Benefits and Role of Dallas Aquarium Experts as your Dallas Aquarium Maintenance Company

Aquariums are found in locations other than a home. Many doctor offices, restaurants, schools, hotel lobbies, stores and hospitals include a tank in their décor. The greenery of the plants and the graceful swimming of the fish can produce a calming effect in a room.

Staff in offices and institutions should not be expected to take care of the aquarium, except for feeding the fish, so this is where an aquarium maintenance company could benefit these locations.

Role of an Dallas Aquarium Experts as your Aquarium Maintenance Company

Dallas Aquarium Experts will do the following for our clients

• Counsel the client on all the options for an aquarium system. There are decisions to be made on a saltwater or freshwater tank, size and shape of tank plus how much money the client is willing to spend.

• Set up the aquarium equipment and then supply the fish, plants and decorations.

• Advise client on daily care of the fish and identifying any problems with the equipment, water or fish.

• Service the aquarium on a regular basis and usually once a month at a minimum. The servicing will include testing the water and observing the health of the fish. It also includes regular water changes and cleaning of the tank and equipment.

• Replace fish and plants when required.

• Provide emergency services if equipment fails or if fish show signs of disease.

Benefits of Hiring an Dallas Aquarium Experts as your Aquarium Maintenance Service Company

• Relying on experts to take care of the aquarium can enable people with no knowledge of aquariums to have a tank in their place of business.

• The aquarium and fish will be healthy due to constant monitoring and routine maintenance.

• Even if a client knows how to maintain a tank, there is a matter of finding time to take care of the tank while trying to conduct business.

• If the aquarium system is on a rental contract, everything can be returned to Dallas Aquarium Experts if the client does not wish to renew the contract.

Even homeowners can benefit from hiring an aquarium maintenance company. There are people who need to have the guidance of an expert especially if the aquarium system is expensive. In addition, homeowners can save time by having someone else take care of their tank.

Dallas Aquarium Maintenance Consultations – Dallas Aquarium Experts

Consultations

We have extensive knowledge and experience and can offer advice, recommendations, and assistance in a variety of circumstances and situations. We can be of assistance if you’re considering upgrading to a bigger tank, downgrading to a smaller one, switching from freshwater to saltwater, etc. Or, if you would simply like a sit-down with an expert for some pointers and help with your current tank, we can certainly help with that as well.

DALLAS AQUARIUM EXPERTS

Aquarium Maintenance & Service, Custom Design, and Aquarium Leasing in Dallas and the surrounding communities

Contact us today to schedule your free consultation

Whether your need is servicing an existing aquarium, or you are interested in a new aquarium setup, we will schedule a free consultation where an experienced professional will meet with you at your home or place of business. We will assess your current situation and devise a plan that will help you move closer to the aquarium you have always wanted.

 

Call us at (469) 450-3900

Starting a Siphon – Siphoning Your Aquarium Water and Cleaning Your Aquarium Gravel

Starting a Siphon

Siphoning Your Aquarium Water and Cleaning Your Aquarium Gravel

  

To operate a gravel vacuum, you will need to get a siphon started in the siphon tube.

First, place a bucket on a low stool or on the floor in front of the fish tank. You will use this bucket to catch the water you are draining out of the fish tank through the siphon.

If the siphon you are starting is attached to a gravel vacuum, place the wide end of the gravel vacuum in the aquarium, and rest its open end on or slightly into the aquarium gravel. If this siphon is not attached to a gravel vacuum, you will want to keep the end of the siphon in the aquarium several inches away from the gravel. Point the other end of the tube toward the bucket.

To get your siphon started, you will need to get water into the siphon tube.

Starting a Siphon by Immersion

Another option to get a siphon started is to lower the entire siphon into the aquarium slowly, making sure that you get all of the air out of the tube. Then you can plug the one end of the tube with your finger or thumb and lift that end out of the tank (being careful that the other end does not come out of the water) and lower it toward the bucket before releasing your finger. When you release your finger, the water should start to flow into the bucket.

