FAQ

FAQ

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What is acclimation?

The process of acclimation is where you introduce an aquatic animal to your aquarium by way of slowly combining the water they are currently living in to the water the are going to go in to over a period of about one hour.  Doing this slowly allows the animals to gradually adapt to the change in water parameters.  For a detailed explanation, see our Acclimation article.

Can CCA maintain my personal aquarium that I already own or do I have to lease one from you?

CCA is please to offer aquarium maintenance on your existing home of office aquarium. Call us to get a free aquarium consultation and to discuss maintenance prices as they vary due to location, size, type and current condition of the aquarium.

Does CCA install and maintain ponds?

Yes, we have several years of experience with indoor ponds.  We can help keep your pond or water feature crystal clear and healthy.  We can also arrange to install a pond at your home or business!

What work will I have to do if CCA maintains my aquarium?

Generally, there is no participation needed on your part.  We offer light timers and automatic fish feeders for your aquarium as well as automatic freshwater top off units.  Some saltwater aquariums do enjoy the occasional manual feeding and if this is your situation we can provide your with an easy to use monthly feeding calendar and instructions.  Our maintenance staff can also be scheduled to feed the aquarium if needed.  This provides more time to sit back and enjoy a maintenance free aquarium!

Can CCA customize my aquarium?

Absolutely!  This is one of our specialties and we are always striving to make your aquarium or pond stand out from the rest.  If you have an idea of what you want, no matter how unique, we will work with you to make it a reality.

What is one of my fish dies?  What should I do?

Unfortunately fish loss can happen in any aquatic habitat, but we work hard to ensure that it is a rare occurrence.  If a fish loss occurs we would like to know more about it.  Please call or send an email to service@ccaqua.com and let us know.

Should I choose an acrylic or glass aquarium?

CCA recommend acrylic for the majority of our customers.  Here are some major reasons why acrylic is a better choice than glass when constructing aquariums.

Acrylic is lighter than glass making it less expensive to ship.  Acrylic is stronger than glass and does not break or crack.  Acrylic distorts light less than glass offering a better view of the aquarium contents.  Acrylic insulates better than glass.  Acrylic seams are stronger than glass seams.  Acrylic can be repaired easily if scratched.  Acrylic can be custom shaped into a wide variety of forms.

At what temperature should my aquarium be maintained?

On average, most saltwater aquariums do best with temperatures ranging from 73-82 degrees Fahrenheit. An ideal saltwater reef temperature is around 75 degrees while freshwater aquariums do best at around 78 degrees.  No more than 2 degrees of fluctuation is recommended in a 24 hour cycle.

What kind of lighting is required?

The type of lighting depends upon what kind of animals you desire to keep. One of the most important factors is the light intensity. A high color temperature is also important. Aquarium lights with color temperatures ranging between 5,000 to 20,000 degrees Kelvin will provide excellent lighting to a marine system.  While lower Kelvin temperatures in the 3,000-7,000 range are good for planted freshwater aquariums. Another factory is the “Color Rendering Index” or CRI. The CRI of sunlight is 100 and a high CRI on an artificial light means that it is very close to replication the colors of natural sunlight.  Lighting options include LED lighting systems (which are most energy efficient), Metal Halide and Power Compact florescent.

How is salinity determined in a marine aquarium?

Salinity is a measure of the total amount of dissolved salts in seawater. It is measured in parts per thousand (ppt or 0/00). The average salinity of the ocean is around 34 to 37 ppt. Marine aquariums are measured in specific gravity. Specific gravity may be defined as the ration of the density of the liquid to the density of water. The specific gravity of seawater at 35 ppt is 1.026. The proper range for a marine aquarium is 1.020 to 1.026. Refractometers, hydrometers, and test kits can be used to estimate salinity in marine systems.

What is pH and what range should the pH be in my aquarium?

Marine Aquariums are best kept at a pH range of 8.0-8.4 with an ideal range of 8.4.  Freshwater aquariums vary greatly in range based on what fish will be kept.  Planted aquariums generally like a pH range of 6.5-7.0, while African Cichlids thrive in a pH of 7.8.

pH is an abbreviation for pondus hydrogenii which also stands for “Power of Hydrogen” or “Weight of Hydrogen.” pH is a measure of the effective acidity or alkalinity of a solution. Pure water has a pH value of 7. The pH scale usually is considered as extending from 0 to 14. As the scale drops towards 0 the solution becomes more acidic. As the scale rises toward 14 the solution becomes more basic.  pH testing kits are available at our retail store and there are many different brands available. These kits have color codes to indicate the approximate pH.

What kind of filtration is needed?

There are three major types of filtration used in marine aquariums — mechanical, chemical and biological. A healthy mixture of all three types of filtration is generally required for a healthy, thriving ecosystem. Biological filtration utilizes bacteria to break down waste material in the water. Mechanical filtration filters out small particles in the water as they pass through a filter media. Chemical filters utilize materials like activated carbon and GFO to remove dissolved molecules from the water. CCA can help you determine what type of filter you need for your specific system.

What do I need to set up my aquarium?

Filter: Filters utilizing biological, mechanical and chemical filtration are recommended for most aquariums. Sump or wet/dry filters sit beneath the tank and are often considered the best system of filtration. Back filters hand on the outside of the aquarium and pull water from the aquarium and run it through both a filter fiber and activated carbon. Canister filters sit under the aquarium and offer the three types of filtration needed.

Lighting: The lighting for your aquarium is generally selected based on what type of aquarium eco system you plan to keep.  LED, Metal Halides and Power Compact florescents are some of the options available to the hobbies.  Let our staff help you choose which lighting is right for you.

Substrate: Live sand which is Aragonite based is recommended for marine aquariums because it is calcareous (contains calcium) and will naturally buffer the ph of the water to a desirable range of 8.0-8.4 . The sand or gravel should be 2-4 inches thick to provide the correct filtering capacity of the aquarium.

Pumps: There are many different styles and sizes of water circulation pumps.  Power heads added to any aquarium will help to circulate water and some are equipped with a venturi that helps to aerate.  Add the addition of a wave maker for added

Heater: Too great of variances in the temperature of the water it can lead to the demise of all the animal life. A constant temperature is therefore highly recommended. Tropical aquariums do well at temperatures of 73 to 82F. The correct heater size is determined by the amount of water in the aquarium. Normally a heater should be 3-5 watts for every gallon. Tanks greater than 50 gallons tend to retain heat and only need around 3 watts per gallon. Using two smaller heaters creates a redundancy that ensures survival of the tank if one heater fails.