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Nutritious soil for aquarium do it yourself

maintenance, care, compatibility

Good soil has nutritional properties that allow plants to properly grow and grow. The main function of aquarium plants is photosynthesis, during which water is saturated with oxygen.

In turn, the fish get it in the right portions.

Soil for the aquarium should be laid in 3 layers. Layer 1 – clay or laterite, layer 2 – clay with peat, layer 3 – gravel, pebble or sand. So that the contrast between the layers is not noticeable, it is better to indent 2 cm from the front glass in order to fill this line with decorative ground.

The nutrient substrate is allowed to be laid only in the places of planting.

See how to lay aquarium soil.

For the preparation of the first layer, you need to take the clay (one tenth of the total volume of the soil). Dip it in water and soak to a soft state. Mix clay with gravel – it is necessary for access of oxygen and prevention of caking.

Then lay the mixture on the bottom of the tank. Laterite can be used instead of gravel and clay. The height of layer 1 is from 3 to 5 cm.

In places of dense planting, you can put separately prepared clay balls. Do not use iron sulfate in this layer.

To prepare the second layer, mix gravel and peat (15% of the total volume of all layers). In this layer, you can put clay balls for fertilizer (in places dense planting). Peat at first allocates a high concentration of humic acids, as a result, water will acquire a dark color.

Permissible layer height – not higher than 3 cm.


The last, third layer has a decorative purpose, it covers the first two layers, prevents the clouding of water from clay and peat. If in the aquarium live fish who love to dig the ground, then the upper ball should be thicker.

Choose pebbles, sand or gravel.

The first days after the launch of the aquarium, nutrients will be released into the water, bacteria will multiply. After a few days you will notice that the concentration of algae has increased.

To avoid this, once a day you need to replace 20% of the water with fresh and infused, similar parameters. Nutrients love algae, so plant in an aquarium fast-growing plant species that can quickly absorb these substances.

Slow-growing plant species can be planted later in the soil.

Why do you need a nourishing soil for plants and how to make it

How a primer coat affects the biological environment in an aquarium

If the inside of the aquarium grows a lot of greenery, then you need to look for the soil, which will enrich the roots, leaves and stems with all the necessary substances. It is necessary to find or make a nutritious ground with your own hands.

The biological balance within the reservoir is closely directly dependent on everything in the water, since the aquarium itself is a closed ecosystem. If one plant gets sick, everybody gets sick.

The mistake of novice aquarists is to create a nutrient soil such as greenhouse. The use of peat, manure, clay interspersed with the soil adversely affects the health of the plants and all living inhabitants of the aquarium.

Peat and clay should be used in minimal proportions, and then, as a top dressing for young plants. Peat is not always appropriate, because it softens the aquatic environment that not all fish will survive.

Adding marble or basalt chips to the soil can add alkalinity and hardness, which is also inappropriate for some fish and plants.

The nutrient primer for the aquarium is the following substrate:

  • In its composition there are macro-and micronutrients;
  • It may look like a nutritional substrate for a certain type of plant.

There are enough ways to make nutritious soil with your own hands. Soil for aquarium plants can be a soil of two layers, rich in necessary impurities for underwater flora. What is needed for the manufacture of nutrient substrate:

  • Granular activated carbon or natural birch;
  • Purified clay;
  • Active additive sorbent (from the store);
  • Cooked peat;
  • Fallen leaves of oak or beech, finely chopped, or coconut fiber;
  • Pebble fines or coarse sand.

Activated carbon is a natural sorbent that neutralizes the decomposition products of organic substances, cleans the soil from harmful impurities. However, when lying down for a long time, coal is capable of releasing accumulated harmful components back.

Therefore, every 8-10 months you need to change the soil where this feed is used.


As for clay for an aquarium, it is of great benefit to plants because of its enriched composition. Red clay has a lot of iron oxide, which is not suitable for all fish and plants.

In the clay of rivers and lakes there is a lot of humus, which affects the rapid growth of algae. The best option for enriching the soil – the use of gray clay, which does not harm the flora and fauna.

Sorbent, or absorbent substance – “Vermiculite” granular is suitable for an aquarium. This is a layered material that retains nutrients in the soil, keeps them from dissolving.

Sorbent for sale in pet stores.

Peat – contains useful organic substances that nourish the roots of vegetation. Some aquarists confuse river silt with peat, but it is harmful to the soil and quickly oxidizes it.

