Saturday, 20 November 2010

New Products In

At last the new granules are in & starting to go out. We were pleased our Astax granule manufacturer made these up for us. The Spirulina granule is going to be a good addition to our feed range & will be a great feed for veggie fish.
Available in 2 sizes - 5,8 & 12.

Cichlid granule is available in 2 grades of 1.2mm & 3mm. This is specially formulated for non veggie Cichlids with all the benefits of best growth rates used in the farming & rearing of Tilapia. This is a specialised granule for ornamental fish.

Discus Granule looks really rich. Although I don't have any Discus at the moment I will be sending out some samples to Discus breeders for tests. I have fed it to wild Corydoras & Brochis & they love it so it proves it's attractivenes to fish. Angelfish will also benefit from this diet.
Available in 2 sizes 1.2mm & 3mm

We have standardised the prices on these new granules & we can now offer any mix to make up 300g, 500g & 1kg amounts. Just drop us an e-mail after clicking the mixed grade link with what you need & we will post out to you.

Friday, 22 October 2010

The Latest News

It's been awhile since I wrote something here. Last time we were getting problems with the site crashing. Since then we have improved our bandwidth & transferred one of my bigger sites on Killifish to an American server which releases a big amount of space. Hopefully crashes will be a thing of the past.
Loads of new imports continue to come in. New lines have been added to the site including the new wafers as Spirulina & a fish/beefheart blend. These are made up by a small operator & not a mass produced item.
Also new is the Cichlid floating mini sticks. These look really rich & I have sent some samples out for breeders to try out.
We have them as a red form or the green Spirulina. We have been missing a good quality floating stick. They should also prove very useful to our fancy goldfish customers.

We continue to search for new products & one of our suppliers who makes the very popular Astax crumb now informs us they can make up for us a Spirulina crumb. The specs look really good on this & we can't wait to get some in. As with the Red Astax we will have various sized granules to add to our list.
Also available will be a specialised Cichlid granule & a Discus granule.
Hopefully all these will be in stock in a couple of weeks.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Site Down

The website crashed for 4 days last weekend. We have 3 sites on the server & despite increasing to maximum allowable bandwidth to prevent this we went over & the sites crashed.
We have reluctantly decided to take the Killifish site offline to make more bandwidth available for the TA site. This should stop this happening in the future.
We apologise for inconvenience during the site being offline.
The Killifish site will be back in the near future as we are looking at hosting on another server to keep it seperate.

Spirulina Flake - We have negotiated our Spirulina flake to be made in larger flake sizes. Some customers have asked if this is possible. The flake will now be taken off the machine without reducing to usual flake size. This is easily reduced to flake sizes you prefer.
We really sell a lot of this flake & it's always produced freshly on our order & not taken from stock.

Stick Feeds - The biggest shipment of sticks we have ever brought in is on the way over. We had to increase order weight as it is proving extremely popular now with 50% of the earthworm stick already sold from this shipment.
As you may be aware we get these made up from a single source who produces small quantities. The machine producing these sticks recently broke down & a brand new machine had to be bought. This has not been cheap & consequently the cost to us has risen slightly. We did not put the price up on the last rise to us but this time had to increase slightly.
New floating sticks of Spirulina & another of Beef Heart is currently coming in which fills a gap in our stick feeds.
Wafers - New wafers of Spirulina & another of Beef Heart are on the way over also. Our customers asked us to source a good supply which we have done.

The driving agency part of the business has been extremely busy lately. Postage has been a problem but I now have someone to post daily so this sorts out a big headache.
This side of the business provides a lot of income for the fish side. We are currently working on a long overdue repackaging of our granule, brine shrimp, stick etc range in foil pouches. These will be designed to look good on retailers shelves.
More flakes will be packed in our tubs too.
The black flake is due to come in again soon. This has proved a great food for livebearers & guppies in particular.