Suck-Starting an Aquarium Siphon

Probably the easiest way to do this is to gently suck on the lower (bucket) end of the siphon tube while holding it above the bucket, but lower than the water level in the aquarium. As soon as the water gets past the edge of the fish tank and begins to flow down the tube, remove your mouth from the siphon and allow the water to flow into the bucket. However, some people think that this method is a disgusting way to get a siphon started (though the water in your aquarium should be no more harmful to you than it is to your fish). In these cases, there are other ways to get your siphon started.

  

  Starting a Siphon with a Priming Ball

Some other gravel vacuums have a valve in them that will allow water to flow one way, but not the other. The manufacturers of these recommend that you shake the gravel vacuum rapidly up and down in the aquarium to push water past that valve and into the tube. In this manner you can get the siphon started by just getting water pushed over the lip of the fish tank when it can start to flow downward into the bucket. I find that using this method always makes the aquarium unnecessary messy and often creates a mess. I also find that this is the most difficult method to use to get a siphon started.

  

 

Nothing is more important in aquarium keeping than water quality management. There are many excellent products available out there to assist in water quality management, but in my opinion, there is still no replacement for water changes, good filtration, and good feeding habits.

  

  

DALLAS AQUARIUM EXPERTS

 

Aquarium Maintenance & Service, Custom Aquarium Design, Aquarium Installation & Set Up, and Aquarium Sales in Dallas and the surrounding communities

 

 

Contact Dallas Aquarium Experts Today!

Schedule a free consultation where a reliable and professional service technician will come to your home or business and access your current situation. Before you make your decision on an Aquarium Maintenance Company in DFW, allow us the opportunity to provide you a free consultation regarding your current Aquarium or we can provide an estimate on a new aquarium set-up and aquarium maintenance. Your fish will reward you with their natural beauty and years of enjoyment.

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• Call us at (469) 450-3900

 

• Email us at sales@DallasAquariumExperts.com

 

Bacterial Blooms and Cloudy Aquarium Water

Cloudy Water,  maybe you have a Bacterial Bloom

Every aquarist has experienced a bacterial bloom at some point. They are common in new set-ups which are cycling, but can happen at any time. The water goes cloudy, almost like someone has poured a drop of milk into the tank, and no matter how many water changes you do, it doesn’t go away. Sound familiar?

I hope to explain here exactly what a bacterial bloom is, the effect it can have, how to treat it and how to prevent it.

The Nitrogen Cycle

To fully understand about bacterial blooms, knowledge of the Nitrogen Cycle is required. If you are unsure of the Nitrogen Cycle or don’t know what it is, it may be helpful to read the linked topic below first. This is particularly relevant if you have recently set up the tank, as the cloudiness is most likely an indication of other problems.

Now what is a Bacterial Bloom (The Cloudy Water Culprit)?

There are 2 types of bacteria at work in our tanks:

Autotrophic Bacteria – Bacteria capable of synthesizing its own food from inorganic substances, using light or chemical energy. Our beneficial filter bacteria are autotrophs.

Heterotrophic Bacteria – Bacteria that cannot synthesize its own food and is dependent on complex organic substances for nutrition. The heterotrophs in our aquariums mineralise the organic waste (break down the uneaten food, fish waste, dead plant matter etc into ammonia).

Contrary to popular belief, it is commonly the heterotrophs which are seen in our bacterial blooms, not our trusted autotroph nitrifiers.

It is the heterotrophs which are primarily responsible for creating the “bio-film” (slimy residue found on the tank walls and ornaments) which builds up in our aquariums.

The heterotrophs are generally bigger than the autotrophs and therefore don’t attach themselves to surfaces with the same ease. They also reproduce much more quickly. Heterotrophs can reproduce in around 15 – 20 minutes, whereas autotrophs can take up to 24 hours to reproduce.

In new aquarium set ups, the heterotrophs get to work quicker than the autotrophs, causing the ‘cycling bloom’ we so often see. Blooms are almost certainly heterotrophic if they are caused by a buildup of organic waste in the substrate, which most, if not all, are.

