The weekend of September 22-23rd we had the honor and privilege of attending and speaking at the Southwest Marine open day in Bristol, UK. We’d visited this shop once before back in May right before trailblazng over to Germany for Interzoo and at the time we thought the store was very progressive for the area, stocking gem and tricolor tangs and maintaining a very productive phytoplankton farm on-site. After last weekend’s open day with it’s lineup of speakers, the participation of manufacturers and a whole tonne of choice corals and fish for sale, there’s no doubt that Southwest Marines is one of the most happening fish stores in the British Isles.
In the US, most aquarium stores specialize in a few departments so that they can stand out from the density of LFS that many markets enjoy, and the ready supply of mail order goods and livestock via the the interwebz. With a very different market to serve, Southwest Marines stands out by doing it all: they’ve got the fresh phyto, the rare fish, the cherry corals, a suite of performance aquarium additives, foods and equipment and they’ll soon be on their way to be the most LED-centric shop in the UK. Those great features aside, the coup-de-grace for Southwest Marines is their team. The friendly and knowledgeable staff always have a smile, no one is a know-it-all but they really work together to cover all their bases. This year’s open day received a great turnout for a UK aquarium event and ti sounds like all involved are stoked about doing it even bigger and better next year. Huge thanks to Southwest Marines for the chance to participate and we look forward to coming back next year! Full photo gallery when you continue reading.