Aquarium Maintenance & Custom Aquariums

The Aquarium Factory has been employed to custom design, install and maintain tanks within homes, schools, child care centers, nursing homes, universities and more.

 

We maintain Aquariums & Ponds – our recommended cleaning cycles are;

  • Fish tanks; 3-4 weeks
  • Marine Fish tanks; 1-2 weeks
  • Turtle tanks; 3-4 weeks
  • Ponds; 3-6 months

Please contact us if you would like to discuss the possibility of getting your tank or pond cleaned.

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Our team can provide you with services from custom tank manufacturing, installation, commissioning, relocation and more.

 

We can revamp your tank and repair your aquariums when needed just contact us.

 

We tackle any job that comes our way, no job is too big or too small.

The Aquarium Factory has MOVED!

After 35 years we have officially moved from Station Street Bayswater to 1F/981 Mountain Highway, Boronia VIC 3155!

 

Our new location is approximately 10 minutes from our old store and much bigger!

 

Come down and have a look at all the new ranges and our new features instore.

 

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Antique Television turned Custom Aquarium

The Aquarium Factory were approached to turn this Beautiful antique TV into an aquarium. So guess what – WE DID IT!

We are more then happy to create any vision you have, we have created aquariums out of Buffets, Coffee Tables to Antique Televisions!

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Beautiful Fighter Display!

Our Beautiful Siamese Fighter Display!

We often have Half Moon Siamese Fighters, Butterfly Half Moons, Dragon Tails, Crown Tails and much more in stock.

Come down and have a look we get weekly orders of Siamese Fighters

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Fish and Plants

The Aquarium Factory receives shipments of fish for sale all over the world. Four fulltime livestock operators ensure all your fish, whether they are tropical, cold water, natives, axolotyls, sea horses, marines, cichlids or fancy goldfish, have been hand selected for their health, vitality and popularity.

The Aquarium Factory Staff, as seen on many wildlife television programs throughout Australia, giving presentations on how to care for and look after your fish and are only too happy to help you in the shop to choose the correct filtration and aquarium to suit your needs.

The Aquarium Factory specialises in lighting and correct plants for your aquarium. New shipments of plants twice weekly assures you variety and quality. Plant food, anchors, iron kits, CO2 diffusers, Root Therm and many plant accessories can be shown to you.

We stock over 500 different species.


GOLD FISH OF THE MONTH

Wakin (pron. Way-Ken)

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Scientific name: carassius auratus
Size: 25-45cm
Ph: 7.0-7.5
Gh: 180-250ppm (10-14deg)
Temp: 5-20 deg C
Tank size required: Any- 30 litre min.
Diet: Flakes, Pellets, Goldfish Dinner, Live Brine Shrimp & Black worm. Frozen Brine Shrimp, Bloodworm, Daphnia.

The wakin is a very hardy fish, ideally suited for fish ponds or aquariums. They are a rather odd looking fish when viewed from the side, having a deep rounded body, but from above these fish are gorgeous with their bright colour, long body and fantail. This makes them perfect for ponds where fish are predominantly viewed from above.

Wakin are ideally kept at approximately 15° C – 20° C, but they can tolerate temperatures from near freezing to the low thirties. All coldwater fish will benefit from variety in the diet and can help prevent unnecessary complaints such as constipation and swim bladder.

Wakins will live very happily with other goldfish such as Comets, Shubunkins and Fantails.

Wakins and Goldfish are capable of reaching the grand old age of 20years. Do not skimp on filtration, as goldfish are heavy feeders and produce a lot of waste. A power filter or at least a large box filter must be used to trap solid particles.


TROPICAL FISH OF THE MONTH

Odessa Barb

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Scientific name: punctius ticto
Size: 5-7.5cm but can reach 10cm
Ph: 6.5-7.0
Gh: 180-220ppm (10-12 deg)
Temp: 20-28 deg C
Tank size required: 2 foot min.
Diet: Flakes, Pellets, Live Brine Shrimp & Black worm. Frozen Brine Shrimp Bloodworm, Daphnia and Beef heart.

