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We vibrate the soil for the aquarium - how to choose the right one?


Soil for the aquarium, which is better?

And let's discuss with you such an important issue as the arrangement of the aquarium bottom and the choice of soil.

This question arises at the initial stage of arranging the aquarium world. But in the future, as time passes, the mistakes made at the very beginning make themselves felt, as a result of which everything has to be fixed.

Choosing aquarium soil

Both the foundation for the home and the aquarium soil play a crucial role in the life of the aquarium!

Beginning aquarists very often pay attention only to the decorative properties of the soil and miss its most important function. Aquarium soil is a unique biological filter, powerful and irreplaceable by nothing else.

The fact is that after the launch of the aquarium, colonies of beneficial bacteria settle in the soil, which process the waste products (hereinafter - PJ) of hydrobionts (hydrobionts - marine and freshwater organisms that constantly live in the aquatic environment) into harmless substances. I call this process the nitrogen cycle in the aquarium — the cycle of the transition of PSA to ammonia and further to its decomposition products — nitrites, nitrates.

In addition, the soil is a substrate for rooting and nourishing plants through the root system, the place of life of many microorganisms and some fish. Soil is even able to change water parameters in one direction or another. That is why the choice of aquarium soil is of utmost importance! High-quality, properly selected soil is the key to a long and successful life of the aquarium!

Now imagine this situation. A novice aquarist, following stereotypes, takes white, colored, coarse-grained soil and puts it in an aquarium a couple of centimeters thick. Seashells scatter on top for beauty. Yes, everyone has their own tastes and preferences. In no case do we impose our position, but here are just some of the disadvantages:

1. Colored soil is not a porous material, that is, it has a minimum amount of usable area for colonizing colonies of beneficial bacteria. As a result, the minimization of biological filtration in the soil and the accumulation of PSA in water.

2. The soil is laid in a thin layer, which also reduces its effectiveness.

3. Everyone knows that white is very easily soiled. Over time, the soil will become light coffee, and if there is an outbreak of algae in the aquarium, then green shades on the soil are not excluded. In addition, many preparations for the treatment of fish are synthetic dyes - methylene blue, malachite green. After their application, many white soils are painted in the corresponding color.

4. White, colored soil in most cases is neutral, which cannot be said about shells laid for beauty. They increase the hardness of water, and this quality has a bad effect on 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 marble, and marble comes from limestone, which is highly soluble by organic acids, thereby increasing the rigidity of aquarium water. Therefore, this soil can only be used for hard-water fish, for example, most African cichlids.

So, from the above, a novice aquarist needs to draw the following conclusions:

- carefully, to the smallest detail, think over how you want to see your aquarium.

- collect and analyze information about hydrobionts that are planned to be populated.

- carefully think through the design.

And only after that, proceed to the selection and purchase of soil for the relevant requests. Fortunately, the aquarium market now offers a wide range.

The key to successful selection of aquarium soil and arrangement of the bottom of the aquarium is a clear idea of ​​the goals and objectives of the aquarium.

In order to navigate, answer your questions:

- Who will live in the aquarium, which fish, which crustaceans?

- Will there be living plants in the aquarium?

- What color scheme will the aquarium be (lighting, background, general decor)?

- In the end, calculate the amount of aquarium soil needed to cover the entire aquarium bottom?

The choice of bottom flooring for the aquarium.

It should be understood that aquarium soil for fish and for living plants are two different things. But, since most aquariums are equipped specifically for fish, let's start with them.

When choosing aquarium soil for fish, you must take into account their characteristics and habits. In general, it can be said that small fish can be laid on fine-grained soil, and large fish can be laid on large or mixed soil. But there are exceptions. For example, goldfish, even when they are small, digging very hard and digging at the bottom. And if they lay small pebbles, then the fish will swallow such soil, from which they can die. As an example, you can also give an example of the peculiarities of loach fish, for example, acanththalmus. These fish are the bottom inhabitants of the aquarium and love to bury themselves in the ground. If you place coarse-grained soil in the aquarium, then acanthophthalmus will not be able to dig in, which will cause discomfort and stress.

The color scheme of the bottom for fish. Analyzing Internet data, I want to say that many recommend taking dark soil, you can see the fish on it better.

Soil selection for aquarium plants.

As a general rule, the soil for aquarium plants should be fine-grained or medium-grained (up to 5 mm). In this matter, you should build on the power of the root system of aquarium plants that will be in the aquarium. A poorly developed root system requires a fine-grained soil, for a strong root system - you can use a medium and even coarse-grained fraction.