Natural peat from the forest is also not suitable, but granulated or pelletized purchased peat will be useful for recharge.

Check out one of the options for creating a nutrient primer for an aquarium.

As for the organic components, in their quality you can apply the fallen leaves or bark of trees. But remember that not all organics can be useful:

  • The leaves of oak and linden emit tannins into the water, which do not carry all plants and fish;
  • Maple leaves very slowly decay;
  • Aspen leaves have a high decomposition rate;
  • Well suited for organics under the ground coconut fiber. It slowly decomposes, and constantly throws organic matter into the soil.

These components should be laid with their own hands on the bottom of the tank with a layer thickness of 2-3 centimeters. The top layer is a pebble of a small fraction of 2-3 mm, or coarse sand. The soil is formed with two layers, in the lower part it will be nutritious, and in the upper part it will protect the organics from rapid leaching.

If you expect the soil to serve as a biological filter, use a bacterial activator that stimulates the growth of the reproduction of good bacteria.

See how to lay the soil in the aquarium.

What are the types of nutrient grounds for aquarium plants of commercial origin? Branded products are made in the form of earthen soil, in which nutrients are added.

The most popular substrates are bottom soils in the form of granules, they are produced by German, American, Italian and Polish manufacturers, such as: Tetra, Dennerle, JBL, Aquarel, Estes, Euragurium.

Aquarium soil from Aqua Soil – series Amazonia, Malaya, Africana is considered good. By name it is clear that it is suitable for a certain type of plant and is suitable for fish that come from Africa and South America. This soil mix reduces the pH and water hardness in a freshwater aquarium.

But it is not recommended for use in aquariums, where the fish digging the ground live.

Dennerle Deponit Mix Professional soil mixture includes selected natural peat, high-quality clay, soil with iron oxide and nutrients, quartz sand, biological filter in the form of granules to remove nitrite from water. This type of soil perfectly nourishes and strengthens the root system of plants, heals the leaves, and prevents the growth of green algae.

Another useful blend for a soil substrate is JBL Aqua Basis plus, which has the following components:

  • Peat of natural origin;
  • Granular selected clay;
  • Iron oxide and mineral supplementation;
  • Porous texture granules that form denitrifying bacteria. This mixture should be laid on the bottom of the tank with a thickness of 2-3 centimeters, and pour a layer of processed small gravel on it. The soil serves as a substrate for plants. The life of a commercial soil is three years, after which it must be replaced.

Soil and nutritional substrate for aquarium plants: selection, preparation, laying

Substrates, nutritious soil for aquarium plants

No less important substrate for plants are nutrient soils. Their variety is also very large.
Substrates for aquarium plants should be distinguished from Aquael Grunt soils, as these are not granules, but nutrient substrates consisting mainly of: clay and peat, as well as other components. Substrates can be applied both with ordinary soil and with Aquael Aqua Soil type substrates.
Nutritious substrate for aquarium plants – It is a nutrient store in the soil. It fits under the bottom of the ground, makes it possible to achieve effective growth of aquatic plants with relatively small financial investments. When choosing a substrate, it is worth paying attention to the composition of nutrients that will come with it to the aquarium.

With some manufacturers you can get a set of trace elements and iron, while others feed with nitrates, phosphates and other useful substances.
Nutrient grounds – provide nutrition of aquatic plants through the roots and support their growth, also stabilizes the aquatic environment, normalizes the water parameters. Aquarium plants are able to absorb nutrients, both through the leaves and through the root system. Many species of plants in an aquarium in their natural habitat in dry weather live for months as marsh and at this time they develop an extensive root system in the ground through which they receive water and nutrients.

Usually, such aquatic plants are strong absorbers of nutrients and require good soil in aquarium for good growth. And therefore, the consumption of nutrients only through the leaves is not enough for them. Liquid fertilizers can be used in an aquarium only as an addition to nutrition, but in no way replace a rich nutrient soil.

Therefore, it is very important to choose the right nutrient soils and substrates for your aquarium!
It should be noted that in spite of the usefulness of such substrates, they should not be used in an aquarium, where there will be two – three spreads. Such substrates need good herbalists.

In addition, nutrient soils require stronger filtration, otherwise the water may turn sour.
Below is a description of the substrate that I use.
JBL AquaBasis plus – This is a ready-made mixture of nutrients for aquarium plants. Used when launching new aquariums.

