maintenance, care, compatibility
It would seem that the occupation of aquarism is not difficult. But as a rule, people who have not tried themselves in this role think so.
So, even beginners understand that the comfort and well-being of the inhabitants of an artificial reservoir depends on a huge number of various factors, such as the quality of the aquatic environment, the presence of aeration, and regular water changes. But, even fulfilling all these simple requirements, it is possible at one moment to notice a significant decrease in the population of aquatic inhabitants.
It would seem that everything is done correctly, but the situation is not improving. And here, at the time, it’s already an end to your dream of creating an incredibly beautiful underwater world in your room, if not for a small hint left by experienced aquarists.
So, in order to avoid such negative moments, you need to pay special attention to the design of the vessel, and how to arrange the aquarium correctly will be described in detail in today’s article.
First of all, thinking about the occupation of aquarists, the first thing that occurs in the head is, of course, the vessel. But it is worth emphasizing that this very idea is already erroneous, since aquarism is not an ordinary content of fish in some confined space, but a whole world with its own customs and rules.
So, before you think about purchasing an artificial reservoir, you need to visually present your future aquarium. Making the same can not be imagined without such important elements as:
- decorative items;
Also a special place in the above list is, of course, aquarium fish. So, it is very important before their acquisition to determine their internal preferences about their appearance and character.
And based on this, make their purchase.
Remember that each fish is an individuality, therefore, it is necessary to take this into account when forming the design of an artificial reservoir. So, as a negative example, we can cite one case where inexperienced aquarists acquired African cichlids living in reservoirs with rocky shores and running into an artificial reservoir with a huge amount of vegetation, which is totally unacceptable for representatives of this species.
Such a dramatic change in natural conditions can cause not only serious stress in the fish, but also lead to more serious consequences.
Like every room, the design of an artificial reservoir also has its own design. But today there are some styles, following which you can easily choose the design of the vessel, even for those who have just recently started to engage in aquarism. So, aquariums are:
- Biotope. As a rule, such artificial reservoirs are decorated under a specific landscape of a river or reservoir, repeating their natural conditions.
- Dutch. Such vessels are distinguished by the fact that the main emphasis in them is placed on vegetation.
- Geographical. As you can already guess from the name, such vessels are made for a specific geographic region.
- Household or thematic. Most often, such aquariums are designed as the imagination of their owner allows.
- Futuristic. Such artificial reservoirs, photos of which can be seen below, became fashionable relatively recently. So they stand out from the rest by the fact that everything glows and phosphoresces in them. Such a vessel is especially beautiful in the evening.
Also, the antique style proved to be very good, where small ceramic copies of various statues, monuments, amphoras or castles of those times can be used as decorative elements. But It is worth noting that ceramics should be cleaned regularly, since, in its absence, it can begin to emit substances hazardous to aquatic creatures that seriously affect their future livelihoods.
In addition, some aquarists make an aquarium-treasure chest from their artificial pond, placing a sunken ship and some chests and coins at the bottom.
As a rule, the design of the aquarium begins with the background. Thus, the creation of a unique rear wall of an artificial reservoir will not only be a wonderful decoration for its owner, but will also be appreciated by the inhabitants of the depths.
The simplest design is to create the background of the back wall with the help of purchased films attached to the back wall. But It is worth noting that such a design is not always justified in view of its artificiality.
Creating a backdrop with your own hands and connecting your imagination is considered to be a more laborious but effective way. So, the first thing you need to stick it with a film of dark or blue hue, which not only gives the aquarium depth, but also contrast.
Also as auxiliary elements for creating a unique picture, you can use both a stone and a plant, thus creating various cozy caves or small shelters for the fish.
Creating a design of an artificial reservoir using stones, as shown in the photo, is quite common. So, they not only look quite stylish, but can also serve as a place for their leisure time and spawning for fish. Ideal for decorating an aquarium:
It is also worth noting that limestone and dolomite should be used for example for artificial reservoirs with hard water. In addition, it must be remembered that all sufficiently large structures must be placed on the bottom, with plastic being placed under them, until the ground is filled up.
As for the koryag, their presence in the aquarium will give it a unique appearance. They are also not only a favorite place to hide fish, but also a great place to create great design solutions by attaching moss to them. It is worth noting that before lowering the driftwood, found, for example, in the forest, they must be pretreated to reduce their buoyancy.
