The best Christmas presents for fishkeepers

Christmas is coming and the fishkeeping sector can offer a wide choice of presents too. An aquarium is one of the best presents you can give to young people and those who love nature. A small aquarium set containing a light, heater, and filter comes boxed and will include the basics to get any new fishkeeper started. Give them a tank as a gift on Christmas day, they can set it up during the holidays, mature it, and use vouchers or Christmas money to buy their first fish.

If they already keep fish then a new tank can also be the best present you can give. There are so many fish species out there yet you can only combine a few in each tank. So give someone another tank as a gift and they can set it up to keep something else like plants, cichlids, or even marines. No fanatical fishkeeper will turn down a tank as a gift and it shows you’ve put some thought into it. They’ll love you for it!

Specific equipment gifts

If you know the type of fish they’re into you can be a bit more specific with aquatic product presents. If they’re a budding aquascaper get them some plant food, tweezers, or a CO2 set. If they’re a reefkeeper how about some frag plugs or glue, phosphate remover or carbon? Want to spend a bit more? Get them an automatic top up, refugium light or even an automatic doser? And if you’re fed up of you and them dragging heavy water barrels around get an RO unit that can be connected to an outside tap and literally produce purified water for fresh and saltwater tanks, on-demand. 

Under a tenner

If they have livebearers in their tank they’ll need a breeding trap. Plecos? Some algae wafers. Shrimp – some shrimp food. What about a gravel vac or algae scraper? A coral feeding tube or some pump cleaner? All useful stuff for fishkeepers. 

Twenty pounds upwards

An airpump is so useful and can be used for everything from powering air operated ornaments to airstones, air powered filters, to helping to mix salt in a bucket. Surface skimmers suit all freshwater tanks large and small, and automatic feeders aren’t just for those who go away on holiday a lot. They’ll feed their fish for them while they’re out at work too. 

A pond vac is the ultimate pond owner’s Christmas present

Pond presents

Every pond owner needs fish food, and most will need a Blanketweed treatment at some point and a treatment to clear the water. Has the Heron visited? Do they need a deterrent? Or how about a master test kit so they can test the water? A small pond pump is useful as a spare or if you know which filter they have you could get them a service kit. Do they need their electricals tidying up with a switch box? Or if you want to go all out get them a pond vac. Air pumps are useful for ponds too, or if their fish pond is unfiltered get them a pump and filter set, or an All-In-One?

Don’t get fish!

Ironically, the one thing you shouldn’t buy a fishkeeper for Christmas is fish. Their water may not be ready or that species may not be suitable for their tank size or prospective tank mates. Where will you hold it and when and how will you give it to them? Just like with other pets, fish are not recommended as presents and being live animals they need to have strict welfare criteria met. If you’re getting something fish related consider some of the fishy gift ideas listed above instead.     

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Jeremy Gay is an author, lifelong fishkeeper, and aquatic specialist. He's a former editor of Practical Fishkeeping Magazine, UK editor at Reefbuilders, a former aquatic store manager, and has collected fish in Sri Lanka and the Amazon. He's been on tv and radio, contributed to Koi Carp and Gardeners World magazines, been a product tester, a judge, and a product developer. Jeremy is here to guide and advise you on all things tropical, pond and marine, from set-up to stocking, health, feeding to breeding, as well as solving many common fishkeeping problems along the way.


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