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What soil is needed for an aquarium

maintenance, care, compatibility

Which soil is better for an aquarium? Aquariums large and small: clearance

What is the best soil for the aquarium – the first question a person starting to breed fish

Very often at the initial stage of arranging the “home for fish” the question arises: which soil is better for an aquarium? Although later it loses its relevance and ceases to be actively discussed.

However, at the end of the time, mistakes made at the beginning make themselves felt, and as a result large-scale corrections begin.

The main purpose of this article will be the nuances of selection, preparation and placement of soil filler. In addition, the important circumstances in this matter are the decoration and cleaning of the bottom of the aquarium.

Initially, it is worth noting that the black soil for the aquarium is the most important part of its configuration. Together with elements such as the background, lighting and additional decorative components, it gives a noticeable uniqueness to the placement.

At the same time, being a substrate, the soil provides conditions for the existence of a whole complex of microorganisms and plants.

At the same time, the aquarium nutrient primer works as a primitive filtering mechanism. It accumulates microscopic suspensions that pollute the water, which significantly expands its functions.

Before buying the above-mentioned filler, it is necessary to determine the objectives, as well as the general vision of the “underwater kingdom”. In addition, you need to navigate the key aspects of the choice.

If there is an aquarium of 200 liters, then before laying the ground it is necessary to prepare its bottom. This is especially true of the aquarium soil, which is collected “on the street.”

Mandatory washing and boiling are the main procedures that prevent infection.

Shopping purchase to boil is not necessary, but it needs to be washed and pour boiling water. It eliminates the use of soap or other cleaning products, since subsequently it will be very difficult to wash the chemical impurities out of the soil.

At the very least, it will take a lot of time and effort that you can use for other efficiencies.

These procedures are fundamental. If you have properly processed and prepared the ground for the aquarium, the price for it, even if it was substantial, will not be of particular importance to you later.

It should be noted that it is not necessary to wait for the complete drying of the future “stone bottom”, since the wet state is natural for it.

If you follow the recommendations of experienced aquarists, the soil should be laid in three layers. Moreover, the content and nature of the placement should correspond to a specific sequence.

The bottom layer should consist of gravel, which is enriched with laterite iron or clay. Its thickness should be from 3 to 5 cm and include balls with fertilizer.

In addition, there may be a mixture of trace elements that do not contain phosphates and nitrites, which are so destructive for plants and fish.

It is desirable to focus on the iron in the soil mixture, which is present in chelated form. Otherwise, it will simply not be available for food representatives of flora and fauna.

In addition, ferrous sulphate, usually used for feeding garden bushes, will not work, since it will significantly reduce the acidity of water.

If heating cables are used, they are also laid in this layer. They should not be located directly on the bottom, because uneven heating leads to cracking of the glass, and the house aquarium can quickly deteriorate.

In addition, sand and clay in this case will be inappropriate – they will also be heated unevenly.

The middle layer should contain land with admixtures of peat, constituting 15-25% of the total volume of bottom soil. Its thickness can be no more than 2-3 cm, since an overabundance of soil enriched with peat can provoke the process of decay.

If in the ground there is a large amount of organic matter, then it can be supplemented with sand.

In addition to everything, the middle layer can be filled with microelements and clay balls. However, for this you need to conduct thorough training of peat and earth.

Strictly speaking, such a rule holds for each layer.

The top layer should be of fine gravel mixed with sand. About 5 cm of this soil prevents the turbidity of water due to peat contact with the ground.

It is here that used stones for the aquarium, which can be purchased at the same pet store.

If in the aquarium there are snails or fish digging in the ground, then you need to grow plants in pots or increase the thickness of the upper layer. This will prevent significant damage to their root systems.

It should be noted that usually the soil in the aquarium is uneven. Although it can be distributed in such a way that it will look like a slide that rises towards the back wall.

This option of laying the bottom can visually give the aquarium a volume and a more spectacular appearance.

Most novice aquarists lay out various patterns from the ground. Since they are gradually moved by the action of water, these compositions are short-lived.

Of course, this is not so scary, but the overall appearance of the aquarium can still deteriorate.

