maintenance, care, compatibility
And let’s discuss with you such an important question as the arrangement of the aquarium bottom.
Such a question arises only at the initial stage of arrangement of the aquarium world – with the purchase of an aquarium. In the future, this topic becomes irrelevant and falls.
But, often, at the beginning of time, mistakes made at the very beginning make themselves felt, as a result of which everything has to be corrected.
The purpose of this article will be to draw the reader’s attention to the main accents and nuances of the selection, acquisition, preparation and placement of aquarium soil, as well as decorating the bottom of the underwater world.
CHOICE OF AQUARIUM GROUND
Both the foundation for the house and the aquarium soil play a crucial role in the life of the aquarium!
Novice aquarists very often pay attention only to the decorative properties of the soil and miss its most important function. Aquarian soil is a unique biological filter, powerful and irreplaceable by nothing else.
The fact is that after the launch of the aquarium in the ground colonies of beneficial bacteria settle, which process the waste products (hereinafter – PJ) of hydrobionts (hydrobionts – marine and freshwater organisms constantly living in the aquatic environment) into harmless substances. This process is also called the ammonia cycle – the cycle of transition of PJ into ammonia and then to its decomposition products – nitrites, nitrates.
In addition to biological filtration, the soil performs mechanical filtration. In addition, the soil is a substrate for rooting and feeding plants through the root system, the place of life of many microorganisms and some fish.
The soil is even able to change the parameters of water in the right direction. That is why the choice of aquarium soil is of paramount importance!
Quality, properly selected soil – is the key to a long and successful life of the aquarium!
Now imagine this situation. A novice, following stereotypes, takes a white, dyed, coarse-grained soil and puts it into the aquarium a couple of centimeters thick.
Scatters seashells from above for beauty. What problems?
Everyone has their own tastes and preferences. We do not in any way impose our position, but here are just some of the disadvantages of this situation:
1. Painted soil is not a porous material, that is, it has a minimum amount of usable area for colonization of beneficial bacteria. As a result, minimization of biological filtration in the soil and the accumulation of PJ in water.
2. The soil is laid in a thin layer, which also reduces its effectiveness.
3. Everyone knows that white color is very easily soiled. Over time, your ground will become light coffee, and if there is a surplus of algae in the aquarium, then green shades on the ground are not excluded. In addition, many drugs for the treatment of fish are synthetic dyes – methylene blue, malachite green.
After applying them, the white primer is painted in the appropriate color. That is, the original aesthetic goal pursued by an aquarist is lost.
4. White painted primer is neutral in most cases, which is not the case for shells laid for beauty. They increase the hardness of the water, and this quality badly affects the life of aquarium plants and “soft-water” aquarium fish.
5. If the white soil is of natural origin, then, as a rule, it is rounded marble, and marble comes from limestone, which is perfectly soluble with organic acids, thereby increasing the rigidity of the aquarium water. Therefore, this soil can only be used for “hard water” fish.
So, from the above, a novice aquarist needs to draw the following conclusions:
– carefully, to the smallest detail, think about how you want to see your aquarium,
– collect and analyze information on hydrobionts that you plan to inhabit,
– think carefully design.
And only after that, proceed to the selection and purchase of soil under the relevant requests. The benefit of the aquarium market now offers a wide range.
The key to a successful selection of aquarium soil and arrangement of the bottom of the aquarium is a clear view of the goals, objectives of the aquarium, as well as a common vision of the underwater kingdom.
In order to navigate, answer the following questions:
– Who will live in the aquarium, what fish, what crustaceans?
– Will there be live plants in your tank?
– What color range will your aquarium (lighting, background, general decor)?
– In the end, calculate the amount of aquarium soil needed for the entire aquarium sanding?
Answers to these questions will help you make the right choice.
Selection of ground flooring for aquarium fish
It should be understood that aquarium soil for fish and for living plants are two different things. But, since most of the aquariums are being set up specifically for fish, apart from the “Dutch aquarium”, we will begin with them.
Choosing aquarium soil for fish, you must take into account their characteristics and habits. Here in this small article is a couple of examples of the relationship of Goldfish and Cichlids to aquarium soil. GROUND IN THE AQUARIUM: what kind of soil is better for an aquarium!