Monday, 6 September 2010


Every year I say I will never shut down for a full week again & go off with the bucket & spade to Malta & every year I still do it. Coming back is always the same thing with loads of orders & correspondance to clear. This year was extremely busy & it took 2 days to clear all orders. As always all orders were in the post as fast as possible & this year all were away on Monday.
Orders on Monday were also heavy but will be in the post on Tuesday morning.
We try to work a 'just in time' policy of bringing in small quantities freshly made food & now many feeds are needing to be made up with our suppliers. A lot of food from all over the world will be coming in shortly.
The BCA will be holding a meeting & auction in Redditch (same venue as our charity auctions) on 26th September & we will have a stand there on the day to show our products off.

Friday, 16 July 2010

Indian Almond Leaves

It's amazing how many problems crop up with suppliers. We sell a lot of Indian Almond leaves. Some customers buy them 100-500 at a time. We keep a decent stock but were caught out recently by a series of big orders & had to order more.
Problem was - the monsoon period had just started. This is an extract from the supplier which brings home the problems experienced in getting these leaves at this time of year -

'We are really sorry for the delay..but we have had several really bad tropical storms hit our village ( start of the rainy season )...2 times we have been totally washed out...both times the heavy winds blew the covers off the leaves which we had on them to protect them from the wind and rain while we where drying them...each time the leaves where either blown away or where totally waterlogged that we had to bin them...we have been busy re-pressing and drying more and are just waiting for them to dry so we can brush them before shipping'..

Our policy is not to store big quantities of anything in favour of keeping stock fresh so some times of the year we at the mercy of mother nature.

Saturday, 26 June 2010


The charity auction always takes up a lot of time before & after the event but it's always worth it when you see how much money was raised for our 3 main charities. If you haven't seen the results page yet please click the link in the yellow box top right corner of the home page.
I'm amazed how big this event is becoming. It attracts lots of the UK's finest breeders & I think is a fantastic day out & a chance to meet fellow fishkeepers & expert breeders alike.

Decapsulated Brine Shrimp now back in stock. This took a little time to get in due to processing at the facility. It's always hit & miss with this item which can come in with shell & rubbish. Thankfully after many years of working with this we have found some good people to deal with & this batch is very clean & shell free.
We have moved over 40 kg this week alone so it must be good to get these kind of repeat orders.

New Life Spectrum - At last the new range is in stock & cart buttons are now on the site. It's a really big range of products now but we are filling up with the range again so things will soon be back to the way it was before they moved premises.

Getting more work on the haulage side of the business which does cause a slight delay in posting in some cases due to early morning starts. Most orders are being sent by last post or next day.
This work brings in extra finance so we can bring in these expensive overseas imports & find new products for our customers.

Orders have been rising & new customers including Universities & professonal breeders have been placing orders.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Charity Auction

For 10 years now I have been involved in the Midland Charity Auction. To start with we didn't want to make it a commercial thing where someone made a profit from it. It's grown from making a few quid to generating hundreds of pounds each auction. Now we can say we have generated a few thousand pounds for various charities.
I don't think any other fish auction does this. It takes an army of people to help put these events on & I hope I can name them in the post auction report.
Conservation has always been close to my heart in fishkeeping. This year one of the old guard is packing up due to the inevitable advancing years & health issues. It's a sad fact that these people with a huge amount of experience need to pass things on to a younger set of enthusiasts but maybe they are not coming forward..
I know & fear that many of these collections will now die out in years to come.
With so many new collections now coming in conservation becomes very hard.

It is of course impossible to conserve everything in captivity. Let's hope we can leave nature to look after its own & not let our greed for land or resourse domination take over.....

Thursday, 20 May 2010


Back from holiday to a load of orders & e-mail work but all have been posted & replied to on the first day back. Didn't think I could get all the orders out but just managed it.
Back to normal again.....

Saturday, 1 May 2010


It's been a while since the last blog so I thought this would show I'm still here -
Orders have been really heavy over the past few weeks especially since Spectrum came in. Initially we only ordered the Cichlid Formula & the new Thera A 2mm granule. This has been due to the high demand for these items & our wish to get in a large stock to keep customers from waiting for new shipments.
We have been sending out buckets of 2.2kg Cichlid Formula virtually daily. The new 600g tubs believe it or not are almost sold out & a new order had to be placed. Last year it was the 300g tubs which were selling out - now customers want the larger tubs. It's a true measure of how good the food is.

