Aquarium soil is essential. Firstly, it serves as a substrate for algae to take root. Secondly, it gives your aquarium a more natural look. Of course, in some types of aquariums, such as those designed for scientific observation or for breeding fish on an industrial scale aquarium can be without soil. But a room decorative aquarium looks much more attractive if its bottom is covered with soil. What kind of soil can it be and where can I get it?
- The soil, above all, should be chemically inert and not contain impurities harmful to the inhabitants of the aquarium.
- It is desirable that the ground was a dark shade, as on a dark background most fish win in coloring.
- The soil must allow good water circulation, otherwise organic residues may rot in the soil.
Well, where do you get it? The best option is coarse gray river sand. Quarry sand is also suitable, but it should be washed more thoroughly and preferably sifted through a large sieve to remove small grains of sand. Sometimes you can use small gravel or pebbles (5 – 10 mm.). As a last resort, sea sand is also suitable, but its preparation will require more effort.
It is also possible to combine soils. In this case, the bottom layer is filled with fine gravel or pebbles and the top layer with coarse river sand. In this way, you achieve better water circulation in the ground. Whichever substrate you choose for your aquarium, it must first be washed with plenty of running water before it is placed on the bottom of your aquarium.
It is convenient to rinse the soil in a wide basin, thoroughly mixing and draining dirty water all the time and picking out floating roots, chips and blades of grass. Rinse should be until the soil does not cease to depart from the turbidity. Change the water, you may have to do 25 -50 times. To facilitate rinsing the soil is often recommended to pour the soil into a bucket and put in it a hose connected to a water tap. In this case, the water pressure should be adjusted so that all the debris and turbidity is carried away by the water current, while the grains of sand remain in the bucket.
Sometimes it is advisable to boil the soil before putting it into the aquarium. This will prevent pathogens from entering the aquarium. Quarry sand and fine gravel can be found at the nearest construction market.
The soil is poured on the bottom of the aquarium in a layer 3-5 centimeters thick. This is sufficient for rooting most aquatic plant species that need soil. It is desirable to pour the soil with a slope to one of the walls. It is best that the slope was to the front glass, then it is easier to maintain cleanliness. All dirt accumulates in one place and it is easier to collect. Do not be carried away by excessive decoration of the bottom of the aquarium, such as pieces of marble.
It looks beautiful, of course, but it gives the water additional hardness. And although in some cases its use is necessary, most often its presence in the aquarium is still not desirable. Do not, in my opinion, also should not be fond of piling on the bottom of the room aquarium of various architectural excesses, grottoes, ancient castles and the like. In the room aquarium space and so limited, why else take it under useless decorations? Although it is certainly a matter of taste.