maintenance, care, compatibility
It so happens that the aquarist has carefully thought out the internal design of his home pond, correctly picked up plants, fish and other inhabitants, but the aquarium does not look complete and complete. But the fact is that an important detail was missed – the background. Performing this part harmoniously and at the same time non-standard is a rather difficult task.
Let’s try to figure out what are the current design options.
Background is the most important element of aqua design. Its main role is to hide everything superfluous from view: a wall, wires, equipment and create a general holistic impression of design.
He himself remains unobtrusive, but allows to diversify the compositions inside the home pond, without interfering with imagination and not eating valuable space.
The pinnacle of mastery is when the background and all other decorations create a spatial perspective, a single composition, smoothly flowing into each other.
Will be required: dark-gray plate from rigid PVC by the size of the back wall of the aquarium, stones, snags, silicone rubber, a small knife.
- Place the plate on the table. Place stones on it and glue them with silicone rubber. Wait for hardening.
- Squeeze polyurethane foam on areas free of stones. Pre-soaked driftwood press into the foam and hold for a few minutes. Leave the construction for several hours until the foam cures.
- Remove excess foam with a knife, giving the background a more natural look.
- Plate miss the mark on the perimeter and glue to the back of the aquarium.
Will be required: foam concrete, silicone sealant, large flat stones or plexiglas plate.
Work sequence: from the foam to perform the reefs. Using a sealant, stick them to the stones or plate (so as not to emerge).
You can install the structures on the bottom of the back wall and press them down with a base or stick them on the back wall of the aquarium.
Create a dry diorama with backlight installed behind the aquarium. To do this, first make a box of plywood or cardboard with a depth of 5-10 cm.
Its inner surface is painted in dark color and decorated with snags, branches, bark, stones, etc. It depends only on the performer’s imagination. The cavity of the box is illuminated with small light bulbs.
pros such a structure: you can hide the equipment, it looks spectacular.
Minuses: its construction requires experience, it is difficult for a beginner to create a harmonious diorama. Also, the design accumulates dust inside that is difficult to clean.
In conclusion, I want to say that you should not underestimate the function of the background for the aquarium. The time and effort spent on this business will surely pay off.
What it takes to take care in advance is about additional tanks for the inhabitants during the renovation of their main home. If the installation of the background occurs before the launch of a new aquarium, then this problem is removed. On the Internet you can find a lot of detailed descriptions and workshops on how to install a ready-made background, and create your own unique one.
Dare, and all must succeed!
Useful video: the background for the aquarium foam with his own hands.
The main types are as follows:
External. The main reasons for the fact that it is most often found in aquariums: low price and high availability.
In addition, it does not deteriorate the appearance due to fouling algae.
Interior. It looks more natural, but when installing it there are a number of nuances that you should definitely take into account.
All materials must be non-toxic and do not affect the chemical composition of the water. Such a background is installed in the aquarium before pouring water and should be well attached to the glass to avoid its falling or the penetration of the fish behind it.
Both types can be bought or made by hand.
For example, you can paint the back wall of the aquarium. This is not only the easiest, but also the cheapest way.
It is better to choose dark monochromatic colors, such as black, brown, blue, green. Paint can be taken oil or aerosol for the car body.
Pros: non-toxic because the painted surface does not come into contact with water.
Minuses: the background can be made only before installing the aquarium and then it can not be changed.
Making your own aquarium: ground, snags, accents
The sequence of actions in the design of the aquarium
Of course, the simplest thing here is to stick a dark-colored film with a low-key natural pattern on the back wall outside and plant tall plants in the background.
If the aquarium without plants, then often resort to using relief backgrounds, mounted inside the aquarium. This can be a ready-made background of polystyrene foam or fiberglass.
It has a drawback: if it is glued loosely and its edge somewhere moves away, fish and shrimps can get under it, and it can be difficult to get them out of there. Once I tried for several hours to pull or lure a freshwater stingray teenager from under such a background.
As a result, it was necessary to destroy, and then re-restore almost the entire aquarium decor and equipment.
