We visit shops in East Yorkshire and Bristol.
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.
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.
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.
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.