Bacterial blooms are common in tanks with apparently no organics present (for example, where all that is in the tank is water and ammonia for a fishless cycle). This is caused by the dechlorination of the water suddenly enabling the water to support bacterial populations. The heterotrophs immediately get to work on the organics in the water itself. The severity of the bloom and even whether a bloom happens at all is dependent upon the level of organics contained in the water supply.

Our autotroph nitrifiers are strictly aerobic (require oxygen), but the heterotrophs can be facultative anaerobic (they can switch between aerobic and anaerobic function depending on their environment). Therefore the heterotrophs in the substrate will be in their anaerobic state and breaking down the organic waste into ammonia, but if they bloom up into the water column, they will switch to their aerobic form and will start to convert the ammonia back to nitrite, although very inefficiently. The heterotrophs are around 1,000,000 times less efficient at ammonia oxidization than our beneficial autotrophs as the heterotrophs are not true nitrifiers.

The Effects of a Bacterial Bloom – Oxygen Deprivation

Most of the bacteria in the aquarium are aerobic as it is an oxygen dominated environment, and these bacteria require lots of oxygen. When the heterotrophic bacteria bloom into the water column and switch to their aerobic state, this is a big drain on the oxygen content of the water. Oxygen deprivation is the only risk to the fish which I am aware of during a bacterial bloom, as the heterotrophs themselves are harmless to fish, so good advice is to increase aeration!

To help you to understand why bacterial blooms occur, overfeeding, dead fish or dead plant matter will cause a rise in the reproduction of the heterotrophs in order to break down the organic waste, they re-produce too quickly to be able to attach themselves to a surface and this causes a bacterial bloom. As the ammonia production increases due to the increased mineralisation, the nitrifiers are slow to catch up (as I said above) and so you see an ammonia spike until the autotrophs reproduce enough to take care of it. Contrary to popular belief, bacterial blooms cause an ammonia spike, not the other way around.

It is unclear whether the autotrophic nitrifiers ever bloom into the water column or if they simply multiply too slowly to cause this effect.

Treatment and Prevention of Bacterial Blooms

A thorough gravel vacuuming will certainly help the situation, as will trying not to overfeed. Also, increase aeration as I noted above. Water changes will probably not clear the cloudiness as when you remove the free-floating heterotrophic bacteria, the others will reproduce more to compensate. Given the reproduction rate of the heterotrophs, it would require a 50% water change every 15 – 20 minutes just to stop the bloom getting worse, and even more if you want to make any progress towards clearing the bloom.

However, water changes won’t exacerbate the situation as it will be heterotrophs (which are producing ammonia) which are removed from the water column via the water change. A water change will remove virtually no nitrifying autotrophic bacteria from the tank at all as 99% of the nitrifiers are housed in the filter, not in the water column. Water changes are not essential in clearing bacterial blooms, as left alone; they will usually dissipate within a matter of days.

Reducing the amount of organic waste in your tank is the ultimate solution to treating a bacterial bloom, and avoiding a buildup of organic waste in the tank is the best way to prevent a bloom. The best way to do this is to maintain regular water changes and substrate vacuuming every time a water change is done.  Dallas Aquarium Experts vacuums the substrate on every aquarium service visit.

As I said above, blooms are common in tanks with apparently no organic waste present, most commonly when only water and ammonia are in the tank for a fishless cycle. In this case, there are few easy ways to remove the organics from the water, and so my best suggestion is to sit it out and wait. Water changes with purified water would help as it would dilute the concentration of organics in the water. Reverse Osmosis water would be ideal in this situation.  This is one reason why Dallas Aquarium Experts always use R/O water for all water changes and new aquarium set-ups.

A bloom in an established tank indicates that there is a problem which has allowed a build-up of organic waste, usually in the substrate. This can be caused by excess dead plant matter, over-feeding which leaves food lying around the tank, or leaving dead fish in the tank. None of these are desirable in an aquarium and a bloom in your established tank will certainly indicate one or more of these causes present in the tank. If you experience a bloom in an established tank, improve your aquarium maintenance.

