Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Up In The Morning,

and we were all off,

 John, a long time friend of Steve had driven up from Worthing,

 to join us for breakfast and a day out,

 so first stop an all you can eat breakfast,

 baked beans, yummy!

 this was where we ate, at the Toby Carvery Eden Park,

 we were all going to see a friend of mine who I have known for more years than I can remember, and at the shop we also buy fish from, we have hunted for new species of fish in the Congo, Zaire, Zambia and India amongst other places, he has one of the largest live fish wholesalers in all of Europe, and he supplies live tropical and cold water fish to aquatic wholesalers and retailers all over the world, I have been asked not to give an address as he is strictly wholesale only, the entrance to the upstairs above,

 and the office where all of the orders are taken and the business is run, I should also mention that before I meet Neil I did buy fish from his father who was also a fish wholesaler so many years ago, but Neil started his business from scratch,

 from left to right, for the first time I met Simon, son of John one of Neil's brothers, beside him, Neil, the man himself and another brother Peter,

 this is the main packing area,

 Neil took us on a tour of the farm,

 the girls were told not to put their fingers in the aquariums,

 some had piranhas, in them!

 we started our tour,

 the rooms led off of the central packing area,

 each room with one type of fish,

for instance this room has discus,

which means that the room,

 can be kept self contained,

 with pumps, filters and water conditions to suit each individual fish group,

 take just these two parameters for instance, p.h. the measure of acidity or alkalinity,

or G.H. which measures the hardness of water,

for instance the soft acid water that would suit this L number Pleco, would be totally unsuitable for say a Lake Tanganyika cichlid,

we next entered a custom built from the ground below fish room,

 I say below ground as a series of 100 meter holes have been drilled in to the earth to work as differential heat exchangers to keep the room warm,

 this is the room where the pumps and filtering systems will be, at the moment used as a store,

 I mention before where the water conditions in each room can be fine tuned for each type of fish, 

 there are also rooms where fish from one region,

 or country are kept,

 like these,

 now on to the hardware,

 banks of u.v. sterilising lights keep the water on each system pathogen free,

 huge tower filters,

and Neil's own invention, bubble bead filters keep everything in prime conditions,

banks of plugs,

 and switch gear make easy work of the electrics,

as well as pumps and filters,

 each aquarium is individually kept topped up,

 filtered and drained continually by a series of pipe works,

 we now entered the cold  water section,

 where bank after bank of aquariums,

 and pools hold thousands of fish,

 chances are,

 if you go to a garden centre to buy a goldfish,

 this is where they came from,

the girls were really enjoying the tour,

 but there are not only plain goldfish here,

 these are butterfly koi, called butterfly because of their long fins,


 as well as silver orfe,

 there were also many sturgeon here,

 they are becoming popular pool pets,

 we continued to walk,

 along row,

 after row,

 of cold water fish,

 as we neared the end of the cold water section,

 the girls were captivated,

 they had found the section with terrapins in,

 back to the packing station,

 our tour over we passed the plastic bag,

 and box store,

 Neil also is the UK agent for a premier fish food range, New Life Spectrum,

before we go here is a video that Diana made of our visit,

 we were now off for a bite to eat,

 which the girls thought was great fun as Neil had a Land Rover,

and this was where we were going 

 the local pub,

 'Cheers!', from all of us,

 there was outdoor seating, but now now it was raining,

 the countryside looked so green,

 back in the Land Rover,

 all set and ready to go, arriving back at the farm we thanked Neil for giving us so much time in his always hectic day, just in case you want to know, at the farm there are 3,500 aquariums and 500,000 fish in stock at any one time, amazing!

 Steve drove us around the countryside, and we eventually stopped here,

 at Woodcoat Garden Centre,

 lots of local produce on sale,

 and preserves,

 the cake stall,

 so it was cakes, 

 all round,

 and a glass of white wine for myself,

 we had a look at some of the flowers,

 we did not go outside as it was still raining,

but there was plenty to look at inside,

 now this is embarrassing, both Steve and myself were fooled, these are fake orchids!

 moving on, we arrived at Costco,

 where it was still raining lightly,

 back home at Steve and Kai's the local fox called into the garden,

 I was looking at him, looking at me, looking at him, etc,

 we were going to eat at the table when disaster stuck, Diana dropped one of Steve's orchids on the floor, clean up next,

but soon all was well, Kai had made a huge chicken salad, followed by English strawberry's and ice cream, rounded off with Brie and biscuits, we said our farewells to John and settled down to watch a film, then one from Little Britain, one from The Chase and we were off to bed.

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