This is my first blog into the world of independent pet stores in Bedfordshire. I chose Destination Aquatics in Bedford for my first review because of the reviews online and their great Facebook page with video content. My two son’s also want to visit an aquarium so one wet Saturday we went to take a look.
Destination Aquatics is a retail store devoted to fish and aquascaping . Its mission statement is to ‘ensure that anyone introduced to fish-keeping, reptile keeping or pet keeping has the knowledge to ensure the animal thrives’ It’s a store which ‘aims to inspire new people into the hobby’, it has a welcoming and exciting feel to the store when you first walk in. The displays in the large entrance area immediately gave you the impression that this is no ordinary store. The tanks displayed are high value items (some are well over £1000 to buy) , and the livestock you buy from here require special love and attention. As all animals should. This is why the staff will ask you a few general questions to ensure that the fish are going to be living in the correct conditions and naturally the store can refuse to sell fish to anyone they feel will not keep the fish in the correct conditions.
What’s on offer?
Planted tanks: I assumed this just meant adding a plant to the bottom of the tank, well I was wrong. A planted aquarium attempts to mimic a fishes natural environment and as a result of all your hard work, your fish will behave in a more natural manner. Creating a planted tank helps you to understand the chemistry within the water that allows the plants to grow and flourish if presented with the right environment. Like gardening, the soil or in this instance the ‘substrate’ you put your plants into will have a huge impact on how your plants get on in your new tank. So it’s important to really research what you are doing and ask the staff in store for help. There are hundreds of types of plants available in all sorts of colours and sizes. Check out this guide here. https://aquariuminfo.org/plantedguide.html
Goldfish Tanks and Tropical Tanks
As soon as you enter the livestock area you can see the huge wall of livestock on offer. My eldest son was amazed at how large the fish tanks were and he loved getting up front and personal with the goldfish especially. We were also very interested in the starter tanks suitable for children. They had a good selection to suit a variety of price ranges in stock and the staff were keen to offer guidance and advice.
I can see from looking around the store that to own a full blown marine tank takes investment, time and knowledge. The end results are awe inspiring however, and I was amazed at what you can produce in your home or office thanks to careful lighting, knowing a bit about water chemistry/PH levels, understanding water flow and of course getting advice on the right type of tank needed. All questions the staff at Destination Aquatics are willing to answer of course and they can show you in store just how amazing these coral reef tanks can look with the right advice.
Types of livestock available to buy
Beautiful Coral and Invertebrates
For me the most impressive part about this store was the coral and invertebrates tanks in the centre of the store. As a novice fish keeper and owner of only goldfish and the usual tropical fish, I had never seen this type of livestock before and honestly didn’t know it was something you could buy from a store. It was so beautiful to look at and I wish I had more space in my home to accommodate such beautiful creatures. I hope my photos do them justice, please go and see for yourself just how beautiful they are.
In the summer months they also have a large selection pond fish too such as Koi and Goldfish. A firm favourite for my Mum and Dad who have kept Koi’s for several years.
Of course you need to have a wide selection of foods and items to put inside your tank/aquarium. Again looking down the store the selection was impressive. The colours of all the products looked amazing and my 2 boys loved looking at all the wonderful accessories such as the skulls and wood for the fish to hide and swim through.
The terminology and vast array of items on offer made my shopping experience a little overwhelming, however this was my first visit to the store and with some careful research online I would definitely go back armed with more knowledge and experience to then handle the amount of information on offer. The staff are extremely knowledgeable and you can always get them to guide you round the store when you are at the stage to buy. I would definitely also look into the training sessions the store offers to its customers. These include evening events for Reef and Marine Keepers and training sessions on entry level fish keeping. They also at the time of writing this blog offer a tank maintenance service which is about ongoing support and even a tank set up service.
For further information please go to their website http://destinationaquatics.co.uk/ or Facebook page where they keep you up to date with all their latest videos https://www.facebook.com/Destinationaquatics/
They have their own dedicated car park and the store is easy to get to. It’s not in the centre of Bedford but on an industrial estate outside of the town. The address is below.