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Substrate under the aquarium do it yourself

maintenance, care, compatibility

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

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.

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.
  • Recipes for its preparation quite a lot. Some homemade mixes are suitable for a particular type of home aquatic system, others claim to be universal.

    Consider one option for self-preparation of a two-layer soil saturated with the necessary substances for the development of aquarium flora.

    It can be prepared using the following ingredients:

    • coal (activated in granules or natural birch);
    • clay;
    • special sorbent as an active additive;
    • peat;
    • finely chopped fallen leaves or coconut fiber;
    • coarse sand or small pebbles.

    Coal, being an absorbent, it is necessary to neutralize the decay products of organic matter, to clean the soil from harmful elements.

    When using it, the following should be considered: coal tends to “throw” accumulated harmful substances back into the environment.

    That’s why experts strongly recommend that in 8–10 months completely change the soil where this component is used.

    Clay. In different areas, it can have a completely different composition.

    In the most common red clay there is a lot of iron. Far not all plants and fish are suitable for too many of this element. Forest and lake clay contain a lot of humus.

    In an aquarium, a similar component can affect the unauthorized rapid growth of algae.

    To avoid this unpleasant moment can be subject to the use of gray clay.

    In terms of its composition, it is able to satisfy the demands of almost all the representatives of flora that are common in aquaristics.

    Sorbent. As a sorbent that binds all the components and affects the growth of the grass, often use the composition of “Vermiculite” in granules.

    This layered mineral retains nutrients in the soil, preventing them from dissolving too quickly in water.

    Peat is a supplier of beneficial organics that plants absorb through their roots. Some aquarists use river silt for this, but it is believed that in large doses it contributes to the acidification of the soil.

    Natural forest peat can also cause this phenomenon, therefore it is recommended to use high-quality granulated (or pelletized) pressed peat.

    Organics. Some recipes indicate the possibility of using finely chopped fallen leaves as an organic additive. But in this case you need to take into account some points:

    • oak and linden foliage secrete many tannins into the aquatic environment;
    • maple leaves decompose too slowly;
    • in aspen leaves, on the contrary, the decomposition rate is very high.

    The cutting of coconut fiber has proven itself in the best way.

    Such a substance slowly and continuously releases organic matter, and also has an average rate of decomposition.

    Commercial nutrient primers and substrates: an overview

    Such branded products for aquarism used to be produced in the form of earth, to which various substances were added. Soils balanced in this way were simply poured to the bottom of the “can”.

    At present, granulated bottom substrates have become most popular, many of which are produced by many companies: German Dennerle, JBL, Tetra, Polish Aquael and many others.

    Aqua soil. An example of a soil is Aqua Soil – Africana, Amazonia, Malaya.

    This mixture helps to reduce the pH and hardness of the aquarium water. Designed exclusively for freshwater aquariums.

    Experts do not advise using this soil when keeping fish digging for soil.

    Soil mix Dennerle DeponitMix Professional consists of selected natural peat, high quality natural clay, soil with nutrient minerals and iron, quartz sand and granules to ensure biological filtration and removal of nitrite from water. It helps to strengthen the root system of vegetation and healthy foliage.

    The absence of a mixture of phosphates and nitrates eliminates the formation of green algae.

    JBL AquaBasis plus – Received a wide distribution, it consists of:

    • natural peat, performing the role of humus;
    • selected clay in the form of granules;
    • mineral supplements that also contain large amounts of iron;
    • porous granules for the formation of colonies of denitrifying bacteria.

    The mixture is laid out evenly along the bottom of the aquarium (layer thickness 2–3 cm), and carefully treated gravel of fine fraction is poured on top. In this case, a commercial mixture, whose service life is 3 years, plays the role of the substrate.

    Plant Complete Substrate Concentrate from the company Tetra is a ready-to-use primer. In its composition there are: a mixture of different varieties of natural sand, mineral substances, humic acids, which have ion-exchange, sorption and biologically active properties, as well as peat.

