maintenance, care, compatibility
How to calculate how much soil you need in an aquarium? You can fool around with formulas for a long time, double-check calculations and rely on the experience of sellers.
And you can find out in 2 minutes using the service aquarists.ru.
The site aquarists.ru allows you to calculate the soil for the aquarium with 100% accuracy. You just need to enter the width and length of your tank in the appropriate fields, and the program will give the answer.
Unlike others, the service aquarists.ru is universal, because it gives an answer in kilograms.
Note! If you are afraid of acquiring extra soil, measure all the parameters on the inside of the aquarium several times.
Soil in the aquarium plays an important role. Therefore, aquarists should approach the choice of ground with the same responsibility as choosing the aquarium itself, the equipment for it, the plants and the fish that will inhabit it.
As a rule, aquarists make their choice in favor of small pebbles with rounded edges or coarse sand, or acquire aquarium soils on the markets in pet stores. What should be the ground for an aquarium depends on the type of the aquarium itself, as well as on the wishes and requirements of the aquarist himself. What to look for
Soil – natural biofilter. In addition, depending on the material of the soil, the chemical parameters of water can change – its hardness and acidity.
Particle size (fraction). All soils are divided into fine-grained, coarse-grained, mixed.
The decorative function of the ground also should not be ignored. Most of the fish and plants most favorably look at the background of the soil, the shade of which lies in the range from dark gray to black.
Here it is worth considering also the scattering ability of the soil of light colors – the lighter the soil, the greater the number of rays it reflects, therefore – the white soil warms up worse. This means that the difference in water temperature in the aquarium and on the surface of the soil can be quite significant.
Layer thickness How much soil in the aquarium should be depends on the aquarium and the aesthetic demands of the owner.
If the aquarium is exclusively vegetable, the soil is selected in accordance with the conditions necessary for the growth of plants. Each species needs a certain composition of the soil.
As a rule, the minimum layer of soil poured to the bottom of the aquarium is 3.5-7 cm.
The amount of soil is determined by the design decision of the owner of the aquarium. Usually, the soil is poured with a slope from the back wall to the front – or it is placed on terraces, reinforcing them with plexiglass strips.
Questions that are most often asked about the soil in the aquarium
How to wash the soil before putting it in the aquarium?
The question is more complicated than it may seem at first glance. The soil is sold by weight or by volume, but for the aquarist, the soil layer in the aquarium is important, and it is difficult to calculate it by weight.
For sand, the layer is usually 2.5-3 cm, and for gravel it is more than about 5-7 cm.
The weight of a liter of dry soil ranges from 2 kg for sand, to 1 kg for clay dry soils. In order to calculate how much you need, just count the volume you need and multiply by the weight of the soil you need.
I added bright gravel to the aquarium and my pH has grown, why?
The easiest way is to regularly siphon the soil. How is the part? With every water change, ideally.
Now there are various fashionable siphon options – whole aquarium vacuum cleaners. But in order to properly clean the soil in your tank, you need the simplest siphon, consisting of a hose and pipe.
In a good way, you can make it yourself out of scrap materials. But it is easier to buy, since it costs quite a bit, and in use it is simple and reliable.
Siphon is designed to remove dirt and soil during partial water changes in your tank. That is, you are not easy to drain the water, and at the same time clean the soil.
In the work of the siphon for the soil, the force of gravity is used – a stream of water is created, which carries away light particles with it, and the heavy elements of the soil remain in the aquarium.
Thus, with a partial water change, you clean most of the soil, drain the old water and add fresh, settled.
To create a stream of water, you can use the easiest and most common way – suck water with your mouth. Some siphons have a special device that pumps water.
The easiest way to remove old soil is to use the same siphon. But you will need a larger size of both the hose and the siphon pipe than the standard one, so that you can create a powerful stream of water that will carry not only dirt, but also heavy particles.
Then you can gently add a new soil, and pour fresh water instead of the one that you leaked. The disadvantage of the method is that sometimes you need to drain too much water in the siphon process to remove all the soil.
In this case, you can do it in several passes. Or choose the soil using a plastic container, but the dirt will be much more.
Or even easier, use a net made of thick fabric.
I added a specialized substrate in the ground. Can I siphon it as usual?
primer for aquarium
Soil is one of the most important components of the entire aquarium biosystem. The nutrient base optimally selected in size and color for the aquarium not only improves its appearance, but also makes it possible to shade and even enhance the color intensity of its inhabitants.
In addition, it is the soil that is the substrate for many tropical plants. Here the roots are strengthened, and reproduction and nutrition take place.
For certain types of fish, black soil is a habitat. Mastocembel and macrognatus spend time, burrowing in the “ground”, with only inquisitive sharp faces sticking out.
Such curious Barbarians are so accustomed to raking the bottom, that they get sick and even die without soil. In addition, for almost all aquarium pets, the lack of soil is stress.
In the “bare” aquarium, the inhabitants become nervous, are clogged in shelters and lose their color.
The soil for the aquarium is also important in view of the fact that for many genera and species of fish in the old manner remains a reliable substrate for spawning. Putting eggs to the ground and building nests in it is a favorite occupation for them.
Black or white primer – the basis of the filter layer; This is the most important part of the biosystem. Microorganisms that produce biological water purification and processing chemical compounds (harmful to inhabitants) settle on it.
Thus, the soil for the aquarium maintains eco-balance even in a closed volume.
The choice of the most suitable soil is not as easy to make as it seems: it depends on many factors. The first substrate (marble chips, building sand) is extremely forbidden for use!