The final procedures that will make the aquarium 200 liters perfect will be the installation of the decor, pouring water and planting plants. This should be taken care of in advance, so as not to “slow down” the overall process of arrangement.

For modern aquaria one laying of the soil will not be enough. After all, only a professionally designed aquarium will be able to harmoniously fit into the interior and delight its observers indefinitely.

Therefore, the more responsible the approach to decorating it, the more it will be able to bring joy to others.

As mentioned above, for a full “entry” into the interior of a room, you need to choose not only the soil, but also the background with the elements of decor.

The role of the scenery is no less important than the representatives of flora and fauna that fill the aquarium. If the answer to the question, which soil is better for an aquarium, has already been registered before, then you need to talk about the design in more detail.

Everything is explained by the fact that the decor will be able to mask the equipment installed inside the aquarium.

Soil for the aquarium – an indispensable foundation for aquascape and biological balance. It has not only a decorative function, but also provides the soil for plants, is a biological filter that can not be replaced with something else. In a newly launched tank, aquarium soil is a breeding ground for beneficial single-celled microorganisms.

For this reason, the choice of soil for aquariums plays an important role for the harmonious functioning of all aquatic aquatic organisms.

The soil is improving the root system of plants, from it they absorb nutrients. In plants with a developed root system, there are large demands on the quality of the soil.

Aquarium primers also support organic water characteristics, for example, aquarium soil with limestone affects the hardness indicators of the aquatic environment.


Various materials can be used as primers for aquariums. A significant role is played by which substrate is suitable for plants and fish. Decorative mounds and pumps are easily made from gravel.

If you are seriously engaged in growing aquarium seedlings, first of all, you need to take care of the quality of the substrate. The size of the gravel particles should not exceed 5 mm. Do not sprinkle fine sand on the bottom of the tank, which quickly deteriorates.

Make sure that the soil does not change the organic parameters of the water, it is natural, without dyes. If you need to increase the pH and hardness, lay on the bottom of the soil for aquarium with shell or marble chips.

Regardless of whether your soil is purchased or extracted from the natural environment, it must be processed. If you have purchased sand, it should be sifted through a sieve to remove small stones and other particles. Pebbles also had to be moved so that the entire substrate consisted of identical particles.

If you buy quality soil, then the cleaning procedure is not necessary.

New soil should be washed under running water. It is poured into a large container, poured with water, stirred, then the water must be drained. It is necessary to rinse until the pollution is removed, it will take 10-15 minutes by the time.

Apart from this method, you can put the primer in the oven for 10 minutes, and there it will heat up to the temperature that it will disinfect from parasites.

See tips on how to choose a primer for an aquarium.

How to choose a material for the soil substrate? All materials of which the ground for the aquarium is made can be clean or with admixtures of additives.

Peat can be added to the sand or gravel, which improves the nutritional properties of the soil. Peat perfectly holds elements such as anions and cations, pure gravel does not have this ability.

Sand and gravel as grounds for aquariums is a natural substrate that is also suitable for plants. The amount of fine gravel is from 2 to 5 mm, it has a low ability to retain nutrients.

Good gravel secures the rhizomes of plants, put on peat. Fine sand does not contain nutrients, absorbs them poorly, breaks gas exchange. It is better to use sand with other substrates (cake, rakushnyak, clay).

If a bottom filter is installed in the tank, fine sand will clog the equipment with dirt particles. It is better to use coarse river sand purchased from a reputable manufacturer.

Do not choose sand saturated colors – yellow and red. This substrate contains a large amount of iron, which is harmful to fish.

Aquarium clay soil – clay contains inorganic components, such as iron silicates and iron oxides. Some types of clay may have other components – copper, manganese, zinc, aluminum.

They are required for plants, but in high concentrations have toxic properties. A special property of clay is that it attracts positively charged ions of metals and salts.

It also serves as an excellent fertilizer for vegetation.


Laterite is a tropical red earth consisting of iron dioxide. Laterite can be used as a bottom layer for soil.

It has a good ability to absorb nutrients.

Garden soil as soil for aquariums – garden soil contains many impurities. There is no guarantee that the land will be clean.

