For the past four decades, one Perth company has been transforming suburban gardens into tranquil oases all over Australia and New Zealand.
Aquatec Equipment supplies everything you need for garden ponds online, as well as through Bunnings and independent stores. Its products range from creative lighting to water features, pumps to pond systems, plus aquaponics, hydroponics, fish food and fish nets.
The family company, which was founded in 1972 and currently employs about 18 staff, is passionate about helping customers discover, create and enjoy their outdoor living spaces.
And there’s no doubt that water features are good for the soul – refreshing the air, providing a calming and aesthetically pleasing backdrop, and even enhancing your home’s feng shui.
Do-it-yourself outdoor lighting can also completely transform the mood of your patio or al fresco area. Aquatec provides LED up-lights that can be focused on a palm or succulent to create a living canvas, as well as pond lights to add ambiance to your evening.
Green thumbs can also incorporate aquaponics – growing vegetables like spinach, watercress and lettuce using pond water – into their gardens. Fish waste feeds the plants, and the plants filter and clean the water for the fish. Aquatec’s small, three-square-metre system can grow 25 fish and 30 to 50 plants.
Aquatec operations manager Mark Richards says ponds come in many different shapes and forms.
“They come in pre-formed plastic tubs or you can actually free-form yourself – basically digging out an area and putting in pond liner to have whatever shape you like,” Richards says.
“It’s just a peaceful way of relaxing in the afternoons, sitting by a pond.”
But there’s no time for Aquatec staff to rest on their laurels, with plenty of travel to hundreds of stores across Australia, and the burgeoning New Zealand market.
The company has been working with Flight Centre Business Travel for about a year and Richards says the relationship has made a big difference.
“The sales manager spends a good two weeks of each month on the eastern seaboard, and he normally leaves all his flight details until the last minute – which makes Adam and Stacey at Flight Centre more important than you know!” he says.
As well as the time-saving convenience, Aquatec has also been able to access better prices through FCBT.
“Instead of you going through and doing it all, it’s having someone at the push of a button who returns your email saying it’s done,” he says. “The fact is the pricing’s really good, as well – you’re not having to hunt around looking for the pricing.”
Being based in Perth, Richards says flight times are the company’s biggest travel challenge. “For us, it’s just the time in the air – obviously spending four hours on a plane or three hours on a plane.”
His biggest tip for business travellers is preparation: “Work while you’re on the plane. Do as much as you can – your notes, your planning – on the plane before you land.”