Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What does Creative Aquariums do?

Creative Aquariums is a full service aquarium/pond design, installation, and maintenance company. Our approach is 100% customer focused, working with our clients to understand their needs and incorporate their hopes for a new/existing aquarium or pond.

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We ask questions that normal providers neglect, like: How do you want to enjoy the aquarium? Is it a decorative piece, educational, or meditative? Where do you spend most of your time? Questions such as these will determine positioning between family room, living room, bedroom, or office.

With over 75 years of collective aquarium expertise we have the ability to tackle any issue that you have, and if we don’t have the answers, our partners are able to help support your efforts.

How often do you come out to clean my aquarium? Or how often should an aquarium be serviced?

We take great pride in the Creative Aquariums System. The processes and methods developed over our near 20-year history have been proven successful and we urge our clients to follow our advice for achieving the optimal results. We can work within your requirements, but cannot guarantee the outcome if we deviate from the recommended maintenance schedules.

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  • Reef Aquariums- should be service weekly; at the least bi weekly
  • Saltwater Aquariums- should be serviced bi weekly
  • Freshwater Aquariums- should be serviced monthly
  • Ponds- Seasonal Opening and Closing (procedures to prepare for the elements); maintenance as needed unless attempting to grow plants or keep livestock (like Koi)

Do you offer any annual maintenance packages?


We offer monthly options and annual budgets with different service options such as Basic, Standard, and Premium.

For those interested in saving some money and getting a better bang for your buck, we offer discounts for those who pay their annual contracts at the beginning of each maintenance year.

Is Creative Aquariums insured?

Yes, CA is insured for both residential and commercial clients.

What if we go on vacation can Creative Aquariums come for a check-up?

Yes! We have a service that comes by to check on your aquarium, feed your fish, make sure that everything is in working order and provide maintenance/upgrade services to the aquarium if necessary.

How does Creative Aquariums handle a new client who already has an aquarium installed?

Creative Aquariums will start any client relationship by conducting a full site evaluation, review of current installation, and a client needs assessment.

Generally, existing setups become dated, worn, and are in need of repair or replacement. Creative Aquariums will provide options for upgrades and/or modifications.

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Additionally, aside from the science of maintaining an aquarium, there is also the art. By making the switch to Creative Aquariums we like to thank our new clients by educating them about potential decorative options and adjustments, like the inclusion of new or unique fish and livestock. Also, we like to raise the possibility of converting from fresh water to salt water or reef and finding other ways to add to the overall aesthetics of the aquarium.

After the site evaluation is completed, Creative Aquariums provides the client with a proposal for maintenance and upgrades. The client should review the proposal and contact Creative Aquariums with any questions.

Once the client decides to move forward with Creative Aquariums services, they should mail/fax the Signed Copy of the Agreement Information Form and a check for the deposited amount (if any upgrades are selected).

How long does the installation process take?

Custom Installation

Between 2-3 months dependent on the time it takes to manufacture the custom aquarium. On average it takes about 2 months for the manufacture process, which includes cutting, positioning, curing, and shipping. The installation process requires regular communication with our design people and the chosen contractors, ensuring that the new construction or renovations follow the specific plans to help ensure a long and problem free lifecycle for the aquarium.

Standard Installation

Between 1 and 3 weeks depending on availability from the wholesaler. We do not purchase aquariums that have been sitting out on Aquarium showroom floors or pet stores because we cannot guarantee quality. Our foremost concern is to limit the potential problems that can arise from aquarium ownership. Avoiding any variables with the aquarium itself is the easiest way to accomplish that goal.

*The above estimations are contingent upon receipt of deposit from the client to cover the general costs of purchasing and shipping of required supplies and materials.

Is it hard to convert from a Freshwater aquarium to a Saltwater aquarium?

Not at all!!! Creative Aquariums does all the work for you! A saltwater aquarium should be reef ready. Reef ready aquariums help avoid any potential problems with flooding from the tank draining from low quality overflow boxes simply attached to the back of the aquarium.

When can I add more fish to my Aquarium?

The aquarium has a careful balance between the amount of fish and the amount of food that’s being fed and the size of the filter. A brand new aquarium, we add fish in the beginning for 4-6 weeks, called starter fish. After that, you can begin adding fish at a slow rate throughout the next 3-6 months.

Can you change the ornaments in my Aquarium?

Yes! What many of our clients like to do is purchase two sets of ornaments. This way, upon each maintenance visit we can bring a freshly cleaned set and change out the dirty ones. It adds to the “living art” component of aquarium ownership and cuts down on the total time for each maintenance visit, passing the savings on you!