In the land of a large number of fertilizers, parasite cysts. It is saturated with nutrients, due to which the glass tank will quickly fill with algae.

The land used for pot plants has a lot of organic matter and peat, it can be mixed with gravel and sand as an additive.

Peat – needed to soften the water. It consists of a mixture of organic minerals that are in a rotten state. Peat is added to aquariums, where plants and fish need humic acids.

In small concentrations, boiled peat is practically harmless.

Artificial plastic granules – a new type of soil that can satisfy many aquarists. The granules are of different shades, but the rich color may be too contrasted against the background of the underwater aquascape. Remember that the substrate must be chosen closer to the natural color: gray, black, red-brown, white.

Fish with bright body color will look great on this background.

See how to care for quartz sand in an aquarium.

Grounds for aquariums should be laid in three layers:

  1. The bottom of the aquarium is lined with laterite or clay mixed with gravel (the thickness of the lower layer is from 3 to 5 cm). You can add clay balls to the laterite, which will provide nourishment for new, non-adapted plants. Cables for heating the bottom should be laid in a glass tank so that the glass is not injured. Do not lay the heating cable in a shallow clay or sand substrate to prevent overheating.
  2. The middle layer should be slightly thinner – 3 centimeters, the substrate – sand or gravel, which can be mixed with a small amount of boiled peat. The thickness of the middle layer is recommended to put balls of clay.
  3. The surface of the ball is lined with fine gravel mixed with sand, which prevents water turbidity. On the top layer you can put decorative stones or corals, shells (if necessary). If there are pets in the aquarium digging the ground (catfish, cichlids, snails), then the top layer should be an order of magnitude thicker (5 cm), or the soil should be planted in pots along with broadleaf plants.

Characteristics of the soil play an important role in the life of aquarium fish and even more plants. Soil for plants is generally a separate topic for conversation.

This article is devoted to general recommendations for a beginner aquarist when choosing a soil.

Choosing a primer, you must first make a start from what kind of fish you have.

As a general rule, the smaller the fish, the smaller the soil. The same with plants, the weaker the root system of plants is, the shorter the soil should be.

Consider the features of your fish. For example, Goldfish love to dig in the ground, so as not to allow it to buy a soil of such a size that they could not dig.

Or, for example, some cichlids need large flat pebbles or other flat stones, because It is these small fish that are used for spawning, cleaning them they lay their eggs on them.

In pet stores now you can buy soil of all sizes and shapes, in any color. I think the sellers of stores will tell you that before filling into the aquarium, the soil should be washed, and it is better to scald with boiling water. I also wanted to draw attention to the fact that if you are going to make paths from the multi-colored soil at the bottom of the aquarium, suns and other drawings, like in pet shops.

So they will soon be washed and mixed. Therefore, it is better to choose a soil of uniform color and not to suffer.

Soil is cleaned as it is contaminated with special equipment for the aquarium or manually.

See also:

ATTACK IN AQUARIUM. Flying on the walls of the aquarium and the stones: Green deposits in the aquarium, white deposits in the aquarium, mucus in the aquarium.
CHANGE OF WATER IN THE AQUARIUM! WHAT WATER IS NEEDED FOR THE AQUARIUM? How much water should be defended for the aquarium?
Category: Aquarium Articles / EQUIPMENT AND FACILITY AQUARIUM | Views: | 7 327 | Date: 03/05/2013, 09:43 | Comments (0) We also recommend reading:

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What soil to use for the aquarium :: artificial soil for the aquarium :: Aquarium fish

The soil gives the aquarium a natural reservoir. It creates a color background for fish and plants, emphasizes their unique features. In addition to decorative qualities, the soil performs the functions of maintaining biological balance in an aquarium, determines the properties and composition of water.

In it there are important processes for recycling waste: fish excrement, uneaten food residue, dead plant leaves. In the soil there are bacteria that provide biological cleaning and decomposition of organic matter.

The question “opened a pet store. Business is not going. What to do? “- 2 answers

1. It is possible to find soil for an aquarium in the beds of streams and rivers, but this is a very tedious task. In addition, it needs to be processed for a long time, and therefore it will be easier and more convenient to buy it. Before acquiring the soil you need to find out its origin, as well as chemical composition.

