maintenance, care, compatibility
A person who keeps a dog or a cat at home, as a rule, does it “for the soul”. As a last resort for other purposes like guarding the house or catching mice. The one who gets an aquarium also uses it as an aesthetic decoration of the house.
And in order that this new interior really creates a pleasant atmosphere of beauty, various decorative elements are used: algae, artificial castles, stones. About them will be discussed.
In addition to the decoration function, they perform other “duties”. They can and do harm, because not any substance has a positive effect on the health of the fish. If you keep an aquarium, do not forget that the creatures living in it can be choosy to the environmental conditions.
And if they get sick, there is practically no chance – they need too little time to die.
Stones in the aquarium
The conclusion is simple – it is easier to prevent fish diseases than to try to cure them. Therefore, when choosing stones for an aquarium, you need to be more careful.
And certainly, in no case can one put there simple pebbles or other stones taken on the shore of the reservoir – they are not processed, and often the fish fall ill after that. Any decorative stones for the aquarium are taken only in pet stores, while it is desirable to get advice from the seller.
But since the seller may be a novice, it would be good to learn its basics on your own to successfully care for your fish.
There is a variety – the so-called living stones for the aquarium. They are pieces of coral. They have a lot of advantages against ordinary ones.
First of all, it should be noted that their surface is porous and therefore is a true filter of nature for microflora that develops in an aquarium.
In the meantime, you may be surprised to find other life forms that are accidentally bought along with a piece of coral. As a rule, they are not dangerous for fish. It is unlikely that a harmless plankton did any harm.
But you get not just the sea stones in the aquarium, but also the special conditions that are gradually formed in it. This is as close as possible to the natural option.
On pieces of coral can grow algae, brought with them – purple and pink, which greatly diversifies the decor. Also, live pebbles can serve as a source of food for the fish. And not just food, but also a huge amount of minerals that exist in their natural environment.
Simply put, such an acquisition would be extremely useful.
Returning to the theme of “houses”, caves in which fish like to live, it is worth noting that in the presence of such corals you will not have to build them. Living stones themselves will create the desired relief.
Sea Aquarium in your home! How to start and how much?
What can you do to buy and install a marine aquarium?
How much time and effort will take further care of the marine aquarium?
Instruments for measuring and monitoring parameters in the marine aquarium
live rocks for saltwater aquarium
live rocks for saltwater aquarium
Living stones are a very important component of the marine ecosystem. Actually, why are these stones called “alive”? Each such stone is in fact not a real stone.
In most cases, it is a piece of the surface of a coral reef and has a porous structure, becoming a large apartment building for a great variety of microscopic algae and animal organisms. They pass seawater through themselves, converting potential pollutants (nitrates, phosphates, various organic acids, etc.) into chemically and biologically neutral compounds. The water becomes cleaner, safer and healthier for fish and other inhabitants of the aquarium.
This also contributes to the chemical composition of living stones, enriching the water with calcium ions, magnesium, bicarbonate ions and other minerals. Such stones can be located directly on the aquarium floor (some of them look damn impressive) and lie in the biofilter.
And over time, the microorganisms inhabiting them will gradually leave their native stone apartments, finding new places in the tiny cavities of the soil or scenery, without ceasing to carry their beneficent filtering mission.
Live stones small / fight.
Exactly the same stones, only crushed to the state of a large crumb. They are used in the cavities of aquarium filters, where they become an excellent replacement for the sponge located there by default.
Unlike standard sponges, small live stones are a much more powerful barrier against harmful substances such as nitrates.
live sand for marine aquarium
Living sand has in its composition, as an inorganic substrate, and tiny forms of living organisms – invertebrates and bacteria. A 3-6 cm layer of sand at the bottom of the aquarium will carry both an aesthetic function, creating a feeling of a real seabed, as well as a whole range of practical functions that benefit the whole aquarium.
– Many fish and other inhabitants of the aquarium use living sand as an abundant and permanent source of food – living organisms contained in it multiply with enviable speed, maintaining a stable amount of organic matter in the sand. Some other fish swallow sand in order to improve digestion.
– Living sand helps in maintaining the balance of chemicals in the water. Its alkaline structure has a positive effect on the pH level, and new calcium and strontium ions, important for many inhabitants of the aquarium, are continuously released into the water.
– Of course, living sand itself is home to many biological species – starfish, snaketails, bottom digging fishes, and crustaceans. They will not be able to live in an aquarium without a sufficient layer of live sand at its bottom.
Like living stones, sand also has the ability to “age” over time. Experts recommend either to completely change it, or just periodically fill up some fresh live sand to the bottom.
It is impossible to keep the tank with live sand in the open state for more than a day, otherwise it could end in death for the organisms inhabiting it.
Summing up, we can conclude that creating a piece of the sea at home is not at all difficult and relatively budget-friendly. Completely ready system on 30 liters, will leave to you in 36.550 rubles.
After that, you can begin to add to the water, the so-called base, which includes sand and “live” stones. Stones in the marine aquarium are one of the most important elements to ensure a full-fledged process of life.
“Live” sea stones in an aquarium are pieces of coral reef that break away from it during a storm and hurricane. These stones are called “living” because they are the habitat of a large number of living organisms: algae, marine invertebrates, crustaceans, bacteria, etc.
Therefore, buying such pebbles, you get not only a beautiful element of the marine aquarium, but also some living organisms. Fish can also find refuge among these wonderful stones.
“Living” stones in a marine aquarium will bring its atmosphere to the closest possible conditions for the existence of a coral reef.
Filling an aquarium with a large number of stones will improve the performance of the biological water purification system, reduce the likelihood of mortality and disease, improve the color of the inhabitants of the aquarium system and increase their immunity. And, of course, the stones – a great design element of the aquarium.