In general, it can be said that small fish can be laid fine-grained soil, and large large or mixed. But there are exceptions. For example, the aforementioned goldfish, even in the period of “youth” – when they are small, they dig very much and dig at the bottom.
And if they lay sand or small pebbles, the aquarium will always be muddy, not to mention the fact that fish will swallow such a soil, from which they can die. As an example, the importance of taking into account the characteristics of fish can also give an example of the characteristics of loach fish, for example, Acantoftalmus. These fish are the bottom inhabitants of the aquarium and love to dig into the ground.
If you lay a coarse-grained soil in the aquarium, then aquantophthalmos will be “hollowed out like a wall”. Of course, they will certainly not be killed, but they will not feel exactly comfortable, because you have deprived them of natural conditions and disturbed their lifestyle.
If you do not know the habits of the fish that you want to take – consult with the seller of the pet store beforehand, but rather read books or fish information on the Internet site.
The color scheme of the bottom for the fish.I think in this matter you decide.
Analyzing data from the Internet, I would like to say that many recommend taking a dark ground, supposedly fish on it can be seen better. I do not know, did not check, I originally had a bed of dark blue soil.
But it seems to me that the pink ground for pink fish is overkill. There must be a contrast.
The thickness of the soil layer for fishdoes not play a special role.
Selection of bottom flooring – soil for aquarium plants As already mentioned, there is a significant difference between the soil for fish and the soil for aquarium plants. Aquarium plants use the bottom and bottom of the aquarium as a substrate for rooting and feeding.
Thus, the soil for plants should perform not only decorative functions, but also the above.
As a general rule, the soil for aquarium plants should be fine-grained or medium-grained (up to 5 mm). In any case, in this matter you should start from the power of the root system of aquarium plants, which will be in your aquarium.
An underdeveloped horse system requires fine-grained soil; for a strong root system, a medium or even coarse-grained fraction can be used.
The color scheme of soil for aquarium plants. It is said that for aquarium plants the ground should be dark, saying that the plants like warm ground, and the dark color of the bottom contributes to its warming.
I do not know, I do not know, it seems to me that this factor is so insignificant that you should not pay attention to it. Moreover, the total heating of the aquarium for plants is enough.
The thickness of the aquarium soil for plants. It should be from 5 to 7 cm. More.
Again, proceed from the size of the plant root system. The above bottom thickness is suitable for most aquarium plants.
One of the most important factors of soil for plants is its nutritional value. Most aquarium plants get nutrients from the ground. Therefore, it must be enriched by them.
You can put peat, lumps of clay in the soil, as well as introduce special preparations that are sold in the pet store. You can read more about all this in this article. AQUARIUM PLANTS: let’s talk about the benefits of plants for your aquarium! and Soil for aquarium plants!
Additional recommendations when choosing a soil
Choosing a primer in a pet store, pay attention to what it is made of. The best soil is a natural, natural soil, unpainted with nothing.
For example, this color primer is not very good.
Preparation of aquarium soil Before you fill the aquarium bottom with soil, you need to prepare it. If you use the soil collected “on the street” it must be washed and boiled, so that any infection did not get into the aquarium.
The soil purchased at the pet store is also washed or doused with boiling water.
A big mistake for novice aquarists is to wash the aquarium soil with soap or domesticostos. This is not worth doing, as it is very difficult to wash the chemistry out of the soil, as much as redder, it will take a lot of time and effort.
After the procedures, the soil, without waiting until it dries, can be poured to the bottom of the aquarium.
PLACEMENT OF THE AQUARIUM GROUND
As a rule, the soil in the aquarium is placed evenly. But you can distribute it so that it rises from the front wall of the aquarium to the back.
This option of the bottom of the bogie will add volume and will look more impressive.
Many novice aquarists, sometimes spread out of the soil of different colors of the drawings at the bottom of the aquarium (tracks, sun and other compositions). Such drawings are not durable – the soil is gradually mixed and as a result nothing remains of the sun.
There is nothing bad in this, of course. However, in the end, you can get a soil of a brownish color, which can spoil the overall appearance of the aquarium.
