missing my tanks, and question

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Aquarium Advice Freak
May 3, 2006
I used to be active on this forum about 12-13 years ago. Back then, I had 11 fish tanks, ranging in size from 5-55 gallons. I had freshwater- everything from goldfish to cichlids to lots of tetras and livebearers- almost everything you could put in a freshwater tank and buy at the local pet store, I had.

Then my hands started to hurt really bad, and I began to feel tired, and the pain just got worse, and finally, I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid arthritis on my 35th birthday. The pain just got too bad, I couldn't take care of the tanks anymore. Couldn't clean them. The fish started dying, and I realized I had to give them up.

I found new homes for all my fish and gave away my tanks. I kept some of the filters and heaters, and a few of the stands. In the hope that somehow, even though RA doesn't have a cure, I'd be able to have a tank again.

Since then, I've had a few bettas in 3-gallon tanks, but even those were hard to care for. I don't even have one of those now. I have difficulty using my hands and I now use a wheelchair, though I get around a bit with a walker when I'm home in my apartment.

Sorry if I'm whining. I really am getting to a point.

Are there any people who take care of fish tanks and clean them, who you can hire? Does anyone know if there are people you can hire to take care of fish tanks? All those doctor's offices and restaurants that have tanks- does someone who's employed there clean them, or are there people who come in and do it? It would have to be someone who knows what they are doing. I wouldn't want to hire someone off craigslist.

Does anyone know if there are services like that, and has anyone ever used them? Or know how to go about finding one?

Also, does anyone have any other ideas about how I could still have a fish tank? I miss them so much. Even just one would be great.

I haven't been on this forum in over 10 years, I was a little surprised it was still here. But let me know if anyone has any advice.
There are certainly people who do that for a job, a Google search should provide options, local aquarium clubs might know someone in the area, and LFS often run a maintenance business from the premises as the maintenance side can be more profitable than the sales.
Hi and welcome back to the forum :)

Yes there are companies that clean aquariums but also private individuals that go to your house and clean tanks. Most pet shops have a staff member that cleans tanks. Otherwise Google for aquarium cleaning services in your area.

If you have lots of live plants in the tank and not too many fish, the plants will help keep the water cleaner for longer so you don't need to do water changes as often.

A few bits of limestone, shells, or dead coral rubble can help stop or slow the pH from dropping to quickly.

You could set up a syphon hose/ pipe that goes out the door or to a drain and gravel clean water straight out the door. Then have a couple of buckets to hold water in the house. Use a garden hose to fill the buckets and a water pump and hose to pump that water into the tank.

Some people set up automatic water change systems. My local pet shop had one. They had the tanks connected to a sump that contained a float like the one you have in a toilet cistern. Each day they turned the pumps off and water tap going to the sump off as well. They opened a tap in the sump and let it drain out. When it was empty, they closed the tap and turned the water back on. The sump filled up and then the water pump was turned back on. Other people do similar set ups but on a smaller scale.

Another shop had a big sump with a water pump that pumped water into all the tanks. The excess water flowed back into the sump. Each week they turned the tap on the pump so the water got pumped outside. The pump had a float on it and when the sump was virtually empty, the pump turned itself off. Then they filled the sump up, added dechlorinator, aerated it for 30 minutes before turning the pump on and putting water back into the tanks.

This all depends on how much you can do.


I am concerned about the fact you have rheumatoid arthritis at such a young age and it has made you wheelchair bound to some degree. Have the doctors put you on anti-inflammatories or anything to help reduce the pain and discomfort?

Have you looked into natural supplements to help with arthritis?
Green lip mussels are meant to help and most health food shops sell a supplement made from them to help with arthritis.

Fish oil and flax oil also helps. Flax oil is better for you because it has Omega 3,6 & 9 fatty acids, whereas fish oil only has Omega 3. Flax oil doesn't make you burp fish flavoured burps afterwards.

Garlic oil can also help. These oils are natural products that all help reduce inflammation. Have a chat to your doctor and see if they are safe to take with any current medications you are on.

Probiotics might help and changing your diet might help.

If you can find out what is triggering the inflammation, you might be able to remove that item and lessen the side effects coming from your body.
Welcome back!

Do you have an Aquarium Society chapter around you? You might get to know the members and find someone who you could trust to help out.

Otherwise, yes indeed just call around to some aquarium store businesses and see what they do for the amount they charge.
Both of the LFS in my city regularly send their people out to service home & business tanks. Try calling the ones near you.
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