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Soil for aquarium do it yourself

maintenance, care, compatibility

Aquarium soil is an important substrate that maintains an artificial reservoir in the correct condition. In the soil there are many beneficial bacteria that play an important role in the ecosystem.

They decompose toxic substances and waste products of fish. You can prepare a quality ground for the aquarium with your own hands, if you read some of the recommendations.

What is the role of the soil in the aquarium, every experienced aquarist knows. Of course, one should not ignore the decorative function of the soil – along with the aquarium vegetation, fish, mollusks, amphibians, the inhabitants occupy the aquarium, the soil creates a complete picture of a beautifully designed aquarium.

To achieve aesthetic appeal can be using sand or pebbles with different particle size, differing shade and texture.

In addition, the soil has a filtration function. Soil is a kind of biological filter through which the water of the aquarium with organic matter, products of animals and plants contained in it passes.

Properly chosen soil for the aquarium is very important. He participates in the biocenosis of fish and plants.

After all, many fish during spawning passages and refuges, spawns, and if the aquarium is deprived of soil, the fish will lose the opportunity to breed.

So, if an aquarist wants to get an attractive aquarium with abundantly overgrown plants and cheerful fish, he should approach with great responsibility the choice of soil.

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.

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

Substrates, nutritious soil for aquarium plants

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.

And let’s discuss with you such an important question as the arrangement of the aquarium bottom.

Such a question arises only at the initial stage of arrangement of the aquarium world – with the purchase of an aquarium. In the future, this topic becomes irrelevant and falls.

But, often, at the beginning of time, mistakes made at the very beginning make themselves felt, as a result of which everything has to be corrected.

The purpose of this article will be to draw the reader’s attention to the main accents and nuances of the selection, acquisition, preparation and placement of aquarium soil, as well as decorating the bottom of the underwater world.


Both the foundation for the house and the aquarium soil play a crucial role in the life of the aquarium!

Novice aquarists very often pay attention only to the decorative properties of the soil and miss its most important function. Aquarian soil is a unique biological filter, powerful and irreplaceable by nothing else.

The fact is that after the launch of the aquarium in the ground colonies of beneficial bacteria settle, which process the waste products (hereinafter – PJ) of hydrobionts (hydrobionts – marine and freshwater organisms constantly living in the aquatic environment) into harmless substances. This process is also called the ammonia cycle – the cycle of transition of PJ into ammonia and then to its decomposition products – nitrites, nitrates.

In addition to biological filtration, the soil performs mechanical filtration. In addition, the soil is a substrate for rooting and feeding plants through the root system, the place of life of many microorganisms and some fish. The soil is even able to change the parameters of water in the right direction.

That is why the choice of aquarium soil is of paramount importance! Quality, properly selected soil – is the key to a long and successful life of the aquarium!

Now imagine this situation. A novice, following stereotypes, takes a white, dyed, coarse-grained soil and puts it into the aquarium a couple of centimeters thick.

Scatters seashells from above for beauty. What problems?

Everyone has their own tastes and preferences. We do not in any way impose our position, but here are just some of the disadvantages of this situation:

1. Painted soil is not a porous material, that is, it has a minimum amount of usable area for colonization of beneficial bacteria. As a result, minimization of biological filtration in the soil and the accumulation of PJ in water.

2. The soil is laid in a thin layer, which also reduces its effectiveness.

3. Everyone knows that white color is very easily soiled. Over time, your ground will become light coffee, and if there is a surplus of algae in the aquarium, then green shades on the ground are not excluded.

In addition, many drugs for the treatment of fish are synthetic dyes – methylene blue, malachite green. After applying them, the white primer is painted in the appropriate color.

That is, the original aesthetic goal pursued by an aquarist is lost.

4. White painted primer is neutral in most cases, which is not the case for shells laid for beauty. They increase the hardness of the water, and this quality badly affects the life of aquarium plants and “soft-water” aquarium fish.

5. If the white soil is of natural origin, then, as a rule, it is rounded marble, and marble comes from limestone, which is perfectly soluble with organic acids, thereby increasing the rigidity of the aquarium water. Therefore, this soil can only be used for “hard water” fish.

So, from the above, a novice aquarist needs to draw the following conclusions:

– carefully, to the smallest detail, think about how you want to see your aquarium,

– collect and analyze information on hydrobionts that you plan to inhabit,

– think carefully design.

And only after that, proceed to the selection and purchase of soil under the relevant requests. The benefit of the aquarium market now offers a wide range.

