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Meet the Aquascapers - James from Natural Waters UK

Updated: Nov 21, 2023

Natural Waters Aquarium Supplies, is a family-run business based in the UK. They are specialists in natural items to re-create environments in aquariums. Their mission is to inspire fish-keeping enthusiasts towards more natural environments. This is instead of the plastic, unnatural aquarium accessories that are often seen in pet shops. All items are sourced from local or sustainable locations around the globe and care is taken to ensure they are free from pollutants and chemicals.

For us here at Byrkley Aquatics we want to be able to offer something for everyone, and we are great lovers of keeping fish in a natural, safe environment. We want the fish to behave as natural as possible and so being able to recreate more natural environments helps us to do this.

Botanical Style Scape

Botanical or Blackwater aquariums as many will know them have been around for a long time. With new technology, new products and a greater understanding of the fish themselves, they are becoming far more common. We decided it was time to bring more products into our store. James will be visiting us on 1st April 2023 to help and advise our visitors how they can get started with botanicals and tinted water scapes.

Thanks go to James for taking time to help us and write a few bits about himself and the family business he has created.

1. Tell us a bit about Natural Waters.

We specialise in organic and sustainable items used to help replicate natural environments for animals such as fish, inverts, and reptiles. Below are some of the products that you can find in our interesting range.

Banana stems, Palm Rings, Lotus Pods

2. What else did you have going on in your life when you first decided to start your own business?

I had a full-time, job and two children. I was at home enjoying one of my biggest hobbies, fish keeping.

3. Why did you decide to start your own business?

I have this mantra that I wanted to help raise awareness and assist people in replicating a more natural habitat for their animals. It's well perceived walking into a shop to buy fish for example that many of the items sold are made of plastic such as ornaments and fake plants. These, unfortunately, are not the type of products that are found in the natural habitats of fish (specifically tropical freshwater) or the shops that sell the animals. They will often be found in very turbid water covered in leaf litter and pods fallen from the trees above the water. This is what inspired me to start my business; to bring exposure and help bring a more natural-looking aquarium into people's homes. The health benefits from fish behaviour to well-being are substantially increased when you bring their environments into your aquariums. Plus it's better for the environment!

4. Why is Natural Waters important to you?

I want to make a difference in the hobby I love so much, the way to do this is to help inspire others and maybe one day leave something behind for my children.

5. If you could choose one magic power, what would you go for?

The power to travel in time to see what the future looks like.

6.What is your favourite fish?

Freshwater - Hatchet fish Saltwater - Bengai Cardinal

7. What is your favourite product?

Jackfruit or Mangrove Leaves.

8. And where do you take your inspiration from when creating a scape? Mainly South American biotopes are my favourite to replicate, inspiration from the Amazon river is what I enjoy most in my aquariums.

9. And finally, where do you see your company in 5 years' time?

Ideally going from an online store to opening a brick-and-mortar store being an internationally recognised business, to be able to create a business in which I can develop innovative items for the hobby and also be able to grow and collect many of the items I currently sell.

Find out more about natural environments for fish, invertebrates, and reptiles you can visit the Natural Waters Aquarium Supplies website.

You can also find James on Instagram or Facebook

Tinted water Betta tank

Natural Waters products will soon be found in our online shop. Check out the rest of our knowledge base for more information on setting up your first fish tank and lots of other things.

Did you know that Male Betta fish need exercise and enrichment? Botanicals in a Betta tank are great for so many reasons. You can find out more in our Betta - Tips for Enrichment and Exercise Blog


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