maintenance, care, compatibility
No matter how clean and safe an aquarium is, organic waste is necessarily generated in it. Remains of food, fish excrement, dead plant parts – all this settles to the bottom, accumulating on the surface or in the thickness of the soil.
How to keep it clean? Today we will talk about how to properly siphon soil in order to avoid trouble.
A siphon is to clean the soil of an aquarium using a special device (a hose with a cylinder or a funnel at the end) by sucking out fine particles – detritus from the surface and from the ground.
The end of the siphon is placed in the soil to the desired depth, the flow of sucked water picks up everything that was in the cylinder or funnel, but heavy particles of gravel settle back, and light detritus goes through the hose.
After that, the siphon funnel is moved and the cleaning of another area begins. Thus, after a siphon, ideally, a clean soil remains, without sludge.
To pluses This procedure includes the fact that it removes from the aquarium excess organic matter that pollutes the water and prevents the soil from souring.
They release into the aquarium completely unnecessary substances that are toxic to fish, such as methane and hydrogen sulfide, as well as rather unpleasant smells and nasty looking large bubbles.
Cons at siphon enough too:
- the colony of nitrifying bacteria living in the upper layer of the soil is damaged, therefore its ability to biofiltration is reduced;
- nutrients are removed from the soil that can be used by plants;
- there is a risk of damaging the roots of plants.
Based on the foregoing, it is clear that the need for siphon cleaning of the soil differs in different aquariums.
A regular siphon is required primarily in aquariums with large fish and without vegetation. We don’t damage any roots here, nobody needs nutrients in the ground (except for any evil spirits like planarians and acroluxes, but we’re not going to plant them), and the main load in terms of biofiltration should be carried by a powerful external filter and a phyto filter.
A daily siphon is also required in aquariums where fry is grown. As a rule, babies are kept very densely, and they are often fed, and the biofiltration in such aquariums is not fully established.
Although there is usually no soil there, the remnants of food and excreta are siphoned away directly from the bottom.
The more plants in an aquarium (especially with root-type feeding, such as cryptocorynes and efinodorus) and the smaller the total weight of the fish, the more siphon is made less often and more carefully. In banks partially planted with plants, the soil is cleaned only in open areas – especially carefully at the sight-glass – and under the snags and decorations.
When harvesting near plants, the siphon is not buried much and sucks not all sludge: no need to wait for the water entering the hose to become crystal clear.
Practically, herbal aquariums do not siphon completely planted with plants (especially organized on nutrient grounds) with a small amount of small fish and shrimps.
The fact is that the roots of plants permeate the entire thickness of the soil and emit oxygen, although less than green leaves. This oxygen does not allow anaerobic zones to form in the soil.
Of course, if the roots of the plants are small and weak, and the soil is shallow and laid in a thick layer, then souring is possible.
In order to avoid this, it is necessary to check the condition of the soil, periodically slightly stirring it with a thin stick. If bubbles come out of the ground and there is an unpleasant smell, you need to thoroughly gnaw it.
Another case where the siphon is contraindicated is the first weeks after the launch of the aquarium. In this case, it is very important for us to grow a colony of nitrifying bacteria in the aquarium, including in the ground, as quickly as possible, so you should not bother with it.