The Odessa barb is a beautiful aquarium fish, but less well known than its famous barb relatives like the Tiger barb and the Rosy barb. Odessa barbs should always be kept in groups consisting of at least 4 Odessa barbs, preferably more. Keeping fewer Odessa barbs will usually result in very shy fish that spend most of their time hiding or sitting at the bottom of the aquarium. Odessa barbs are not as fin-nippy as their tiger barb cousins and are a much better suited to a community environment. A well planted aquarium is recommended, but an open area for swimming should also be included.


CHICHLID OF THE MONTH

Electric Yellow

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Scientific name: labidochromis caeruleus
Size: 10-13cm
Ph: 75-8.5
Gh: 200-250ppm (12-14 deg)
Temp: 24-28 deg C
Tank size required: 2 foot min.
Diet: Flakes, Pellets, Live Brine Shrimp & Black worm. Frozen cichlid dinner, Frozen Brine Shrimp, Veggie Diet.

The Electric Yellow Cichlid is set apart from other African Cichlids by its striking electric yellow coloration. It injects an irresistible splash of bold colour to the cichlid aquarium, a peaceful and shy cichlid compared to other African Cichlids; Squabbles between yellows are rarely serious and resulting injuries are rare. Electric yellows shouldn’t be kept in the same aquarium with other aggressive species of cichlids.

Keeping a group of about 6 electric yellows is best as long as you have the room in your aquarium. Ideal tank mates include other Lake Malawi African Cichlids and African Catfish of the genus Synadontis.

The Electric Yellow will act aggressively towards fish of similar body shape and colour perceived to be a threat for food and mate.

They will do best if you have provided plenty of tough plants, caves and rocks in your tank.

Custom Inbuilt Installation & Maintenance

This custom installation is only one of the many custom installs The Aquarium Factory has produced for our customers. The Aquarium Factory also maintains this tank with a regular maintenance to keep the tank perfect in our customers eyes.

If you would be interested in a custom tank like this contact us for a free quote.

 

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Exotic Fish

The Aquarium Factory with their weekly fish deliveries often have new exotic fish for all aquariums become available. Just one of the many examples:

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Our beloved ‘Bob’ is much more exotic in real life! It’s amazing seeing the fantastic creatures the world has that we don’t always get to see.

Would you like this in your Office?

Here is yet another example of our custom installations, this is one of our favorites. We have had this tank go from Tropical to Marine and then back to Tropical set up.

The Aquarium Factory makes what many believe impossible possible with precision and care we produce aquariums like this!

 

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In Wall Custom Built Aquarium

Be Amazed!

We have just finished yet another custom installation, our customer was overwhelmed with the final product and couldn’t have been happier.

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With access to feed from the rear of the tank our customer was blown away by the final product and we provided yet another customer their dream aquarium.

If you interested in a custom in wall aquarium there is nothing too big or small for The Aquarium Factory!

Nitrate & Ammonia care sheet

What is ammonia?

Fish continually release ammonia directly into the water through their gills, respiration and solid waste. Uneaten food and other decaying organic matter such as dead plant leaves also release ammonia. The bacteria Nitrosomonas, live in the gravel due to the presence of your undergravel filter break down ammonia into nitrite via the nitrogen cycle.

What is nitrite?

Nitrite is a toxic waste product produced when bacteria break down ammonia in an aquarium. As the biological filter develops, the bacteria Nitrobacter break down the ammonia converting it to nitrate a non-toxic end product. In aquariums imbalances can occur where ammonia and nitrite build up and poison the fish. Testing for ammonia and nitrite is extremely important as even low levels can be fatal for fish.

