The shape and types of aquarium
There are many varieties of aquariums. First of all, aquariums are divided into decorative and special (auxiliary), depending on what they are intended for.
The shape and size of the aquarium vary greatly and depend on the purpose of their use.
Special aquariums often have a rectangular shape, they are small and low. The water level in them usually does not exceed 30-35 cm.
And for the fry, for the young, and for a pair of fish, this is quite enough ..
The shape of decorative aquariums is more diverse: there is spherical, cylindrical, hexagonal, triangular and traditional rectangular aquariums. There are also wall mounted aquariums with sloping front glass and triangular side faces, called picture aquariums, and panoramic aquariums with curved glass.
Such a variety of forms became possible relatively recently, after the appearance of new materials: Plexiglas and acrylic. For a long time, aquariums were frame, i.e., they necessarily had a metal frame on which glass surfaces were attached.
Therefore, all the faces of the aquarium could only be straight. One of the biggest drawbacks of these heavy and not very beautiful structures was that they retained their integrity only in the wet state.
After draining the water, the putty of the seams quickly dried out, and the aquarium could leak.
Therefore, they were pressed by frameless aquariums, which are now made of plexiglass, acrylic and individual glass. Plexiglas aquariums can be of various shapes, but they are all small in size, because Plexiglas does not have the strength of glass and does not withstand a lot of water pressure. Such aquariums are hard to break, but easy to scratch.
And under the influence of some substances organic glass may dim. Acrylic is both durable and flexible at the same time; large aquariums of various shapes are made of it.
But the life of an acrylic aquarium is still less than that of a glass one. Acrylic, like plexiglass, is easily scratched.
Frameless glass aquariums can not be either cylindrical or spherical. The connection of individual glasses with each other assumes the presence of angles at the interface.
Therefore, the variants of the forms of such aquariums are limited to a triangular, rectangular, hexagonal form. But their sizes range from small to very large.
For the manufacture of frameless aquariums, ground glass is used, and the junction points are filled with special glue that has exceptional strength. Glued aquariums do not crack even in a dry state, it is much easier to care for glass than for its substitutes. And besides, it is much more beautiful and much more durable and plexiglass, and acrylic.
It is not difficult to maintain glass transparency – it is difficult to scratch it, but it can be broken.
The following describes the main forms of aquariums with their features, pros and cons.
Standard – this type of aquarium should be advised to a beginner amateur. Successful proportions are combined in it with convenience for cleaning and other necessary procedures. The width of such a vessel is equal to the height, and the length is twice the width.
Of course, these are approximate parameters, which do not necessarily have to match up to a centimeter. An aquarium with such proportions is clearly visible, and the fish feel normal in it. It is desirable that the width does not exceed half a meter, otherwise, because of the lightest turbidity or unsuccessfully designed planting, you will not see your pets well.
Lighting in such aquariums should be placed above the cover glass so that they do not get sprayed. Standard aquarium can be used as a species or decorative.
Panoramic Aquarium This is a stylish, modern aquarium. Thanks to the panoramic viewing glass, the viewing angle of the aquarium increases, allowing you to enjoy its underwater world from anywhere in the room, and it also opens up new possibilities for using the aquarium for decorative purposes.
Corner Aquariums look good in the interiors of any styles and trends, and therefore so popular today with designers. Modern materials and technologies make it possible to produce angular aquariums of high quality and diverse geometry, which allows the best arrangement of the aquarium in the corner of the room.
Most often, angular aquariums are trapezoidal and hemispherical shape. Properly designed corner aquarium creates a visual effect of a large volume, extended space, depth, mystery. Thus, in combination with various methods of decoration and decoration, correctly picking up aquatic plants, fish, the ground can be very beautiful and original “decorate” the corners of the room, the space of which is often not occupied.
Angular aquariums provide a wonderful opportunity to rationally manage the space and at the same time have a trendy, useful and original, pleasing to the eye, giving a lot of positive emotions, harmony, rest, relaxation, a piece of furniture.
“Trough” – This is a “flattened” version of a standard aquarium. Its parameters are: width is half the length, height is one third of the length. In such vessels it is easy to achieve the necessary conditions of illumination, gas balance.
Due to the fact that the water is well saturated with oxygen, the aquarium can be densely populated even with a small volume. This makes it indispensable in small and crowded apartments.
In the “trough” aquarium, you can grow young or use it as a species and decorative.