    The soil is poured at the bottom of a new aquarium with a layer thickness of 2 cm. In places where it is planned to plant water plants, the layer can be made a little thicker.

    It is allowed to use both finished product and mixing with fine-grained run-in gravel. This concentrate prevents the appearance of algae, strengthens the roots, contributes to the normal development of stems and leaves.

    The range of nutritious soil mixtures is very wide, and for the right choice, you should carefully familiarize yourself with their composition, as well as carefully read the instructions for use.

    Nutrient soils are designed to ensure the good development of aquarium plants, but this is not their only function. Modern commercial ready-made mixtures significantly improve the quality of water.

    And this is the most important factor in the good health of ornamental fish.

    Video tip on how to make a nutritional substrate for aquarium plants:

    It is always interesting to observe the living inhabitants of the underwater world for both adults and children. The natural desire of each owner of ornamental fish to an aquarium, which has a beneficial effect on the homely atmosphere of comfort and peace, served as long as possible. And it largely depends on how firmly the artificial reservoir is.

    So it turns out that the pedestal, on which the aquarium is installed, performs not only a decorative function, but also plays an important role in maintaining the aquamira in good condition.

    Now, perhaps, you will not find a home aquarium, standing directly on the floor. It is always installed on a special stand – a curbstone.

    Of course, the 15-liter tank for ornamental fish can be put on a regular table or on a TV stand. But, according to the aquarists themselves, starting with a 50-liter can and above, the bollard is a must.

    What is the reason?

    But the thing is: constant pressure, for example, a 100-liter aquarium, is so great on the stand that its surface can bend over time, and even a slight deflection will necessarily cause a breakdown of the glass structure.

    Simply put, the glass will crack at best, and burst at worst. Consequently, the main difference between an aquarium stand and ordinary dressers or coasters is the large number of vertical internal supports that do not allow the table top to sag.

    The second feature is the material for the drawer. It must be waterproof (especially the tabletop), as when servicing the home aquatic system, minor spills are inevitable, and this threatens to deform the surface.

    Therefore, it is better to use laminated MDF (fine fraction) or chipboard (chipboard).

    Is it easy to find on sale a ready-made cabinet that meets all these requirements? Probably, for some standard aquariums, you can pick up a stand in specialized stores. And if the aquarium is non-standard?

    In this case, it is recommended to make it yourself. Not particularly and difficult task for an experienced home wizard.

    Project. Such work begins, of course, with a sketch and size calculation. When determining the height of the bollard, it is usually assumed that it is convenient to observe life in an aquarium in a sitting position.

    Therefore, above 60-70 cm (taking into account the height of the legs), it is impractical to do it.

    The horizontal size of the pedestal is usually calculated relative to the length and width of the aquarium. For example, if the size of the tabletop is usually either equal to or slightly larger than the size of the bottom of the aquarium, then the whole structure looks very neat and attractive.

    What to do back wall? The main difference between the aquarium stand and the linen chest is that the back wall is made of a thick and durable material (chipboard or MDF not less than 22 mm thick).

    This is due to the fact that it is the back wall that holds the vertical partitions, preventing them from folding under the weight of a heavy aquarium.

    Many home craftsmen are advised to embed the back wall between the side, and not to impose it on top. The design will be stronger.

    Frame. Vertical internal partitions are installed every 30-40 centimeters. They protect the countertop from bending.

    Of course, the distance between the internal partitions is determined depending on the equipment, which will then be installed.

    Table top – very important element. It should be durable, flat, waterproof.

    It is better to let it be thicker than thinner, especially for large aquariums (from 150 liters and more). For such a weight, a 22 mm chipboard panel is fine.

    Drawing. Based on these calculations, a drawing is made with the exact dimensions of the parts.

    Tumba under the aquarium and everything you need to know about it.

    Many craftsmen themselves are trying to create coasters of wood, chipboard, make good wrought iron thumbs for the aquarium, which look spectacular and well suited for small tanks. But often inside the home-made furniture looks like a big box, which is not very suitable as a reliable support for a heavy container filled with water.

