Aquarium Service Technician Opens Business
A passion for fish has led William Smith of Jamestown into a new, unique career path as an aquarium service technician for his new business Something’s Fishy.
Ten years ago, Smith began collecting fish and maintaining his own aquariums while working as a computer technician at Cummins Jamestown Engine Plant until 2016. Smith would occasionally help friends and friends of friends out with maintaining their aquariums. He left his job at Cummins and, through conversations with friends, realized there was a need for a job he could offer people that he wasn’t really sure existed. During the process of acquiring a license and purchasing insurance, Smith realized the uniqueness of his new profession.
Smith said while he was trying to insure his business most companies were not entirely sure how to “package” his business because of how different his business is.
“They tried to put me in as a pet groomer and a plumber,” Smith said smiling. “I’m like ‘no, no, no, no.'”
His title, aquarium service technician, was new information to him. Though he didn’t know his new title even existed, what he did know was his way around an aquarium, fresh water and salt water.
“I started having friends asking me to come over and help to their tank,” Smith said, “and then people would be going out on trips and they’d be asking me to go take care of their fish and feed them and everything. I realized there’s actually a need for that.”
Smith’s business offers people with aquariums a full servicing of their tanks. He maintains the tanks, which includes taking water samples, maintaining fish, water changes and tank cleaning. With freshwater tanks, Smith maintains the water temperature, checks for nitrates, ensures the ammonia level is balanced, he then documents his water check and then conducts an entire water change. When he returns two weeks later for a check up, he evaluates the tanks to make sure none of the water levels have changed.
During his tank cleanings, Smith is scrubbing the entire tank, taking care of any algae that has built up and about once a month will clean and replace the aquarium decorations.
He is also technically “on-call” and makes routine aquarium fixes for his clients. He also will bring fish food and other supplies that might be required for a particular job.
“That way the customer, all they have to worry about is just feeding the fish,” Smith said of his services. “Everything else is all scheduled and it’s done on a routine basis.”
As mentioned above, Smith new business began with his interest in fish and maintaining his own aquariums.
“I started with two 10-gallon tanks and ended up with that 50-gallon tank over there,” Smith said while motioning to a larger aquarium inside his home.
He currently owns two 20-gallon quarantine tanks, a 29-gallon tank, three 55-gallon tanks, two 125-gallon tanks and a 180-gallon tank.
He said on average he is servicing a 55-gallon tank for his clients. The price for each client differs on the size of the tank, whether it is saltwater or freshwater, the cost of supplies and the distance from where Smith lives. He said a 150-gallon freshwater tank in Fredonia would cost about $120 for service.
He said what sets him apart from someone simply cleaning and servicing the tanks themselves is peace of mind.
“I’m affordable, I’m keeping them up and there’s no stress to their tank,” Smith said. “They get to enjoy it with out any of the hassle.”
While the business only began on Dec. 24 of last year, Smith has already acquired 15 clients that he attributes to “word-of-mouth” from his friends. He hopes to do this job for at least the next 10 years and hopes to reach 80 clients where he will be, according to his business motto, taking the “stank out of your tank.”
“It started, literally, with two 10-gallon tanks,” he said. “It’s just a passion that just took over.”
Something’s Fishy is located at 1 High St., Jamestown, 14701. For more information, please email Somethingfishy716@gmail.com or call 1-814-323-2015.