So, for this snag should be put in an enamel container and sprinkle it with salt. It is necessary to pour until the salt visually ceases to dissolve.
After this, we boil for an hour and wash off the salt residues. Further, all that remains is to put it in clean water for several hours, so that after this time it has been transferred to an artificial reservoir.
One of the important aspects of the design of an artificial reservoir include the selection and placement of soil. So, it is recommended to fill it up after placing in the aquarium serious and massive structures. In addition, it is also desirable to pre-position heaters or bottom filters in the aquarium.
Also in those areas where the placement of vegetation is planned it is strongly recommended to fill in the nutrient substrate.
The ideal soil thickness is from 40-50 mm near the front wall and 60-70 mm near the back. It is also worth noting that in case of unsatisfactory containment of the soil of vegetation or decorative elements, it is best to evenly distribute it throughout the vessel.
In addition, if the creation of terraces is planned, they are easily obtained with a high relief of the soil.
When planning the placement of vegetation in an aquarium, it is necessary to take into account that its choice directly depends not only on the subject of the artificial reservoir, but also on the personal experience of the aquarist. So, for example, beginners are strongly recommended to start with unpretentious and hardy plants that differ in height.
So, higher, placed near the rear wall, and less high – closer to the front. It is also desirable to avoid symmetry.
For example, several tall plants surrounded by stones look very original, as can be seen in the photo below.
It is also very important after the planting is completed, do not forget about their further spraying. This is necessary in order. to avoid algae. In addition, as soon as all the decorative elements used in a particular vessel are installed in place, the algae can be glued with oilcloth.
This will protect them from the effects of water flows.
It is necessary to add water without haste and using a watering can or a small dipper for this purpose. As soon as the level of the aquatic environment exceeds 150 mm. You can slightly increase the speed of flooding the tank with water.
It is recommended to clean the oilcloth after the aquarium is completely full.
Experienced aquarists recommend carefully selecting the location of the plants in the vessel. So, first of all it is necessary to take into account the design of the room so that the interior of the aquarium does not stand out from it, but harmoniously complements it.
As a rule, the ideal solution would be to place an artificial reservoir near the empty corner or in the center of the room.
And finally, I would like to note that when planning the design of your artificial reservoir, you should remember that nature does not have symmetry. Therefore, it is possible and even necessary to place decorative elements in a chaotic manner, but in no case do not need to overdo it and leave too little space for the true decoration of any aquarium, namely its inhabitants.
The fascinating beauty of the water depths has always attracted humanity to itself. Amazing landscapes, unusual inhabitants and plants, seen once, forever remained in the memory of man.
Therefore, it is not surprising that most people want to create a small part of this natural miracle in their premises.
And having made a long-awaited purchase of an aquarium, all that remains is to turn on your imagination to its full capacity and fully surrender to the creative process. Indeed, there is little in the world that can be compared with that sense of pride in the whimsical and unique decorations created inside such an artificial reservoir with such diligence and tenderness. But sometimes there are situations when novice aquarists do not know how to decorate an aquarium at home.
Therefore, in today’s article we will consider all the decoration options that allow you to create a unique atmosphere inside an artificial reservoir.
Before you start decorating an aquarium, you should familiarize yourself with some of the rules for its design. So, they include:
- Creating an environment in the aquarium that will be as close as possible to the natural habitat of the inhabitants living in it. So, it is recommended in most cases to stop your choice on the decor having a natural origin.
- Avoid excessive building up of the free area of the aquarium. This will not only make the reservoir artificially bulky, but also greatly hamper its inhabitants. Remember that the aquarium in the first place is not a decoration of the room, and home to living beings.
- Create a variety of shelters or caves. Also a good option would be to build a labyrinth for small aquarium fish.
- The use of decorative ornaments only in the case of special needs.
It is also worth emphasizing that decorations can be both very simple and complex. For example, you can buy a real antique castle or a plain hill made of small pebbles.
But there are things without which the design of any aquarium is impossible. Let’s talk about them in more detail.
A special place in the design of aquariums is the decor of its rear wall. And this is not at all surprising, given that the main task of the artificial reservoir is precisely to decorate the room in which it is located. But before starting work it is necessary to take into account one important point, namely the place of its placement.
For example, if the vessel is on the windowsill, decorating the back side, you can create difficulties for the penetration of sunlight into the aquarium. But for artificial reservoirs placed near the wall, such a design suggests itself.