“Screen” – the width is one-third the length, and the height is half the length. The main advantage of such aquariums – the fish in them will always be in your sight, and this enhances the decorative effect. They are good to keep large and tall plants, fish like the angelfish.
Water turbidity does not affect visibility. But such aquariums are poor in oxygen in the lower part, due to the fact that the surface area of the water is relatively small.
If you do not apply a sufficiently powerful aeration, the fish in it will feel uncomfortable.
Round – Once aquariums of this form were widespread among fans. Now we can say without exaggeration that the “round aquarium is outdated.” Because of the curvature of the glass, the appearance of the fish and the whole design of the artificial reservoir are distorted.
In addition, the dirt is deposited not only on the bottom, but also on the walls of the aquarium.
Cylindrical or multifaceted – despite the decorative, fish and other inhabitants will look unnatural because of the deformed walls. Such aquariums look attractive only if they are placed so that they can be admired from all sides.
If you liked the aquarium of this form, think in advance whether you can arrange it properly.
Which form of aquarium is better? Preference should still be given to a rectangular aquarium, because it does not distort the picture of the underwater world, as it does in spherical and cylindrical aquariums, where both fish and plants look unnatural.
Aquarium picture – It is just an example when a designer has more hands on creating an aquarium. After all, to ensure a comfortable life for the inhabitants of such an aquarium is difficult, and caring for it is problematic because of its size, and also because of its location, because it hangs on the wall.
Built-in aquariums are widely used in both public and private interiors. This very effective design technique is able to give any room a special chic and uniqueness. Built-in aquariums are best to plan when carrying out repairs or reconstruction of the premises.
What are the options for the location of the built-in aquarium?
1. Built-in aquariums in the form of a screen. Such an aquarium looks very impressive when zoning a room.
For example, a screen with a built-in aquarium can separate a recreation area with a group of upholstered furniture. In this case, a screen with an aquarium serves not only as a partition, but also as a “living picture” of the underwater kingdom.
2. Built-in aquariums, located in the through opening of the wall. In this embodiment, the aquarium “works” in two adjacent rooms, which is already good. In this case, the design of the aquarium on each side can be different, which allows you to “fit” the aquarium into any styles of interior rooms.
For example, on the one hand, an aquarium can be designed in the form of a framing, and on the other hand, to make an arc panoramic glass.
3. Built-in aquariums located in a niche. As a rule, in this embodiment, the aquarium is located at the level of the eyes of a seated person.
Such an arrangement is convenient for relaxation, when from a comfortable chair or from a sofa you can comfortably contemplate the wonderful seascape.
4. Built-in aquariums located in the arch. This is a very successful design find in the case when you need to partially isolate part of the room with a screen.
The glass “screen” of the sea theme will decorate any space.
The most affordable are aquariums, produced as a separate tank. But such an aquarium should also be equipped with the appropriate equipment: filters, aerator, thermostat and lighting fixtures. Therefore, buying an inexpensive aquarium tank, think about the price of equipment.
If you have skilled hands, then, of course, you can make some devices yourself, but in any case you will need materials as well as equipment. Such aquariums are usually installed on a separate stand.
There are special supports on which several aquariums can be placed at once one above the other strictly vertically or ledges.
Aquariums, made in the form of a piece of furniture, are much more expensive, but they are often equipped with all the necessary equipment, so there is less trouble with placing and connecting such an aquarium. Some varieties of such aquariums need a special stand that can withstand enormous gravity; others are sold together with the stand and form a whole with it.
If such aquariums are not equipped with equipment, then they have a special compartment, where all the necessary devices can be not only easily placed, but also hidden from viewer, so as not to spoil the impression of the overall appearance of the aquarium.
Types of aquariums (habitat)
By habitat, all aquariums can be divided into several categories: freshwater, saltwater, brackish.
Freshwater Aquariums – they contain freshwater fish and plants. Most aquarists prefer this type of aquariums.
Saltwater aquariums designed to contain marine fish and plants. As a rule, the marine aquarium has a large size (400 liters). This is due to the fact that its inhabitants are usually larger than the inhabitants of freshwater aquariums.
When selecting fish for a marine aquarium, it is necessary to take into account that species that have similar sizes, similar in behavior and living conditions, get along better.
