A Guide to Routine Marine Aquarium Maintenance

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  1. Avatar Paul Baldassano says:

    I have some powerheads that I haven’t seen for 25 years or so. They may be due for that soaking think you spoke of. But they are someplace behind the rocks and it would be difficult to find them unless I followed the cord. The pump running my skimmer is even older as it came in a wooden box wrapped in parchment paper with directions that read to keep in a cool bilge away from grog. I Think it was made by the Christopher Columbus pump company.

  2. Avatar Paul Baldassano says:

    Every ten years I stir my substrate, which is dolomite and suck out any detritus, and every twenty years I look under my under gravel filter plates just to see what is growing under there and I sometimes host a party for my fish that are over 20 years old. Then every 30 years I build a new light fixture because they go out of style and every 40 years I sit back and say, Dam, that tank looks good. And so do I. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next 40 years.

  3. Avatar Grod says:

    Pretty cool, good stuff.

  4. Avatar Bill H says:

    Once your tank is well established testing for nitrites is redundant and often unnecessary if your ammonia is zero. In fact I seldom test for at either

    1. Avatar Jeff Kurtz says:

      Good input, Bill! Water testing is definitely one of the aspects of this schedule that can be adjusted as the hobbyist’s comfort level increases and things become a bit more predictable. I like to think of it as discovering the “art” behind the science of aquarium keeping.

    2. Avatar warren says:

      i agree checking for nitrites becomes redundant i have had my tank for 5 years and hardly ever check for nitrites ,well established tanks should never crash unless a drastic change is done within the tank…

      1. Avatar Jeff Kurtz says:

        If I’m being perfectly honest, I’d have to admit I go through a lot more nitrate test kits than either ammonia or nitrite (unless I’m cycling a new tank, of course).

  5. Avatar Al Ulrich says:

    Great list, well organized. Do you have a sense for how much you can extend the life of your pumps by soaking them monthly/bimonthly?

    1. Avatar Jeff Kurtz says:

      Thanks for your kind words, Al! I haven’t conducted any scientific comparisons between pumps that are soaked monthly or bimonthly and those that aren’t, so I can’t say with confidence how long this form/frequency of cleaning might extend their functional lifespan, but I’ve generally been very happy with the service life of my pumps and powerheads and all are cleaned in this manner.

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