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How to choose the best natural soil for the aquarium

In addition to giving an aesthetic appearance, the ground for an aquarium can have various functions and should be chosen according to the type of ecosystem. If you consider the choice of the base too lightly, you can pay the health of fish and plants, so you should carefully choose the soil or ask the pet shop employees to choose the right option.

However, you should not run an aquarium without soil, as it creates comfortable conditions for the fish, while the empty bottom annoys it, especially if the light is reflected from the lamp.

Experienced aquarists know that the ground is very important for recreating the natural environment in an aquarium. Among the many functions of the soil there are several key to maintaining a healthy environment:

  1. Participation in the nitrogen cycle. The substrate acts as an environment in which beneficial bacteria colonize and grow. Although aquarium soil is not the only source of these important bacteria, it is in it that a significant number of microorganisms are colonized. In addition, the substrate is a medium for feeding live plants, making them better rooted. Special substrates are produced that provide essential nutrients for living plants.
  2. Soil creates a more natural habitat for fish, and this is especially important for shy fish. Bottom species pick up food residues from below that accumulate there after feeding. The presence of soil gives the fish a sense of security, which is especially important during breeding. Fish must lay eggs in a secluded place. If the bottom of the tank is bare, the eggs are clearly visible and most likely will be eaten by adults. Spotted substrate will help make eggs less visible. If the level of the mound is large enough, the eggs can fall between open spaces, which will also protect them.

In addition, beautiful soil contributes to the overall aesthetic appearance of the aquarium. In combination with plants, rocks, snags and other decorations, it creates a visual landscape that is pleasing to the eye and has a calming effect in general. A beautifully equipped aquarium has positive mental health benefits.

You can choose the shade of the substrate, emphasizing the coloring of fish.

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The substrate for the aquarium with freshwater fish serves to provide a suitable surface for creating colonies of bacteria. The size of the filler fraction does not really matter, but it is recommended to use smaller particles if there are bottom fish in the aquarium.

The soil should be about 5 – 6 centimeters in height (4.5 kg). If the layer of the mound will be more than this chapel, the overlooked food particles can sour in the lower sections.

Over time, this will lead to the formation of hydrogen sulfite (the smell of a rotten egg), which is very toxic to fish. For a regular aquarium, gravel or sand is ideal.

The substrate for marine and reef landscapes provides a natural environment for crustaceans, crabs and other inhabitants of the underwater world. A good marine aquarium filler should provide a high level of calcium and magnesium, which will maintain a high pH level.

In addition, the marine environment has certain features as to which soil for the aquarium will be better. Top options: aragonite and crushed corals.

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Together with the lighting, the ground for an aquarium with live plants is the most important factor for successful growth. The substrate for plants must be able to store and provide nutrients, since most minerals must be in the soil, not in the water.

This is logical, given that underwater plants receive all the necessary nutrients through the root system.

In the case of an aquarium planted with plants, the bottom should consist of two layers. The bottom layer should contain rich nutrients.

In order to prevent possible leaching of minerals and to hold underwater plants, ordinary gravel or sand is used in the upper layer.

The lower level should correspond to the length of the root system of plants, usually it is 4−5 centimeters. The top layer should be about 5 centimeters in height.

Suitable substrates for plant aquariums: vermiculite and laterite.

There are several basic types of aquarium fillers: natural, artificial and prepared. Natural soil includes sand, gravel and rocks – all that is at the bottom of rivers and freshwater lakes.

For decorative purposes, pebbles can be coated with special resins or enamel.

However, sea sand is not recommended for use in aquariums due to impurities. This sand contains many living organisms that can die and pollute the water.

Small seashells and pieces of coral raise the pH, which is not very useful for some species of plants or fish.

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