It is preferable to inhabit the aquarium with species that live on different levels. The settlement of the marine aquarium is made at the rate of 1 cm length of fish per 5-8 liters of water. Compared to others, a marine aquarium is more labor-intensive in operation, since the maintenance of marine organisms requires the maintenance of conditions whose requirements are much higher than those of freshwater aquariums.
Requires increased attention to the state of water (density, acidity, water temperature, etc.). It is especially difficult to maintain a reef saltwater aquarium.
These aquariums are the most expensive and difficult to operate. Caring for a marine aquarium requires special knowledge, skills and experience.
Brackishwater Aquarium. There are some types of animals and plants that live in a special (salinity of water does not exceed 1-2%) environment, not often found in nature. These are such species as crown, cryptocoryne cinnamon, brackish-marine diatoms.
Stingray rays, many species of viviparous fish (for example, guppies, some mollienesias) are found not only in fresh, but also in brackish waters.
By function, aquariums are divided into decorative and special.
Decorative are designed to solve aesthetic problems, create beauty, comfort, create aesthetic pleasure, along with a thoughtful design, which includes plants, soil, other animals, etc.
Decorative aquariums include:
General aquarium beginner lover, where peacefully coexist many species of fish of different systematic groups and geographical areas (rasbora, neons, colises, petsily, needles, etc.) Contains many different types of fish, invertebrates and plants. Does not imply the content of living organisms, united by any one theme or geographical area;
Collection aquarium mainly includes certain groups of fish, the maximum number of representatives of one family (haracides, cichlids, pecilids, etc.) dwells in it;
Species Aquarium – A special case of a collection aquarium, it contains only one species or several closely related species of fish (elasoms, barbs, guppies, iris, etc.);
Biotope Aquarium – original copy of any part of the natural environment (the coastal zone of the Congo River, the rocky relief of Lake Nyasa, the coral littoral of the Red Sea, etc.);
Dutch aquarium – harmonious combination of species and varieties of aquatic plants of various sizes and varieties in one capacity (fauna retreats to second place). The main element of the design of the “Dutch aquarium” are living plants.
Most often, individual bushes are collected in dense groups, so that when viewed from above, only their tops are visible. Plants are planted so that located in the foreground does not close growing behind. Large plant shrubs such as Echinodorus, Anubias, some aponogetons or nymphee, often colored differently from the rest of the mass of plants, look good.
Selected species should not form floating or surface leaves. Care of the “Dutch Aquarium” is a periodic (20-25% in a week or one and a half) water changes, the removal of old dead leaves, the formation of thickets of long-leaved plants. The main thing in the “Dutch Aquarium” is plants, but any small non-plant-eating fish such as neon, rasbor, zebrafish, algae-eating soma, labo, viviparins, mollienesia can complement the picture;
Paludarium – a combination of underwater and above-water vegetation, a kind of water-green. Paludarium is a unique invention of animal lovers. The high humidity in the paludarium is ideal for growing marsh or tropical plants, as well as for many aquarium plants.
For decoration, you can use snags, preferably those on which there is a moss overgrowth, and knobby acacia branches, on which many epiphytes and other plants grow especially well. Such “epiphytic trees” always look very attractive;
Aquaterrarium serves for the simultaneous maintenance and display of the combined aquarium and terrarium inhabitants. For the maintenance of many amphibians and reptiles leading a semi-aquatic lifestyle, the aquaterrarium is most suitable, which is made on the basis of an aquarium that holds water well, and its land is represented by numerous islets. Great importance for creating comfortable conditions for the inhabitants of the aquaterrarium are the soil, lighting and vegetation suitable for the biotope;
the invertebrate aquarium is a vessel where only invertebrates and plants are shown and kept (aquatic insectarium, marine invertebrates, etc.).
Nano aquarium – This is a small-sized tank, its volume does not exceed 30-40 liters, and much more often, it is two or three times less.
Interest in nano aquarism is now spreading more and more.
Now fashionable nano-aquarium is a miniature water tank with ornamental plants and fish. In a nano aquarium, you can fulfill the dream of recreating the unique design of an aquarium seen in a store or somewhere on the Internet, but on a much smaller scale.
This type of aquariums has fewer requirements for technical equipment and care, as well as the possibility of installing an aquarium on a desktop at home or in the office.
By function, aquariums are divided into decorative and special.