As many of you know the business is split between mail order fish foods & my one man HGV driving agency. This has become very busy in itself & I have found myself working from 4am to midnight some days to keep up with all the work. In some cases I have not been home in time to get orders in the post & they have been delayed 24 hours longer than normal. For this I apologise but under the circumstances we are coping very well.
The money generated from this driving agency side is being ploughed back into getting bigger stocks in where things like sticks regularly go out of stock. Also expanding into new foods we have wanted to include on the site becomes a lot nearer happening.
Sales of brine shrimp eggs continue to grow. In one week we sold 185 x 550g pouches. A lot of farms now buy from us.

Our Midland charity auction is fast approaching for June 6th. Please see the site for regular updates. The photo was taken today. Swans & Coots are nesting on the pool.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Spectrum Finally Now In !!!

Yes, it's true - Spectrum have docked today & should be here on Friday. Judging by the amount of e-mails we have had asking about the next shipment arrival date it looks like we will be kept busy mailing out.
Several cases are already ordered from other EC countries.
We should have them ready for the BCA convention on the 18th April along with a decent stock of Dainichi. Looking forward to the lectures. Some good speakers on this year.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Photographs - Dainichi

I have been struggling along with a couple of cheap compact digital cameras to take photos of the products on the site. In one week both cameras gave up the ghost leaving a hole in putting good photos on the site. I decided to save up & get a decent digital SLR & finally bought a Canon 550D which is a superb piece of kit.
It takes really nice movie quality & I'm looking at doing something in this direction in the future.

I have been having problems with the disc drive & it finally packed up just as I was going to load the Canon software. Tomorrow will see the computer in bits & a new drive installed (hopefully).
Then I can get to grips with all the temporary photos on the site & some new photos of the new flake food tubs which look great.

Dainichi are again having some problems with beaurocracy. This ridiculous legislation dreamed up in Brussels is having a big effect on Dainichi & NLS. The US authorities are behind in renewing export licenses to the EC & consequently Dainichi (from 9th April) have not been able to renew their license. They have applied in good time but the authorities have not even started the ball rolling in the renewal process.
I personally thought we in the UK were contributing over £170 Billion pounds a year to the EC to make life easier but I must have missed something here.
This means I cannot get shipments in & will have to make do with the stock I have.
I have a decent stock available at the moment but some grades & pack sizes are now out of stock. I expect the British Cichlid Association auction this weekend to bring stocking levels down.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Some New Products

Sales of our stick foods have been steadily increasing. These are not cheap but we buy in from what we consider the best manufacturer in the world for these products & quality always demands a higher price.
It's true other online sellers offer cheaper sticks but generally these are sold for angling purposes & not in the same ball park regarding quality.
We are the only UK customer for this companies product.

We will be bringing in more varieties of sticks from this manufacturer which contain Garlic to prevent fungal & bacterial infections in the gut & Paprika which is a well known attractant to fish.
These new sticks will be -

Spirulina - Garlic/Paprika
Colour - Garlic/Paprika
Cichlid - Garlic/Paprika
Vitamin - Garlic/Paprika

It usually takes 3 weeks to make these up & ship to us. As always these are freshly made up. We order small regular quantities rather than a bulk lot which is sitting on the shelf for months.

Monday, 8 March 2010

New Arrivals

Shipment in today of flakes for our new packing. Labels are here & looking good - just waiting for the containers to get production going. These will be in the larger 200g size which we have been asked to produce. Also, we are making these available to retailers. If your shop would like to stock these please get in touch. Currently we will have Spirulina, Beef Heart, Earthworm, Brine Shrimp & a mix of flakes we call supreme as nothing else on the shelves looks this rich & dark. Hopefully containers will be here within a week. We are really looking forward to promoting this & will be putting an advert in Practical Fishkeeping. We haven't advertised in magazines for some years now.
Other flakes will be produced shortly including a plankton mix & a supreme veggie flake mix with Spirulina, Kelp & others we are working on. These are aimed at Livebearers & Rift Lake Cichlids.
This is the first stage in putting all our foods in shop display type packaging such as containers & stand up pouches for the granulated foods & Brine Shrimp products. It costs a lot of money to upgrade to this so it will be done as finances permit.

