Aquarium Design

Designing an aquarium is individual, whether this is within a corporate, retail or residential environment; we understand that a design has to suit the location and the customers vision. We are happy to take the lead and design a custom scape in which the client has a ‘hands out of the water’ approach and really enjoy working alongside customers, incorporating their ideas/design approach to make a vision come to life.

Aquarium maintenance

We have a good range of existing customers who use us for regular maintenance, whether it be weekly, fortnightly or monthly. How often you require maintenance depends on the aquarium itself, stocking levels, filtration and decoration. So further information will be needed before we can give an accurate quote and time scale.

We also have may customers who employ us on a one off or ad hoc basis, these are usually people who intend to care for the aquarium themselves but might need a bit if extra guidance in the negging.

We also offer holiday feeds and maintenance so you can switch off fully without worry about the tank!

Aquarium Maintenance FAQ


Maintaining you fish tank regularly is the vital to keeping happy and healthy fish, but what does this maintenance include?


Naturally the bacteria in the filter will break down harmful waste levels but over time nitrates can build up. Unfortunately, nitrates are invisible and odourless so can only be detected with a test kit, however we recommend having a regular weekly water change in place to keep them low and therefor eliminating the need to test so frequently.


So how much water should I change?  

There’s no set ratio. This changes from tank to tank. Generally, 25%-50% is a good basis to start with weekly. Going on the higher end of the scale for large messy fish, highly stocked tanks and smaller filters.


As aquarium equipment and media has developed over time, pollutants in the tank are reading lower and lower. However, water changing isn’t just for diluting waste…

What does water changing achieve?


Dilutes pollutants in the water

Mechanical filtration and biological filtration play an important role of breaking down waste by using the nitrogen cycle, however home aquariums cannot process nitrates very well. Fish can be much more tolerant of this waste compared to ammonia, but it can cause major stress leaving them prone to health issues and illness.


Helps with fish health and growth

Fish produce a growth hormone and when that is diluted regularly the fish will grow growth can be stunted by small tanks or tanks with high levels of this hormone.


Replenishes vital elements

Elements and minerals can often be removed through filtration. Make sure if you use reverse Osmosis water that you are adding a separate buffer as the purifying stages remove the elements.


Water clarity

Helps with overall discolouration and cloudiness, this leads to better light penetration which is especially relevant for planted aquariums.


Gravel Cleaning

Dirt and debris collect over time at the bottom of the tank, this comes from breaking down organic matter. Fish waste, excess fish poo and decaying plant material. So an essential part of your maintenance kit should be a gravel cleaner. When choosing the right one you will come across lots of different brands and types from the basic syphon tube to more techy mains powered versions. Remember though, there’s no need to break the bank, they all achieve the same result! My personal recommendation would be a hand start syphon, its simple but effective. No need to suck on the end of a pipe to get stared and very simple to use.



Despite the different brands selling replacement sponges they are not actually necessary. Sponges can be rinsed regularly and used over and over again. Their purpose is to trap the larger particles.


O Rings

O rings are mainly on external filters, their duty is to make the unit watertight. Generally, they need replacing yearly but if you can take them and clean every once in a while, check there are no rips or tears to cause unexpected leaks.


Filter Maintenance

How often you clean the filter depends on the type and the size of it. As a rough guide a external filter would need monthly maintenance and internals every couple of weeks. Ideally you would clean half the filter at a time, making sure not to wash away all the good bacteria. When rinsing use a bucket of your tank water as the chlorine in the tap water will kill of the bacteria.



The most common would be carbon which needs replacing every 6 weeks. You can tailor the chemical media to what you tank needs, so if you have lots of algae use phosphate media again replacing every 6 weeks.



This is the little spindle inside the filter, it spins round and round to make the water flow through, its important to clean this regularly because any excess debris that gets caught up inside can dislodge it or block it and cause it to overheat.

Types of filtration

Biological- The nitrogen cycle.


Mechanical – Filters, Air pumps, uvs.


Chemical- Supplements such as Tap water conditioners, salt, plant food, co2 and medicines.


Which do I need?

All of them!

Biological filtration plays a massive part in breaking down waste, mechanical filtration emphasises that. Chemicals are not a must but are more useful for targeting specific issues such as algae growth or disease. Some people are wary off using chemicals at home but there are also more natural versions which work using specific bacteria strains to deal with waste, or tea tree oil to treat illness.

Why you should get a fish tank...



It is scientifically proven that keeping fish has health benefits. These include reducing blood pressure, heart rate and general feelings of stress or anxiety. Its also proven to help people who suffer with Alzheimer’s. Following the fish and looking at the colours can help improve disruptive behaviour and appetite. Have you ever thought about why you see fish tanks in doctors, dentists or care homes? Or otherwise ask your children about the fish tank in finding nemo!


Learning opportunity.

Fish can become a big part of family life. They are always active; growing, breeding or changing colours there’s always something going on in the tank. Fish love to eat and they associate humans with food, so your always welcomed into the room. Fishkeeping is often an introduction into caring for pets and teaches children to think about the maintenance and responsibility involved. When the inevitable does happen it also teaches about our loss which is an important life lesson!



They don’t take up a lot of space, you probably have a piece of furniture already that is suitable to house a small tank.



Fishkeeping is generally a lot cheaper than having a cat or a dog and is often classed as an in expensive hobby. A well kept tank won’t require a lot of money to thrive.



They exercise and entertain themselves and don’t take up much effort after a long day at work. Fish are pretty independent too so with the right tank mates you’ll be the ones watching them out of curiosty rather than concern! A friendly neighbour can help out with feeding for short breaks away. You’ll need to do a weekly water change rather than the daily dog walk.



Fish tanks can be beautiful and give people a lot of enjoyment. They are a great point of conversation and can become the focal point of your room. Fishkeeping can be easily be picked up and there is so much to learn!

Companies like us

For people who want more enjoyment, take the hassle away! Please get in touch for further information.