Nano Reef Tanks

Setting Up A Nano Reef Aquarium

Setting up your own nano reef can be quite simple and is almost the same as a traditionally sized reef. This article will go over the basics of setting up a nano reef, as well as the equipment that is necessary.

To start, you will need to pick out the aquarium you would like to use. Three good starter sizes are the standard 15 gallon, 20 gallon, or 29 gallon aquariums. Next, you will need to decide on the lighting system you want to use. Powercompact retrofit kits and canopies are highly recommended. These powercompact lamps will provide your nano reef with plenty of light for many types of corals. For the heater, I highly recommend using a 50w or 75w Ebo Jager brand heater, as users of these have consistently had success in such small aquariums. Lastly, you will need a small powerhead pump for circulation. 

For your filtration it’s recommended to use an all natural method. Good quality live rock and live sand are the key to a successful system. You will want to use at least one pound of live rock per gallon, and about one-half pounds of live sand per gallon.  Which we will talk more about soon.

When you look for a location to place your nano reef, you will want to keep a few things in mind. The tank should be placed on a level and sturdy surface that can support approximately 70-250 pounds depending on the size of the tank. You will also want to place it in a high traffic area where it will be seen often, so you do not forget to feed it or do maintenance work when necessary.  It is also important to keep the aquarium away from windows where it would receive direct sunlight.

When the time comes to fill the tank and get it running, you will need to have purchased a good synthetic reef salt and a specific gravity meter.  Swing arm hydrometers are typically inaccurate and should be calibrated with a refractometer. A more expensive refractometer is recommended for highly accurate readings which are essential in nano reef tanks. Fill the tank with water and add salt until the specific gravity is 1.023. Place the powerhead in immediately so it will help mix the salt. Now is also the time to place in your heater and get the water temperature to 78 degrees. Once your s.g. has reached its proper level, you can add the live rock and live sand. Place the live rock in first, using an open pattern so the fish have room to swim through and hide in the rock. Be as creative as you want during this process and don’t be afraid to go back and change it later. Once the rock is where you like it, you can pour the live sand around the rocks, keeping it at a fairly even thickness throughout the tank.

If you have the desire for a nano reef aquarium, and you are not an experienced hobbyist, you should consider using an aquarium maintenance service, like Dallas Aquarium Experts.  This will help ensure a proper set-up and a strong foundation to begin working with. 

Natural Filtration

The methods used to maintain a nano reef can vary greatly throughout the hobby. The methods described below are methods used at Dallas Aquarium Experts have found to work best in maintaining a successful nano reef. Simplicity is the key in nano reef keeping; inexpensive and easy to follow. This is of course by no means the only way to keep a nano reef.

The natural method of filtration consists of only liverock and livesand. No protein skimmers are used and no additives are dosed. The nutrient export is provided by frequent partial water changes of 10-15% about every week. Trace elements are replenished through water changes.

As you go about purchasing all of the supplies for your new nano reef, you’re going to have to make a decision on which salt mix you should use. Because no additional dosing is usually done with this method, you will want to be using a good reef salt mix. Not all reef salts are created equal however. Unfortunately there is no set data that clearly shows which salt is better over another, which makes the decision even more difficult. At Dallas Aquarium Experts we have had great success with nano reef aquarium maintenance, and believe our choice for salt mix is one of the most important components to a successful nano reef tank.

When starting out your nano reef, your first livestock purchase will be liverock and livesand. You will want to purchase the highest quality live rock as you can possible afford. It will be the entire basis of your filtration so there should be no skimping. Only a small quantity of liverock is needed, so cost shouldn’t be so much of an issue.  Placement of your liverock can be nearly anything you like, just keep in mind that the more open it is the better.

In this type of system livesand is also important. The depth of sand can vary to anything you like. Sand beds from 1″ to 3″; won’t produce much of a difference in this system, but there are benefits to both. If the bed is deeper is tends to be a more efficient filter. If you choose to have a deep sand bed, make sure you have plenty of detrivores to keep the sand stirred.