The most demanding inhabitants of the depths of the sea require increased attention and better conditions.
In the marine aquarium with the presence of these fish and invertebrates is not what is necessary, be sure to add “live” stones. Artificial analogs of such stones have not yet been invented.
The main thing is to decorate the aquarium correctly, and then there will always be a wonderful piece of the sea nearby.
It is indisputable that, along with the plants, the relief and decorative content of the aquarium is given by stones. Properly selected, they are able to improve both the appearance and the inner world of the inhabitants of aquariums.
The stones created by the nature of various forms, colors and the sizes, they give the rich soil for every possible variants of registration of house aquariums.
In addition to external beauty, for certain species of fish, stones for an aquarium are an indispensable element of the surrounding world and the ecosystem, contributing to their survival and reproduction. They are also needed to regulate water quality.
Having a minimum set of knowledge about aquarium stones will allow you to choose the right stones for the aquarium.
Find stones for aquariums can be anywhere. In general, this is not such a difficult task, but whether they suit you or not, this is perhaps the most difficult question.
Under current conditions, they can be bought at a pet store, which is not difficult, but this method is often ignored by experienced aquarists. Independent search for fillers for an aquarium brings much more positive emotions and allows you to abandon the established design stereotypes, adding something special, unusual and unique to the design.
When self-searching for stones for aquariums, it is advisable to pay attention to the following places:
- sea and river bank;
- quarries for the extraction of building stone, such as marble, granite and their varieties;
- surroundings of volcanoes.
For ease of understanding, stones for an aquarium are conventionally divided into two types – artificial and natural. Natural stones, in addition, are also divided into several types – of natural origin and processed.
Consider each view separately, as well as their main advantages and disadvantages.
Artificial stones for an aquarium can generally be used to impart a complete aesthetic appearance and are usually made of safe, non-toxic plastics. The external form of such stones is very diverse, from ordinary glass of various shapes and colors to night-glowing stones and fanciful elements of rocks. The price of such stones varies depending on the complexity of manufacturing and similarity with natural stones.
Despite the safety of the material, the instruction on the rules of handling and their preparation before installation goes to artificial stones, as a rule.
Natural processed stones for aquariums are found mainly as finished compositions of natural stones in the form of underwater caves, rocks, or as a finished stone appliqué. As an element of design, in addition to stone processing, it is often found that it is painted and glued.
Despite its visual appeal, being made not from suitable materials, such stones in the aquarium can quickly fall apart and harm the fish. High-quality machined stones will cost accordingly.
Natural stones are the most practical and cheap material for decoration of aquariums. However, not all stones can approach your fish, due to the fact that some of them can release certain substances into the water that change the level of hardness and alkalinity of the water.
They are neutral to water (they do not emit any substances in water) and can safely apply stones such as:
- gray sandstone (not to be confused with porous white sandstone);
- quartz and quartenites.
Increase water hardness stones from:
- some types of tuff;
- seashells and coquina;
Increase the alkalinity of water stones from:
- calcareous tuff;
- porous white sandstone (increases water hardness).
In addition to the above, pebbles are often found on sale. These are natural round stones, the edges of which are ground by water.
They come from completely different materials and, as a result, can have different effects on water.
Lava is also neutral with respect to water. Compared to other stones, it is significantly lighter, and its bizarre forms will undoubtedly add originality to the water landscape.
However, it is not very popular mainly due to its high cost.
Sea stones look the most interesting, however, you can only put them in the inside after special treatment.
A separate type of stones for decoration of aquariums emit live stones. They represent a small part of coral, obtained as a result of collecting in the sea.
In most cases, they are suitable only for marine fish, as they are part of the marine ecosystem.
Despite the relatively high price, the presence of live stones in the aquarium justifies itself with interest. Being beautiful and safe for the inhabitants of the aquarium, they contain plankton and produce special nutrients.
Coral can also be used as a living natural filter for an aquarium, which constantly pumping water through it will purify it.
When choosing a living stone, it is better to give preference to stones with a developed relief, a large number of dimples and cavities. Such specimens will not only look profitable, but also give the fish additional shelter.
How to choose and check the stones before putting them in the aquarium?
You need to choose stones depending on the type of fish living in the aquarium.
Before you place decorations in the aquarium, you need to know with full confidence what kind of water aquarium fish need. Soft water is mainly suitable for tropical fish. Alkaline water is mainly suitable for marine life.
In any case, when buying fish, it will be necessary to check with the seller in which water it was kept.
When selecting stones, you must adhere to the following generally accepted rules:
- stones should not have a significant impact on water and significantly change the hardness and alkalinity of water contrary to the preferences of fish living in an aquarium;
- it should not crumble and crumble with a slight mechanical effect;
- it should not be clearly marked spots (orange or green spots), which are clear signs of the presence of metals. The presence of the smell of stone also indicates the presence of impurities; it is better to use stones of darker tones, since on a light background they will look more advantageous;
- the stones should not be very heavy, as if they fall they can damage the aquarium;
- for one aquarium it is preferable to have stones of the same material.
Regardless of whether a stone was purchased or found, it must undergo a process of verification and preliminary processing.
To check the stone for suitability, it is recommended to begin to rinse it well and clean it with a brush with stiff bristles. After drying, you need to drop it with acid: acetic, sulfuric or hydrochloric.
When a reaction appears in the form of the formation of bubbles with gas, as well as the appearance of orange and green spots (signs of oxidation of iron and copper), it can be concluded that it is unsuitable for an aquarium.
After the tests, the stone is re-washed without the use of soap solutions under running water. Brush removes dirt and traces of the presence of living microorganisms, after which the stones are boiled for 20-30 minutes or become very hot in the oven.
Before placing them in the aquarium, they must be cooled.