Special aquariums are designed to solve specific problems: incubating caviar, raising young stock, breeding and treating fish, and conducting various experiments and experiments. In accordance with the specifics they are divided into:
Spawning aquariums need for breeding fish in captivity. The spawning scale, substrate, composition of water, light and other conditions are selected individually. It is necessary to observe the maximum sterility.
For convenience, the spawning aquarium should be smaller than the main one. So it will be easier to find spawned eggs and remove the dead.
Different species of fish require spawning aquariums with different proportions.
Incubators – auxiliary capacities necessary for the livelihood of developing roe and larvae of aquarium inhabitants. Their capacity ranges from 0.5 to 25 liters. The minimum amount is required for short-tailed toothfish laying eggs on peat; maximum – for incubation of discus spawn left by parents.
The main conditions of the maintenance of the aquarium-incubator: purity, optimal temperature, hydrochemical composition and oxygen regime.
Quarantine and medical aquariums They are used for overexposure and adaptation of newly entering animals, as well as their treatment. The main conditions: space, hygiene, minimum stress, constant monitoring of water quality. All its parameters (proportions, design, etc.) depend primarily on the size of the fish contained in it, and the duration of their stay in the quarantine and therapeutic aquarium.
The same can be said about breeding aquariums.
Spawn aquariums – trough-shaped vessels designed for the rapid rearing of a large number of fry. Desirable size – 150x45x60 cm.
The main conditions of the fish: optimal environmental conditions (temperature, hardness, salinity, etc.), regular water changes and abundant varied feeding.
Cultivators provide mass reproduction of food objects inhabiting the water: ciliates, algae, crustaceans, rotifers, etc. The main conditions for their cultivation: the largest possible area, careful selection of the environment and nutrition.
Breeding – they contain fish necessary for breeding work.
Naturally, in one aquarium you can achieve different goals, for example, at the same time maintain, treat and breed fish.
Choosing a place, checking and installing an aquarium
Before installing it is advisable to check the aquarium on “fluidity”, it is much easier to eliminate the flow before installing and settling the aquarium. It is especially important to check the old, passed to you “inherited” aquariums.
To do this, place a vessel filled with water on the newspaper and wait at least a day. If there is a leak, the newspaper will be wet and the aquarium will have to be repaired before installation.
After you are convinced of the reliability of your tank, rinse it with warm (about 50 ° C) water. Do not use detergent to clean the aquarium., because they leave behind a harmful sediment that can badly affect fish and plants.
It is advisable to disinfect, especially if the aquarium has already been in use. Suitable 2% bleach solution or 1% solution of copper sulfate.
After disinfection, the aquarium should be thoroughly rinsed and wiped dry with a clean cloth.
A frameless aquarium is washed with warm water with the addition of salt or a 5% aqueous solution of acetic or hydrochloric acid. The framed aquarium is thoroughly washed with room temperature water with baking soda or laundry soap.
If the frame aquarium you purchased is made using putty, you must first remove its excess from the frame and then wash it.
It must be remembered that the frame aquarium can not be left without water for more than 2 days – it can give a leak. All actions to prepare the aquarium for settlement should be done as soon as possible.
Installation of an aquarium
Requires a stand on which you install the aquarium. It should be a flat, flat surface that can support the weight of the aquarium with water.
Expensive coasters are made in the form of cabinets, in which there are compartments for the storage of aquarium accessories. A cheaper solution could be a rack: either a welded metal or made from bolted corners or a wooden one.
Perhaps you already have a suitable surface in your house. If you have not purchased a special cabinet, you will need a sheet of plywood with polished edges to the size of the bottom of the aquarium and at least 15 mm thick. In addition, a 13 mm thick polystyrene sheet should be placed under the aquarium, this will help to distribute the load and level the surface irregularities between the bollard and the aquarium.
There should also be an electrical outlet nearby that is required to connect aquarium equipment. The aquarium should not stand at the window or in a place where direct sunlight is possible.
Sunlight causes undesirable water heating and stimulates algae growth.
Filling the aquarium with water
The aquarium is first filled to half capacity. And in a day, increase the water level in the aquarium so that it remains 3-5 cm to the top edge. Thus, you achieve a gradual increase in pressure, thus avoiding such trouble as broken windows.
But this is more true for larger aquariums.
Let your aquarium stand this way filled with water during the day. During this time, you will find out if it is leaking.
Then all the water from the aquarium drain. This is necessary for the final cleaning of the aquarium.