Provides asthenia with all nutrients for healthy and fast growth. D & B Aqua Basis contains iron, trace elements and minerals that all aquatic plants need. Favorable fast, healthy and strong development of the root system of plants.

The clay in the mixture acts as a storage pantry for nutrients, which binds nutrients when they are oversupplied and releases in case of shortages. Provides long-term and complete nutrition of aquarium plants.

Does not contain phosphates and nitrates, causing the growth of unwanted algae. Validity 3 years!
Application: Contents 5 kg. a package is enough for an aquarium of 100-200 liters. It is laid on the bottom of the aquarium with a uniform layer about 2 cm high.

The top layer is covered with a layer of basic soil about 4 cm high with a fraction of 2-3 mm. Do not use coarse gravel!
Video about JBL AquaBasis plus

Which soil is better for an aquarium? Aquariums large and small: clearance

Which soil is better for an aquarium? How many need it? How to siphon and clean the soil in the aquarium?

Answers to all these questions, important for the full existence of the inhabitants of the aquarium, will be discussed in this article. Let’s build the right aquarium with our own hands, taking into account all the nuances of the nutrient soil and its installation.

What is the best soil for the aquarium – the first question a person starting to breed fish

Very often at the initial stage of arranging the “home for fish” the question arises: which soil is better for an aquarium? Although later it loses its relevance and ceases to be actively discussed.

However, at the end of the time, mistakes made at the beginning make themselves felt, and as a result large-scale corrections begin.

The main purpose of this article will be the nuances of selection, preparation and placement of soil filler. In addition, the important circumstances in this matter are the decoration and cleaning of the bottom of the aquarium.

Initially, it is worth noting that the black soil for the aquarium is the most important part of its configuration. Together with elements such as the background, lighting and additional decorative components, it gives a noticeable uniqueness to the placement.

At the same time, being a substrate, the soil provides conditions for the existence of a whole complex of microorganisms and plants.

At the same time, the aquarium nutrient primer works as a primitive filtering mechanism. It accumulates microscopic suspensions that pollute the water, which significantly expands its functions.

Before buying the above-mentioned filler, it is necessary to determine the objectives, as well as the general vision of the “underwater kingdom”. In addition, you need to navigate the key aspects of the choice.

  1. Natural soils – sand, gravel, gravel, pebbles. They can be used where there are small digging species of fish and plants with weak root systems.
  2. Soils obtained by treating natural materials by mechanical or chemical means. They satisfy almost all requirements and are offered in various colors. Despite this, their bright coloring interferes with the natural perception of the aquarium.
  3. Artificial primers – glass or plastic balls, made by a special technology. They are absolutely harmless, but they can only be used where there will be single plants. In addition, they are completely unsuitable for keeping burrowing fish.

Since porosity is one of the most important characteristics of a substrate, fine sand with a particle size of less than 1 mm is hardly useful. Everything is due to the fact that metabolic processes are disturbed in such a filler due to the rapid caking of the material.

This, in turn, leads to rotting of the roots of plants.

In addition, the biological balance, which should “visit” the aquarium at home, is very unstable. In this situation, even mollusks and fish, loosening the soil, do not help.

Sand having a particle size of 2 to 4 mm will be an excellent and readily available substrate. Sufficient porosity affects the metabolic processes, which for a long time remain in their original state.

This option is quite suitable for most plants with both strong and weak root system. In addition, it has a high permeability for newly formed roots.

You can also note the success of small pebbles, the particles of which vary from 4 to 8 mm. The level of its caking is much less than that of sand, but the formation of sludge is very slow.

This type of soil is more suitable for large plants with a strong root system.

Pebbles and gravel will decorate rather a small aquarium than a large one. In any case, the amount of such soil should be substantial in order to be somehow different from the general background.

In addition, pebbles and gravel are not used as an independent substrate.

It should be noted that all the above-mentioned natural grounds are connected by common origin – these are small particles of granite. Their massive distribution argues accessibility for aquarium lovers.

Moreover, the color parameters of such soils are from light gray to red shades.

Among artificial substrates, expanded clay is considered to be the most common. It has excellent porosity and low weight, which makes it indispensable for lovers of breeding fish and gardeners.

During the transplantation of plants, this type of soil practically does not injure the root systems.

Together with the above advantages, the internal part of expanded clay is an anaerobic flora – oxygen-free microorganisms. They purify water from numerous organic compounds that appear over time in the aquarium.

