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River sand for aquarium do it yourself

maintenance, care, compatibility

The easiest answer to this question lies on the surface – the best option for many aquarists would be to purchase ready-made industrial soil. You can buy soil in the markets and in the pet store.

And you can do the soil for the aquarium with your own hands.

Many people think that it is best to use gray river sand. This sand must be sifted through a sieve with a corresponding hole diameter.

Best of all, dark sand with a particle size of 4-5 mm (coarse sand) is suitable for the needs and requirements of an aquarist.

Sifted sand needs to be washed. Of course, river water washes away all unnecessary impurities, but additional control will not hurt anyone.

Then the ground is disinfected. Further, if soft water should be in the aquarium, the soil is acidified by treating it with a 25% hydrochloric acid solution.

For aquariums with hard water, marble or limestone pieces are placed in the washed sand.

Before placing the substrate in the aquarium, it should be washed well under running water. Do not use chemicals and detergents.

After washing, it is better to boil the soil for 60 minutes to destroy parasites and microbes in it. Nowadays, common types of aquarium substrates are:

  • Gravel: natural, light and dark;
  • Gravel red;
  • Gravel of large and small fraction;
  • Sand river;
  • Sand fines;
  • Pebbles of large, medium or small fraction.


Sand – the most common type of substrate for an aquarium with shrimp and small fish. Larger, digging fish can carry large fractions – gravel and pebbles.

The main thing that the fish could not swallow a stone, otherwise it will have health problems.

How to make a soil with your own hands, and where to get it? You can not buy it, but find it in nature. If you know the area where there is an environmentally friendly plant substrate, you can take it there.

But before introducing it into the aquarium, you will have to wash and process for a long time.

    River sand can be found near rivers and ponds. Take a sieve, and wash the sand near the shore.

    The process takes a lot of time, but it’s worth it.

See how to do the soil with your own hands.

  • Sand river fines. Perfect for aquarium plants, however, it muddies the water, accumulates waste, which is harmful for fish and mollusks.
  • Gravel fines. Usually it is a lot of roads, in parks, on the roadside. If it is good to look out for small pebbles, then you can collect them in the right quantity. Do not look for gravel in major highways – there it is too dirty.
  • Place each substrate ball 3-6 cm high.
  • The ideal aquarium soil is the river sand of a large fraction, in which fertilizers are added for plant growth.
  • Small and red gravel is often used for decorative purposes.
  • During water changes, rinse the gravel and its surface siphon.
  • When you pour water into a new aquarium, place a plate under the sand substrate so that it does not blur.
  • Place a small amount of fertilizer (not chemical) under the roots of plants.
  • If you live digging species of fish, the roots of plants should be firmly fixed in the gravel.
  • What soil is needed for an aquarium? It is recommended to use for a freshwater aquarium, for example, black, gray or white large river sand, building sand, small pebbles or run-in gravel. More specifically, the size of the grains of sand should vary between 2-3 mm.

    Pebbles for the aquarium may be larger – 2-8 mm. Fine sand is placed on the bottom (the size of the grains of sand is 1.5-2.5), then a layer of coarse sand (size 3-4.5 mm).

    It is not advisable to make a more dense base for the aquarium, since it will provoke the accumulation of organic residues, the formation of large quantities of rotting and decomposition products, which will release hydrogen sulfide into the water. To prevent soil compaction, you need to place large pebbles on the bottom of the aquarium under the sand.

    Despite the fact that small grains of sand will seep down, the pebbles will improve the flow of the soil. For the same reason, it is not recommended to use fine marine quartz sand as a primer.

    Washed river sand is much easier.

    If your choice is pebbles, then know about the difficulties that may arise when sucking debris out of the aquarium with a hose. Small pebbles are likely to block the hose, and you will not be able to carry out the cleaning procedure. How to avoid a similar problem?

    It is necessary to use a larger diameter hose or use a transparent hose. In the first case, the pebbles will not get stuck, in the second – you will see where the traffic jam occurred.

    There is another way – to use a siphon with a funnel.

    Before you choose and place nutritious sand, pebbles in an aquarium, you need to think carefully. To all the previously listed rules add the following:

    • On the counter of the pet store you can see different varieties: black, white, color. But it is worth remembering that the best of the whole variety is not a color, but a natural nourishing soil that is not colored by anything. Colored soil, being in aquarium for a long time, loses its color, and the dye, respectively, dissolves in water. A modern manufacturer, creating colored sand, does not use toxic materials, but does not use completely harmless ones. So, red and yellow soil contains iron oxides, which can adversely affect the health of fish. Keep this in mind when purchasing the color version;
    • soluble materials, such as limestone, are not used as soil;
    • a full change of soil in the aquarium or its washing is carried out 1 time in 5 years;
    • do not use colored river sand as a base: do not put red or yellow in the aquarium.

    It is not enough to choose the right sand, it is equally important to correctly put it in the aquarium. Laying soil in an aquarium should help recreate the look of a natural reservoir. It should be laid with a slope to the front glass in the aquarium.

    What’s the point of this? Thanks to this simple reception, it will be easier to remove the dirt that accumulates in the recesses of the soil. The thickness may be different, but in the range from 3 to 8 cm.

    In addition, in the front glass in the form of plexiglass sides it is permissible to build a small area that will be free of soil. In this place of the aquarium, a tubule or bloodworm can burrow.

    For this purpose, a transparent glass vessel can be placed in an aquarium.

    Soil for aquarium with fish and plants: the rules of preparation

    Nutrient soil is extremely important to put in the aquarium. How to do it? If you collected the soil for the aquarium with your own hands, did not purchase it in the store, then you need to prepare it.

