Hello dear readers of my blog, and with you, as always, Andrei Selitsky. Since I wrote an article on how to make an aquarium with my own hands, 4 days have already passed and it is time to please you with a new useful post. Today’s article will be devoted to aquarium soil.
Soil is an integral part of any aquarium.
You can read the article on making an aquarium with your own hands at this link!
He participates in the aquarium in picking and planning your underwater garden. Aquarium soil, as well as lighting, background, other various decorations create a certain personality and charm in your aquarium.
The use of soils of various colors radically changes the appearance of any aquarium.
In addition to the above, soil is a substrate for plants and on its surface it creates all the necessary conditions for the emergence of many different bacteria, bryozoans, fungi and other microorganisms. Aquarium soil actively processes waste products of aquarium fish.
Moreover, the soil in the aquarium plays the role of a filter, in which various suspended matter and microparticles are deposited, which can contaminate the aquarium water. If I ponder over what I said, then the aquarium soil is not only an ornament, but it also participates in maintaining biological balance, and without it, the aquarium is not a tenant roughly!
It is clear that the soil fulfilled all the functions that I have listed, it must first be properly selected. If you start picking your filter often and clean it very often, it will eventually be covered with a copper basin. Similar care requires aquarium soil.
Now became very popular hygienic type aquariums, in which there is no ground at all. In such aquariums only all the necessary equipment and substrates for spawning, unless of course they are needed.
Understandably, such aquariums can exist perfectly, in most cases during spawning, growing fry and lifting of larvae in the soil is not necessary, it can even be harmful. But when breeding manufacturers, professionals are forced to recognize the benefits and the need for aquarium soil.
As a rule, aquarium soil is also a substrate for spawning of some species of fish. Something I started talking about the fish, it is necessary to switch to the ground. By the way, if you have not read my post how to care for aquarium fish, I advise you to study it.
In it, I set out detailed information on how to do this business. So, go on the ground!)
Let’s first consider what types of soil exist and what can be obtained. To begin with, let’s break all the soils into three groups: pebbles, natural sand, rubble and gravel; soils that result from the chemical or mechanical processing of natural or natural materials; soil of artificial origin. Aquarium soils from the first group usually consist of basalt, feldspar, dolomite, quartzite or granite.
In nature, you can often see a mixture of various minerals of various sizes, or there is dust, or huge cobblestones.
If the soil is smaller than 1 millimeter, it can be safely called sand. River sand, which mostly falls to the bottom of the aquarium through a thick layer, is very popular with aquarists.
The water in its thickness does not penetrate, the soil begins to simply rot. If you accidentally shake up this ground, a huge amount of harmful hydrogen sulfide gas will spill out into the water, as well as methane, ammonia, which is very dangerous for all the inhabitants of your aquarium, including plants.
By the way, if you do not know how to care for aquarium plants, be sure to read the post on my blog, it will be very useful to you.
If the grain size of your soil will be more than 5 millimeters, then this soil is called pebbles. With pebbles, the situation is exactly the opposite. Such a soil is too permeable not only for aquarium water, but also for food.
When feeding, particles of food penetrate between the particles of soil and the inhabitants of the aquarium can not pull it out. The little fish is small and it is very difficult for her to roll a large fraction. Yes, and pebbled soil does not look very uniform.
In general, whatever the crushed stone is fine, it loses gravel anyway, as it can cause harm to small fish due to sharp edges.
Perhaps the best soil for an aquarium can be considered rounded gravel with round grains up to 5 millimeters in diameter. It can be collected either on the river slopes, or go into the ravine and gather it there.
The grains are larger and heavier, and therefore they roll down, where they are then harvested and sifted from the sand. In the gravel should not be any substances that can dissolve in the aquarium water. I want to warn you if you suddenly decide to use shell rock, marble and coral sand as gravel.
Yes, it is beautiful, yes, it is stylish, but then you can regret it. I’ll explain why.
All the grounds just listed contain calcium carbonates, which gradually begin to dissolve in soft and acidic water, as a result of which the aquarium water hardness increases. If you find such a primer, splash a little acid on it, table vinegar will work fine.
If bubbles or foam begin to form on the surface of the soil, then calcium carbonates dissolve with acid, and of course, this kind of soil is not suitable for an aquarium.
If you decide to grow Malawian cichlids in your aquarium, then you can safely throw such soil, because the water hardness is approximately equal to 12 dH in the lake where these fish live (Malawi). There are few higher plants there, and if they are, then cichlids are not averse to feasting on them.
In addition, in the aquarium soil should not contain minerals that are part of the compound of metals, such as magnetite or pyrite. If such substances fall into the aquarium water, then most likely they will poison everyone there.
It is best to use a soil of quartz or feldspar – in relation to the aquarium water, they will be neutral. If, however, impurities of various rocks in which calcium is present with the soil have got into the soil, dissolve them with acid.
Hydrochloric acid, which is filled with soil, is best suited. Pour the soil into the plastic basin and pour acid there and let it stand for a couple of hours. After this time has elapsed, rinse the soil under running water for 30 minutes to wash off any acid residues.
When treating the soil with acid, do not forget about your safety. Acid corrodes the skin, so before this procedure, buy rubber gloves and work only in them.