Instead of a ready-made embossed background, you can stick yourself on the back wall with silicone stones of various shapes or ceramic tiles on the back wall. It will be beautiful, but it is a time consuming procedure, and such a background will heavily weight the aquarium and reduce its internal space.
As a rule, aquarists are very enthusiastic people who, for their silent pets, are ready to do anything, including creating an exclusive decorative design for a water house. Decorating an aquarium is a creative process, entirely dependent on the aesthetic taste of its owner, and each person is particularly proud if the unique decorations are made with their own hands.
Wanting to decorate your aquarium, creating a unique atmosphere in it, an aquarist can use individual elements and parts sold in stores, as well as natural items and materials. Scenery can be both the most simple and complex. For example, it can be models of ancient buildings of ancient times or knightly castles, a simple hill of neatly folded stones, or a fancy cave with several entrances.
It all depends on the person. Of course, these or other decorations must necessarily correspond to the character and habits of the aquarium inhabitants.
It is clear that ornamental fish do not care what this background will be like. However, for people the background that creates a water perspective or, for example, an imitation of rock, is a very attractive detail.
Properly and beautifully decorated back wall of the aquarium with proper illumination gives a three-dimensional view of the whole composition, emphasizes the characteristic features of the internal elements of the water world.
Some make the background absolutely black, seeking the visual depth of space and imitation of the ocean water environment. And someone makes a bright blue background, more like a lake illuminated by the sun.
How many people, so many options.
One of the options – painting the outer part of the back wall or drawing some patterns on it. But many create a similar background with a self-adhesive film, which comes in a variety of colors. For example, cast polyvinyl chloride film ORACAL allows you to make a background with any pattern.
It is only necessary to make a sketch, and the employees of the advertising firm will print the idea on film for a small fee.
The most important thing is to securely attach the finished film to the back wall of the aquarium. To do this, the glass surface should be carefully degreased, otherwise the film will quickly fall off. Then the defatted surface is moistened with clean water from a spray bottle and the film is applied evenly.
After that, carefully squeeze out from under her water and air bubbles with a special tool. However, for this you can use a regular plastic card.
Another way – creation of volumetric background using a sheet of foam. In principle, it will not be a background, but a screen, which can be removed at any time. Such a screen is made as follows: first you need to cut a sheet of foam to the size of the rear window, then lightly burn one side on the fire until bubbles appear, and then apply a thin layer of cement to the burned side.
After it dries, it turns out a relief gray surface resembling a section of rock. By attaching the decorated side of the foam to the glass with scotch tape, you can end up with a fancy background.
This material is present in almost every aquarium. The ease of use, ample opportunities for creating decorative figures – this is what makes it indispensable when designing the internal space.
Flat stones of rocks are well suited for the manufacture of hills, grottoes, caves. The same decorative structures made of smooth pebbles look very nice.
In this case, the stones should be glued to each other with special aquarium silicone.
Before placing stone elements in an aquarium, they, like wood, must always be prepared.
Stones are thoroughly cleaned of dirt and then boiled in water for at least 10 minutes.
Crafts from those stones that emit a lot of alkali should be avoided, as this drastically changes the chemical balance of water, which can lead to the creation of conditions unsuitable for pets.
By the way, it is very easy to check pebbles for alkalinity: it is enough to drop a few drops of vinegar on their surface. If sizzling bubbles appear, an alkaline reaction occurs.
Consequently, these stones contain limestone and cannot be used.
The same applies to shells and corals, which can be used when the inhabitants of the aquarium are some of the African cichlids living in natural conditions in weak alkaline water.
For all other cases, ideal rocks such as basalt, granite, sandstone, sea pebbles. You should only avoid decorating the interior with stones with sharp edges and edges.
If you carefully examine any rectangular aquarium, you can understand its simple design. In principle, this is an ordinary container made of pieces of glass. Make such a capacity is quite capable of a person who knows how to handle household tools.
There are, however, some rules and subtleties that need to be known before work begins.
Acquisition of a finished aquarium of almost any form does not pose a problem: in pet stores their choice is quite large. At the same time, there are quite a lot of aquarists who independently make containers for ornamental fish at home.
