shop­tour

We visit shops in East York­shire and Bris­tol.

Practical Fishkeeping (UK) - - Welcome -

Ad­dress: Unit 6a, Wel­ton Busi­ness Park, Wiske Av­enue, Brough, HU15 1ZQ. Tel: 01482 662200. Web­site: www.oc­to­pus8aquat­ics.co.uk Open­ing hours: Mon closed; Tues–sat 10am–6.30pm; Sun 10am–4pm.

What is it?

Oc­to­pus 8 Aquat­ics is a new shop — six months old at the time of writ­ing. It’s a small, 1,000 square foot fam­ily run store and is very well laid out with a clean and con­tem­po­rary feel. It’s quickly gained a strong rep­u­ta­tion for high-end ma­rine dry goods and healthy live­stock, as well as a good range of fresh­wa­ter odd­balls and aquas­cap­ing prod­ucts. Man­ager, Louis Gre­gory, has had plenty of ex­pe­ri­ence in the trade, suc­cess­fully man­ag­ing a large aquatic store be­fore liv­ing his dream of run­ning his own shop with the help from his mum and step-dad.

High points

If you like a mod­ern-feel then this shop will be right up your street. The in­te­rior is mostly black and grey with clever spot­light­ing to give a pleas­ant ambience. All the sell­ing tanks have black back­grounds and black sub­strate, mak­ing the fish colours re­ally pop un­der the LED light­ing — a mix­ture of Kes­sil, TMC and Ecotech Ra­dions. Louis is a pas­sion­ate hob­by­ist with a pro­fes­sional yet per­son­able na­ture, which be­came clear as I heard him deal with his cus­tomers.

De­spite his main back­ground in fresh­wa­ter with a par­tic­u­lar pas­sion for odd­balls, the main at­trac­tion was the ma­rine sec­tion of the shop. Stocked with a huge range of dry goods and stun­ning live­stock, I could see why this shop is the talk of the area for reef hob­by­ists.

Fresh­wa­ter live­stock was dom­i­nated by var­i­ous odd­balls but with a se­lec­tion of bread and but­ter com­mu­nity fish to suit all lev­els of fish­keeper.

It was a nice change to see the sell­ing tanks much larger than usual, which Louis says helps to make the fish more com­fort­able, de­spite them be­ing harder to catch!

It was great to see Louis also in­vest­ing in the aquas­cap­ing side of the hobby, with a great planted dis­play greet­ing you as you en­ter the store. Plenty of de­cent hard­scape ma­te­ri­als and other dry goods give bud­ding

If Dis­cus, African ci­ch­lids and ponds are your thing then you’ll need to go else­where.

As an aquas­ca­per, I would have liked to have seen a health­ier se­lec­tion of aquar­ium plants on of­fer to com­pli­ment the ex­cel­lent choice of aquas­cap­ing dry goods. How­ever, Louis is look­ing at in­vest­ing in a be­spoke hy­dro­ponic plant hold­ing sys­tem that will re­flect the mod­ern na­ture of the shop.

Ver­dict

This shop is a gem. It’s early days for Oc­to­pus 8 but I can see the store is off to a great start with a loyal cus­tomer base al­ready. The for­ward-think­ing na­ture of Louis com­bined with his pas­sion and drive is great to see and is re­flected in the whole at­mos­phere in this ex­cel­lent lit­tle shop.

In time, I can see Louis tak­ing on more staff, al­though he does have a good friend, and ma­rine ex­pert, that helps reg­u­larly on a vol­un­tary ba­sis.

One of the best small shops I’ve vis­ited, highly rec­om­mended and well worth a long drive if you’re not lo­cal.

At just six months old, Oc­to­pus 8 has al­ready gained a loyal cus­tomer base.

Dwarf hawk­fish.

Snow­ball plec.

Drac­ula goby and shrimp pair. aquas­ca­pers plenty of op­tions. Oc­to­pus 8 also had some of the best la­belling I’ve seen.

Sales tanks are larger than nor­mal to al­low the fish to feel more com­fort­able.

This isn’t a huge shop, but space is used wisely and there’s plenty to see.

Colour­ful zoas.

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