The color scheme of soil for aquarium plants. They say that for aquarium plants the soil should be dark, supposedly plants like warm soil, and the dark color of the bottom helps to warm it up. It seems to us that this factor is so insignificant that it is not worth paying attention to it. The color of the soil for the plants can be any.

Thickness of aquarium soil for plants. It should be 5 to 7 cm, as much as possible. Again, proceed from the size of the root system of the plant. The above soil thickness is suitable for most aquarium plants.

One of the most important soil factors for plants is its nutritional value. Most aquarium plants receive nutrients from the soil. Therefore, it must be enriched by them. In the soil, you can put special tablets with fertilizers, which are sold in a pet store. You can use the substrate. You can read about all this in more detail in the article: primer for aquarium plants.

Additional recommendations when choosing a soil.

When choosing soil in a pet store, pay attention to what it is made of. The best soil is natural, natural soil.

For example, this colored soil is not very good.

A big mistake for beginner aquarists is to wash the aquarium soil with soap or chemicals. This is not worth doing, since it is very difficult to wash the chemistry from the soil, at least it will take a lot of time and effort. Moreover, it is likely that the porous soil absorbs chemistry.

Laying aquarium soil

As a rule, the soil in the aquarium is evenly distributed. But you can distribute it so that it rises from the front wall of the aquarium to the back. This version of the bottom cover will add volume and look more impressive.

Many beginner aquarists sometimes lay out drawings from the soil of different colors on the bottom of the aquarium (paths, the sun, other compositions). Such patterns are short-lived, the soil is gradually mixed, and as a result, nothing remains of the “sun”. Of course, there is nothing wrong with this. However, in the end, you can get a sulfur-boromaline-colored soil - this can import a general view of the aquarium.

After the distribution of the soil, I install the decor, fill the aquarium with water, plant the plants.

- If you decide not to buy soil in a pet store, but to "get" it yourself, you should consider that it is better to use sand or gravel of color that is taken from an ecologically clean area (you should not take sand from a public beach). Also, for decorating the bottom, you can use volcanic lava, gravel, diabase. It is strictly forbidden to use river sand having a red or yellow color. Such sand contains iron oxide, which is harmful to fish.

- As a general rule, it is undesirable to use soluble substrates as soil, for example, limestone (hisses - increases the hardness of water).

- Its “siltiness” depends on the size of the grain of the soil.

- A complete change of aquarium soil or flushing is carried out approximately every 5 years. Depends on the number of fish and plants.

- care for the aquarium bottom and soil consists 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 is sucked from the bottom of the aquarium along with water. The frequency of cleaning depends on the degree of contamination of the aquarium bottom (different for everyone). Soil in a “freshly set” aquarium can not be cleaned even for a year, and if there are aquarium plants, then, on the contrary, first fertilizing and fertilizing are introduced into the soil.

Summing up, we can say that the most correct, best soil for the aquarium bottom will be the one that was wisely selected.

In the photo examples of the design of the aquarium bottom

Video about the design of the aquarium soil and cleaning the soil

Why do I need a substrate?

The bottom of the aquarium, covered with a substrate, also implements an aesthetic function and helps to create an imitation of the natural habitat of representatives of flora and fauna. On the surface of the soil for the aquarium useful microorganisms mature, and in the depths of the soil the waste of the inhabitants of the reservoir is processed.

In other words, in an aquarium, soil is considered a natural filter. In addition, the soil is vital for plants that produce oxygen. To find out which soil to choose for the aquarium, you should answer the question of why a home pond is purchased. Indeed, for aquarium plants it is supposed to buy one soil, and for mollusks and phenotypes - another.

Types of soil

Types of soil for domestic ponds:

  • Natural soil is a substrate of natural origin: sand, gravel, gravel, etc. However, this is not a nutrient soil, since it does not contain any useful components. If you plant live vegetation, then the flora will begin to grow only after 6 months. Therefore, aquarists additionally fertilize natural soil, fertilizing.
  • Mechanical - the so-called soil of natural origin, which was processed.
  • Artificial soil - made by man. Many representatives of artificial substrates are grown specifically for herbalists or shrimp. In addition, the artificial substrate can be of different shades and sizes.

Soil for aquarium

Knowledge of the types of soil used in the tank will help you choose which substrate is best for the aquarium. Each type has individual qualities and properties, as well as differences in appearance.

Sandy soil is one of the most used substrates in the aquarium because of its attractive appearance and accessibility. You can pick up sand for an artificial reservoir in the store, or get it yourself, having processed it before diving.

Sand fractions may vary. Using this type, it is better to choose coarse soil - grains of sand should be the size of buckwheat particles, since they are easier to care for. If you line the bottom of the aquarium with fine sand, the water circulation will be worse.

