service staff knows that the secret of a successful aquarium is
consistent maintenance! The following is a list of the more important
Water test: A full water test at least once a month and always
before adding new fish. Keeping records of PH, Ammonia, Nitrites,
Nitrates and Phosphates can be helpful. Calcium should be tested
in reef systems. Stability of your water quality is the biggest
indicator of whether your maintenance practices are sound and
if your equipment is able to handle your aquarium with your current
· Water changes: 20 % every 2 to 4 weeks, depending
on fish load and water quality. Gravel clean during all water
changes. It is the easiest way to remove extra organics from your
system. We run our saltwater fish tanks at a specific gravity
of 1.018. Depending on the type of fish in your aquarium, the
lower salinity may help to prohibit parasites from reproducing.
Reefs need to be at 1.022 to 1.024. Our freshwater systems may
be salted to a specific gravity of 1.003 to 1.007 depending on
what type of fish are in them.
· Prefilters: Cleaned at least every 1 - 2 weeks,
replaced every 1 - 2 months.
· Air stones: Replace at least monthly.
· Canister filters: Cleaned and media replaced every
2 to 4 weeks, depending on fish load and water quality. If you
are using micron filters - clean them well! Carbon works very
well to keep your water crystal clear. Regardless of where you
are running the carbon, use only high grade, phosphate-free carbon.
Our favorite is Kent Marine. Carbon should be changed at least
once a month, as needed.
· Tank: Wipe down tank and decorations should be
cleaned or rotated: every 2 to 4 weeks or as needed depending
on type of system and amount of light and algae growth. Keep a
second rotation of decorations. Having a clean set ready to go
in when you are pulling the dirty ones will save you a lot of
time and keep you from putting improperly cleaned decorations
back into your aquarium that could kill your fish.
· U.V. bulbs: Replaced every 6 months for 100% killing
power, even if the bulb is still lit! They are not as effective
after this point, and are even less effective the longer they
· Chillers and pumps: Vacuum out every 2 -3 months,
more often if they are in a dusty area. Non submersible pumps
oiled once a month, or per manufactures instructions. Power head
impellers need to be cleaned every 2-3 months.
· Light bulbs: Change every 12 months, even if still