We also had the new F2 Algae Nutrient which is now in liquid form for faster dispersion in water. It is a little more expensive but we are going to keep the price unchanged for this shipment at least.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

New In & NLS Update

New shipment of flakes now in - Earthworm, Beef Heart, Artemia & Spirulina & Kelp.

NLS is now set to arrive in the UK beginning April. We have had so many delays & postponements in this import it's driving us crazy.

Spirulina flake arrived Friday 5th. All bucket orders are in transit by carrier for Monday delivery. All 90g containers will be posted First Class Saturday for (hopefully) Monday delivery.

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Spirulina Flake

Spirulina flake should have been in last week but we are still waiting. It was ordered 3 weeks ago. This is the 2nd time they have messed us up with delivery times which we are a little annoyed about.
One of our feed mills finally agreed to start up on this flake for us & we are going to be using this in a couple of months time.
Samples look very good & we can get it mixed with Chlorella which also looks good.
It's going to take a few months to get production going but I think supply problems will be history when we get it organised.
We apologise to customers waiting for this product. It will be fresh off the production line when it arrives.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Spirulina Flake

We had a big run on Spirulina flake in the 1.8kg buckets & ran out over a few days. The manufacturer is making up new product & will be shipping next week (22-26 Feb). We usually keep a good stock of this as it has a good customer following.
As always any back orders will be put on overnight carrier & customers will receive the day after we receive the shipment (UK).

As you know, this flake has 30% Spirulina content. We are having a new flake made up at the mill which contains 12%. This looks a really dark flake. We have had samples & they look really good. Also being made up are Chlorella flakes. Again, samples look really good. We are looking at blending Spirulina, Chlorella & Kelp as a special 'veggie' diet. Much darker & richer than other flakes of this type currently on the market.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Dainichi Now In !!

At long last the Dainichi shipment is now in. We have now sent out most back orders so UK customers should get the food Thursday.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Dainichi Update

The Dainichi shipment again ran into problems regarding a piece of paper which arrived as a copy instead of an original. This has been sorted out now thankfully & we expect to have delivery on Wednesday.
To say this shipment has had its problems is an understatement. It should have been here beginning January.
Our apologies to those waiting for this food. We hope to clear the backlog & have outstanding orders on the road Wednesday night/Thursday morning.

Monday, 8 February 2010


At long last the Dainichi shipment has landed & is currently going through customs. Hopefully the airline got the paperwork sorted this time. It should be here very soon all being well & I can clear the backlog of orders.

More buckets of Spirulina flake due in shortly. I'm down to just one following a mad week of sales.

Had some new samples in of a stronger Spirulina flake & another veggie blend which looks & smells really nice. Just waiting for prices. We will probably need to bring in 100kg minimum & pack this in our own buckets which are already in hand.

Currently looking at new packaging mainly to fill the growing interest from the trade. It's cost quite a bit to set up but things are starting to come together. Must admit the packaging looks good & will look great on retailers shelves.
Eventually all our products will be made available like this but it does take time & a lot of money to get the goods packed in this way.

Friday, 29 January 2010

Site Down

We apologise to customers following the website crashing today. The site has got to the stage where we are getting a lot more visitors (which we are not complaining about).
We have now restored it & have secured a bigger hosting package to prevent it going down again.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

New Life Spectrum

At long last we can report that NLS have gained approval to ship to the EC. I can't remember the last shipment date it's been so long.
We hope to have it in about 6 weeks as it comes in by sea container.
A couple of new additions to the range is a 2mm medium fish formula & a surface feeder formula aimed at livebearers & surface feeding fish.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Dainichi Latest

Dainichi inform me that the shipment is due to leave the US on Friday so we should get it around Tuesday/Wednesday as long as the airline doesn't mess the paperwork up again!
Apologies for delay in sending these orders out.