    In addition to the attractive type of cabinet, a round or rectangular aquarium should meet several other critical requirements.

    For a start, prepare well the floor where the support will be installed, the surface of the coating should be without unevenness, as smooth as possible. It is also desirable to make the tabletop of our stand not from a simple chipboard, but from a laminated material or wood.

    It should not suffer from spilled water or sag under the weight. The dimensions of the cabinet under the aquarium of solid wood should not exceed the size of the tank so that the load is evenly distributed on the vertical wallsand.

    The height of such a stand should not be large, otherwise the design will turn out to be unstable. If the curbstone you are doing above 90 cm, then the back wall should be further strengthened. Overall and long aquariums require even more caution.

    To eliminate the deflection of the table top, additional vertical partitions should be installed inside the bollards. Free space can be filled with various shelves, which will make the product only stronger.

    In the back, closed from the view wall of the pedestal under the aquarium, holes for hoses and wiring are made. This allows you to hide communications that go from water to additional equipment.

    The appearance of the furniture only benefits from this.

    The aquarium in the house is a calm and measured world, which is recommended even by psychologists as a wonderful sedative. It is easy to buy a glass cube and fish for it, problems arise only in its location in the apartment. If we are talking about a small aquarium with a volume of about 20 liters, it is easily placed on a regular table or nightstand, only if the surface is level.

    But an aquarium with a significant amount of household table will not hold. Therefore, there was such a thing as a stand under the aquarium, which is a reinforced structure, fitted in size and color.

    Stands for aquariums, their types and rules of manufacture

    According to the types of stands are divided by the type of material used and the form. Not all materials are suitable as a stand for an aquarium.

    There are welded metal coasters for the aquarium, they are not recommended to be used, since the aquarium is an area of ​​high humidity, and the metal is used to deteriorate and rot from moisture. Also not recommended to use the cabinets of lumber and natural wood, which do not have a moisture resistant coating.

    In the form of coasters are divided into rectangular and angular. The simplest versions are exactly rectangular bollards, and they also represent the classics of a standard aquarium shape. In the manufacture of cabinets of any size and shape, you must adhere to these rules:

    • material for manufacturing must be resistant to moisture;
    • bearing thickness not less than 25 mm, it is a tabletop and a side wall;
    • the design of the stand is calculated specifically for the aquarium, while it is necessary to provide for the possibility of installing the necessary equipment;
    • It is obligatory to install adjustable legs under the stand, they are necessary for leveling the aquarium plane, eliminating pressure drops on the walls and damaging the glass structure;
    • the pedestal must necessarily repeat the shape of the aquarium, if its corners are rounded, then the pedestal has the same shape, if the design of the aquarium is triangular, then the pedestal is executed in the appropriate shape. The support for a round aquarium is made round, polygonal or similar to the bookcase;
    • The vertical seams of the aquarium are sealed with silicone; their number should be at least two;
    • Aquarium frames are made of solid cast without intermediaries connecting and plywood, in the lower frame under the glass enclose a soft substrate.

    Finally, we describe a somewhat unusual type of furniture that rescues lovers of fish living in modest rooms. Qualitatively assembled custom-made cabinets for an aquarium look great, manufacturers know how to handle edges, cover material with paint and varnish, paint facades in white, black, wenge or other wonderful shades.

    But the shape of the product also plays a huge role. Because of their size, rectangular structures sometimes constrain the owners of small apartments.

    A good way out is the acquisition of angular pedestals for an aquarium.

    Of course, in this case the reservoir should also be triangular in shape, which initially confuses some aquarists. If you put your favorite thing in the room nowhere, but there are free corners, then this option will be an ideal way out.

    Visually, you get an excellent solution that does not require much space and allows you to contain even large fish. Large distortion is practically not observed, maybe from a very small distance, and, importantly, a triangular aquarium is perfectly visible from all points of the room.

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