With this natural method, no protein skimmers or dosing is used. Studies of skimmers have shown that they remove various trace elements, along with pods and plankton. When people run protein skimmers, they dose trace elements to replenish them after their corals and skimmers use them. Because the skimmer removes most of the elements, such as iodine, it is dosed back in causing almost an endless cycle. The main problem this holds in nano reefing is that many of the trace elements cannot be easily tested for, so no one ever knows where their level is. This can lead to overdosing which will crash a nano reef in a matter of hours. The skimmer also begins to starve your corals by removing their food source. It’s simply too risky.

Protein skimmers are beneficial however, because they remove excess nutrients from the water, but this advantage is out weighed by the disadvantages. To remove the excess nutrients from this system you do a partial water change. The water change also doubles to replenish your trace elements, which are in your synthetic sea salt. Nitrates are removed, dissolved organic compounds are removed, and your trace elements are replaced. Your nitrates will always be at or near zero, and the elements will stay at a consistent level. 

The last key factor to this system is having good flow. Use a powerhead or two to give you a flow rate of about 7-10 times the tank’s total water volume.

I encourage everyone to try this method for their nano reef. It is uncommon to not use a protein skimmer, but nano reef keeping isn’t the same as a traditional sized reef (though this method also works great on larger tanks). It’s simple, it’s cheap, and there is no extra equipment to worry about. As I always say, the less ‘toys’ you have on your reef, the less there is to go wrong.

Nano Reef Aquarium Maintenance

Nano Reef Aquarium Maintenance  is a very important task.   The most important part of maintaining your nano reef is doing partial water changes. Water changes must be done religiously! You can do your partial water changes every week to every other week, depending on the bio load in your tank. If you decide to do them weekly, change out 10% of the tanks volume with freshly mixed saltwater. If you do them bi-weekly, then you will need to do a 15-20% water change.  Dallas Aquarium Experts highly  recommends doing weekly water changes.  Also, make sure that the water is the same temperature and salinity as the water already in the aquarium.

Next to water changes, evaporation top off is also very important. You may have to do this daily depending on the size and shape of your aquarium. Evaporation top off is simply adding freshwater to your aquarium to make up for the water that evaporates throughout the day. Remember to never use saltwater to top off evaporation, because the salt is left behind during evaporation and your specific gravity will rise.

You will also want to be wiping off your nano reef with freshwater to keep it clean of saltcreep. Saltcreep comes from the salt left over from the evaporated water. You will notice it collecting on the top of you tank and on the lights. Be sure to never use a chemical cleaner! If any of it were to get into the aquarium, it could kill everything.

If you have algae growing on the sides of your nano reef, you will need to clean that off as well. If you have a glass aquarium, you can use a straight edge razor and scrape it clean, or if you have an acrylic aquarium, you can use an appropriate acrylic-safe scraper. If you use the razor, be sure to rinse it off after you use it, because the saltwater will corrode the metal.

A DFW Aquarium Maintenance Service Company, Dallas Aquarium Experts offers the following services: Richardson Aquarium Maintenance, Richardson Freshwater Aquarium Maintenance, Richardson Saltwater Aquarium Maintenance, Richardson Reef Aquarium Maintenance, Richardson Fish Tank Cleaning, Richardson Aquarium Cleaning, Richardson Freshwater Aquarium Cleaning, Richardson Saltwater Aquarium Cleaning, Richardson Reef Aquarium Cleaning, Richardson Aquarium Cleaning Service, Richardson Custom Aquarium Design, Richardson Custom Freshwater Aquarium Design, Richardson Custom Saltwater Aquarium Design, Richardson Custom Reef Aquarium Design, Richardson Custom Aquarium Installation, Richardson Aquarium Set-up, Richardson Freshwater aquarium set up, Richardson Saltwater Aquarium set-up, Richardson Reef Aquarium set-up, Richardson Aquarium Leasing, Richardson Aquarium Sales, Richardson Aquarium relocation, Richardson Aquarium Movers