For those who are budget conscience, we do have used ornaments available for purchase.

How do I find out how to upgrade my system if I am a current Creative Aquariums customer?

Upgrades are an important part of aquarium ownership. Just like maintaining the brakes on your car or changing its oil, the aquarium needs to revamp a whole host of components to avoid the slow breakdown of the ecosystem and maintain a healthy living environment for the fish, corals, and water quality.

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Additionally, advances are made every day in the aquatics field that can help lower overall costs, with better results for the aquarium. We have the ability to provide new filtration systems, ornaments, remote monitoring system (excellent for salt and reef aquariums- allows for web-based monitoring and intervention of the water chemistry), and much more!

  • Talk to your technician the next time they comes to service your aquarium about your idea or concern
  • Call the Creative Aquariums Office at 610.660.9799
  • Send us an email at

What should I do if I am having trouble with my aquarium, pond, and/or water feature?

If it is an EMERGENCY call our 24/7 EMERGENCY HOTLINE at 215.870.3650

If it is NOT an EMERGENCY:
Use the Troubleshooting FAQ and see if you can identify and possibly fix the problem
Email us
Call Creative Aquariums Monday – Friday between the hours of 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM at 610.660.9799

How much and how often should I feed my fish?

Freshwater- 1 time, max 4 times Daily; Amount of food depends on the number of fish in the aquarium.

It is always better to feed 4 small amounts throughout the day, than 1 large amount because it has the potential to raise the ammonia levels (which leads to cloudyness and is the #1 killer of fish)

It is good to use a tea spoon and measure each feeding, increasing the quantity as the fish grow.


Reef- The idea with a reef aquarium is to feed them as little as possible because you want them to be feeding from the reef to help keep it clean. Ideally, you want to feed the fish every three days.

What is the best way to feed my fish?

Aquarium lights must come on 1 hour before and after feeding the fish. This will give the fish time to wake up, adjust to the light, see the food, and gobble up any remain food after the initial feeding.

How long should I keep my lights on for?

Freshwater and Saltwater – Between 4-8 hours per day and leave off if you are not watching the aquarium. Corals – Between 8-10 in order for the corals to grow brilliantly and vibrantly

Why is my Aquarium water cloudy?

A very common question!!! Usually there are 4 Explanations:

Remedy is to cut down on the amount you are feeding the aquarium, using recommended amounts by your aquarium technician

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Too much direct light or sunlight
Remedy is to consider potentially closes shades or reducing the number of hours the light in on the aquarium until water clears.

Mechanical failure causing the water to not circulate through the filtration system Contact your aquarium technician

Algae bloom
An algae bloom is a tricky problem to diagnose for most hobbyists and homeowners. Usually the water levels and chemistry are right but water is still cloudy. Treatment will require the assistance of your aquarium technician, but there are treatment options you can do from home with the instruction of Creative Aquariums.

What temperature should the water be in my aquarium?

Freshwater- 76 and 80 Degrees
-Goldfish tank should be as cold as possible: 75 and below

Saltwater- 76-78 Degrees
Reef- Try to keep it a little cooler- between 76-77 Degrees

Can my fish have babies?

Yes! But there are a few conditions you must be aware of between species and environment.

African cichlids: mouth breeders and protect their young and can breed in your aquarium

Live Bearing Fish (Mollies, Platies, Swordtails, and Guppies)- The female will grow large and bloated with the babies, but unless they are separated, the other fish will most likely eat the newborns. The female should be put into a separate breading section so the babies will not be eaten by the other fish.

Tetras and Barbs- They scatter their eggs and it is very hard to breed in captivity unless you set up the aquarium so it is conducive for breeding. For example, scattering marbles on the bottom to camouflage the eggs once they are scattered and fertilized.


Very few reproduce in captivity. It is also very expensive if you hope to breed saltwater fish in captivity. Please ask your technician if you are interested in setting up a system conducive to a saltwater breeding environment.


Almost all corals will reproduce quite easily in captivity if the water levels, chemistry, and lighting are right.

Why is my water/rocks green?

Excess algae growth can generally be attributed to a filtration problem or too much light or sunlight. Too many nutrients in the tap water used could have an effect as well.

What is the best way to remove a deceased fish?

Use a net and place the fish in a plastic bag. Take the bag to an outside trash can to be taken away.

What is Reverse Osmosis Water (RO Water)?

It is purified water that goes through a specific scientific process to remove chlorine, nitrates, and phosphates from tap water. It is the best type of water for saltwater aquariums and required for Reef aquariums. When used for freshwater, make sure a buffer is added to raise the PH level.