After the recent spell of hot weather, David Coton was glad to see the recent rain freshening up the Garden Centre and he has these suggestions for some of the jobs that need to be done during August.
Thinking outside the box worked a treat for Mr Dyson and his vacuum cleaners and the great step forward appears to have been repeated in the world of aquatics.
It's now over ten years ago that Reef One, the manufacturers of biOrb aquariums, asked themselves whether there was a way to make fish tanks simpler to maintain, to remain visually appealing but with technologically advanced filtration.
Going back to fundamentals and thinking about aquarium design in a new way, they set about making a product, from the best materials available, ensuring a healthy and long life for the fish and satisfied the requirements of aquarists. Now with over a million biOrbs sold worldwide, it can no doubt be said that they have succeeded in reinventing the aquarium.
First of all biOrbs are made from acrylic. Why? Because it is ten times stronger and noticeably clearer than glass, allowing 93% of light through as opposed to only 70% for traditional glass aquariums.
Ceramic media provides biological filtration in every biOrb model. Made by firing clay to 1500 degrees Celsius, and with a surface area incredibly the size of a football pitch fitting into a fish tank, it's very porous, totally inert and has a unique shape that allows for the smooth circulation of water around and through it, giving the bacteria that feed on fish waste a large area on which to colonise, so keeping the water healthy.
Any excess waste is collected by the biOrb filter that has several advantages over traditional filters. As it's fitted at the bottom of the aquarium where most filtration is needed, the filter collects much more waste than a traditional one. And unlike traditional filters, they can be completely removed or cleaned without affecting the good bacteria that remains in the aquarium in the ceramic media. They only take seconds to change once every 4 -6 weeks. Oxygenation is much better than in a regular rectangular tank due to vigorous aeration keeping gases in equilibrium with the air above and well distributed with redundant gases expelled.
Although 'green water' is practically unavoidable in any fish tank, with a biOrb you will not suffer major algae problems or stagnant water.
There are currently 11 sizes of aquariums for you to choose from and each size comes with a choice of colour, with selected models also offering different light options too.
Viewable from three sides, this contemporary aquarium is available in two sizes, a 15 or 30 litre and both are ideal for keeping small fish and shrimps. Colour choices are black, white or silver and very easy to set up and comes with everything you need including filtration and lighting. The 15 litre model comes with a single LED light and the 30 litre comes with a dual LED light as the tank is double the size in volume.
These aquariums look like no other with stylishly curved lines and a choice of three colours – Red, Black or White. The four available sizes are 15 litres, a relatively new size to added to the Life range for 2013. It has a standard LED light unit as opposed to the Intelligent LED which comes with the larger models but this gives people with a smaller budget the chance to own a biOrb Life. 30 litre Square, compact and practical but with space for plants and ornaments; 45 litre Portrait that gives you benefit of a taller shape ideal for fish that prefer to be near the top; and 60 litre Portrait offering more scope for keeping larger species of fish.
biOrb Life 30, 45 and 60 aquariums are supplied with an intelligent low voltage LED light that replicates the 24 hour cycle and although supplied as a coldwater aquarium, tropical fish can be kept if you fit a biOrb Intelligent Heater or standard heater pack.
It was 1999 when the biOrb 30 litre aquarium was originally launched and since then biOrb Classic range has grown considerably. The biOrb Classic Range now has aquariums which include four sizes of tank, the Baby biOrb, 30, 60 and 105 litres.
They have been designed to reflect the traditional goldfish bowl style of aquarium but with a complete filtration system which allows you to have a goldfish bowl but one that will keep itself clean and healthy without having to empty it complete every single week.
A simple and affordable introduction to fish keeping and has everything you need to keep a few minnows. Now upgraded to come with a single LED light unit so no more changing those halogen lamps. As standard you can choose between silver or black trim but there is also 4 optional trims to purchase separately and these are blue, yellow, pink and glow in the dark green!
This is the original and still popular aquarium with a choice of lighting and heating options for keeping fancy goldfish and small tropical fish. You can purchase this aquarium with a standard dual LED light or upgrade to the Intelligent LED light unit which comes as standard with the Life range.
Suitable for larger fish and ideal for a saltwater aquarium. There's also plenty of space for aquascaping. There are two light options again with this model, standard or intelligent that uses long life LEDs.
The biOrb 30 and 60 both have swap tops available to them and these include the following colours: red, blue, green, silver, black, white, brown.
Added into the biOrb Classic range to give people with larger fish the option to have an impressive biOrb tank. It is the largest model but still small on maintenance. Equipped with an intelligent 24 hour light and suitable for larger tropical or marine fish.
Suitable for locations where the biOrb might not fit, the biUbe offers a completely different look, cylindrical with a large floor area so that water volume isn't restricted. The two models – standard biUbe and biUbe Pure - are perfect for keeping larger fish and creative aquascaping.
There are two light options for the standard model, a LED light or an intelligent 24 hour light. The biUbe Pure has a LED light that emphasizes its clear shape. A heater pack can be fitted for tropical fish and you can also keep saltwater fish with the Marine Conversion Kit.
Interested in a biOrb aquarium? Visit our biOrb shop.
Although the days are short and the view from our Garden Centre is frosty and overcast, Andy Taylor suggests various jobs that can be done in the garden during the month of January.
Showcasing young musical talent, this year's Winter Concert at Arthur Terry School was an outstanding success and took place against the stunning backdrop of a Christmas Tree donated by GardenSite.
It was quite an honour for GardenSite to be asked to supply the Christmas Tree to Birmingham New Street Station this year, and to celebrate we're offering a Champagne High Tea to the winners of a seasonal selfie competition.
With Storm Caroline reeking havoc many people are likely to be contacting their insurance companies at some time regarding damage caused to sheds, greenhouses, fences and other garden property. Robert Hall explains how GardenSite.co.uk can help with an independent insurance quote and claim.