maintenance, care, compatibility
Aquarium decoration: photos, video examples, styles and options
Making an aquarium is a worthy and fertile topic for conversation. This is not surprising, because this is the primary question asked by people who have just bought an aquarium.
Unfortunately, on the Internet, this question, surprisingly, is poorly lit, briefly or fragmentary. We hope this article will reveal all aspects and nuances of the design of the aquarium and will help you create your aquarium kingdom.
In connection with the volume of this issue, let’s divide the article into two sections:
1. MATERIALS REQUIRED FOR REGISTRATION OF THE AQUARIUM: soil, stones, grottoes, snags, background, artificial and live aquarium plants, aquarium lighting, shells, castles, ships.
2. MAIN DIRECTIONS, TYPES AND EXAMPLES OF AQUARIUM DECORATION.
And so, as you know, in order for fish to appear in your house, you need a vessel and water. However, aquaria is not just a banal maintenance of fish, it is the creation of a closed ecosystem, an imitation of the natural conditions of the maintenance of aquatic organisms. It is trite, but aquarian art begins with fish.
Before you think about the design of the aquarium, first of all you need to decide on your desires and those fish that will swim in your pond. And this is very important!
Each individual fish needs its own housing conditions, its own water parameters, and other conditions. And it is for them that one needs to build an “aquarian house,” it is from this that one must make a start.
For example, if you decide to start African cichlids and at the same time want to see a garden of living aquarium plants in your aquarium … You initially doom yourself to an actually impossible task. The natural habitat of most African cichlids is the rocky shores of the r. Nyasa and r. Tangany, there are no plants, no algae – this is the “stone desert”.
If the cichlids in the aquarium put the plants, they will pull them up and destroy.
Based on the foregoing, we advise first of all, decide on the fish that will live in your aquarium, study their characteristics and habits, read and learn the conditions of their maintenance. And so after embarking and thinking about the design of the aquarium.
REGISTRATION AQUARIUM GROUND The soil is one of the most important elements of the aquarium, it is his mood. It is very important to approach the issue of his choice with particular attention, because in addition to the decorative functions, the soil plays the role of: a substrate for plants, for spawning and fish life. It is important to choose the desired fraction of soil, it is important to choose the required volume of soil, and only then the color of the soil.
On our site there is a good article about the selection and selection of the soil, we suggest to read – HERE.
Speaking about the decorative properties of the soil, it is recommended to choose the soil of darker tones, so that the bright and light colors of the aquarium bottom do not overshadow the charm and beauty of the “main heroes of the day” – fish. REGISTRATION OF THE AQUARIUM BY STONES AND GROUTES. An important technical nuance when designing an aquarium with stones, grottoes, caves, etc. is the use of non-toxic, non-toxic materials.
If stones, snags are selected and made independently, you need to do everything according to the rules and make sure that they do not emit harmful substances into the water. Certainly the decorations should not be made of limestone, rubber and metal, no paints and enamels.
Speaking about the aesthetic part of the pond, you should always remember that stones, grottoes, snags take in the aquarium “living space” – living space. The number of such decor is calculated based on the volume of the aquarium and the needs of the fish themselves.
In addition, it should be borne in mind that large decorative elements are placed on the edges of the aquarium or into the background. You should not put a huge castle in the middle. This is equivalent to having people put a refrigerator in the middle of the kitchen, and not into a corner.
Aquarium is an amphitheater of life!
REGISTRATION AQUARIUM FONOM. The background of the aquarium for the aquarium dwellers themselves is not so important. In fact, the fish can live without it.
The background is more important for a person, it can be said – these are “aquarium curtains”, which play a more aesthetic role than a technical one.
For information on what are aquarium backgrounds, how to make and attach them, see HERE.
REGISTRATION OF THE AQUARIUM OF LIVING AND ARTIFICIAL PLANTS.
Continuing to use the metaphors, we can say that if the background of the aquarium is “curtains”, then the plants are “indoor flowers on the windowsill”. From what they will be, how many they will be, depends on what your aquarium “window” will look like.
We recommend to see a wonderful article on this topic – HERE.
LIGHT REGISTRATION AQUARIUM
The power and spectrum of light is important for aquarium plants – this is their source of life. Speaking about the design of the aquarium, the color of light is important.
To date, there is a huge variety of colors of aquarium lamps. Choose to taste! Moreover, there are various bottom aquarium lights in the form of volcanoes, lanterns and LED aerators.
Here they are.
REGISTRATION OF THE AQUARIUM BY OTHER DECOR. Aquariums can be decorated with shells, locks, ships, divers, skulls, etc.
In this case, it is not necessary to buy all this in the pet store at a crazy price. Using such decorations you need to adhere to only two rules: non-toxicity and safety.