To reduce/remove ammonia and nitrite from aquariums the following steps should be taken:

  1. Water changes using a gravel cleaner are a must. Gravel cleaning will remove excess waste and uneaten food from the gavel bed and also dilutes the concentration of ammonia and nitrite in the aquarium. 1/3 water changes every few days or as advised by a: staff member should be completed. If water changes are being performed – more than twice a week – do not always gravel clean, rather siphon water from the top every second water change as although gravel cleaning is essential too much gravel cleaning can disrupt the bacteria colonies.
  2. Ammo-lock should be added to aquariums containing ammonia. Ammo-lock converts ammonia into a non-toxic form. Remember it will not remove ammonia so a positive ammonia test will still result but the ammonia will be less harmful. Add 5ml of Ammo-lock per 37 litres of water. Add after every water change.
  3. Ammonia and nitrite result due too much waste in the water for the bacteria to convert it to nitrate so you need to add bacteria so there is more to break down the waste. Add double doses of Cycle, 1 capful per 20 litres twice a week or as advised by a staff member.
  4. Products such as Nitra-zorb pouches or Ammonia removing resin will absorb the ammonia and nitrite from the water so these products are a fantastic way of dropping the ammonia and nitrite levels quickly and reducing the likelihood offish losses. A staff member will advise you of the use of these products. 5. We need to reduce the amount of waste in your aquarium so feeding must be cut back. Depending on the level of ammonia and/or nitrite in your aquarium feeding should be stopped altogether for a period of time such; as a week or reduced to every second day. A staff member will direct you in your feeding patterns.

Siamese fighter care sheet

  1. Rinse tank and gravel thoroughly, with fresh water only.
  2. Place tank in an area of low light (any sunlight can cause algae growth). Also not on a window sill as this will be to cold of a night time for fighters in an unheated tank.
  3. Fill tank with cold water only, as hot water can cause copper poisoning.
  4. Install filtration. Ensure your filtration is suitable for your tank as fighters do not like a tank with much current.
  5. For fighters to be active you will require a heater. If you have opted for a heated tank, place heater in and set thermostat to 24 degrees. If you have opted for a cold tank, you must ensure that the tank doesn’t drop below 18 degrees.
  6. Add chlorine neutraliser (water ager), and conditioning salts following the directions on the packets.
  7. Add cycle, then place it in the refrigerator. This is then to be added weekly.
  8. Test pH. Fighters like slightly acidic water, so therefore a pH between 6,8 and 7 is ideal.
  9. Test General Hardness using the appropriate test kit, GH should be between 100ppm and 120ppm.
  10. Plant any live plants, making sure the original metal weights are replaced with plant anchors before putting in the tank. Plant fertiliser should be added also, following directions on bottle.
  11. Once pH and GH are correct and the tank is up to temperature you can then purchase your fighting fish.

Once acclimatised, add your fighter to your tank. Feeding him on mixture of frozen bloodworm, brine shrimp and betta pellets. Remember, you will only have healthy and active fish when correct water conditions are provided. HAPPY FISH KEEPING.

Keeping Clown Fish

What are Clown fish?

Clown fish are colourful, cute and sometimes amusing inhabitants of tropical reefs from several places around the world, including the Great Barrier Reef. They are a hardy fish, and with the proper aquarium and care, can be safely kept in the home for many years.

Clown fish like “Nemo” are usually 2-8cm long. They have an unusual symbiotic relationship with sea anemone in the wild. While other fish may be stung and killed by the anemone’s tentacles, Clown fish are immune, living amongst the tentacles. They feed on the anemone’s leftovers, and can even bring it food. They are social fish, and as such it is recommended that at least two are kept in aquariums.

In the past, Clown fish for aquariums have always been caught in the wild from the reef. Today there are several Clown fish farms around Australia. It is strongly recommended that anyone wishing to keep Clown fish in a home aquarium insist upon aquacultured, or captive bred Clown fish. Captive bred fish do not create an impact on the natural environment, they are healthier and hardier, there is little chance you will buy them diseased or sick, and they are not fussy eaters.

