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How do we keep our tanks so clean? - Ilan Glasser, Israel

  • April 4, 2008
  • |
  • Posted By Justin @ 1:03 PM

Ilan Glasser writes from Israel to ask us how we keep our tanks so clean. I have to say that before we photograph our tanks, they are styled and meticulously cleaned. A lot goes into our photography, and at about $3,000 per shot we ensure that the tanks look their best.
We do keep these installations in pristine condition throughout the tanks life.

Most of our clients spend over $1,000 per month on their aquarium cleaning program. I would say that on average we clean our installations 1-3 times weekly. When we have clients with just one service visit per week, we still manage to keep the tanks looking great. There are several cleaning philosophies that we use to keep the tanks looking great and free from detritus, debris, and algae.

First, we always use R/O water for water changes and top off. Silicates and phosphates will kill a tank, and it is very difficult to keep the substrate and rock work algae free with these elements present. Reverse Osmosis is essential, and these systems are most likely installed in most of our installations.

I will always try to oversize protein skimmers, ultra violet sterilization units, circulation pumps, and ozone. I tend to increase suggested flow rates by 50% to 100%, and I use the same increased rates with my skimmers and UV units.

We will also use phosphate removing media such as phosban. The media is either placed in reactors or in some sort of canister. Carbon, poly bio, the use of a good protein skimmer are all products which help us export or remove nutrients and waste.

I am a big fan of using Mexican Turbo Snails as natural living cleaners. I have kept these in tanks with puffers, triggers, and angels with great success. These animals need a long acclimation period, and we use a slow drip method when acclimating.

Lastly, light or photo periods play the biggest role in helping us maintain a clean tank. Most of our clients travel or keep several residences, or at the very least work quite often. This enables us to keep photo periods for our fish only installations at 6-8 hours per day and we keep our wattage at a minimum. In a nut shell, tanks respond well to a strict schedule and plan.




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