Varieties of aquarium sand:

  • River - extracted from wild reservoirs and processed. River sand should be used with caution, because it contains many dangerous substances, so before diving into the tank, the soil is calcined in an oven.
  • Sea sand - despite the name, it is often used in freshwater tanks. Before use, the substrate is thoroughly washed and filtered to get rid of particles of shells, pebbles and debris. Then sea sand is calcined in an oven.
  • Quartz sand - eco soil. It is considered neutral soil, as it does not affect water performance. A quartz variety is obtained by crushing quartz, and the advantage of using this type is the variety of colors: from light to dark tones.
  • Coral crumb - mined from the bottom of the seas, the crumb contains particles of coral and shells. It is important to note that coral soil for an aquarium affects fluid parameters.

This material is often used for biotope reservoirs, mining from wild lakes and reservoirs. Pebbles are suitable for containing large phenotypes. When using this substrate, you should choose a soil layer with a fraction of up to 1 cm, since large pebbles do not allow plants to take root. In addition, when using large pebbles, the tank is more rapidly polluted and more difficult to clean.

Gravel is not used as a soil for aquarium plants, because gravel particles are too large. It consists of mixtures of rocks, and has straight edges. Choosing this substrate, you should give preference to sizes from 2 to 5 mm. Despite the fact that gravel is not able to become fertile soil for vegetation, this type is well suited for algae.

The aquarium uses crushed basalt of a dark gray hue, and is especially loved by aquarists who prefer unusual colored soil. However, basalt has one drawback - due to the large accumulation of iron, the basalt substrate is magnetized. Because of these properties, aquarists often use not soil, but basaltic grottoes and caves.

What can not be used?

Beginning aquarists, starting their first artificial pond, are lost and can not make the right choice of soil. Sometimes even natural types of soil can harm underwater inhabitants, since they release substances into the water that affect the stiffness of the environment. This number includes marble or coral sand.

You can check the safety of the soil by dropping vinegar onto the soil. If bubbles or foam appear after this, this material should not be used.

What else can not be applied:

  • Glass soil - despite the fact that this type is neutral, it is not recommended to line the bottom with it. The fact is that glass is not porous, therefore beneficial bacteria and organisms are not formed in it. This adversely affects fluid and living vegetation.
  • Puff soil - fish holders make a mistake by spreading eco soil in layers, alternating fine and large fractions. As a result of this, the soil cannot breathe, which leads to decay and release into the water of hazardous substances harmful to fish and plants.
  • Expanded clay - this type can be used, but not worth it. Expanded clay has light weight, and as a result of the movement of fish dust and particles rise. In addition, due to the increased porosity, expanded clay rapidly absorbs organic matter, which leads to pollution of the aquatic environment.
  • Garden land - this type can never be used for aquariums. Despite the fact that the land is suitable for terrestrial flowers, it is unsuitable for underwater flora.

What should I look for when choosing a soil?

Thinking about the soil for the aquarium - which is better and better, you should adhere to the following aspects:

  • One of the main rules for soil selection is the smaller the pets, the smaller the substrate particles. This also applies to the aquarium flora - for capricious and weak colors, small particles are chosen, and for strong vegetation - coarse soil.
  • When choosing a substrate, fish color and the general design of the tank are taken into account so that the composition looks harmonious. White soil for the aquarium will ideally shade pets with dark colors, and black will enhance the brightness of fish in scarlet and light colors.
  • In addition to color, the behavior of the fish is important. Many pets love to dig in the soil, so for such fish they choose a large fraction so that the aquarium water does not cloud.
  • The thickness of the soil in the aquarium should be 5-6 cm, but the figure may vary depending on the fraction of the soil. If sand is used, then 3 cm is sufficient, and pebbles or gravel are poured with a layer of 6 cm.

Having decided on the type of soil for the aquarium, it is important to remember safety. Rinse any substrate, even purchased in a store, under running water, and if necessary, boil or calcine in an oven. If the soil is in doubt, then check with citric acid or vinegar.

It is important to choose the soil in the aquarium wisely so as not to harm your beloved pets. It is important to consider not only the shade, size and type of soil, but also the safety of the selected material. In addition, any substrate is contaminated over time, so the soil is regularly siphoned so as not to provoke pollution of the aquatic environment.

What is soil for?