Introduction to keeping

In the wild, Clown fish have a small territory, and therefore can survive in smaller home aquariums, but for a number of various reasons, bigger aquariums are better. As a minimum, a Clown aquarium should be approximately 40 litres. Setting up a marine aquarium is far more complex than freshwater, and mistakes can be deadly to everything in the tank. It is therefore very important that a marine aquarist is well informed, and committed to spending the time, effort and money to do it right.
Below is a list of equipment that you will need as a minimum to keep Clown fish:

  • tank – at least 30 litres
  • water – specialised artificial sea salt mix with a water ager
  • sand – small grained sea sand
  • 1kg of live rock per 20 litres of water at least
  • filter – almost any kind of mechanical filter will do (optional)
  • circulation – a small (100 litre per hour) internal pump to keep the water moving
  • ammonia test kit – to test the level of ammonia in the water
  • heating – 100 watts of heating per 50 litres of water
  • lighting – one or more fluorescent lights
  • thermometer – to test the temperature
  • hydrometer – to test the water salinity
  • nitrite test kit – to test the level of nitrites in the water
  • pH test – to test the pH of the water

Setting up the aquarium

  • Clean the tank of dust and dirt, and position it where it will be kept. Ensure that the tank will not be in direct sunlight for very long at any time.
  • It is very important to note that you never, ever use any cleaning products in, on or around your tank, as these chemicals can and will kill your fish. Always wash your hands thoroughly in water only before putting your hand in the tank, and do not use and aerosols, flea bombs or similar products in the same room as the tank.
  • Add sand to a depth of approximately 3-6cm average depth.
  • Pour seawater or artificial sea salt mixed with aged tap water to the tank, leaving about 5cm from the top (this is for the displacement of everything that is to be put into the tank).
  • Put in the heater, and only when it is submerged, turn it one and set it to 26 degrees Celsius.
  • Add the filter and turn it on.
  • Add the internal circulation pump and turn it on.
  • Let the cloudiness settle for a couple of hours and ensure that the tank temperature and salinity levels are correct. Clown fish require the salinity to be 1.026.
  • Add some live rock.
  • You may keep the light on for approximately eight hours per day but this is not essential until you add your fish.
  • Test the nitrite levels daily. For the first several days, the nitrites should be zero. You will eventually see a very high reading. After this, the nitrite level will slowly drop over several days or weeks. This process is known as the nitrogen cycle or cycling.
  • Cycling will take one to four weeks and you will not be able to put any living things into the tank until the nitrite reading is zero. This is because the levels of poisonous chemicals in the tank could be fatal to them.
  • When the nitrites have returned to zero it is safe to add the fish.

Maintaining your tank

Marine aquariums require ongoing maintenance. This is to ensure that the conditions in the tank are kept constant, and that the water quality is kept at its best level possible. The regular tank maintenance routine will include the following:
Daily

  • check the temperature
  • check that the circulation and filtration pumps are functioning
  • feed the tank a small amount of food

Weekly

  • drain 10-20% of the tank water and replace with new sea water or mixed and aged tap water which has been heated to the same temperature as the tank (you may need a second heater to do this).
  • clean the physical filter by rinsing it in the removed tank water
  • top up the tank with aged tap water to make up for any evaporation
  • test the pH levels and test for ammonia.
  • for a week after any new tank addition, test nitrite levels. If they are high, you will need to do daily 10-20% water changes until they drop.

The Nitrogen Cycle

The most important component of a successful marine tank is a healthy bacteria colony. These bacteria thrive on exactly the chemicals which cause problems in your tank and the end byproducts are naturally removed, leaving your water safe for fish and other inhabitants. This is known as biological filtration. The bacteria reside on the live rock that you add to the tank and will quickly spread to the sand, along with worms and other helpful creatures.

In order for the biological filter to become established, it must first go through the nitrogen cycle. When you add the live rock to the tank, some of the living things will die and decompose, resulting in a high level of ammonia in the water. Ammonia is poisonous to most creatures. It is important to have a big “spike” in ammonia to start the cycle, thus the addition of the extra food.

In response to the plentiful new ammonia supply, ammonia-eating bacterial thrive. As these bacteria consume the ammonia over a couple of days, they create nitrites as waste. Nitrites are ales poisonous to most creatures and need to be dealt with. Fortunately other bacteria can help us out.

While your tank is ‘cycling’, you will notice a lot of growth of algae. This is normal, and you will probably see ‘wavers’ of different types of algae come and go in the first several months of the tank’s life. Algae blooms can be a problem from time to time but they are rarely dangerous and good advice from experienced tank keepers will help you deal with the problem.

