Categories: Todd's Top Tips505 words2 min read

Todd’s Top Tips for Annual Maintenance of Shellfish Systems


Errin Todd


April 20, 2016


A few of our loyal customers have now had their shellfish holding systems for one year.

Although we often concentrate on the daily and weekly checks of the system there are some maintenance jobs which need to be done annually.

We are concentrating on our Todd Fish Tech shellfish holding systems although this advice could work for any tank based holding system and filtration. We are assuming you have a well maintained system in general which is clean and has not been switched off. If you are re-starting a system after a few months we’ll write another blog for you soon.

The good news is this annual maintenance is pretty straight forward.

The ultraviolet steriliser bulb needs to be changes as it will not be as efficient after one year. The o rings holding the quartz sleeve will also need replaced and the glass quartz sleeve needs cleaned. Here’s how:

Ultraviolet Steriliser maintenance by Todd Fish Tech

Ultraviolet Steriliser maintenance by Todd Fish Tech

Replace the air stones in the protein skimmer.  These are just a ‘push fit’ into the airline.  We recommend wooden air stones in the protein skimmer as these give a nice, small air bubble size.

The holes at the base of the Todd Fish Tech moving bed bioreactor and the strainers in the filter will need to be wiped clean to ensure they are not blocked.  Use only saltwater – NO chemicals.

If you are using a carbon filter then replace the carbon when the water gets yellowy (maybe every 3-6 months) but at least every year.  Check all of the pipework and joints for any leaks or damage.  Have a good check of the flow rate throughout the system.  Ensure it is all running at optimum levels. Check the pump is operating correctly and there are no blockages in the strainer or impeller.  It is a good idea to have a spare pump in stock as if anything goes wrong with the pump the system will not have any water flow and the oxygen levels will drop quickly which could lead to an overnight wipe-out.

Don’t be too rigorous with your cleaning.  Only use saltwater (or freshwater without chloramines present if you don’t have access to saltwater for cleaning).  All cleaning chemicals and their residue are toxic to shellfish.  Do not have any chemicals (or tools, cloths, or implements used with cleaning products) anywhere near your system.  This includes any spray chemicals which not used in the same space.

If your area is prone to power cuts or you have any challenges with temperature then maybe invest in an alarm.  This can be set up to call your mobile to alert you of power failure or low/high temperatures.

We stock all consumables for our systems and are happy to help our customers with their annual maintenance.  Our engineers will happily give you a maintenance visit too if you would like for extra peace of mind and ensure your system is running efficiently.

Happy and Healthy Lobsters are Tasty Lobsters!

Best Fishes,


Errin Todd