Shells should not be sharp, and figures of divers made of rubber. See also article Seashells in the aquarium.
MAIN DIRECTIONS, TYPES AND EXAMPLES OF AQUARIUM DECORATION
The classic design options for an aquarium for fish are:
Biotope – such an aquarium is made under a certain water landscape of a lake or stream.
Dutch – Aquarium, the main place in which allotted to plants. Such an aquarium is popularly called “herbalist”. The most famous Dutch aquariums creates a mega aquarist Takashi Amano, here are his works:
Geographical – such an aquarium is designed for a specific region, it contains fish from this region only.
In the vastness of our country, you can most often meet “Household aquarium” – where the above principles are not respected. In such aquariums, you can often find castles, amphoras, the same divers, skulls, etc., etc., etc.
In addition, there is a whole industry children’s aquariums. Here is an example:
There are other directions in the design of the aquarium.
As they say, so many people have so many opinions.
Next, let’s see the design options for the aquarium.
Pseudo sea aquariums Such aquariums are formed and imitate marine aquariums – the seabed. The prefix “pseudo,” says that in such a reservoir does not contain sea fish.
Only an entourage is created!
As a rule, in such an aquarium, fish of a bright color are chosen, which cichlids often possess, for example, spruce, demanosi, parrots, etc. The aquarium itself is formed by corals, artificial polyps and sea shells.
Dutch aquarium “light option” Aquarium close to the natural habitats of fish. It contains live aquarium plants, snags, stones, but “in a lightweight form.”
Such aquariums do not require special knowledge of plant life from an aquarist. Elementary care for them is the key to success and achievement of goals.
True Dutch Aquarium – Herbalist These are densely planted aquariums. Fully imitating all the beauty of freshwater bodies.
To create such an aquarium, you need knowledge of plants, you need to study the issue of feeding aquarium plants and applying the CO2 system for an aquarium.
Household, children’s, themed aquarium Such aquariums are made out under a certain idea. As a rule, it is a fiction and fantasy of man.
Futuristic Aquariums or Glo Aquariums Relatively recently, the fashion for creating Glo-reservoirs has entered the aquarist. Where everything glows with neon and plays with phosphorus.
Even exist fluorescent live fish. Such aquariums look beautiful in the evening and at night.
More about Glo-fish is here.
Saltwater aquariums These are aquariums that contain sea, saltwater fish. The aquarium is permeated with marine themes.
The disadvantage of such reservoirs is the price and the huge cost of maintenance.
Cichlid Species aquarium in which only fish of the cichl family are kept.
Watch TSIKHLIDNIK – cichlids in the aquarium
Also there are industrial and show aquariums ”
Stones for the aquarium species description of the photo design design video.
The main functions of aquarium stones are as follows:
- decoration of the aquarium;
- imitation of natural habitat;
- serve as shelters;
- during spawning, it is necessary to build a nest and lay eggs;
- regulate the level of water hardness.
Before you place a stone in an aquarium, you must prepare it. This applies not only to the stones found in nature, but also to the store.
Preparation of store stones. Even if it seems to you that the purchased stone is clean, do not rush to put it in the aquarium. Sometimes, on such seemingly clean stones, there is a lot of dirt.
Take a stiff brush and clean the stone under running water. Do not use chemicals.
Preparation of stones found in nature. First, clean the stone from dirt, moss, grass, etc.
Pay special attention to cracks and holes. Then, treat the stone with a stiff brush under tap water.
Next, the stone must undergo heat treatment. To do this, place it in a container with water and put it on fire.
Keep the stone in boiling water for an hour. This time will be quite enough to get rid of all possible parasites, bacteria, microorganisms, as well as insect larvae and other inhabitants.
Instead, you can dry the stone, but it will take 1-2 weeks. After treatment with boiling water, the stone must be removed and cooled.
Now the stone is ready, it can be installed in the aquarium.
Tips for choosing stones:
• Do not collect stones in the area where there are mines or quarries and metal or mineral ores are mined. If there are quarries somewhere nearby, in which stones are mined used in construction or for the manufacture of tombstones and statues, This is a good sign, since such stones must necessarily have a uniform structure and do not contain inclusions of foreign minerals that may be toxic. However, this does not exclude their effect on water hardness and pH.
Valuable information about rocks can sometimes be provided by workers in quarries.
Avoid areas where stones may be contaminated, such as pesticides or radioactivity.
• Do not take stones with metallic streaks or rust-colored layers, or stones containing colored crystals. However, if you see white or transparent crystals or streaks, it is most likely quartz, it is safe.
• Do not use soft or crumbling stones (with the exception of calcareous tuff – in alkaline aquariums).
• Do not forget that matte grayish-white stones are most likely limestone, and stones, in color and structure resembling sand, are likely sandstone.
