Hello dear readers! I am glad to welcome you again on the pages of my blog.
Today I would like to touch on the topic of launching an aquarium. Despite the fact that I already have a similar article on the site, I described in it a safe launch without the use of various aquarium chemistry and other useful chips.
In this article, I want to tell you how a modern launch is done in the presence of funds for the purchase of expensive aquarium equipment, aquarium chemistry and special tests. So let’s get started.
In spite of the fact that I already told you how to launch an aquarium correctly, I often receive letters from readers in the mail where they share their problems. As a rule, 50-60 percent of errors were made during the launch and nothing else.
In order not to write huge petitions in comments on this topic and in e-mails, I have always addressed people to an existing article.
The purpose of today’s material is to touch on all the smallest details and aspects of launching a full-fledged closed ecosystem so that the person who has read this manual can once and for all dispel doubts and shed light on their gaps in knowledge. In no case do I boast about my unreal knowledge in aquarism, there are people who are much more experienced and literate than me, but every aquarist respecting himself should know how to properly run a modern aquarium.
First, let’s define what is an aquarium? The aquarium is a complex closed ecosystem that has certain conditions and parameters that are comfortable for different species of living creatures and microorganisms to live in.
A certain standard of an ideal aquarium probably does not exist, but any aquarium should meet the basic criteria, and all the rest is separate particulars and differences.
The bulk of novice aquarists believe that the aquarium is a tank with fish and nothing else. This is the biggest misconception! In fish and plants, the wedge of light does not converge, a huge number of living organisms live in the aquarium, which constantly interact with each other.
Therefore, after launch, the aquarist should aim to help the ecosystem to establish an invisible link between all the inhabitants and the links of one large life chain.
Any launch of an aquarium includes several key stages, the execution of which should be a dogma for any aquarist:
- Choosing an aquarium;
- Selection of space for the aquarium;
- Installation stand (cabinets);
- Directly installation of the aquarium itself;
After fulfilling the above three conditions, you must do the following:
- Place a nutrient bed and aquarium soil on the bottom of the jar;
- Arrange all the available elements of the decor according to the prepared plan;
- Type a little water in the aquarium so that it slightly covers the substrate and plant the aquarium plants;
- Fill with water and add all the necessary aquarium chemistry to accelerate the establishment of biological equilibrium.
After fulfilling the above requirements, let’s consider the most important stages of launching in more detail.
Today there is a fairly large variety of forms of aquariums:
- With a convex front wall;
- Classic rectangular;
That’s just the last we will stop. Why?
Let’s figure it out. In triangular and angular aquariums it is very difficult to properly position the lighting, as dead zones may appear, where there will be a lack of light.
Accordingly, the plants planted in those areas will suffer from a lack of light and will eventually die.
Aquariums of a round, cylindrical shape and with convex front walls will strongly distort the picture, therefore we also dismiss this option. The ideal option is a classic rectangular aquarium with smooth walls.
In such a bank, it is enough just to organize the right light mode and there is an opportunity to create a really cool hardcap.
At once I would like to warn novice colleagues – finding a place for an aquarium is also a very important step, since its further well-being depends on it. In no case can not put an aquarium, where it will get direct sunlight, as this can cause water blooms. It is also not recommended to install aquariums near the doors and passages to other rooms, since frequent walking of people can frighten fish.
Do not suit us and window sills and places near radiators and other heating devices. The most ideal option is a corner of the room or some niche.
There we put our brainchild.
So, we found a suitable place, now it’s time to install the cabinet. Stand under the aquarium should have high strength, since the weight it will withstand solid. As an example, let’s look at a 200-liter aquarium.
The weight of the can itself will be about 60-80 kilograms, add here a kilogram of 40-50 soils, stones, a filter and water, you will get about 500 kilograms. Now you understand why the choice of tables should be taken seriously?
In the cabinet there must be a central partition, because under the weight of this whole colossus, the top plate can bend and the aquarium will simply burst. And believe me, your neighbors will never say thank you for it, because they will spill 200 liters of water on their heads.
The cabinet should be set strictly on the level in both planes. What is it for? When the aquarium is not full yet, the installation is not terrible at all.
But when you fill it up, a concentration of stresses may arise in any place and sooner or later your aquarium may also burst or leak. And we do not need this, agree.
Therefore, remember – strictly on the level.
Next we need to inspect the tank itself. Pay special attention to the quality of the seams; there should be no air bubbles, silicone vyscherblin and other defects visible to the eye in the place where two glasses are glued together. Then inspect the glasses themselves and cuts how the edges are processed.
The edges of the glasses, where they were cut off, should not be sharp and have burrs. Then, as in the right way, you need to fill the aquarium with water and see if it is flowing.
If everything is in order, wash the jar with soda without using detergents.
Before installing, wipe the top plate of the cabinet with a soft fiber and sweep away all the dust particles and other fine abrasive from it. Place a thin rubber mat or foam sheet a couple centimeters thick under the aquarium.
Just see that a grain of sand does not fall under the aquarium. Any more or less noticeable abrasive can also cause stress concentration and the bank can leak or burst. Next, glue the background and install the aquarium.
