How to Start a Fish Tank and Aquarium Maintenance Business

by Melanie L. Marten; Updated September 26, 2017
Fish tank maintenance can be hard work.

Many people love the look of fish tanks and aquariums in their homes, but do not like the hassle of maintaining them. Cleaning gravel and filters and changing water gets tedious, but can offer a profitable business idea. Follow these steps to get started.

Items you will need

  • Buckets
  • Plastic tubing
  • Aquarium vacuum
  • Algae scraper
  • Filter media
  • Plant fork
  • Water test kits
  • Water treatment chemicals
  • Advertising
  • Paper and printer
Step 1

Gather all necessary tools and materials to complete quality fish tank or aquarium maintenance. Practice changing water and suctioning waste products off the gravel before attempting to start your business. Gain knowledge about all the specific things to test and clean before trying to market yourself as an expert at fish tank and aquarium keeping.

Step 2

Advertise your fish tank and aquarium maintenance business in the local newspaper, and by printing out fliers and posting them on bulletin boards in supermarkets, libraries and other places of business where many people congregate. These fliers should include information about what you can do to beautify and maintain health in fish tanks and aquariums. Include your name, address, telephone number or email address so that people can contact you. You can also make small tear-off slips of paper at the bottom of the flier for people to take away with them. These should include your name, the nature of the business and your phone number.

Step 3

Determine costs for your fish and aquarium maintenance services based on difficulty of the task or size of the fish tank. For example, a simple weekly vacuuming and topping up the treated water can be one price, while entire thorough cleaning can be another. Smaller fish tanks will earn you less than larger ones. You can also use a sliding scale based on the specific requirements of each client.

Step 4

Schedule clients' fish tank or aquarium maintenance when it is most convenient for the clients. In many cases this will be in the evening after work hours or on the weekends. If you want to succeed in your fish tank maintenance business, you have to be prepared to do the job when the clients are available. Some tasks, such as vacuuming or water testing, should be done on a weekly or monthly basis. Offering subscription rates for regular maintenance is an excellent idea.

Step 5

Require each client to sign a release form and a contract for exactly what your responsibilities are. Including a clause that states you are not responsible for fish death is a good idea. Of course, if you do something wrong in your maintenance activities and all the fish die, you should reimburse the client for the losses.

Step 6

Conduct all maintenance tasks on schedule and in the best manner possible. Not only should you keep the fish tank or aquarium sparkling clean and healthy, you should be sure not to make a mess of the client's home. Do not spill water on the floor, drip on their furniture, or track dirt into their house.

Photo Credits

  • Piku at SXC.hu