The key to a successful selection of aquarium soil and arrangement of the bottom of the aquarium is a clear view of the goals, objectives of the aquarium, as well as a common vision of the underwater kingdom.

In order to navigate, answer the following questions:

– Who will live in the aquarium, what fish, what crustaceans?

– Will there be live plants in your tank?

– What color range will your aquarium (lighting, background, general decor)?

– In the end, calculate the amount of aquarium soil needed for the entire aquarium sanding?

Answers to these questions will help you make the right choice.

Selection of ground flooring for aquarium fish

It should be understood that aquarium soil for fish and for living plants are two different things. But, since most of the aquariums are being set up specifically for fish, apart from the “Dutch aquarium”, we will begin with them.

Choosing aquarium soil for fish, you must take into account their characteristics and habits. Here in this small article is a couple of examples of the relationship of Goldfish and Cichlids to aquarium soil. GROUND IN THE AQUARIUM: what kind of soil is better for an aquarium! In general, it can be said that small fish can be laid fine-grained soil, and large large or mixed.

But there are exceptions. For example, the aforementioned goldfish, even in the period of “youth” – when they are small, they dig very much and dig at the bottom. And if they lay sand or small pebbles, the aquarium will always be muddy, not to mention the fact that fish will swallow such a soil, from which they can die.

As an example, the importance of taking into account the characteristics of fish can also give an example of the characteristics of loach fish, for example, Acantoftalmus. These fish are the bottom inhabitants of the aquarium and love to dig into the ground.

If you lay a coarse-grained soil in the aquarium, then aquantophthalmos will be “hollowed out like a wall”. Of course, they will certainly not be killed, but they will not feel exactly comfortable, because you have deprived them of natural conditions and disturbed their lifestyle.

If you do not know the habits of the fish that you want to take – consult with the seller of the pet store beforehand, but rather read books or fish information on the Internet site.

The color scheme of the bottom for the fish.I think in this matter you decide. Analyzing data from the Internet, I would like to say that many recommend taking a dark ground, supposedly fish on it can be seen better.

I do not know, did not check, I originally had a bed of dark blue soil. But it seems to me that the pink ground for pink fish is overkill.

There must be a contrast.

The thickness of the soil layer for fishdoes not play a special role.

Selection of bottom flooring – soil for aquarium plants As already mentioned, there is a significant difference between the soil for fish and the soil for aquarium plants. Aquarium plants use the bottom and bottom of the aquarium as a substrate for rooting and feeding.

Thus, the soil for plants should perform not only decorative functions, but also the above.

As a general rule, the soil for aquarium plants should be fine-grained or medium-grained (up to 5 mm). In any case, in this matter you should start from the power of the root system of aquarium plants, which will be in your aquarium.

An underdeveloped horse system requires fine-grained soil; for a strong root system, a medium or even coarse-grained fraction can be used.

The color scheme of soil for aquarium plants. It is said that for aquarium plants the ground should be dark, saying that the plants like warm ground, and the dark color of the bottom contributes to its warming. I do not know, I do not know, it seems to me that this factor is so insignificant that you should not pay attention to it.

Moreover, the total heating of the aquarium for plants is enough.

The thickness of the aquarium soil for plants. It should be from 5 to 7 cm. More. Again, proceed from the size of the plant root system.

The above bottom thickness is suitable for most aquarium plants.

One of the most important factors of soil for plants is its nutritional value. Most aquarium plants get nutrients from the ground.

Therefore, it must be enriched by them. You can put peat, lumps of clay in the soil, as well as introduce special preparations that are sold in the pet store.

You can read more about all this in this article. AQUARIUM PLANTS: let’s talk about the benefits of plants for your aquarium! and Soil for aquarium plants!

Additional recommendations when choosing a soil

Choosing a primer in a pet store, pay attention to what it is made of. The best soil is a natural, natural soil, unpainted with nothing.

For example, this color primer is not very good.

Preparation of aquarium soil Before you fill the aquarium bottom with soil, you need to prepare it. If you use the soil collected “on the street” it must be washed and boiled, so that any infection did not get into the aquarium.

The soil purchased at the pet store is also washed or doused with boiling water.

A big mistake for novice aquarists is to wash the aquarium soil with soap or domesticostos. This is not worth doing, as it is very difficult to wash the chemistry out of the soil, as much as redder, it will take a lot of time and effort.