Australian Black Worm

The freeze dried black worms are in from Australia. We had a small shipment to see what interest their was out there. Some have already gone out in the post so if you want to try them out don't delay in putting your order in.
The handy 5g containers are only £4.75.
What I like about them is the high protein (66%) & fat contents (13%). This is usually an indication of how good this food should be in enhancing good growth rate.
Some Australians have been crushing it up into a powder to feed fry. Killie breeders have been giving it some good revues.
We had more sticks in. These are going out a lot faster now & we get loads of repeat orders. The last Earthworm sticks we had in only lasted a couple of weeks.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Australian Black Worms

We started talking to the farm producing this over a year ago & shortly after they had really bad bush fires in the area which put things on hold. We have now re-established contact & a small shipment is coming over to start things off on the site. I will be updating the freeze dried page shortly.
Black worm are not Tubifex or Bloodworm they are totally different. US breeders in the Killie circle have found them really useful in getting fish to breed. Now we will have them in the handy freeze dried way with all the goodness locked in.
Grown in Australia with fresh clear stream water flowing through the facility & their own freeze drying equipment means these are clean & fresh.
We will have packs of 5, 10, 50, 100 & 200g available as loose product or cubed like Tubifex.
We are really looking forward to trying these out.

Friday, 15 January 2010

Dainichi Import & Spectrum update

This has been a nightmare import. It arrived on schedule beginning January at Stansted. This was then sent to Heathrow where Customs siezed it due to someone at FedEx not clearing the health certificate with Customs.
Even though all correct paperwork & health certificate were included with the shipment Customs wouldn't clear it as FedEx failed to obtain health clearance on the shipment.
Dainichi are working to try & get this shipment released but if this fails they will send another out by next Wednesday so we should get it here by the following week.
I apologise to customers waiting for these foods.As you can see we are in the hands of officialdom.

NLS: I have been trying to find out what is actually causing the delay in shipping & heard back today from their head office in the US. The cause is EC legislation on import of fish feeds. US authorities which oversee exports have to approve NLS for import into the UK under the criteria set out in this legislation. They are still working on getting this & advise me they 'hope to be approved soon'.

We had similar problems when starting imports from Dainichi but they have clearance now to ship to us. The last shipment was siezed due to FedEx not sending this paperwork.

We would like to thank those elected to serve us in Brussels for yet another brilliant piece of legislation ???

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Green & Black Flake

We mixed up a new blend of flake which looks really nice & is ideal for fish requiring vegetable in their diet. This new blend is a small flake suitable for small or growing fish from livebearers, young Rifts, catfish etc. Guppies are particularly suited to this as the black artemia biomass flake is used by guppy breeders along with our rich, dark Spirulina flake.

We just put it on the site today & already orders are coming in for it. We mixed up about 5 kg to try out. I must admit I like the look of it.

Some new products on the horizon which I will put on the blog a little later....

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Dainichi Import

Import update: The shipment is currently being held up at UK Customs after FedEx failed to obtain health clearance despite all the certificates being sent with the shipment.
The agent is currently working to clear the shipment.
Red tape rules.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Big Freeze

Those visiting the Midland Charity auctions we organise will be familiar with the venue but probably not in the way this photo shows with a frozen pool.
Next auction is in blazing June (6th).

Thursday, 7 January 2010


The Dainichi shipment is in the UK now, currently waiting customs clearance. Hopefully should get it in a few days.
Contains most diets in the big 2.5kg sizes as well as all the other sizes imported previously.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Cart Buttons

Some shopping cart buttons have been down on the website. I have gone through the site today & fixed all those which were faulty. All should be working OK now.
Apologies for any inconvenience.
Don't forget to refresh/reload the page to refresh your cache if you still get problems.
This has happened a couple of times in the past - usually when Paypal do some site updates.