Southern Knight Seahorses

Southern Knight Seahorses are temperate marine fish found in coastal waters of south-eastern Australia and also in New Zealand. Seahorses belong to the family Sygnathidae which has over 200 species (half of which occur in Australian waters.) This species is also known as the Large-belly or Big-belly Seahorse.

Seahorses are unique animals which make spectacular aquarium subjects. They have a graceful manner, attractive colouration and are reported to live for up to 9 years in captivity. They also have an unusual prehensile tail which is used to hold onto seaweed or the substrate. Another unusual feature is that when Seahorses breed, the male becomes pregnant and gives birth to hundreds of tiny live seahorses!

Their strange appearance has long fascinated mankind and many people still consider them almost as a mystical creature!
Southern Knight Seahorses are now being commercially produced in Australia, helping to ensure that wild stocks are not over-exploited. Being tank reared, these fish are surprisingly easy to keep. They are quite tolerant of varying water salinity and temperature, will eat frozen foods and come from a disease free hatchery. Being a temperate species, they can also be kept in an unheated indoor aquarium in most regions of Australia.

Tank Set-up

Can be kept in filtered aquaria, or in bowls (20 litres or more is best).
Four to eight 7 cm Seahorses can be housed in a 20 litre bowl with under gravel filtration. (A much larger aquarium is preferable in areas which receive a lot of summer heat).
Twenty-five percent water changes should be done each fortnight, (increase to fifty percent for bowls or aquaria holding less that 50 litres). Seahorses require very well oxygenated water, so air uplifts are essential – standard air-driven under gravel filters and air stones are ideal. Substrate should be shell grit or crushed coral, or a 50/50 mixture of aquarium gravel and shell grit. Tank decorations should be added for the Seahorses to hang on to – well seasoned driftwood or plastic plants which are not too spiky are ideal. Rocks can also be utilized. Do not place live corals in with the Seahorses as the corals may sting and kill them within several days. Seahorses are best kept without any other fish species, as their gentle nature does not allow them to compete for food.

Maximum Size

Grows to 20-25 cm in Australian waters, grows to 30cm in New Zealand in cooler conditions.

Colouration

Colours can vary as Seahorses are able to mimic their surroundings. Usually olive, white or golden, with variable dark spotting.

Temperature Range

Southern Knight Seahorses soon adjust to temperatures within 12-26°C. with optimum temperatures being 15-22°C. Aquarium heaters are not required in most indoor situations. During heat wave conditions ensure air stones are operating strongly to ensure optimum oxygen levels, and use air conditioning or party ice to hold the temperature below 28C.

Water Conditions

Requires either seawater or artificial seawater, salinity range: 14ppt to 28ppt (1.010 to 1.020 specific gravity). When preparing artificial seawater, ensure the water used contains no chlorine. pH: preferably 8.2 – 8.4, do not exceed 9.0.
Do not use aquarium water that has previously held other fish or invertebrates. Although Seahorses are quite tolerant to ammonia and nitrite, their biological filter will still need to fully establish before the tank is fully stocked.

Feeding

Southern Knight Seahorses have been trained to eat frozen brine shrimp. At temperatures below 20°C, each Seahorse can eat up to 20-25 brine shrimp once a day. At temperatures between 20°C and 25°C, they should be fed twice a day. They will also eat small frozen krill, and live brine shrimp. In time, Seahorses can learn (reluctantly) to eat flake food, if they are fed a mixture of frozen shrimp and ground flake food. Ensure no uneaten food remains in the aquarium.

Breeding

Southern Knight Seahorses begin breeding at 4 months of age. Males can be recognized by their belly pouch, they actually inflate the pouch to its maximum extent to try and impress potential mates. During spawning, females transfer their eggs to the male’s pouch where they are nurtured for about 30-50 days, depending on the temperature. Large speciments release broods of 300 – 400 fry. In the wild, males release 3 or 4 broods over summer. The male’s pouch is white and darkens in colour as the eggs develop. newborn fry are about 21mm long and can be fed on live baby brine shrimps.

