium, he has kept a notebook on all the fish and plants added to the aquariums, and when he has changed filters. Bob says “this has been invaluable in keeping track of what I have done and when to the two aquariums”.

Bob says he has not regretted buying the two aquariums as they bring him and Jean much pleasure.

If you wish to see more pictures of Bob and Jean’s aquariums they are displayed at the shop.


Bob and Jean in the shop looking for more fish for their aquariums
Bob and Jean in the shop looking for more fish for their aquariums


Bob and Jean's beautiful aquariums
Bob and Jean's beautiful aquariums
Bob and Jean's beautiful aquariums

A new home for an old friend

Blog post written by Andy | 06 February 2014 | Category: Case studies

One of the biggest compliments I think we can get here at the shop is having customers from our old haunt at Keston tracking us down here at Weald and making us their 'local fish shop'.

In the 10 years I worked with Gary at Keston we met hundreds of great people and made some great friends. Some customers to whom I sold their first aquarium during my opening weekend there have re-discovered us here at Weald and still come to buy fish for their original tank after 10 years!

One lady I have known for many years, Mrs Olive Painting from Beckenham, phoned me a few weeks ago asking how best to move her fish to another shop. She was finding it difficult to look after her fish and didn't want to let the aquarium deteriorate and her fish to suffer.

I asked where she was taking them and she told me that her local shop said they would take them in and put them "out the back" in the shop's quarantine section. They told her she would have to catch them all herself but she wasn't sure how to do it.

She was quite upset as she has had some of her fish for a long time and her pride and joy was a clown Loach which she has had for just over 20 years. Hearing how upset she was I said that I would send someone round to pick up all of her fish and I would pass them on to other customers' aquariums where they would be well looked after. I also said that I would take her clown Loach and put it in our 450 litre African cichlid show tank with five more large clown Loach so that she could come up and see him whenever she wished.

She was so happy she agreed straight away and we went off to pick up her fish that morning so we could start rehoming them as quickly as possible. The clown Loach is now in our show tank and seems to have settled in really well with his new friends and at 20 years old is the oldest clown Loach I have seen.

Mrs Painting has since popped in to see how he was doing and, after putting in a bit of food, he swam out to say hello. She was so happy to see him she got quite emotional and spent a good 20 minutes watching him. I don't think I have ever been thanked so much in my life. She said she would pop down again next month to see him.

It was a really nice end to my working day and shows how rewarding this job can be.

So if you're in the shop, have a look in our show tank and see if you can spot him. 


Mrs Painting's clown Loach in our cichlid display aquarium
Mrs Painting's clown Loach in our cichlid display aquarium