I have been fascinated by the aquatic world since I was a teenager. I found it amazing that by adding water to an aquarium or pond, paying attention to the particular conditions within that artificial creation, that you could not only keep but also breed creatures, plants and fish from all over the world.
My interest in ‘aquatics’ led me to have an insatiable demand for information on different tropical fish, saving pocket money for new fish, and asking for aquarium books for birthday presents. In my late ‘teens, I even started working in a local water garden and aquarium shop for nothing – it was sufficient reward just to be able to spend time in contact with fish, aquaria, pumps, plants and filters – (Thanks Baz!).
I studied marine biology at Bangor University, and wrote a thesis on feeding and digestion in African Tilapia (It was 3 years of pleasure rather than hard work!). Leaving university, I was presented with the opportunity to farm koi for a living (Prokoi, Lancashire, UK), and then a few years later, helped create a new fish farming and aquatic department at Brooksby Melton College, Leicestershire, UK. Five great years working with fish and students who wanted to learn about how to farm and earn a living from fish and the aquatic world led me back into the commercial world, initally as a consultant to the market-leading aquarium food brand and then as the marketing and product manager for Nishikoi – the leading pond and koi food brand in the UK.
During that time I was also able to serve on the board of OATA (Ornamental and Aquatic Trade Association) – working with some highly accomplished and experienced colleagues from throughout the commercial aquatic world.
Whilst working for Nishikoi, I headed up the ‘Nishikoi Infocentre’ where I answered lots of pond keepers’ questions and queries and toured UK and USA giving talks and presentations on ponds and koi keeping. It was during this time that I wrote hundreds of articles for pond and koi magazines around the world – many of which are published free for you on this site. I then started an exciting role at GA Pet Food Partners as Sales & Marketing Director, overseeing the sales and marketing activities for the largest private label pet food manufacturer - helping many pet businesses and brands to launch and develop their ranges of pond and koi foods (as well as other pet foods). Moving within the pet food industry to Premier Pet Nutrition as the commercial manager, I work with an excellent team of pet nutrition specialists, helping pet food manufacturers around Europe to make superior pet foods and profitability through our services as a bespoke pet food premix supplier.
I hope you find what you want on the site – it’s all free, and a pleasure to share and help you in any way that I can. If you are still hungry for more extensive, refined and professional advice on ponds, then (of course!) I do recommend my book.
Best wishes – and successful pond keeping,