Health

The key to the wellbeing of seahorses is good water quality and good food, (particularly when kept in small aquariums or bowls).

Unpacking Procedures

Before unpacking, please check temperature of both shipping water and future holding tank.

Please note:
*If the tank is warmer than the shipping water, lower the temperature by adding ice. (Party ice is ideal as it is chlorine free.) The effect of the ice on salinity will be negligible. When the temperatures have equalized, release the Seahorses. The aquarium water temperature will then gradually return to its previous temperature.
*If the holding tank is colder than the transport bag, float the unopened bag for 5-10 minutes or until the temperatures equalize, before releasing the Seahorses.

Summary

Southern Knight Seahorses make a fascinating and enjoyable pet. They are also quite easy to keep – if given a few simple requirements such as the correct temperature and filtered water, regular water changes and correct feeding.

How to kill your fish!

  1. Overfeed: Feed much and often.
  2. Spray and aerosol. Insect sprays, hairspray and window cleaner etc.
  3. Overcrowd: Keep stacking them in.
  4. Poor filtration: What does it matter if the water is cloudy and grey?
  5. Use ‘el cheapo’ fish foods: Usually crushed dog biscuit type.
  6. Give them a total water change: Especially if they are in very old water or warm water at the moment.
  7. Use water from new copper pipes: If the chlorine doesn’t get them, this will.
  8. Use water from new galvanized tanks: Just in case they have survived everything else.
  9. Use fibreglass filter wool: Give them silicosis of the gills.
  10. Medicate, medicate, medicate: Use some blue stuff, some yellow stuff …
  11. Bang the glass when passing: Can’t have them lazy and tranquil.
  12. Do not quarantine: This gives your old fish an unfair fighting chance. Let them have some new germs to make life interesting. In short, if they get sick, see Point 10.

Some Special Points for Tropicals

  1. Put your big fish with little fish: Make the bigger fish bigger.
  2. Let the temperature go up, up, up or down, down, down: They won’t know whether they are coming or going.
  3. Don’t worry about the pH or acid level: Let ’em burn a little.
  4. Ignore the ammonia and nitrite level: It’s far too technical and they probably died of something else anyway.

Taken from Cichlid Monthly, Volume 14, Number 8.  

Setting up and maintaining your freshwater aquarium

Your new tank must be fully supported at all four corners by a fish tank stand or cabinet, or another strong base and must be placed on a sheet of foam to stop stress on tanks and eventual cracking. Gravel must be washed thoroughly in fresh water only – no detergents. Water ager (chlorine neutraliser) and blue conditioning salts (water hardener) must be added whenever fresh water is added into the tank as tap water is poisonous to fish.
Daily Maintenance for your Tank

  • If you keep tropicals, check temperature. 24ºC – 27ºC is a safe temperature range.
  • Check fish for signs of ill-health e.g. erratic swimming, discolouration, damage to fins and scales.
  • Have lighting on for 10 to 12 hours only: any more will encourage algae growth. Make sure to replace globe after 12 months.
  • Feed fish once a day, alternating with dry and frozen food e.g. “Community Dinner” for tropicals, “Goldfish Dinner” for goldfish. Give as much as they can eat in two minutes and do not overfeed, as this will lead to problems with water quality such as ammonia.

Weekly Maintenance

  • Test water for pH, the measure of acidity and alkalinity, and adjust with pH Up or Down if required. pH must be 7 (neutral).
  • Test for ammonia. Op.p.m required.
  • Test for nitrite. Op.p.m. required.
  • Add ‘Cycle’, 1 capful for every 40 litres, double dose if new tank.

Fortnightly Maintenance

  • 1/3 water change with a gravel cleaner.
  • Add water ager.
  • Test hardness – must be 150-180 p.p.m.- add conditioning salts if too soft, or fresh water if too hard.

Monthly Maintenance
Replace any carbon used in filtration e.g. carbon/foam filter caps for underground filters, carbon bags in canister or power filters. This will ensure your water is crystal clear.
Fertilise plants with ‘Plant Food’.