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Aquarium Maintenance - Emergency services - Fort Worth.

We are not taking on new long term accounts at this time

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A beautiful, healthy aquarium can provide a brilliant, quiet focal point in your business waiting area or your home.

As of today, February 9, 2012, we are not accepting new aquarium service accounts at this time. We service so many ponds we don't have the time. Our existing accounts already have all fish diseases cleared, stock was quarantined, and customers know what to expect from us, we know what to expect from them.
The new fish parasites that are in the fish wholesaler's tanks are a big part of this. Over time, treatments for these parasites will be found, but we choose not to be the front line of research with dying fish as this process unfolds. Please enjoy the page, there is a lot of great info on here, and I think some pretty nice pics.
Alice Burkhart,
Owner.

(For tips and information on how to maintain your own aquarium, visit Everything Fishy's Murphy page, and FishNotes page. For quality maintenance supplies, check out the Maintenance Supplies page. Thanks for visiting.) If you are in the Fort Worth, Texas area and need a one time call to straighten out your tank, please give us a call at 817-293-1782.
Email questions or give us a call.

To look at more aquariums we service and decorate, click here.

Freshwater Community

Indoor Turtle Pond October 2000

African Cichlids

Standard tank dimensions / gallons / liters.

A nice aquarium doesn't have to be a marine reef, and freshwater is much less expensive - from the cost of equipment, the cost of supplies, to a HUGE difference in the price of fish. Freshwater can also be stocked more heavily, so you get more appearance of fish. In many situations, a freshwater tank is much better suited to the environmental conditions. A freshwater aquarium is more suitable in any location that may have unsupervised children visiting occasionally.

While freshwater fish are rarely as brightly colored as saltwater, they are far easier to keep alive and enjoy. A freshwater aquarium is less expensive to set up, and to maintain, even if the freshwater fish are exotic species, because the chemistry is simpler.

Unfortunately, freshwater fish are camera shy. It took 2 rolls of film to catch this image of a gold gourami and a tiger barb, an image that several hundred elementary students see every day. The backgrounds and plastic plants add more color to this freshwater aquarium. The fish are hardy species that need fed 4 or 5 days a week, but can skip meals over the weekend. This tank holds 55 gallons of water, and 20 to 30 good sized tropical fish, (from 2 to 4 inches long). The tank is 48 inches long, and 13 'deep' (meaning how far it stands out from the wall.) It requires a solid aquarium stand, a minimum of 2 powerheads and an undergravel filter, a heater, and a light on a timer. Maintenance requirements on a community freshwater tank that is properly stocked include a monthly water change, and temperature check at feeding time. Occasionally a problem comes up, but it requires very little special upkeep. Anyone that has seen the page advertising 'Keeping Murphy Out Of Your Aquarium' will recognize the cover photo. As I said, it took 2 rolls of film to catch these fish holding still.

Geophagus jurupari, silver dollars, sunset platies.The camera that takes the best freshwater photos is definitely one without a flash. Today's results were much better, using a camera that takes photos and saves them to disk. Thanks to Jan for the use of her camera and expertise.The fish are:

Sunset platies, red hook silver dollars, a white hi-fin tetra who survived the dye process that made him a blueberry tetra, and a geophagus surinamensis. The other fish are still in hiding, but this is going a little better. Fish photos are copyrighted and not for commercial use without licensing.

This photo doesn't do justice to a beautiful fish. His sparkle and coloring betray his cichlid roots, but they are very subtle. He enjoys ghost shrimp and the occasional earthworm, in addition to catfish pellets, flake food, and pleco pellets. He should have finer gravel, since Geophagus means earth eater, and he cleans the gravel, but he seems to be doing alright. He's been in the tank since he was 2 1/2" long, Currently he measures around 7" including his tail. He isn't terribly aggressive, but shouldn't be kept with small fish. The danio count in the tank has gone down in the last year, from 5, to 1. No bodies were ever found. The clown loach shown below is on his way out of the cave, possibly with the geophagus behind him. I have a pair of clown loaches in this 40 gallon long. A good deal of chasing goes on, but no injuries so far.

Bottom left, Silver Dollars and Moonlight Gourami female.

I just had to put these angelfish somewhere. They were left over from a customer order, and they are beautiful. But one of my silver dollars was murdered. His killer is now in this jail cell.
The light wasn't the best for this photo. Of course 2 of his relatives are still loose in the tank, but he seems to have been the most aggressive. Anyone want to buy a fish? I have 3 of these available. I suspect that 2 are males, including the one in the net 'jail'.

Keeping Murphy Out Of Your Aquarium excerpts on the internet. Beginner to Intermediate fishkeeping and maintenance instructions, tips and techniques. Advanced books come out when they get written. Email quote aquarium tips are on the Fishnote page.


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An african cichlid tank has many things in common with marine tanks. One, the pH is high (7.6 to 8.6), the water is hard and contains salt. But rock salt or free-running salt from the grocery store will suffice. Two, the fish are very territorial. (Unlike Oscars though, they don't eat each other. They just strongly defend their territory.) This means that stocking an African tank is much like stocking a marine tank. If you put in the number of cichlids that your filter will support, you will end up with dead fish, not from ammonia or nitrites, from aggression and stress. While you may run a large number of baby africans in a small tank, or a few baby africans in with community fish, once they approach 1/2 of adult size, you'd better thin them out. I've ended up with 6 tanks of africans in my house during the thinning process. I just reduced that to 3 today, by selling all of my (still living) adult males, and most of my adult females. Africans really require a larger tank than I can devote to them right now, and even males of different species will bully each other, sometimes to death. My main disappointment with cichlid tanks comes from looking at a tank and not seeing any fish. The fish spend a fair amount of time hiding in the rocks, behind pumps, etc. So, I aimed for artistic rockwork designed to divide this tank up. I am putting electric yellow labidos in it, since they will rearrange the rockwork less than some of their cousins.