Even if you did not process the aquarium soil with acid, it should be washed in any case. You take the soil in a bucket, and in turn put the bucket in a basin. If you wash your grooves this way, all small particles under the stream of water should remain in the pelvis and not in your sewage system.
If you just put the bucket with the soil in the bathroom, then all the filth will fall into the sewer, and you need it?
Wash the soil should be warm water, gently stirring it, so that we washed the particles of clay and earth. The better you wash the soil, the less time will pass until the water in your tank is clear.
There is a twofold opinion about the boiling of the soil and the treatment of it with disinfectants. Some boil, others do not advise. Do not advise why?
Remember that the purity of the pond is maintained with saprotofitnyh microorganisms. If there are sterile conditions in the aquarium, clean water cannot always be achieved thanks to chemical methods.
For example, I boiled the soil for my tank and nothing terrible happened. All the same, you will not put any living creatures in the newly launched aquarium.
This is generally a separate topic and I plan to write a post on how to run an aquarium. Subscribe to blog updates so you don’t miss it.
Tax, soil washed and processed. let’s lay it in the aquarium. Pour the aquarium soil into your jar with a layer of 5-7 centimeters.
Such a thickness of the soil will be enough for the root system of your plants to begin to develop normally. There are such aquarists that lay out the soil with a 10-centimeter layer.
However, remember that the load on the glass will greatly increase and the soil will not be washed out with fresh water. In such a soil is not uncommon formation of oxygen-free areas.
As a rule, the soil is laid in an even layer. If you do not plan to keep in your aquarium fish that are actively digging around in the ground, then in such an aquarium the ground can be laid at an angle – the layer gradually decreases from the back wall to the front. If you want to recreate a relief in your tank, make a terrace.
In general, this is an interesting topic, I will not disclose it in this article, read the post about aqua design and you will understand everything. To create a terrace, you must install at the bottom of the aquarium partitions of different levels, which are subsequently filled with soil. Glue terraces with silicone glue.
Stones or snags can be used as terraces material. You can even bungle something from plastic, but I do not recommend it.
Plastic is a dangerous thing.
In the washed ground there are no compounds that could be useful for aquarium plants as food. They will appear only then, as the saprotofits will occupy all the cavities in your soil and will begin the process of decomposition of waste products. That is why, plants using roots for food, in the newly launched aquarium in the first weeks 2-3 will be without food.
To prevent this from happening, fine-grained substances are used in the soil, which serve as plant bait. For these purposes, very often I use laterite – tropical soil. At least the lovers of the Cryptocoren family use it regularly.
AQUAYER has also become popular now. Nutritional substrate, which is laid under the main ground at the start of the aquarium and then nourishes the plants for a long time. Fertilizers begin to slowly dissolve and feed the roots of aquarium plants.
I want to mention the excellent qualities of gravel of volcanic origin. It has a lot of trace elements that contribute to excellent plant growth.
As a rule, this soil is black in color and is imported into Ukraine from abroad. We haven’t seen such a thing here, most likely because it is expensive and in our city hardly anyone will buy it)) Crisis, do you know … On such a ground, plants develop beautifully – they grow large and healthy, unlike quartz sand.
Such phenomena can be observed in nature, in Rwanda or Kamchatka.
Yes, by the way, if you do not know where you can buy quality aquarium soil for your jar, there is an excellent online store Akvakamni. On it, you can also purchase all the necessary equipment for your underwater garden.
Strange, but in some literature there are still tips on how to use garden soil in an aquarium. Similar advice appeared about a century ago, when no one really knew about the biological processes occurring in aquarium water.
Aquarists believed that garden land is perfect for aquatic plants, because land plants grow, such as aquatic plants will grow. Now this is complete nonsense, and if someone has said this to you, then spit in his face, seriously. If you suddenly throw earthlings into your tank with the ground, then after a couple of days everything will rot there, and all this filth will quickly dissolve in the water.
I think you have already imagined what will happen next. No, but I’ll tell you now.
At first, the water will be brown in color, then green, since unicellular algae will begin to multiply massively. In such an environment, aquarium fish and plants will be very, very bad.
It seems that I considered all the issues related to the chemistry and practical use of gravel in aquariums. Well, if that missed, please do not be angry at me and unsubscribe in the comments. I will take note of everything you said and in the future I will try not to make such blunders :))
Let’s talk about the aesthetic side of using aquarium soil. To a greater extent, the ground serves as a backdrop for fish and plants. In one case, he was picked up very well, in the other not very.
Very often aquarists use either gray or yellowish gravel. Such a decision is in principle universal, as plants and fish look great against such a background.
If you decide to use a light primer, then you will greatly regret it. The fishes will lose their coloring, they will be very shy and very pale.
Well, if you use black soil, then in such an aquarium the contrast will be strongly striking.
In the sale of soil in large quantities, so buy aquarium soil you will not be difficult. Varieties of mass, use in practice what I told you, it will be a great help.
There is even an artificial ground for sale, but as to my account, it loses much to the natural one. If you are planning to get yourself a simple aquarium with one goldfish, then please.
But if you want a large beautiful aquarium, so that the eye does not tear, use in this case, natural soil definitely.