There are various reasons for this. For example, a fish owner lives in a rural area, and transporting a large glass structure from the nearest city pet store can be quite problematic.
Someone makes glued houses for aquatic life for sale. But most often the meaning of self-production of this item is the joy of creativity and the desire to save money the family budget.
Each aquarist chooses lamps to his own taste, but many craftsmen advise purchasing fluorescent lamps with a light transmission coefficient of at least 60 Ra. The presence of this technical indicator should be clarified in the store.
If desired, the outer part of the cover can be decorated to your taste with a self-adhesive film. The cover for the aquarium is ready.
Why do I need to make an aquarium myself, if it can be freely purchased at a pet store or in a bird market? Creative people can precisely answer this question, the pride of which are hand-made things.
In addition, the cash costs of self-manufacturing glass containers for fish is almost half the cost of the finished product.
Video with instructions on how to make an aquarium with your own hands:
Particular attention should be paid to the quality and thickness of glass. In working condition, the bottom and walls of the banks are under considerable water pressure.
Consequently, with increasing capacity, glass thickness should also increase.
For example, for a small aquarium with a length of 50 cm and a height of 30 cm, you should choose a glass with a thickness of at least 5 millimeters. And when you need to glue a large jar (1 m to 0.6 m, for example), you need a 10-mm glass.
If organic glass is chosen as the material for the walls, then the same calculations should be followed. However, master aquarists rarely work with Plexiglas, so it quickly becomes cloudy, and when cleaning the walls from algae visible scratches appear on it.
There is a requirement for the grade of glass. In our case, it is necessary to choose the material of the highest grade M1, without impurities and microscopic air bubbles inside.
Glass of this brand is usually used in shop windows.
When choosing the appropriate adhesive, preference is given to a special silicone sealant for aquariums. You need to make sure that it is harmless to living organisms. Save on silicone should not be.
Many aquarists recommend KNAUF 881 German sealant or Soudal Silirub Aquarium.
It is impossible to make a round aquarium on your own without special professional equipment, but almost every home artist can make a rectangular jar.
After careful measurement, glass for the bottom, front and back sides, end walls are cut out. The edges of the glass need not be ground to ensure better adhesion to the sealant.
It is recommended to plan in advance so that the bottom of the aquarium is inside the vertical walls. The fact is that silicone sealant works very well for stretching.
All the glass parts around the places where the gluing will be done are glued on both sides with strips of painting tape, the edge of which should retreat 5-6 mm from the edge of the wall or bottom.
It is necessary that the glass does not get dirty in the process of applying sealant. Future docking sites should be degreased with acetone or white spirit.
Around the perimeter of the bottom glass, you need to put a few drops of silicone, wait 2-3 hours and cut so that the frozen glue was 1-2 millimeters thick. The peculiar beacons that determine the thickness of the glue line are obtained.
It is very important that the glass parts do not touch each other in order to avoid breakage under the influence of load and lateral pressure.
Further gluing is performed on a hard surface covered with polyethylene. The front wall is attached and glued.
So that it does not collapse, you need to put props on both sides.
Silicone is extruded evenly to the seam turned out the same thickness. Then end glass is attached and sealed. In relation to the front wall, it must be fixed with masking tape.
In the same way glued second end glass and rear wall. Remains of excess sealant gently cleaned with a sponge or a damp cloth.
After about 2 hours, it is recommended to put another layer of silicone on the joints to ensure the safety margin. An hour later, the masking tape can be removed, and then the seams should be carefully cleaned with a razor blade.
Before you continue reading, watch the video tutorial, where the ways of gluing aquarium glasses are detailed:
The device of stiffeners will also be useful. They are made of strips of the same glass with a width of 6-10 centimeters and are glued in the upper part of the vertical walls.
The ribs, which should be 4-6 cm shorter than the length of each wall, provide uniform pressure of water on the entire surface. This measure is particularly relevant for large tanks.
After a day you can experience glued can under load. If there are no leaks, then the aquarium is ready.