After the distribution of the soil, I install the decor, fill the aquarium, plant the plants and feed.
– If you decide not to buy soil at the pet store, but do it yourself, you should consider that in such cases it is better to use gray sand or dark-colored gravel, which is taken from an environmentally friendly source (you should not take sand from the public beach). Also for decorating the bottom, you can use volcanic gravel, crushed basalt. It is strictly forbidden to use river sand having a red or yellow color.
This sand contains iron oxide, which is harmful to fish.
– As a general rule, it is undesirable to use soluble materials as soil, for example, limestone (hiss – increases the hardness of the water).
– From the size of the grain of the soil depends on its “silting.”
– As a plant, groundcover, you can use, for example, echinodorus tender, also known as rubra. The unpretentious plant, with which the beginner will cope.
– A full change of aquarium soil or washing is carried out about once every 5 years. Depends on the number of fish and plants.
– care for the aquarium bottom and the ground is in its periodic cleaning – siphon (siphons are sold in stores, you can do it yourself). Siphon is the simplest device (essentially a hose) in which a vacuum is created and due to which all the dirt from the bottom of the aquarium is sucked out along with the water. The frequency of cleaning depends on the degree of contamination of the aquarium bottom (all in different ways).
The soil in the “freshly laid out” aquarium can not be cleaned even for a year, and if there are aquarium plants, then in the soil, on the contrary, at first, fertilizing and fertilizer are introduced.
– Aquarium can be without soil. In this case, if you need plants they are planted in pots.
Summing up, we can say that the most correct, the best soil for the aquarium bottom will be the one that was cleverly chosen or made.
In the photo examples of the design of the aquarium bottom
Video on the design of the aquarium soil, examples of bottom design and cleaning the soil
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
- Natural soils – sand, gravel, gravel, pebbles. They can be used where there are small digging species of fish and plants with weak root systems.
- Soils obtained by treating natural materials by mechanical or chemical means. They satisfy almost all requirements and are offered in various colors. Despite this, their bright coloring interferes with the natural perception of the aquarium.
- Artificial primers – glass or plastic balls, made by a special technology. They are absolutely harmless, but they can only be used where there will be single plants. In addition, they are completely unsuitable for keeping burrowing fish.
Since porosity is one of the most important characteristics of a substrate, fine sand with a particle size of less than 1 mm is hardly useful. Everything is due to the fact that metabolic processes are disturbed in such a filler due to the rapid caking of the material.
This, in turn, leads to rotting of the roots of plants.
In addition, the biological balance, which should “visit” the aquarium at home, is very unstable. In this situation, even mollusks and fish, loosening the soil, do not help.
Sand having a particle size of 2 to 4 mm will be an excellent and readily available substrate. Sufficient porosity affects the metabolic processes, which for a long time remain in their original state.
This option is quite suitable for most plants with both strong and weak root system. In addition, it has a high permeability for newly formed roots.
You can also note the success of small pebbles, the particles of which vary from 4 to 8 mm. The level of its caking is much less than that of sand, but the formation of sludge is very slow.
This type of soil is more suitable for large plants with a strong root system.
Pebbles and gravel will decorate rather a small aquarium than a large one. In any case, the amount of such soil should be substantial in order to be somehow different from the general background.
In addition, pebbles and gravel are not used as an independent substrate.
It should be noted that all the above-mentioned natural grounds are connected by common origin – these are small particles of granite. Their massive distribution argues accessibility for aquarium lovers.
Moreover, the color parameters of such soils are from light gray to red shades.
Among artificial substrates, expanded clay is considered to be the most common. It has excellent porosity and low weight, which makes it indispensable for lovers of breeding fish and gardeners.
During the transplantation of plants, this type of soil practically does not injure the root systems.
Together with the above advantages, the internal part of expanded clay is an anaerobic flora – oxygen-free microorganisms. They purify water from numerous organic compounds that appear over time in the aquarium.
To determine how much soil you need in an aquarium, you should take into account its individual parameters. Among them are the dimensions of the “house for fish”, as well as the fullness of living and non-living components.
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.