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Discussion Starter #1
I have heard comments regarding our use of central systems over individual filters in each aquarium. I think it is an interesting topic for review.

All of our FW aquariums used to be operating on UGF only. I believe we converted them into systems 5, maybe 6 years ago.
Occasionally I hear from customers that they feel any disease would quickly infect an entire pod and that systems promote disease.

We have numerous systems that we designed and installed. Each system is run with pressurized filters, high flow and UV sterilization. Our systems range from 600 gallons to the largest FW being 2400 gallons. Each pod has different water parameters for the specific fish we regularly house. For example we will run a higher hardness for our livebearers and a lower hardness for our Tetras. There is of course some over lap and some mixing between pods but we monitor our hardness levels weekly and our Nitrates are kept below 40, usually 20ppm.

If we look at the UGF situation, if you have an aquarium with 12 fish and you add another 100 fish to that aquarium, you are going to have spikes in water quality for sure. We can add 1000 fish to a pod and experience no spiking because of the water volume in comparison to the fish population. In this example, fish introduced into a healthy system will fare much better than an isolated aquarium. Isolation will contain disease but in my example also contribute to it. Our customers know of our quality and I feel our livestock speaks for itself. We also have the ability to isolate any aquarium where we can add a sponge filter which are always on hand, with bacteria in our sumps. This way if a new arrival has issues, we can deal with it in isolation and as soon as the problem is rectified, they are put onto the system. It is much easier to maintain high water quality in central systems. I dont think having one system for the entire store a good idea. With that situation, all your fish would be in the same water parameters. Tetras and African Cichlids for example should be in completely different parameters. The other great advantage to multiple central systems is the efficient use of UV. Running 300 UV sterilizers would be a nightmare and extremely expensive so no one would do it. With central systems it's easy. I welcome feedback on this topic.:)
 

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I would love to some day get all of my FW tanks on a central system. It would be a huge time saver only maintaining one filter and even better would be some sort of semi-automated water change system that would actually allow me to maintain a 50% WC rate. Personally for a home based system I would forego the UV unit, but one would have to be especially diligent about QT all new fish for an extended period.
 

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Nice info! I was on another forum recently where they told me I would get sick fish from central systems. It's very refreshing to hear the other side of the coin.
 

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Nice info! I was on another forum recently where they told me I would get sick fish from central systems. It's very refreshing to hear the other side of the coin.
Yes, we certainly would not have drilled over 700 aquariums if we didn't have to! It took over 6 months to do the conversion but we have no regrets!
 

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This makes sense to me, especially given the number of tanks in your store. I found this post very interesting; I'd been wondering how aquarium stores handle water quality when hundreds of new fish are added all at once.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
This makes sense to me, especially given the number of tanks in your store. I found this post very interesting; I'd been wondering how aquarium stores handle water quality when hundreds of new fish are added all at once.
Either way, water change is essential after adding new stock. Although we do not experience any ammonia spikes, we routinely change water after receiving new stock.
 
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