Living Sea Aquarium
811 West Devon avenue
Park Ridge, Illinois 60068
Tel:(847) 698-7258

Hours of Operation:
Mon-Thurs   11:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Fri   11:30 AM - 9:00 PM
Sat   11:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Sun   11:30 AM - 4:00 PM
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Fish Tank Tips

Our service staff knows that the secret of a successful aquarium is good, consistent maintenance!

The following is a list of the more important maintenance requirements. We have also included some great topics gained from our many years of experience. You may select additional topics here by using the drop down above.

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 fish load.

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 Clear Fx Pro. 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 go unchanged.

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 glowing.

Power Outages

We have a few helpful hints to see you and your livestock through power-outages.

Power outage up to 4 hours:
Open aquarium covers, and call power company to report the outage.
Watch fish for signs of stress and watch for power to come back on.
Check reservoir levels to make sure they do not overflow.
Check for back-siphoning through airlines and water lines..

Power outage over 4 hours:
Monitor fish activity and don't feed the fish.
Check water temperature.
Unplug, or turn off any closed mechanical filtration such as a Magnum or Ehiem canister filter. After 4 hours, there is a greater chance of growing anaerobic bacteria that you don't want pumped into your system.
After power is restored, drain and clean these filters and turn them back on!

When power is restored:
Verify that all of the filters come back on and are working normally.
If a power head or cartridge filter does not start up on it's own, unplug it, clean it and try it again.
Check chillers and U.V. sterilizers. We strongly recommend surge-protectors for any system with a chiller!
Test water for any possible problems.

These are Guidelines. All set-ups and aquariums are different. The most important thing you can do is be prepared. Be familiar with your equipment and check it ahead of time. Test your system by turning it off. Make sure your reservoir is big enough, and anti-back siphons work. Always have a battery powered air pump and extra batteries on hand.