It's been a busy year here at Rock N Critters, the work never stops and the list of Jobs to do never ceases. As the last blog post of 2022 I wanted to do a quick roundup of what the team have been up to. 

Showroom Upgrade.

A year or so back the team decided to break down the main display you see as you walk in to the shop. It had been running for few years and the SPS colonies which had grown in it were testament to its success but the vision to create multiple display tanks each showing off a different type of reef and coral meant that we wanted to mix up the main display to make it even more SPS dominant and to change the rockscape a bit. So, after being dry for a while it slowly moved up the 'to do' list and the iconic anchor was moved back in, the rockwork pieced together and water once more flowed through the return pipes. The rockwork is now a bit more open with more options for SPS placement. SPS frags and colonies are selectively being added and they are already showing signs of good growth.

Most notably though to the showroom is the addition of three new systems. The concept for the showroom is to have multiple running reef tanks each a different aquarium and each housing a different type of coral. Working left to right we have our lagoon algae tank which houses our breeding seahorses, next is our Anemone tank with multiple anemones of different colours with a pair of stunning clownfish of course. Then we have a Soft Coral reef which shows that soft corals are far from boring and the rock work is, I think, particularly good. Next is the DD Reef Pro for the LPS side of the house, with nice chalices and euphyllia on the menu. It's been no small task to get all these aquariums plumbed in and working but it's finally there and the effect is brilliant. Not only do we get to show off more corals in display tanks but each display is a different aquarium of different size which serves to show you, the reefer new or veteran, how each looks with water and livestock.  

Fraggin' Upgrade.

If you've peeked downstairs then you've probably seen the swimming pool sized addition to the system.. it's a bit hard to miss to be fair! Getting this into place let alone filled with water has been a gargantuan task but we managed it. This additional water volume gives us even more stability to the already huge system and much needed extra space to keep and grow out corals for fragging. No matter how much extra aquarium real estate we seem to make it gets used up really quickly and I am sure the 'swimming pool' will be no different. Watch this space for even more coral and frags to start making their way onto sale and onto the website!

Lots o' Rock.

For a period of time it seemed like Live Rock was becoming a scarce commodity but we've managed to keep the Live Rock vats brimmed with not just rock but plenty of variety. Branching, rubble and plating rock a plenty which has really helped when it comes to building aquascapes as evident in the display tanks of the showroom. The variety we've managed to keep in has also allowed us to experiment with the rockscapes we've built plus the space to do so downstairs using Aquaforest cement to build rock solid scapes has been great. 

Fishy finds.

We've always been able to source pretty much anything into the shop and when we get requests we always do our utmost to see that we get good livestock in to meet expectations. With specific requests we get to see some interesting things come through the shop door including some lovely Rays, a rather large bamboo shark, peacock mantis shrimp, Octopus, a rather large hairy leg hermit (whose moult you can see in the office!) and many others. The variety of what is in store at any one time is always great but being able to see some really rather niche things come through the door is all the better. 

All of the Coral!

Since the relaxation of Indo exports we've managed to secure SPS colonies amongst other things and the main coral tray upstairs has been full ever since, we've even struggled for space at times so some clever coral placement and shuffling has really come into play. Ultimately though we've been able to offer a huge selection of corals across the board from SPS colonies to soft coral frags and everything in between. We're not stopping there either, we want to keep offering more and more which we will do. 

All in all, this wouldn't be possible without the team behind Rock N Critters, always chipping away at the 'to do' list, endlessly cleaning glass and feeding the fish but the end result is worth it, being able to offer what Rock N Critters offers to the customer is what keeps the team going so ultimately, to round off this round up we want to say thank you, to you the customer. Thank you for supporting us throughout the year both online and in store, without you there wouldn't be a Rock N Critters. So here's to a fantastic 2022 and an even better 2023! Happy New Year!

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