Starting a new aquarium is not an easy task. Lovers have the impression that he bought a container, poured pebbles, poured water – and voila, the aquarium is fit for launching the first inhabitants.
In fact, in order to provide the fish with adequate living conditions, they will have to work hard.
1. Choosing an Aquarium. Aquariums are freshwater and saltwater (the latter are more difficult to maintain, although they look more impressive).
The shape of the aquarium depends on its future inhabitants: the round tank is suitable for a zebrafish, a guppy and several other species of fish. The rest prefer rectangular and elongated aquariums in length, and plants in them are much more convenient to plant.
The rest – diamond-shaped, in the form of paintings, balls, and so on – this is just a decoration, for beginners to cope with it more difficult. By the way, there is an opinion that with a small aquarium there are fewer problems: in fact, in a large tank (from 40 liters) it is much easier to maintain the water balance.
2. Washing aquarium.
Before installing the equipment and filling the tank with water, it must be thoroughly rinsed. For these purposes, no chemical means are used: it is likely that you will not be able to wash the residue from the cracks, as a result, the fish will suffer.
You can wash the tank with baking soda or salt, all-glass is washed with 5% solution of acetic acid, and then rinsed.
3. The choice of equipment.
Even the most modest aquarium can not do without a filter – it helps to clean the water from the remnants of food, waste products of fish, dead algae and so on. If not only labyrinth, but also other types of fish settle in your mini-pond, you need a good aerator, because oxygen is vital for underwater inhabitants.
It is important that air enters the water in the form of tiny bubbles. Another point is water heating, because many fish are heat-loving, it is necessary to maintain the temperature regime at the same level – from 24 degrees, and during spawning to raise it to 30 degrees – it is better to buy an adjustable heater.
Fluorescent lamps are used as a backlight, but not incandescent lamps. Fluorescent lamps provide enough light, stimulate plant growth and do not irritate fish.
If necessary, cover the aquarium with thick glass so that the fish do not jump out. If you plan to use it as a humidifier, you need to lower the water level so that its inhabitants could not get out.
4. Preparation and falling asleep soil. When choosing a soil, take into account the preferences of the inhabitants of the aquarium.
Preventive disinfection is obligatory: for this purpose, gravel and pebbles are placed in a metal pan or basin, filled with water, slightly salted and boiled for an hour. Sand is calcined in a griddle, stirring occasionally, for half an hour. Then it must be sifted through a sieve in order to remove impurities.
The soil can be poured evenly, and you can create small hills, but in any case, the layer thickness should be at least 4-5 centimeters, otherwise it will be silted easily. Often, the ground is poured on the sandwich principle: the bottom layer is clay, the middle layer is gravel and peat, the top layer is gravel, quartzite, granite, rolled glass balls, basalt and other types of soil.
You can do even easier: buy ready-made mixes in the store. In addition to the basic soil, special additives are also sold – they contain nutrients that are gradually absorbed by plants through the root system.
The ability of soil additives to retain such substances and prevent them from leaching into the water is called CEC (cation exchange capacity). For example, it is very high in peat, but in sand and gravel it is almost zero.
5. Preparation of snags. Snags of coniferous plants are contraindicated in an aquarium: they emit resin, and their smell is sharp.
You can buy a suitable decor in the store, and you can independently find in a park or a forest. Choose the roots of willow, beech, alder, maple, ash. They should not be rotted, covered with mold or fungi.
Snags boil in salt water for 5-6 hours, then let them cool, transfer to a container with clean water, add salt to it and leave to soak for 4-5 days. Now you can put them in the right place in the aquarium.
But keep in mind that in 80% of cases, the water in an aquarium where there is a snag (especially brought from the forest) will be with a yellowish tinge and it will not be easy to achieve full transparency.
6. Gardening aquarium. Plants can be bought at any pet store: they are washed under running water and then sent to “quarantine”.
For processing, you can use: bitsillin-5 (baths for 30 minutes for 5 days), buprofezin (put in a solution of 0.01% for 2 hours), trichlorfon (for 2 hours in a 0.8% solution), pink solution of potassium permanganate ( up to half an hour), Aquacons and others. The most unassuming plants are richchia, elodey, vallisneria, some ferns, Javanese moss, hygrophil, cryptocoryne. By the way, when placing plants in an aquarium, it is necessary to observe the sequence: the highest ones are planted against the background, in the middle part – smaller specimens, and near the front wall – the smallest.
Plants should be planted only on the 4th day after the water inlet.
7. Fill the water. So that the water jet does not splash, you can put a shallow plate on the bottom of the aquarium and pour it directly on it – the tank will be filled evenly.
Now it’s up to you to watch. In a few days, the water may grow cloudy – a sign that a microclimate is forming in the reservoir. Planted on the 4th day, after 4-5 days you can turn on the lighting.
Before disembarking the fish, carefully clean the filter (pour water from the tank into the bowl and rinse it), turn on the heating and lighting. It will not be superfluous to check the main indicators, including the PH of the water – this is easy to do with the help of paper indicators.
All kinds of conditioners are also actively used to prepare tap water, reduce nitrates, increase / decrease acidity, decompose organic matter, and purify water. The most famous manufacturers are Tetra, Aquayer, Seachem, JBL, Sera, AquaSys, Eheim, Hagen and others.
8. Run the fish.
In the new aquarium inhabitants run after 2 weeks. The first day, hold them “on a starvation ration”, the next day we give food. If for several days the fish eat well, calmly swim around the aquarium, do not lose the beauty of the color – it means that the ecosystem is fine.
If the fish behave restlessly, their color becomes faded, and the water did not become crystal, it means that you need to set them down for a while and check again all the indicators of the aquarium. It is desirable with the help of special litmus tests to determine the hardness of the water, ph and so on and add special solutions to bring the water parameters to the desired parameters.
After 15 days, you can clean the soil, change 15% of the volume of water, wash the glass and filter. The main thing – to prevent overcrowding of the aquarium, the standards for the content of each species of fish are individual.
Do not forget to regularly maintain the mini-ecosystem of the aquarium, and it will delight you with its beauty!