Aquarium decoration – an interesting and creative process that necessarily accompanies the launch of any aquarium. And in this process has its own recommendations and features that must be considered when starting the process of registration.
Let us consider the main elements used for the decoration of aqua-systems.
It is worth remembering that the rear internal background must be installed before filling the aquarium with water. In this case, all materials used for its manufacture, also paints and adhesives, must be waterproof and non-toxic.
In some cases, the internal background is volumetric – in such cases they are made from expanded polystyrene or molded from fiberglass. The background can sometimes consist of roofing slate tiles that are hardened across the back of the aquarium wall. To create an external background, it is easier to paint the outer side of the rear glass aquarium.
The color should be dim, dark and resemble the river bank (for example, dark gray, brown or black), but in no case is not yellow or fire red. There are other ways: on the glass, you can stick carpet, plastic or paper of a suitable color. Quite an interesting effect can be created with cork tiles.
You can buy a finished plastic background with the image. Such a background in pet stores is in rolls of different heights, from which the necessary length is cut.
For freshwater aquariums, different types of images are offered – plants, snags, stones or their various combinations. Also now volumetric backgrounds are very popular, but compared to the roll, they are quite expensive.
Stones – this is a very significant element in the design of the aquarium. The stones can not only decorate the aquarium, but also be a shelter for some types of aquarium fish, substrate for spawning, especially for fish that lay eggs in caves (most prefer ceramic decorative shelters in the form of mills, ships, etc.). They are an element intended to attach some aquarium plants, hiding technical means from the viewer, strengthening the walls of the terraces and entering into the composition of the decorative walls.
For an aquarium, stones of granite, gneiss, porphyry, basalt, and other primary rocks may be suitable. The stones of their sandstone, limestone and dolomite are set in hard water aquariums.
The shape of the stones depends on the landscape of the aquarium and the purpose of its use. Slightly angular stones, which are laid in length, are suitable for the coastal landscape, and slightly rounded stones for small fish from flowing waters. In the aquarium it is undesirable to place stones that have sharp corners, because they can hurt the fish.
Stones before laying should be cleaned of dirt and boiled in water. It is necessary to carefully examine the stone for the presence of metallic inclusions in it, which form toxic solutions when interacting with water.
To check the stones for the presence of lime, it is necessary to drip with hydrochloric acid. The presence of lime is characterized by the appearance of foam bubbles. After processing and inspection, the stones must be rinsed again with water.
To save yourself from these procedures, you can simply buy stones at a pet store.
Large stone slabs that form crevices are installed in a vertical position, and if they are unstable, it is necessary to glue them to the aquarium bottom with silicone rubber glue. The installation of stone slabs that form the caves is made on top of each other, while ensuring their stability (you can also use glue).
In general, all large stones and structures made of stones are placed on the glass aquarium bottom, while avoiding the ingress of soil under them. Small stones can be laid directly on the ground, but this should be avoided in the aquarium, where fish live, who love to create shelters under the stones.
Undermining the ground under such stones can threaten them with death. Basically, the stones are either placed close to the walls of the aquarium, or there is a sufficient distance between them so that the fish cannot get stuck there.
Thanks to the snags, the underwater landscape acquires a distinctive look and becomes a shelter for fish, an attachment point for some plants, and also a support for terraces. It is necessary to take a dead tree, in which there are no vital juices.
The roots of trees that for many years lay in the black peat of high bogs are ideally suited. Also suitable are dead branches and roots of maple, ash, beech, willow, alder, which have lain for many years in flowing waters.
You can not take a tree with mold and rot, from ponds contaminated with agricultural and industrial waste, and from silt places. Before installing in an aquarium, the tree must be cleaned of bark and dirt, processed to remove the settled bacteria and expel the air from the pores, giving buoyancy.
The treatment is carried out in saline, and then running or frequently replaced water. To do this, the snag should be placed in a non-galvanized enameled dish filled with water, salt should be added until a part of it, with intensive stirring, settles undissolved on the bottom, that is, it is necessary to prepare a saturated salt solution.
Then the snag sinks into the solution and is pressed down with a stone so that it does not rise, you need to boil for at least an hour.
Shells cannot be considered a suitable decoration for an aquarium, because they contain calcium carbonate, and they affect water hardness and pH. But for some species of fish, the shells that they use as spawning grounds and shelters may be necessary. From the seashore, the shells must first be sterilized by boiling, and then completely clean all their accessible surfaces.
Shells that have been empty for some time are well polished with water and preferable to shells containing the remains of mollusks. Shells, which are sold as interior decorations, can also be suitable, provided that they are not varnished or painted.
Whatever shell you choose, they must first be the right size.
In the aquarium, you can place the galleon, skeleton, skull, treasure chest and many other gizmos, which are sold in large assortment in pet stores. Such crafts made of plastic, ceramics and other materials, located in the aquarium as a product, very often delight lovers of aquarium.
The main thing that such products were made from safe and non-toxic materials. Some household items can be used for decoration of aquariums, for example: bottles and glass vessels, plastic decorations. For aquariums, ceramic pots made of clay for plants or saucer-pallets and pipes are often used as caves.
Small fishes with pleasure occupy similar “caves”.
If these items are unsightly, they can be hidden among plants or stones. A flower pot can be laid on its side or a piece of rim can be chipped off, and then turned upside down and placed in an aquarium.
Drainage dishes or trays are usually also used upside down, making an inlet in the rim. It is necessary to take new ceramic products, otherwise, particles of fertilizer or pesticides get into the water, which remain in the porous clay after washing.
Plastic pots should not be used because the plastic from which they are made can be toxic. In the aquarium, you can use plastic pipes that are designed to supply drinking water, but you should not use pipes for wastewater.