A short time after the Velvet Revolution in 1990 in what was then Czechoslovakia, a small family-run ornamental fish breeding business located close to Prague spawned an aquatics wholesale company operating globally in over 40 countries. This made it possible to obtain the splendid fish bred by experienced Czech breeders without difficulty. These European offspring are still very popular on account of the clean spring water used with a low parasite count.
A passionate breeder, Josef Petrak was quick to recognise the signs of the times and realise there was strong demand for tropical fish in Europe. Thanks to the development of a network of breeders, currently numbering over 400, in the Czech Republic and in Slovakia and the additional import of tropical fish, his company Petra Aqua has grown into one of the five biggest aquatics wholesale businesses in Europe.
60 people are now employed at Petra Aqua's fish warehouse in Velke Prilepy close to Prague. The premises cover more than 2 000 square metres and feature 1 300 aquariums for warm water fish with a volume of water in excess of 180 000 litres. In the cold water zone, ten pools with a volume of 25 000 litres of water are available, along with another 200 aquariums. During the pond season an outdoor facility comprising 40 1 000-litre fish tanks is also in operation. The entire plant is under the continuous supervision of state veterinary officers, while two parasitologists monitor the health and vitality of the fish. The range of fish was extended in 2012 to include marine species.
Plants, fish and logistics
In 1998 Petra Aqua added another fish farm in Turcianske Teplice (Slovakia) to its facilities. This 2 500 m2 farm, heated by thermal springs, focuses on the environmentally friendly breeding of various species of ornamental fish. In addition to tetra varieties, a large number of angel and discus fish are bred here. The farm has a volume of water of over one million litres spread across 60 round pools and more than 2 000 aquariums.
A 250 m2 plant greenhouse was built next to the farm in 2015, in which a host of common aquatic plant species are cultivated (including Anubias, Cryptocoryne and Java fern). From spring to late autumn, popular species such as Hygrophila sp…