The area of the top plate of the cabinet should be slightly larger than the area of the bottom of the aquarium. It is not allowed to protrude beyond the edge of the plate walls of the aquarium. Why?
I think you guessed it.
We start the launch by laying the nutritional substrate and the ground itself. These two components are essential components in the life of aquarium plants and the entire aquarium ecosystem.
From the aquarium soil, plants take nutrients they need for life, and also, the substrate performs the function of a biological filter, in which useful nitrifying bacteria settle.
On the question of the choice of the substrate and of the substrate itself, I will not stop; I will only say that it is difficult to give a clear and definite recommendation. In this matter, the aquarist himself determines which type of substrate and which color he likes more and which nutrient substrate to use. I want to focus your attention on the mandatory aspects, and all the subtleties of the election are just your preferences:
- Substrate and aquarium soil are different things. The substrate is a special substrate from which aquarium plants will consume nutrients throughout their life. Nutrient uptake will be through the root system. Soil is also a substrate in which there is a small proportion of useful elements, but it plays the role of a biofilter and serves for decorative purposes.
- Nutritional substrate should be laid directly under the rhizome of the plant. If you think that you will need to cover the bottom of the aquarium with a nutrient pad, then you are greatly mistaken. Decided to plant the plants only in the corners or in the center of the aquarium, pour the substrate in the corners or in the center.
Very important! In no case do not use the substrate in the aquarium, if you do not plan to plant live plants in it or there will be 3-5 of them.
Otherwise, you will find a serious algal outbreak and most likely you will have to restart, but without the substrate. You will have a situation where, after launch, the substrate will begin to release nutrients into the water, and there is no one to consume them.
Accordingly, it will be on hand to the simplest, that is, algae.
- If there are a limited number of plants in the aquarium, then either clay balls or special tablets that can be bought at the pet store can be placed under the rhizome of each plant.
- The aquarium soil should have a porous structure and should not contain metallic impurities. Check it out simply – drip acid on the ground; if it is pinched, then such a substrate is not suitable.
When the substrate is distributed according to the plan of future planting, it’s time to place capsules with fertilizers for plants, granules and tablets on the substrate to settle useful microflora and neutralize harmful nitrogenous compounds. You also need to make preparations for removing chlorine and heavy metal compounds from tap water, for example, AQUAYER AntiToxin Vita or similar products from other manufacturers.
When all the necessary preparations are applied, fertilizers are added, bacteria are populated, and soil can be distributed along the bottom of the aquarium. The minimum thickness of the substrate layer should not be less than 4-5 centimeters in a vegetable aquarium.
How to choose the soil for the aquarium, you can learn from this article. There is a huge variety of soil types, again you choose, but he has to answer the three main criteria:
- The fraction should be homogeneous, it will help avoid its caking and souring;
- Substrate grains should not have sharp edges, as aquarian inhabitants (especially bottom ones) can easily get hurt;
- The porous structure of the particles (this will allow to occupy more beneficial bacteria);
- The absence in the composition of the soil metal inclusions.
When you create the necessary terrain, it’s time to arrange the stones and snags. Design options for aquariums Hardscape great variety, just go to the search engine and google pictures.
The main thing is that you have access to good and interesting stones, as well as be able to choose a sufficiently large number of different types of aquatic plants.
Proper planting is shown below.
According to all the rules of aquascape or hardskape design, plants should be planted as follows:
- In the foreground are the most stunted plants or as they are also called ground cover plants (cube hemianthus, parool’s eleoharis, Monte Carlo micrantemum);
- Before planting, plants need to remove dead leaves and prune the roots, leaving only a few centimeters of rhizomes;
- Planting ground cover plants should be carried out in wet ground;
- If you plan to plant a lot of grass, then periodically moisten already planted plants with a spray;
- Plants with large and massive rhizome are planted by hand, ground cover – with tweezers;
- If plants have a red pigment, then they belong to the most lighted areas;
- If mosses are used, they can be wound with fishing line or thread to a bark or stone.
When all plants are planted and flooded, tablets should be added to the aquarium to accelerate the adaptation of the planted plants (for example, Tetra Plantastart).
After pouring the water, a bacterial film may form on the surface. It is removed using a newspaper spread over the surface. A few days after launching, the water may become cloudy – this is a normal phenomenon caused by dust from the aquarium soil.
After a few days of filter operation, all mechanical suspension will pass through the filter. In addition to mechanical turbidity, bacterial turbidity may appear – this is a signal for the aquarist that biological processes have started.
If snag was used, white mucus may appear on it. There is nothing terrible here, it is of organic nature. So you didn’t handle the snag badly.
You can remove it mechanically or get catfish-suckers (antsistrusov, girinohaylusov), which will quickly clear your snag.
As the aquarium matures, the plants will lack fertilizer. Special fertilizers for aquarium plants will help you with this. They are:
- Macro Fertilizer;
In pet stores you can find a fairly wide range of manufacturers of fertilizers for plants, among which are now the most popular development of Sergey Ermolaev. Two more important factors for the successful development of a herbalist are the presence of CO2 and the correct lighting.
How to choose lighting for the aquarium you can read in this article, and about the importance of CO2 in the aquarium in this one.
I have everything on it, I hope the material will be useful for you and you will never make the most common mistakes when launching your creations.