Frequently Asked Questions-Fish Business
What makes you different from other aquarium services?First of all we have over 25 years of experience in the industry and a lifetime in the hobby. We have run succesful retail stores, wholesale fish distributors, as well as this aquarium service company.
What makes a service successful are good people skills, a dedication to excellent service, and knowledge of the animals and equipment you care for. I get many referrals for new accounts where previous services were greatly lacking in these areas.
Do you purchase aquariums, repair aquariums, move aquariums, or purchase used equipment or fish?No we do not. Craigslist is an excellent resource for selling aquariums. We do not know of a local business doing repairs at this time.
Who are some of your clients?We've worked with lots of folks you might be familiar with, including NBC5, Fort Worth Independent School District, Baylor All-Saints, Harris Hospital, Kleiman-Evangelista Eye Center, State Farm Insurance, Fort Worth Museum of Science and History and many more. You have probably seen some of our work if you live in the area. Some of our clients are famous and some are "regular" folks like us. But all of our clients are special to us.
Why don't you make your clients sign contracts?Why would a client want one? Do you want to sign up for a year with a service you aren't satisfied with? We keep our clients happy; therefore we don't need a contract to ensure their patronage. This always reminds me of signing up for a gym membership. You sign up with good intentions, but then you stop going. And the bills keep coming lol. I'll pass on that!
To learn more about our company, please visit our About Us section of the website.
I heard aquarium services make a lot of money. I want to get into the business-can you help me?You can make money in this business, but you will need to have some knowledge of aquariums and running a business to be successful. If the only reason you are getting into this business is to make money, this is not going to be a good fit for you. You have to have passion for what you do!
I started in the fish biz in 1985 because I loved the hobby. This is not the way to get rich quick, I promise you. You have to love what you do and work really hard at it to have a measure of success.
I'll bet you hate fish when you get home, don't you?You know I've fooled with fish almost every day for the last 25 years. I never get tired of it-some people have to sit in a cubicle for 25 years or more. Now to me, THAT would be torture.
Don't you worry about your competition, especially large companies with fancy graphics on their trucks?Good one-no not really. We worry about our clients and keeping them happy. Funny how things work when you do that!
Frequently Asked Questions-General Aquarium Issues
Do you ever suck up the fish with the aquarium vac?Almost never...the fish pretty much stay away from any foreign object in the tank. In a rare instance when it happens we can stop the vac right away.
How do you pronounce the word 'cichild'?It sounds like SICK lid. Not like chiclets-the little gum from Mexico.
Is is true that fish grow to the size of the tank?Yes and no. Some fishes' growth will be stunted if the aquarium is too small. This is not a healthy environment for them and they will not flourish in cramped quarters. Fish generally grow larger and faster in bigger tanks due to superior water conditions.
Are saltwater fish hard to keep? Are they easier than freshwater?Reef tanks are more difficult to keep than freshwater aquaria. You need good equipment. You need to know what you are doing. And you need the time to maintain your tank properly.
The guy at the pet shop says if I buy his filter system I will never have to do maintenance again. Is this really true?Ah contrair monfrair...If this were true we would have left the service business long ago. And along those lines, there has always been some bad information in the aquarium industry, from large stores to small stores, and from service companies. We can help you steer clear of that and can recommend trustworthy local sources.
I have lots of little cone-shaped snails in my freshwater tank. How do I get rid of them?These little guys can reach plague proportions in your tank. The best solution we have found is to add a few clown loaches. Clown loaches are compatible with most community-type freshwater fish. They will eat these type of snails and control them. You can also remove the adults by hand to control them faster.
My water is cloudy. My fish are dying. What gives?Usually this is due to a combination of three factors: Lack of filtration, too many fish, and too much food. The first few months are critical as the beneficial bacteria needed to support your tank are developing. Have patience. Feed less. Make sure your filter is working and adequate. Try to develop a relationship with a "real" fish store in your area. Nothing against the big chains-they have great deals on dog food.
My water is green. What causes this?This is almost always caused by too much light. If your tank is near a window this may be why (try keeping the blinds shut or moving the tank). You should only run the lights about 8-10 hours per day. I use a timer to make sure the lights don't stay on too long.
If the problem persists you might also add a micron filter unit such as the Marineland Magnum or Hot Magnum. The micron cartridge will clear the water quickly. Ultraviolet filters can also work, but these are usually more expensive and cumbersome.
When I add new fish they always die. Are the fish at the pet shop sick?Possibly. But this could also be due to poor water conditions in your tank. Have your water checked, especially for ph, nitrite, and ammonia. Sometimes the fish in your tank will adapt to poor water conditions while the newest additions will not survive due to the "shock" of the bad water quality.
My fish always seem hungry. Am I feeding enough?A wise man once told me: if you think you are feeding your fish enough that is probably too much. They should eat all of the food in a few minutes. Once a day is fine for almost all fish-large predators might even need food less frequently. Fish will almost always eat, but this does not mean they still need food. Remember to feed the fish and not the tank. A guppy in a 200 gallon tank eats the same amount as a guppy in a fish bowl.
What filter system do you use for your reef setups?We prefer to use the refugium systems. These consist of a sump with protein skimmer, sand base with live rock and macro algae, and a pump chamber.
We also sometimes use the "Berlin method" with simply a sump and skimmer. Some people still use bio balls, but we don't employ these for reefs anymore. Your live rock will provide plenty of aerobic bacteria once the tank is established.
Are live corals plants or animals?Corals exhibit characteristics of plants(they are photsynthetic) and animals (they do not have roots, some can move about on their own). Scientists call them "bridge animals" because in some ways they are both plant and animal. In the final analysis, they fall in the broad category of animals.
You've got questions...Additional Questions? Please e-mail Troy.