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Career Story: Owner Of A Fish-Tank Cleaning Service

Owner Of A Fish-Tank Cleaning Service

Job Title: Owner Of Small Business

Type of Company: We design, install and maintain fish tanks in homes and offices.

Education: BA, marketing

Previous Experience: I was the general manager of a large pet store.

Job Tasks: As owner of the company, I have to cover a lot of ground. There's always simple office work, of course, which can include making invoices and deposits, paying taxes, arranging schedules and answering phones. But it's crucial too that I keep our three vans running smoothly, arranging regular maintenance and dealing with emergencies as they arise. I also have to track and order fish tank supplies -- fish food, filters and everything else we use to keep the tanks clean. I order live fish on a regular basis and keep them in the office to make sure they're free of disease before we stock clients' tanks with them.

The bulk of my work, though, consists of taking care of fish tanks. As a maintenance people, we drive to the location of the aquarium, bring in all the supplies needed to clean the tank and then do the cleaning. Typically this involves changing a percentage of the water, cleaning and changing filters and scrubbing props, decorations and the glass of the tank.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: For me the best part of the job is the fish themselves. I enjoy watching them and find them very relaxing and fascinating. If given the choice between watching a tank full of happy fish or a TV, I'd watch the tank.

The worst part of my work is discovering that the fish have gotten parasites and that some of them are past saving.

Job Tips: I would strongly advise learning how fish get along in captivity in different systems. Just because you've had a couple of fish tanks, don't imagine that it'll be easy to keep fish alive in someone else's. Every tank behaves differently, with different water, different filters and different aquascaping affecting the fish in unpredictable ways. Keep things natural without lots of additives and do not rush the tanks.

And keep in mind that this is hard physical work.

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