After the procedures, the soil, without waiting until it dries, can be poured to the bottom of the aquarium.


As a rule, the soil in the aquarium is placed evenly. But you can distribute it so that it rises from the front wall of the aquarium to the back.

This option of the bottom of the bogie will add volume and will look more impressive.

Many novice aquarists, sometimes spread out of the soil of different colors of the drawings at the bottom of the aquarium (tracks, sun and other compositions). Such drawings are not durable – the soil is gradually mixed and as a result nothing remains of the sun.

There is nothing bad in this, of course. However, in the end, you can get a soil of a brownish color, which can spoil the overall appearance of the aquarium.

After the distribution of the soil, I install the decor, fill the aquarium, plant the plants and feed.

Other recommendations:

– If you decide not to buy soil at the pet store, but do it yourself, you should consider that in such cases it is better to use gray sand or dark-colored gravel, which is taken from an environmentally friendly source (you should not take sand from the public beach). Also for decorating the bottom, you can use volcanic gravel, crushed basalt.

It is strictly forbidden to use river sand having a red or yellow color. This sand contains iron oxide, which is harmful to fish.

– As a general rule, it is undesirable to use soluble materials as soil, for example, limestone (hiss – increases the hardness of the water).

– From the size of the grain of the soil depends on its “silting.”

– As a plant, groundcover, you can use, for example, echinodorus tender, also known as rubra. The unpretentious plant, with which the beginner will cope.

– A full change of aquarium soil or washing is carried out about once every 5 years. Depends on the number of fish and plants.

– care for the aquarium bottom and the ground is in its periodic cleaning – siphon (siphons are sold in stores, you can do it yourself). Siphon is the simplest device (essentially a hose) in which a vacuum is created and due to which all the dirt from the bottom of the aquarium is sucked out along with the water. The frequency of cleaning depends on the degree of contamination of the aquarium bottom (all in different ways).

The soil in the “freshly laid out” aquarium can not be cleaned even for a year, and if there are aquarium plants, then in the soil, on the contrary, at first, fertilizing and fertilizer are introduced.

– Aquarium can be without soil. In this case, if you need plants they are planted in pots.

Summing up, we can say that the most correct, the best soil for the aquarium bottom will be the one that was cleverly chosen or made.
In the photo examples of the design of the aquarium bottom

Video on the design of the aquarium soil, examples of bottom design and cleaning the soil

Every aquarist knows that not only water but also soil needs cleaning the aquarium. In order to eliminate all accumulated garbage from sand or stones, use a special device – a siphon for cleaning aquariums.

With it, you can easily remove the remnants of uneaten food, rotting algae particles and waste products of all underwater inhabitants. This cleaning is very useful, because it prevents the acidification of the soil, the formation of harmful hydrogen sulfide and ammonia in it.

When siphons for cleaning aquariums did not exist, the soil had to be removed, washed, and then poured back into place. However, this procedure had an adverse effect on the vital activity of beneficial bacteria in water.

Now this problem is solved.

Considering how the siphon for the aquarium works, it will not be too difficult to clean up the underwater kingdom. It is enough to immerse the hose in the ground and blow into the tube.

On the reverse of the return, all the garbage along with the water is poured into a vessel placed at the other end of the hose. At this time, the soil rises up to half of the wide pipe, and then safely sinks to the bottom.

Today, pet stores have a large variety of different types of siphons. However, their price is sometimes not attractive.

Therefore, the most intelligent aquarists decided to protect themselves from unnecessary expenses and came up with homemade siphons for aquariums.

The design of such a device is quite simple. In the original, it is a conventional hose to which a wide tube is attached at the end.

Many are trying to improve the model, and for convenience they attach an ordinary medical bulb to the edge of the hose, so that it does not have to blow into it, but it was enough to squeeze the bulb only several times. However, the effectiveness of this does not increase.

The most important element in the assembly of a siphon for an aquarium is a hose. For a capacity of 100 liters, fit a tube with a diameter of 10 mm.

If you use a thicker, then during the “cleaning” you can not notice how much of the water will pour into the bucket before you clean the bottom. To protect you from such troubles in our master class, we will show you how to make a 50 l siphon for an aquarium out of items that everyone probably has in the house. For this we need:

  • hose diameter of 5 mm – 1 m;
  • plastic water bottle – 1 pc;
  • 10 dice syringe – 2 pcs;
  • insulating tape;
  • brass hose outlet – 1 pc;
  • knife.

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