By this principle, you can glue an aquarium of increased volume. Naturally, this will require thicker glass, stiffeners at the top and bottom, as well as a system for fixing vertical walls when gluing with, for example, corner clamps.
The material for this important element can serve as plexiglass, simple silicate glass, plastic. It all depends on the size of the tank.
With the advent of new building materials, home craftsmen began to abandon heavy Plexiglas and began to use foamed polyvinyl chloride to create an aquarium cover, or more simply PVC panels.
An interesting way to fasten the sides to the top of the can was invented by craftsmen: using PVC cable channel.
On both sides of the cable channel has grooves, which are inserted into the walls of the aquarium, and segments of the bead, so it should immediately be chosen under the appropriate thickness of glass. All joints should be smeared with silicone.
Hinges are attached to the tailgate to lift the lid. They can either be glued or bolted together.
In the plastic surface of the roof is a square slot for its capture and lifting. Fish feed is also fed through this hole.
If the plastic bends, then from the inside along the entire length it should be reinforced with a light aluminum corner. This corner will be at the same time fastening for lamps.
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.
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.
Procurement of parts. Chipboard panel for details can be sawed by yourself, but it is better to contact the nearest woodworking workshop or furniture workshop.
There, for a small fee, the professionals will not only cut the slab, but also make the PVC edge in the places of the cut.
Assembly You can start by installing the walls (rear and side) on the base. First, it is recommended to connect the vertical walls to each other with the help of side clamps and precisely align all angles and design dimensions.
As they say, measure seven times – cut once.
To fix the walls Recommended with the help of confirmatics – Evrovinta-tie. Similarly, these are used to assemble furniture. The main feature: for the use of confirmatics in details it is required to make holes with a diameter of 1 mm smaller than the diameter of the confirmatm thread.
The depth of the hole should be slightly less than the length of the euro screw. The coupler is made using a screwdriver.
First, the box is assembled, and then the inner walls and shelves are installed according to the project.
Countertop Mounting – a very crucial moment of assembly. When it is attached to the finished structure, it has nothing to fix so that when drilling holes for confirmatics it does not move.
Here the main thing is not to hurry. It is necessary to carefully and accurately first drill 2 through holes along the diagonal of the structure, pull off the tabletop and make measurements.
Doors – a necessary element of the aquarium cabinets. They are best hung using standard laid on furniture loops with the closer.
Such loops are usually used in the manufacture of inexpensive home furniture. At first, the place of installation of the loops on the side walls is precisely measured with a pencil, and then the cups under the bases of the loops are cut with a special round cutter. After their installation, the doors are attached, on the inner surface of which the fixing points of the hinge screws are marked.
The doors are carefully hung, and then with the help of adjusting screws the finishing is done.
Technological holes. After assembling the structure, including the internal shelves, in the rear wall with a round cutter cut openings for equipment hoses and wires.
In principle, this can be done at the stage of cutting the wood board, but if changes are made to the structure during the assembly process, it is better to drill the holes at the end of the work.
Base cabinets. Ready heavy construction should stand on legs. Such legs made of thick aluminum can be picked up and purchased at furniture fittings stores.
The bollard is carefully laid on its side and the legs are screwed strictly under the vertical surfaces. This is very important for the proper distribution of the total load.
Installation. Finished cupboard neatly installed in its place.
It is selected based on the interior design of the room space. But it is also necessary to take into account the presence of nearby domestic outlets of the internal power grid.
It is not recommended to install the cabinet and aquarium near the windows, room and balcony doors.
Worktop Protection. The final touch: the coating on the tabletop, without which it is not recommended to place an aquarium.
For example, a segment of the substrate for a laminate is well suited as such a hard and durable coating.
Similarly, you can make your own cabinet almost any size.
Preparatory work (the purchase of materials, design and cutting of parts) can take quite a lot of time, but the house master can assemble the assembly in several hours. The price of a do-it-yourself cabinet will, of course, be much lower than the cost of products sold in stores.
But if there is even the slightest doubt in his artisan abilities, then it is better not to waste time and nerves, but to get a ready-made sample.
Useful video, how to make a cabinet for an aquarium with your own hands: