Basic Advice

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

Well the one thing we didn’t do was go on vacation! Summer is typically the only real quiet time in the aquarium design and installation game. Construction projects generally are under way, so if the addition of a custom aquarium isn’t already in the plan, we won’t see as many new installations. Mix in the fact that folks are taking vacations and busy getting the kids back in school spells a less hectic time. That being the case, this was a good opportunity to focus on infrastructure and internal growth for Blue Planet.

Namely, our facility underwent some radical changes. New flooring and entire new paint job through our 2000 square foot offices, fish holding and work space along with new work stations, computers, servers and furniture was an overdue upgrade.

Our fish holding system has been upgraded to low voltage and enviro-friendly LED lighting. The use of LED lighting on aquariums, we feel, is one of the greatest innovations in our industry in the past 10 years.  As well as using less power to run, there are no bulbs to replace and they simply look incredible as well.

Also, two years ago we changed our name from Aquariclean to Blue Planet Aquarium Services.  This summer we changed our Blue Planet logo from the globe we have been using to something that better displays what we do. The Cornflower Anemone and Angel Fish logo in a cube ‘aquarium’ over the name and tag line ‘Cutting Edge Aquariums & Service’ is something we poured over for days and are very happy with the results of. This logo will be represented on all of our social media sites like Facebook, Linkedin, our YouTube channel and blog as well as our website. Also, new building signage, vehical wraps and employee uniforms are all under way as well.

This summer we were also approached by the website About.com to produce a series of aquarium how to videos. Take a look below with links:

1.       How to set up a salt water aquarium- http://video.about.com/saltaquarium/How-to-Set-Up-a-Salt-Aquarium.htm
2.       How to start a salt water aquarium- http://video.about.com/saltaquarium/How-to-Start-a-Salt-Aquarium.htm
3.       How to select fish for a salt water aquarium – http://video.about.com/saltaquarium/How-to-Select-Fish-for-a-Salt-Aquarium.htm
4.       How to control water quality in a salt water aquarium – http://video.about.com/saltaquarium/How-to-Control-Water-Quality-in-a-Salt-Aquarium.htm
5.       How to add live coral to a salt water aquarium – http://video.about.com/saltaquarium/How-to-Add-Coral-to-a-Salt-Aquarium.htm

These videos were a lot of fun to shoot and put together, hopefully they will help a lot of folks from beginners just getting started in the hobby to seasoned veteran aquarists.

Shortly after the About.com shoot, we were approached by Men’s Health Magazine for a Q & A interview in the magazine’s ‘How to make things better’ section. We them gave some tips on how to make a freshwater aquarium anything but typical. The article should be out in the next few months.

Along with all these projects there were of course some aquarium installations. We’ll get to two in particular soon but one small one we were thrilled to be a part of was a rehab and restart of a 160 gallon reef aquarium in a science classroom at Providence St. Mel’s Grade School in Chicago. All labor and materials were donated by Blue Planet, as we were proud to offer our services in an effort to have students learn about marine life in the classroom. If not for the classroom, many of these kids would never have the opportunity to be exposed to sea life at all.

There were two aquarium installations this summer that did stand out in particular however. First off, we were approached by a mixed use dormitory in downtown Chicago to install what first started to be a 50 gallon freshwater aquarium. After a few meetings, freshwater became saltwater and 50 became 100, 100 became 200 and 200 (you can probably guess where I’m going with this) became 300. The entire concept of the aquarium was to provide a barrier in the entrance to keep kids from going around security (those crazy college kids) and gaining access to the dorm rooms. We worked with a millworker to design cabinetry the blended seamlessly with the wood tones and stains already in use in the building, so the aquarium installation didn’t look like an afterthought. Now the aquarium houses numerous fish and is very popular with students and staff alike. We’ll be shooting some video of this aquarium and developing a separate piece regarding the development and installation of this aquarium on our YouTube channel shortly, stay tuned for that!

The other large installation we are just putting the wraps on this week is a residence in Hinsdale, IL. No ‘man cave’ is complete without an aquarium and this one was no exception. In particular, this basement rehab when finished will house full arcade video games, pool table, flat screen TV’s (everywhere), a home theater, 2 bars and a industrial smoke eater for cigars in the wine cellar. Just like your basement, right? The ‘piece de resistance’ of this remodeling project is the 6 foot x 4 foot x 4 foot room divider style reef aquarium. Over 400 gallons of capacity, this aquarium has all the bells and whistles from 24 hour LED lighting that recreate sunrise, day time, sunset and midnight, to wave generating pumps, water cooled and energy efficient chiller, pumps, refugium and etc. Stay tuned for a follow up video on the design and installation of this beauty as well on our YouTube channel.

We’d also like to announce that this past September marked our 12 year anniversary. Many service clients have been with us from day one and we’d like to thank each and every client for your patronage. In 12 years we’ve seen many competitors come and go and we really feel we are just hitting our stride. Our service department has some of the top techs we’ve ever had in its ranks and we are constantly striving for excellence in service. From weekly tech talks and hands on classroom time for our employees, to customer service follow ups from our service manager and tech grading system, as well as 24 hour emergency service and 30 day fish guarantee, Blue Planet strives to be the best aquarium service company it can be.

Thanks for reading, for more information feel free to email us here at Blue Planet, check out our social media outlets, website or give us a call. We look forward to hearing from you!

About Jon Wolf

Servicing Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana & Michigan, Blue Planet Aquarium Services has been the most trusted name in aquarium design, installation and maintenance since 1999. A company large enough to be dependable but small enough to still watch out for your best interests, Blue Planet is the only company to call if you are planning to install an aquarium or have one maintained.