There are cases when rare tropical fish died because of the owner’s amateurish approach to the choice of soil for the aquarium.
Sharp and large pieces of the substrate are dangerous for causing fatal injuries to your colorful pets, so it is recommended to use selected treated black primer, specially designed for aquariums.
Choice of soil for the aquarium: how much to hang in grams?
You ask the quite reasonable question “how much soil is needed in an aquarium”? With its uniform distribution along the bottom, the layer should be at least 3 cm, and preferably more – up to 12 cm.
Experienced aquarists recommend making platforms free from soil in the form of small “terraces” in the feeding zones of your pets. This is necessary in order to avoid the burying of live food in the “parish”.
It is advisable to do a little more at the back wall of your “aqua” layer with decreasing towards the front wall without sharp drops. Why is white soil less preferred? This is unnatural for the tenants of the aquarium!
In most cases, in nature, the fish live in places with dark ground, so they experience a frank discomform = t when the owner chooses a white ground.
Which soil is better to use as a substrate for the aquarium? There is no single answer to such a delicate question. The fish are demanding on the hydrochemical composition of the water, and the soil has a strong influence on it.
The neutral option is small gravel or crushed stone with a size of 4-5 mm. In no case do not use the crushed stone of red shades – it has a high iron content, which negatively affects fish and plant growth.
There are fish (some species of viviparous or cichlian African lakes of Malawi and Tanganyika) that require water with an increased level of hardness. In the aquarium with them it is better to add small pieces of marble or marble chips. It is not recommended to use as a soil very fine sand, because the soil is a substrate for microorganisms designed to maintain bio-equilibrium in a closed system.
For this, a constant circulation of oxygen and water must be carried out, which is extremely difficult in fine sand.
Often in the aquarium with sand, rotting of organic matter occurs, which eventually accumulate at the bottom. The result is the release of hydrogen sulfide, which is deadly for fish and plants.
That is why the choice of soil for the aquarium should be given special attention. Do not use very large pebbles or gravel, as the smallest inhabitants of your aquarium may die due to the fact that innocuous creatures can get stuck there, as if in shelters, but they will not be able to get out.
For territorial fish and those that are nocturnal, you want to create shelters, the most suitable to them in size from large stones or pots.
What are the functions of the soil?
Soil for the aquarium has two main functions:
- Serves as the basis for rooting algae.
- Performs a decorative function.
Do you need soil in the aquarium, is it a necessary condition for the successful existence of fish?
If the aquarium does not imply any decoration or algae, then the ground is not necessary. In industrial conditions, when breeding fish, the soil is not used, but in domestic conditions it performs mainly a decorative function.
Is it possible to create a soil for the aquarium with your own hands?
Can. For a “homemade” soil, you will need to take clay, soak it in water to a slurry state, mix the solution with gravel.
The resulting mixture serves as the basis, the first layer on which the nutrient soil is laid.
Nutritious soil prepares from peat and gravel. Balls of clay and charcoal are added to the mixture, which will absorb the products of the decomposition process and prevent water staining.
The third layer is decorative. Usually use gravel.
It hides the nutrient layer and serves as an additional protective layer that prevents staining of water.
Laying the soil in the aquarium also occurs “in layers”: first, the first layer is laid, at some distance from the walls of the aquarium, on top of the second. The decorative layer is laid last, they also fill the gaps between the first two layers and the walls of the aquarium – in this case, the entire layered “cake” of the soil will not be visible to prying eyes.
Homemade soil is not as balanced as purchased, so launching the first fish into an aquarium with this soil is only in the third or fourth week, after the colored water is replaced, and the rapid growth of plants caused by the ingress of large amounts of nutrients into the water stops.
How to prepare the purchase of soil for the aquarium?
Purchased primer must be washed until the water becomes clear. It is also advised to boil the soil for additional cleaning in order to kill all sorts of bacteria.
But boiling is not suitable for every type of soil, so its need for a particular soil is better to consult with the seller.
Attention! Nutrient soil is not washed, but immediately placed in the aquarium!
How much soil do you need in an aquarium?
The amount of soil can be calculated using the formula below:
a, b is the length and width of the aquarium in cm, h is the height of the soil layer in cm, m is the mass of the soil.
The general rule is this: if the plants in the aquarium are in insignificant quantities, the soil layer should not exceed 2 cm. If you plan to arrange a real “seabed” in the aquarium, then the soil layer should be at least 5 cm.
Too thick a layer of soil can lead to acidification of water, therefore, to accurately determine the height of the soil should use the formula.
How to clean the soil in the aquarium?
The first month of the soil should not be cleaned. After the first month, when the fish have time to settle down, the soil is cleaned once a month: food remains and waste are removed. Determining exactly when to clean the soil is easy enough: you need to turn it around with your hand and smell the bubbles rising from the bottom.
If the smell is sour, then it’s time to clean the soil. It is very convenient to use siphon for cleaning.
The process of cleaning with the help of a siphon is quite simple and is combined with a partial replacement of water in the aquarium, while you do not need to plant fish.
The funnel cylinder is siphoned into a certain piece of soil. It is necessary to stir up the ground to the very foundation, while it rises and then slowly settles. At this time, you need to siphon pull the particles out of the water.
Heavy soil (pebbles) quickly sinks to the bottom, does not have time to siphon down, and dirt particles go through the tube into the drain. Cleaning the soil ends when the water in the tip becomes clean.
Thus, each section of the soil is processed.