A TROPICAL fish enthusiast is getting people hooked.

Robert Day, from Spennymoor, has become the UK’s sole manufacturer of slate fish caves.

And now his business – Rob’s Custom Caves – has secured hundreds of orders from garden centres and tropical fish shops from across the UK for his unique product range.

Mr Day, who began building fish caves out of slate for his own tropical tank, quickly identified a gap in the market for quality fish furniture made from natural slate.

After posting photos of his caves on social media, he began to receive enquiries from other tropical fish owners about building them customised caves. Armed only with a hand held tile saw, his fledgling business began and has never looked back.

And it seems that Mr Day’s unique caves, which provide the perfect breeding ground for tropical fish, have captured the interest of the industry.

He has has secured contracts to produce slate caves and ‘fish hotels’ from pet shops and aquatic centres all over the UK.

Having signed a lease on a small manufacturing unit and upgrading his saw to a range of industrial tile cutters, Rob’s Custom Caves is now producing more than 100 caves a week. More details at facebook.com/robscustomcaves

He said: “The business came about very much by chance. I had bought a fish cave for my tropical fish tank but the first time I washed it, it fell apart in my hands. I knew there must be a better way; the market is awash with plastic and resin built caves but nobody was building anything from natural, durable materials.

“Slate is the ideal natural material but is difficult to work with which no doubt deters most manufacturers, yet there is a large market which I am only too happy to serve.”

  • Rob’s Custom Caves are available from a wide range of garden centres and aquatic centres or can be made to order from a wide variety of shapes and designs at https://www.facebook.com/robscustomcaves.