• Look for stones with a uniform color, evenly spaced specks and a uniform structure.
• Among stones polished with water, choose those with a uniform surface and no holes or cracks.
• Remember that fossil-containing stones are usually limestone.
• Avoid brightly colored stones (if you are not sure that they are safe), because this color may be characteristic of some unwanted minerals.
• Do not take stones from the walls and do not spoil the environment in any one place. If possible, ask permission to collect stones and try not to leave any signs of their activities.
If possible, leave the rural landscape untouched. In general, it can be said that the simpler the stones look and the less interesting they look, the more likely they are safe in terms of toxicity, although they can still affect the chemical composition of the water.
This can be verified using the “acid dough”, which was discussed above in the section on materials for soil.
And one more note: You should not refuse to decorate the aquarium with stones just because their acquisition requires some effort. As soon as you have suitable and safe stones, they will never collapse or wear out completely and become a long-term valuable acquisition for your hobby.
If you do not feel sufficient confidence in your abilities and knowledge to independently collect and test natural stones, it is better to contact pet stores. Some stores sell artificial stones, including the so-called lava, which is not a real volcanic lava at all. Some artificial stones are surprisingly similar to real ones, although the range of their sizes and shapes is rather limited and they are quite expensive.
But they, like the real ones, will serve you all your life.
Basics of building aquarium composition with stones
In nature, everything is natural, everything is in its place, there are no ridiculous elements, no unnatural forms and outlines.
At the same time, nature is diverse and, it would seem, there is no order in such chaos. However, it is not!
Everything is subject to the laws. – You can learn more about the principles of building an aquarium composition: the golden section, the Fibonacci number and the fractality of nature HERE!
Building a “stone skeleton” is also subject to these rules. Moreover, in my opinion, it is the proper construction of stones that provides the basis for a good perspective and volume of the aquarium.
Let us consider with you the principles and rules of building stones in the Amanovo style “Ivugami”. This style very well shows and emphasizes all the beauty of a stone in an aquarium – in such an aquarium, as a rule, only one type of low-growing plant is used, and the entire center and attention is paid to the “stone figure”.
Iwagumi – rock garden has a century-old Japanese tradition. At different periods, certain styles and forms of stones were popular, and their alignment was also corrected.
The popularity of “Iwagumi” scored thirty years ago and of course contributed to this well-known guru. Takashi Amano. Back in 1985, he created his first aquarium work in the style of “Ivugami”.
A distinctive feature of “Ivugami” from other similar styles is the natural, natural arrangement of stones in the aquarium. In other words, there is an imitation of the natural, stone landscape – mountains, gorges and ridges.
Here are the basic principles for building such an aquarium composition.
Main Stone (Jap. Oyaishi) – This is the most significant stone in the aquarium composition Iwagumi. He is the biggest and most beautiful.
To install it you need to approach with great responsibility, because it builds the rest of the composition. In the classic “Ivugami” the main stone should be 2/3 of the height of the aquarium.
Minor Stone (Jap. Fukuishi) – This is the second stone that is installed in the aquarium, to the right or left of the main one. It should be similar in texture and form to the main stone.
Following the principles of naturalness, the second and subsequent stones are set harmoniously – as if they are a natural extension of the main stone.
Auxiliary stone (Jap. Soeishi) – the third stone, less secondary. It is installed either next to the main or with a minor stone.
The task of the auxiliary stone is to create the effect of the basis of the main stone, it should emphasize its massiveness and monumentality.
Decorative stone (jap. Suteishi) – these are small pebbles, which are located inseparably from the main stone composition. Put for or before an auxiliary stone.
Underline the completeness, harmony and naturalness of the composition.
Quote by Takashi Amano: “You will not get good Iwagumi, to those. until you learn how to quickly place the stones. When you spend a lot of time on it and think about it for a very long time, the perception is dulled, and you already do something unnatural – losing the sense of rhythm! Sometimes it happened that I rearranged the stones hundreds of times, working until late at night, until finally the result satisfied me, but what seemed to be already finished and looked great, turned out to be somewhat disappointing in the morning.
Experience and some intuition are much more important in arranging stones than artistic taste. Despite the fact that artistic taste is very important at the completion of the composition, at the very beginning it is very important to understand that the stones in this place will look exactly like that and not otherwise.
After you have gained some experience and trained your intuition in the Iwagumi disposition, you will achieve the necessary speed and feel the rhythm that will allow you to create complex, refined compositions that convey the power and energy of nature.
As mentioned earlier, at the same time as practicing the skill of placing stones, it is very important to develop the ability to see and feel things with no eyes, with heart, since there are too many different moments and are immediately combined in Iwagumi, such as: rhythm, play of shadows, poise, solemn impression, harmony, aesthetics and refinement of the moment ”.