To determine how much soil you need in an aquarium, you should take into account its individual parameters. Among them are the dimensions of the “house for fish”, as well as the fullness of living and non-living components.

If there is an aquarium of 200 liters, then before laying the ground it is necessary to prepare its bottom. This is especially true of the aquarium soil, which is collected “on the street.”

Mandatory washing and boiling are the main procedures that prevent infection.

Shopping purchase to boil is not necessary, but it needs to be washed and pour boiling water. It eliminates the use of soap or other cleaning products, since subsequently it will be very difficult to wash the chemical impurities out of the soil.

At the very least, it will take a lot of time and effort that you can use for other efficiencies.

These procedures are fundamental. If you have properly processed and prepared the ground for the aquarium, the price for it, even if it was substantial, will not be of particular importance to you later.

It should be noted that it is not necessary to wait for the complete drying of the future “stone bottom”, since the wet state is natural for it.

If you follow the recommendations of experienced aquarists, the soil should be laid in three layers. Moreover, the content and nature of the placement should correspond to a specific sequence.

The bottom layer should consist of gravel, which is enriched with laterite iron or clay. Its thickness should be from 3 to 5 cm and include balls with fertilizer.

In addition, there may be a mixture of trace elements that do not contain phosphates and nitrites, which are so destructive for plants and fish.

It is desirable to focus on the iron in the soil mixture, which is present in chelated form. Otherwise, it will simply not be available for food representatives of flora and fauna.

In addition, ferrous sulphate, usually used for feeding garden bushes, will not work, since it will significantly reduce the acidity of water.

If heating cables are used, they are also laid in this layer. They should not be located directly on the bottom, because uneven heating leads to cracking of the glass, and the house aquarium can quickly deteriorate.

In addition, sand and clay in this case will be inappropriate – they will also be heated unevenly.

The middle layer should contain land with admixtures of peat, constituting 15-25% of the total volume of bottom soil. Its thickness can be no more than 2-3 cm, since an overabundance of soil enriched with peat can provoke the process of decay.

If in the ground there is a large amount of organic matter, then it can be supplemented with sand.

In addition to everything, the middle layer can be filled with microelements and clay balls. However, for this you need to conduct thorough training of peat and earth.

Strictly speaking, such a rule holds for each layer.

The top layer should be of fine gravel mixed with sand. About 5 cm of this soil prevents the turbidity of water due to peat contact with the ground.

It is here that used stones for the aquarium, which can be purchased at the same pet store.

If in the aquarium there are snails or fish digging in the ground, then you need to grow plants in pots or increase the thickness of the upper layer. This will prevent significant damage to their root systems.

It should be noted that usually the soil in the aquarium is uneven. Although it can be distributed in such a way that it will look like a slide that rises towards the back wall.

This option of laying the bottom can visually give the aquarium a volume and a more spectacular appearance.

Most novice aquarists lay out various patterns from the ground. Since they are gradually moved by the action of water, these compositions are short-lived.

Of course, this is not so scary, but the overall appearance of the aquarium can still deteriorate.

The final procedures that will make the aquarium 200 liters perfect will be the installation of the decor, pouring water and planting plants. This should be taken care of in advance, so as not to “slow down” the overall process of arrangement.

Making your own aquarium: ground, snags, accents

Aquariums are different, but most people keep them in order to decorate their home or office with a corner of nature. And then the main task of the aquarium is to be beautiful. It is good if you have the opportunity to turn to professional aqua-designers to design your home or office pond.

And if not? Then you have to act independently, but how, we will tell you now.

The sequence of actions in the design of the aquarium

Soil is important primarily for plants, it provides support for their roots and the supply of nutrients to species with root type of food.

But for aquarium animals, soil parameters also matter:

  • it is important that the fish cannot choke on them,
  • for digging fish it is necessary that the particles do not have sharp edges,
  • for some animals, such as shrimp, its color is important.

Well and, of course, when selecting the soil, it is necessary to take into account its chemical properties, for example, that some soils can make the water more rigid, which not all types of plants and fish will like.

Most often used large river sand or gravel fraction of 2-4 mm. It is important that the elements have the same size, otherwise over time, smaller fractions will end up at the bottom, where they will loll, silt and become a substrate for anaerobic putrefactive bacteria.

For herbal aquariums, professional ADA type nutrient grounds are the best choice, but you can make your own nutrient based on sand, clay and garden soil, depending on what types of plants you plan to plant in the aquarium.

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