    How to do it? Rinse and boil. This is the so-called ground cleaning in an aquarium before it is placed.

    It is necessary to prepare also sand, pebbles, bought in a pet store. It is enough to wash and process with boiling water.

    An error will be washing with the addition of domestos or other chemicals. How can this affect the constancy of the aquarium?

    The fact is that sand, pebbles are well absorbed by chemical compounds, it will be very difficult to wash them after processing, which means that they will gradually be released into the water.

    After the selection of soil for the aquarium, it can be placed in the aquarium with fish and plants. You can do this immediately: rinse and still wet place in the aquarium.

    Black, colored, quartz, as well as a different sand needs care. How to clean the soil in the aquarium, how to monitor its cleanliness? The soil for the aquarium, along with the plants must be periodically cleaned, in other words, siphon.

    Externally, the siphon is a hose in which a vacuum is created and by means of which dirt is sucked in with water. Sand, pebbles need to be cleaned as it gets dirty.

    Now you know how to choose sand, pebbles, how to prepare them, how to clean the soil in the aquarium and a lot of other useful information. One thing remains: choose the appropriate option and apply all the knowledge gained in practice.

    Good luck!

    The use of sand as a soil in an aquarium contributes to a more comfortable environment for its inhabitants and good rooting of plants. Three types of sand are used in aquariums – river, aragonite and quartz.

    Many are wondering – is it possible to use quartz sand in an aquarium? In fact, quartz is silicon oxide, which does not react at all with water and has no effect on it.

    It participates in the digestion of certain categories of fish, provides greater softness of water.

    Only the particle size of quartz sand is important. Too fine sand sours faster and plants grow worse in it.

    For the rest, quartz sand for an aquarium is an ideal and most common filler.

    What color is better to choose quartz sand for the aquarium as a primer? We all came across white, black and colored sand.

    Experienced aquarists say that white quartz sand for an aquarium does not create the necessary contrast with the inhabitants, which is why the fish do not stand out against its background and look somewhat amorphous.

    But black quartz sand for the aquarium is a more attractive option. It does not distract attention from the fish, at the same time they look brighter and more interesting with it.

    Colored sand distracts attention to itself, so you look less at the inhabitants, and more admire the bottom of the aquarium. Alternatively, you can mix the colors of the sand.

    For example, a black and white combination looks quite harmonious.

    Any soil before laying in the aquarium should be washed and boiled or doused with boiling water. Do not add any detergents.

    To fill the finished sand in the aquarium should be with a slope to the front wall of the aquarium to recreate the type of natural reservoir. Layer thickness can vary from 3 to 8 cm.

    Regardless of whether you used black, white or colored sand as a primer, you need to keep an eye on it and clean it periodically. For this purpose, a siphon is used – a hose in which a vacuum is created, thanks to which dirt is sucked out of the aquarium together with some part of the water.

    Clean the sand at the bottom of the aquarium should be as it is polluted. Avoid stagnant debris on the bottom, because in this case ammonia can form, which has a detrimental effect on the fish.

    While admiring the swift fish and water plants swaying pensively, we sometimes forget that an aquarium is a real miniature ecosystem. And of great importance in it is the substrate covering the aquarium bottom, in which the vegetation is fixed and microorganisms function.

    Both gravel and sand are popular as a primer for an aquarium; we will focus on the more natural of them, the second.

    Sand in the aquarium as a primer

    The obvious advantages of sand as a primer for an aquarium are its natural appearance and the fact that plants take root better when it is used. On the other hand, it should be borne in mind that for use as soil in a river sand aquarium, it must first be washed thoroughly for a long time.

    In addition, debris will be clearly visible on the sand surface, and the aquarium will need to be cleaned quite often (although cleaning the aquarium with sand coating makes it much easier to siphon over the bottom without even touching it).

    It is not recommended to use exclusively white sand for decoration of an aquarium – on its background the fishes turn pale, which creates an overall impression of depression and inhibition. The black color of the sand, on the contrary, is considered more advantageous to create a solid image – it successfully emphasizes the brightness and liveliness of the inhabitants of the aquarium.

    However, you can always experiment by combining several colors.

    As for the sparkling coral sand, despite its spectacularity, it is not suitable for every aquarium. It is used in the event that it is necessary to increase the hardness and acidity of water, due to the high content of lime in it.

    The reason for such measures may be excessively soft water in the region or the preference of hard water to specific fish.

    It is difficult to answer this question with one phrase, since the professional term “cichlid” includes a whole range of techniques and methods for keeping cichlids – a large family of ornamental fish.

    It should be immediately clarified that for fans of vegetable aqua design, loving to combine several types of bright representatives of aquatic flora, this solution is unlikely to work.

    The term itself is derived from the name of a fairly extensive family of fish that live in the warm river waters of Africa, South and Central Americas. Cichlids, as a rule, have a bad temper, they get along badly with their neighbors in the reservoir and with each other.

    In aquarium conditions, they are also aggressive and very sensitive to the state of the environment. Keep these fish is not easy.

    It is because of this that professional aquarists have introduced the term “cichlid”, which means an aquarium, where the optimal combination of a restless fish team, vegetation, environmental conditions and decorative elements is thoughtfully and competently maintained.

    The creation and launch of such a unique aquarium is based on the habits of its inhabitants, as well as on the knowledge and skills of their owner to accurately take into account all the subtleties of the peculiar behavior of decorative predatory fish.

    Figuratively speaking, if there is a fish feng shui, then this is exactly the case.

    Cichlid can also be called a species aquarium, as it contains, as a rule, fish of one species or one habitat of natural habitat.

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