After such a quote Amano, maybe someone will say: “That well, it … it is difficult and I can’t handle it.” My answer is – a heart everyone has, and everyone knows what it is to feel for them, the question remains only in the degree of development and correctness of these feelings.
Everyone can develop harmony in their hearts!
Finishing the main part, I want to note that the above principles and laws of building an aquarium composition – this is not a dogma! You can always move away from the principle of the golden section and install a stone a little to the right or to the left, from which the stone will acquire the necessary “mood”.
Stones in an aquascape can and should be tilted, because yet this is not a terrestrial landscape, etc.
Video: Takashi Amano’s material class on decorating an aquarium with stones
Without claiming the title of “great aquascaper” – this is my first scape, I want to show below, or rather try to explain why I put my stones in this way and not otherwise. I hope my experience and mistakes will help other novice aquascapers to make the composition better.
In order for you to better understand my idea, I will first try to briefly describe it in words. And so, I wanted to see in my aquarium open space and a clearing – a lawn of plants.
At the same time I did not want to see just the field – a flat surface, I wanted cascades. At the same time, in combination with a short-growing pochvokrovkoy, I wanted to see a forest of plants, while not a solid ridge in the background, but in the corner of the “edge”.
And of course, I wanted to make an Amman track.
Most likely such a strange design is bound by the desire of a beginner to try everything and everyone, immediately and more))) Nevertheless, I kind of managed to put everything in harmony … but more on that later. After all, all the same article about the stones!
So, it was decided that the aquarium will be divided into two zones. In the background there will be a “mountain range” stretching into the distance, with a descent (glossy, cube chemianthus) to the Amman path, which separates the two zones.
Behind the “mountain range” will be the “edge”.
In another zone – in the foreground there will be a lawn with a rise from Elioharis Parvula, smoothly flowing to the rear part into Elioharis Vivipara.
So, here is my stone desert and a couple of auxiliary photos for better perception.
Let’s now “sort everything by pebbles”
Stone number 1. This is the main stone, which was placed on the line of the golden section, with a strong point at the very top. The stone was set, with a slope to the right, which softened it and at the same time gave massiveness.
The front side of the stone, as if coming down from above – emphasizing the cascade. The left side is as if hewn, which increases the distance between the stone number 2, and where there will be gloss and hemianthus of the cube.
Stone number 2. This is a minor stone.
It is a logical continuation of the main stone, installed so that it looked like and imitated it. Installed in cascade – smoothly reducing the composition on the left.
I tried to put in the “Golden Triangles”. See below photo.
Stone number 3. Auxiliary stone, continuing the ridge to the right side. It is installed at such a distance from the main stone in order to emphasize the perspective – “moving away” and at the same time creating a volumetric descent.
Stone number 4.5. Continue the perspective right and left.
Stone number 6 Decorative rock. It is like a breakaway from the main stone and a link between Stone No. 2.
Stone number 7. As shown in the previous photos, it is a logical continuation of Stone No. 6 and the border with the amanov path.
Stone number 8. Continues the “thought of the 7th stone” on the other side of the walkway.
Stone number 9. It is a decorative element and is like a pile of three stones. The top stone, as if broke away from the main stone and got stuck “in a second from the Amman track.”
This interesting composition is actually installed in the center of the aquarium and therefore does not attract the main attention, the person pays attention to it “after a general impression”, and this detail becomes the “cherry on the cake.” This has been confirmed by the user and friend – MegaLink, who has already seen this hardskay and gave it a rating))).
Stone number 10. This stone, if it steps on the Amman track and closes it, giving the viewer the opportunity to think out the very thing behind it.
In fact, this stone is much larger than the main stone №1 and it is installed on the right – which makes it heavier, but due to the fact that it is installed below the level of the main stone, it seems that it is smaller and less important.
Stone number 11. It is a split from the stone number 10, is an obstacle for the Amman track.
What gives her the dynamics.
The group of stones №№ 12,13,14,15,16 They are auxiliary and decorative stones for the 10th stone, making it softer and more natural.
Bonus! Video slicing of this hardscape – installing stones in 6 minutes I conclude the article, focusing on two errors that I made and I consider relevant.
The first mistake is the use of small stones. In the process of creating a scape, I wanted a sweep, but alas, the typed “stone material” did not allow it.
And the second mistake that I realized after planting was the placement of the aman track along the aquarium. If you look at all the prof. Scapes, then the path goes, as a rule from the center and vertically – it can be seen. My path is visible, it is beautiful, but from the photo of the position it is hardly noticeable.
To minimize this circumstance, already in a neglected aquarium I had to “divert” the road far into the distance, on the left side of the aquarium. That’s all!
I wish you all success and I hope that this article has aroused interest in making a beautiful aquarium in my house.