formerly known as a pseudotropheus lombardoi, this kennyi (Metriaclima lombardoi) male, in his 10 gallon jail cell. (He went to the pet store the day this was taken.) Young fish are blue, with fine vertical stripes as young fish, from the day they leave their mother's mouth. These are mouthbrooders, a fascinating and effective parenting technique. When they approach adulthood, the males turn pink, then yellow. When the female stops eating, she has a mouthful of eggs. A couple of weeks later, she will be starved and the babies will be free-swimming.She will eat voraciously for a few days. Once removed from the male, she can have a couple of broods before being in the same tank with him again. Brood size seems to range from 20 to 40. (I presently have at least 40 young p. lombardois. 25 are swimming with young m. interruptus in a 10 gallon tank, and about 15 more are in a community tank with gouramis and platies, until they start to approach adolescence, and find new homes or a pet store. When she stopped eating again, I put her back in the cichlid community tank. Only 2 or 3 from the last brood seem to have survived. This is somewhat of a relief. Still, the process was interesting.

johanni male, nose view.m. johanni male, top view.A male m. interruptus is always on the move. These aren't the greatest pictures, but he was on his way to the pet store for the murder of my albino zebra male. I have several of his sons.For real african cichlid buffs: melanochromis interruptus females aren't always yellow. Their black and blue coloration is not as striking as the male's but only part of my females were lighter in color, and none were yellow. The only definite way to sex these fish seems to be the egg spots on the anal fin, which appear when the male is 1/2 his adult size.

While all M.interruptus are sort of yellowish as juveniles, and the males do darken more quickly, a mature female is black with blue. The large interruptus swimming past this rock is a female, who released her fry about 2 weeks prior to this photo. Notice, there are no egg spots on the anal fin, and her color is dimmer. Her nose is nicked up from quarrelling. I needed tank space for some customer's fish that needed quarantined and ended up with 3 M. interruptus, 1 male, 2 females, 1 sociolofi male, 2 p. lombardois, and 2 albino zebras, 1 male, 1 female, in the same 29 gallon quarantine tank for one night. The male zebra died overnight. The female albino zebra was the only adult fish that didn't go to the pet store the next day, since she seemed to have a quieter nature. She is now in with the yellow labido's I traded for, and her nature isn't as quiet as it was, but the baby johannis in the same tank help to keep her out of mischief. (She wouldn't eat or come out of the corner, in the 29 gallon all alone, for 2 days, until I put some of the babies in with her. Is this an adoption? She started eating again.)


One problem with africans is identification. Someone emailed me this photo last year, in an attempt to solidly identify the species. I think we narrowed it down a little. Dave from the Sydney Cichlid club, a hobbyist that writes in now and then, thinks it might be a female Tropheops sp.

My p. lombardoi took a year to identify, because I thought he was a p. zebra, and yellow is female in zebras. His behavior, and every book the library had, finally helped me identify him as a male, and by species.






Aquarium Sales have been discontinued. We do not have a store, where you can come in and browse, and we do not ship aquariums. In the DFW area, we suggest that you purchase your aquarium, stand and light in a combo offered by a small local fish store, they need your support.

We sold and delivered this aquarium in May 2000, and we serviced it until August 14, 2013. The silver dollar, one of the original fish is still alive. (The Red tailed shark died of old age last year, and one of the bala sharks is gone, etc.) The house has been sold, the tank is up for sale, and the 14 year old silver dollar and other fish are in my daughter's 125 gallon. We run a good quarantine. We no longer sell aquariums, Oceanic is gone, not too impresed with the manufacturers that remain.


Left: The front of the waterfall, facing the entrance door. 2nd left, the back of the falls. A piece of slate and silk pothos hide the working parts. An indoor turtle pond in an office building, home to 3 red-eared sliders. We need to start taking "before" pictures. Originally the filter was visible and not very attractive, and large lava rocks with rough edges were the only available basking spots for the turtles. All plants, rockwork, filtration, including the miniature waterfall, is our 're-do', but the pump and some parts were re-used, to hold costs down. Our preliminary arrangement featured a very rocky base, without adequate swim-throughs for fish, and we felt that it displaced too much water from the eco-system. This has been remedied, but new photos haven't been taken yet.

View from 2nd story balcony: An Exploring Turtle, the male.Mature male red-eared slider, about 7








This page, information and photos are Copyright 1999 - 2016 by Alice Burkhart, All Rights Reserved. Graphics for commercial use must be licensed. Email for licensing information.

Monthly maintenance on your freshwater tank will help to keep it, and your fish, healthy and attractive. We no longer offer service but recommend you take good care of your fish and they will reward you with years of beauty and interesting behavior. If you have an aquarium emergency, call 817-293-1782 between 9am and 7pm Maintenance service now limited to emergencies only, an area within 30 miles of Fort Worth, Texas. This covers most of the Dallas - Fort Worth area. A trip charge can be negotiated for tanks outside this range.

We answer emergency calls as quickly as possible. Often we can tell you, by phone, what to do to temporarily rescue your fish until we can get there. Everything Fishy's telephone number is 817-293-1782. The landline number has become the cell phone number. Leave a message if you get the voicemail.

Aquarium service: We are no longer taking on new tanks for service, but will provide emergency service while you find a long term service provider. $75 minimum for freshwater tanks 55 gallons and smaller. Rates vary depending upon location, size, access, filtration type, and maintenance required.

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