If it is limestone, it will release carbonates into the water of the aquarium, which increases its hardness. Not all plants and fish are able to exist in hard water.

To check the soil for carbonates, you can pour a few drops of vinegar on it. The release of gas bubbles will speak about the presence of carbonates.

2. Grounds for the aquarium can be divided into 3 groups according to their origin: artificial grounds; natural pebbles, sand, gravel and gravel; Soils that are obtained by chemical or mechanical processing of natural materials.

3. Coarse sand is perfect for aquariums that contain plants with a weak root system and small digging fishes. In those aquariums, where there are plants with a strong root system and large fish that dig up the soil, pebbles are better suited as the latter.

As for artificial soil: it can be plastic or glass balls.

4. Artificial (glass and plastic) soil is completely harmless. It does not release into the water substances that are harmful to fish. However, it can only be used in aquariums with artificial plants or if live plants grow in pots.

In addition, we must remember that this soil is not suitable for keeping burrowing fish.

5. It is believed that the soil for the aquarium must necessarily be dark tones, in any case not colored. Of course, on the background of dark soil the fish will look brighter, and the green of the plants will look more impressive.

But what if the aquarium is equipped as a pseudorif? In this case, the view of the dark ground on the background of corals will be completely inappropriate.

If you like colored or light soil – feel free to buy.

6. The optimum size of soil particles is 2-8 mm. It may be a little more, as long as all the particles are approximately the same size and mostly rounded.

Also, the ground must be porous. The ingress of small particles between large ones will make it difficult for the water to circulate in the ground, it will begin stagnant processes that can cause rotting of the roots of plants, as well as damage to water.

7. Regardless of whether you acquire the soil or extract it yourself, it needs to be processed. If sand is used as a primer, it should be sifted through a sieve, removing smaller particles.

It is undesirable to use reddish sand, as it contains a lot of iron, which is harmful for some fish. Pebbles also need to sort out to its particles were approximately the same size.

8. Now you need to rinse the primer. To do this, place it in some container and fill it with water, then mix, and drain the water. Repeat this procedure until the drained water is completely transparent.

After rinsing, disinfect the soil by boiling it for 15–20 minutes or by burning it on a baking sheet in the oven.

Aquarium navigator for beginners, Issue # 1: Basics of Aquaristics

As a shrimp (shrimp), a rectangular or cubic shaped container is preferred, while not too high, since shrimps usually crawl on or near the bottom. The volume of water can be from 5 liters (for 10 individuals of dwarf undemanding species).

However, the care of an aquarium of such a small size can only be done by experienced craftsmen.

Most often, shrimp is contained in cubes – produced by well-known manufacturers of aquariums of cubic shape with a capacity of 20 or 30 liters (the most popular ones are Aquael Shrimp Set and Dennerle Nano Cube).

For beginners who decide to start their way in the aquarium with crustaceans, it is better to purchase a jar of larger volume – 40 or 50 liters, in which it is much easier than in the nanocube to create a stable environment that is so necessary for shrimps.

For reproduction of demanding species (eg, crystals) also requires a capacity of 50 liters.

The shrimp should be tightly closed with a lid or cover glass, and the holes for the wires are plugged with sponges: shrimps are quite capable of escaping from it, especially if the conditions are imperfect.

What to prefer: a separate shrimp or mixed aquarium?

As the soil in the shrimp is suitable small basalt or quartz gravel (fraction 2-4 mm). There are specialized soils for shrimp, for example, Fluval Shrimp Stratum, they can have an additional effect on the composition of the water, in particular, to reduce its hardness.

If enriched soils for herbalists (type ADA) are used, which require frequent massive water changes at the initial stage, it is better not to put shrimps in this period in the aquarium. But then, when the balance is established, these soils show themselves very well and even serve as a feed for newborns shrimp.

Some experts recommend putting a layer of aquarium activated carbon under the nutrient soil. It will absorb heavy metals, which may be in the water, and excess organics, and will also become a substrate for nitrifying bacteria.

It is believed that the soil is preferred dark, because many types of shrimp are capable of mimicry (color change depending on the tone of the environment) and on dark soil look brighter.

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