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damienfitz

Brisbane's Best Hidden Aquarium - Recovering from the Floods

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Hi all,

Back in January I put some posts up about my favourite aquarium store, Mappin's Nursery and Aquarium at 240 Montague Rd, West End. Along with a large part of West End Mappins was flooded in January in the floods. While they fortunately didn't lose much stock - plants or fish - it has had a huge impact on their business, to the extent that Darryl, the owner, is thinking of getting out of the aquarium trade after over 20 years. So I wanted to get out and tell some people about this hidden gem.

Mappin's is just across the road from where I work and it, like other businesses in West End are finding the recovery from the floods tough. Whether I'm grabbing a take away coffee, getting lunch or looking at fish everyone says that the customers are yet to return in pre-flood numbers. Locals are still getting their own houses into shape and they're not looking for plants or fish.

Other than the fact that it's just across the road from me at work, Mappin's is my favourite aquarium in Brisbane because it stocks the best range I've seen of natives. Whether you're looking for a Wonga Creek, G. incisus, M. lacustris, M. herbertaxelrodi, or even perchlets Mappin's has it. They also have other natives like Rendahl's catfish, gudgeons and cod as well as a smattering of exotics. Rainbows are my thing, my favourite community fish, so this is right down my alley, not to mention they have good prices...and plants. My other hobby happens to be my tropical garden so I also love the fact that this store is a nursery as well.

Today I went in and took some photos so I could share this hidden Brisbane gem. I've been meaning to do this for the last 12 months, but I've been lazy...

This is Darryl's display tank. Believe it or not this is a super low tech tank. It runs off gravel filters. It is simply the best low tech tank I've ever seen. If you ever want to go low tech Darryl's the man to advise you the best way to go. Just don't get him started about under gravel vs canister filters

TheDisplayTank.jpg

A Wonga Creek rainbow from the display tank up close

Wonga_Creek.jpg

A big tank of G. incisuses (or should that be G. incisusii?)

G_Incisus.jpg

There's more in the store, but my photos didn't really turn out, sorry.

If you're around the city centre and you're wanting to visit an aquarium store check out Mappins in West End. They're struggling to come back from the floods in January and so if you're in the area drop by, they'll certainly appreciate the business - and I'd like my favourite aquarium store to stay open.

Thanks,

Damien

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whats the address?

read the first line of the post mate. lol. read the post before after Qs! at least the first line!

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whats the address? I always thought they were out Brookfield way?

They used to be but moved to West End about 18 months ago. They're at 240 Montague Rd, West End. Just a block from the river - hence the issues with flooding back in January.

Mullygrub - they specialize in natives of all kinds, even native fresh water crabs. I was talking to Darryl today and he's about to restock for the summer. I've already put in my requests for some delicate and spotted blue eyes, some rhadinocentrus, threadfins and peacock rainbows, so I'm hoping they'll appear in stock soon. In the mean time he's the only place around where you can get pygmy rainbows, lacustris rainbows and herbertaxelrodi rainbows, all of which look great in my tanks!!

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Mullygrub - they have natives that you can't get in most LFSes. Easily the best in Brisbane in my opinion. I'm guessing by your picture there that you're a bit of a fan of natives like me, and it's definitely my favourite aquarium in Brisbane.

Are you after anything in particular? They're just across the road from where I work so I can check tomorrow and let you know if they've got what you're after.

Damien

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Nice to meet another die hard fan. If you get a chance to go into Mappins you'll find some fellow die hard fans there I'm sure.

No rhads or celebes at the moment, I've asked Darryl about rhads this week myself though and he tells me that they aren't to be found on his supplier lists at the moment.

I know he can get in some delicate blue eyes at the moment as we were talking about them today, in case you're interested in those instead of the celebes.

He has a big tank of incisus at the moment, at least 30 of them I would think. Mostly males in there but I'm sure that there will be some females.

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I had heard about them back when at Brookfield and recently went hunting for them when I heard their unfortunate effects from the floods. It was a great surprise to find a store so dedicated to natives. I am going back for sure to see what they get in for summer and get some unusual rainbows. They also have a lot of pond plants too. No self respecting native nut would be without an outdoor pond or three for rearing fry, and stocked with pond plants.

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On the advice of Darryl I'm trying out some of their lilies as an attempt to replace ye olde tiger lotus in my new tank. I've picked out one that has bright red leaves but smaller than tiger lotus, i'll be sure and post pictures if it works out.

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Damian, Yeah I have been trialling banana lillies for the first time where going ok before I tore the tank for an upgrade to a bigger tank.

Did you notice if the had any nardoo there, I have a pond full of it so was thinking I would donate a bucket full to them to help them in a small way recover from the floods. Do you think they would accept them?

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They're my favourite place to get rid of my excess plants :-). I've not seen any nardoo in the aquarium section, but it may be in some of the ponds...not sure.

edenholly - the nursery is specialized too, mainly in succulents and water gardens, lots of different types of lilies and even some chickens (which I always found kind of odd). Just as with the aquarium, there's stuff there that I've never seen anywhere else. Good shade loving section too.

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Hi DavidT,

The aquarium and nursery aren't really separate. They're the same shop, the aquarium stuff is in the big warehouse/shed area at the back and the nursery is up the front.

BTW, with respect to the nardoo and the flood recovery. Fortunately they didn't get much damage in the floods, the water stopped just short of their tanks (by about an inch) and only one or two tanks broke, so mostly it was a lot of clean up work. They probably wouldn't say no to the plants though as they're currently stocking up for the summer.

The real problem though has been that since the floods a lot of the local business around West End has disappeared. I guess locals are still busy cleaning up and repairing, or are likely too cash strapped to be in the market for fish and plants. Whether I'm at the cafes, hairdressers or at Mappins everyone I know in the area is finding it tough.

So the biggest help that people can be is to get into Mappins and take a look, and if you like what's there buy a fish/crab/turtle/plant or two.

Damien

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Hi jpcqw,

Mappin's isn't a sponsor, and I'm not an employee, just a loyal customer of this particular aquarium. Over the years I've gotten to know the owner reasonably well and as someone who's trying to keep a business going in West End post-floods I know that it's been a rough year.

I've also noticed over recent years my favourite aquariums are closing down and I'm determined not to let another one fade quietly into the night or get bought out and have a horribly limited range. I guess that does mean I'm advertising in a sense, but personally I'm doing it for selfish reasons - I want my favourite stores to stay open so I can continue to have awesome looking fish. I'll be damned if I'm going to put another molly, platy or swordtail into my tanks. Overall I guess you could call it "enlightened self interest".

Damien

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