To make the design of the aquarium with your own hands, you need to know some rules for the placement of parts.
- Avoid symmetry – it gives an aquascape too structured and tidy. There are no symmetrical forms in the natural environment, and you must imitate the environment. There are even algal growths and some dirt on natural rocks and vegetation. Asymmetric shapes are the key to creating beautiful designs.
- The focus should not be focused in the middle of the aquarium, but slightly away from its center. Using the golden section (a coefficient that has long been accepted as mathematically aesthetic), the optimal coordination center should be about 1: 1.62 the length of the aquarium.
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.
No matter how much you want to decorate your aquarium with various crafts, do not overly clutter up the interior space. It must be remembered that its inhabitants need more space for swimming.
It is recommended to place home-made decorations in the background or on the sides, since the basis of any aquarium is its inhabitants, not crafts. In addition, such an arrangement will help to hide technical devices from the eyes to ensure the vital activity of the fish (filter, aerator, thermometer).
In the central part of the aquarium composition it is desirable to leave only low decorative elements.
In pet stores you can easily buy almost everything you need to design a house for fish. But only well-hand-made decorations can serve as the object of pride of any aquarist and give the internal space a unique look and beauty.
Newbies in the aquarium business often make many mistakes, one of which is the neglect of the compatibility of ornamental fish and aquarium plants. The consequences of this do not take long to wait: the vegetation dies, decaying organic matter negatively affects the health of living creatures, the water becomes cloudy, the interior decor degrades … aquarium.
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.
They relate mainly to the problems of breeding offspring. Making your own tsikhlidnik, it is strongly recommended to take into account this period of life of the fish.
A few examples. Angelfish lay their eggs on the leaves of underwater plants.
Therefore, in the case of the South American cichlid, it would be appropriate to plant cryptocorynes or echinodoruses that have hard, large leaves.
The vast majority of African Cichlidae spawn either in the ground or on flat stones. This means that such stones should be placed in their habitat zone.
Thus, when equipping a specialized aquarium, it is necessary to know the features of spawning of one or another type of cichlids and to provide a place for breeding and subsequent growth of offspring.
These tips on creating a tsikhlidnika can be useful for novice aquarists. Of course, the practice of maintaining such unique aquariums allows you to identify other important features, and the design of the internal space depends entirely on the imagination and aesthetic taste of the aqua designer.
It is important to remember that cichlids are rather capricious fish that require special attention!
The following rule: do not need to clutter up the internal volume. Representatives Cichl need a place for free movement.
Consequently, if vegetation is still planted, then it should be placed in small groups and play its role in the zoning of space or be near the back wall.
Elements of the interior decor – artificial caves and grottoes, snags and trimming pipes – do not need to be placed above the average level, and they must be placed as far as possible from each other (as far as the bottom area allows).
The material for creating caves and grottoes can serve as flat stones, large pebbles. Large sinks fit perfectly.
Do-it-yourself grotto: some interesting and simple ideas
Anyone, even a beginner aquarist, knows how important the scenery is for an aquarium. They not only make it more aesthetic and harmonious, but also are actively used by the inhabitants for games and recreation. In specialized stores of similar equipment – the mountains.
However, they do not always correspond to the design idea, they are quite expensive, and sometimes they also raise doubts with their safety: the dominance of Chinese handicrafts cannot guarantee non-toxicity of materials and processing sufficient to prevent pets from being hurt. Therefore, literate people prefer to make a grotto for the aquarium with their own hands.
In this case, it will exactly fit into the underwater landscape and will be absolutely safe for fish.
In some cases, a grotto for an aquarium with your own hands is needed immediately: for example, you were presented with beginners, and the “pool” for them turned out to be cramped. In anticipation of improving their living conditions, fish can kill each other.
Save the situation can house “fast”.
A glass bottle of the desired size is taken (for example, from under a ketchup), washed, boiled and dried. Dry aquarium sand crumbles on the newspaper, the container is covered with silicone and rolled around in the ground. In an hour, when the silicone grasps firmly enough, the pebbles and pebbles glue along the stuck sand.
They add aesthetics and give the bottle stability. A similar grotto for an aquarium should dry up overnight so that the silicone will find its ultimate strength.
In the morning it can be placed in the reservoir to the fighters.