Often this is a really necessary element. A clear exception is perhaps aquariums with axolotls, since for these animals it is not particularly needed. They often swallow too small stones, while large ones complicate the cleaning process, which is so necessary for larvae with an ambist. In all other cases, the soil is definitely needed, because it performs a number of functions:

  1. It is a substrate for plants. In most of their species, the roots are able to actively develop precisely in the ground (with the exception of surface plants like pistii, as well as such floating species as hornwort, richchia). The growth rate depends on many factors, but if the aquarist wants his aquarium to be green, and even the plants bloom, then the soil is needed. In addition, it contains fish waste products. Of these, nitrates and phosphates are released, thanks to which the flora is nourished,
  2. It is needed for decoration. Using stones, you can make the aquarium truly original. Properly selected colors will make the color of the inhabitants (fish, shrimp, snails, etc.) more vibrant. In addition, the soil makes it possible to build small dunes, which will look beautiful,
  3. It contains beneficial bacteria. If the aquarium was launched correctly, then over time, unicellular bacteria appear in the stones, which serve as a natural filter, providing biological cleaning. Ammonia is emitted from fish food and waste products. Bacteria process it into safer nitrite, and another colony of them, in turn, converts it into nitrates, which are fertilizer for plants. Thanks to this, the biological balance is maintained,
  4. Dirt and various debris settle in the ground. Any aquarium over time is literally not clean. Residues of feed, feces of the inhabitants, etc., settle on the bottom. Due to this, the rest of the water remains clean, but more importantly, the cleaning process is greatly simplified.

Of course, a considerable part of the pollution is absorbed by the filter, but nevertheless, some part settles. And you can remove it easily with a siphon.

Does the color of the soil matter?

In this case, the choice depends entirely on the lover of underwater flora and fauna. Modern manufacturers offer many colors of stones. But, of course, it is better to choose something natural. For example, if you like black, then a great option is basalt. Quartz, granite, gravel, coral crumb, burnt clay also look beautiful.

If to plant natural plants there is no desire, but at the same time you want to create a beautiful design, then you can safely use artificial soil of any color. The main thing here is to choose the right tones so that each element looks harmonious.

Soil porosity and particle size

This is the most important parameter when choosing a substrate for an aquarium. Porous stones, unlike smooth and large ones, are an excellent natural filter, because many beneficial bacteria are planted in them. As for the size of the fraction, it all depends on the type of aquarium.

If axolotls live in it, then the best option is a large pebble. The pet will not be able to swallow it and it will simplify its movement along the bottom. If there are plants in the aquarium, then the fraction is selected according to the type of plants. For example, if this is something with large and strong roots (lemongrass, echinodorus, cryptocorynes), then large stones about 1 cm in size will do.

For small inhabitants and plants with a delicate root system (for example, Marsilia) it is better to choose a small fraction. This will make it possible to avoid rotting of the roots and the appearance of bacterial colonies.

Can garden land be used?

So that the plants do not die, but quickly take root, many aquarists use special nutrient substrates. However, their cost often scares away many people, especially if it's a beginner. But as an alternative, you can use garden land.

Two options will do. The first is land from the garden. But it is important that the site is located outside the city, as environmental friendliness is of utmost importance. Otherwise, various dangerous substances will be released into the water, which will destroy all the inhabitants of the aquarium.

Therefore, the best choice would be a simple land for indoor plants, sold in any flower shop. The only caveat is that it should not contain peat, and it is these mixtures that are often offered to customers. Such land is not suitable because peat will increase the acidity of water, and such a change in parameters will only do harm. The best option is a substrate for cacti and citrus fruits.

It is also worth considering that the ground must be prepared before laying. From it you need to get the roots, branches, worms and beetles. If there are lumps, then they must be loosened. That is, the result should be a mixture having a homogeneous structure and without any litter.

Then you need to add calcium carbonate to the ground. Egg shells, chalk, coral chips or marble can be used. Enough 1 teaspoon per 5 liters. If the earth is greasy and saturated with humus, you can add river sand to it in a ratio of 1: 1 or slightly less.

Lay the ground with a layer of at least 2-3 cm, and the soil should be located on top. It serves both for decoration and for protecting the lower layer from erosion.

As for the launch of the aquarium, it follows the same standard scheme. You can plant any fish in it, with the exception of those that like to dig soil and tear plants (for example, cichlids or catfish).

Artificial ground

Today, aquarists are offered not only a natural type of substrate, but also artificial. It is less popular, but still some lovers of underwater flora and fauna prefer to use this particular option. It also has its advantages.

Expanded clay belongs to artificial soil, but it should not be used directly. It is lightweight, it collapses over time. It is porous, and therefore, over time, waste gets clogged in it, which can negatively affect the biological balance. Therefore, this material is best used in a different way.

For example, you can buy it for an external filter. Also, some aquarists make phytofilters on their own. That is, a pot is placed above the aquarium in which flowers are planted. Hoses leading to the container itself are connected on both sides. The flow is due to the pump.

Filtering is due to the fact that the water enters the pot, where the roots of the plants absorb nitrates and phosphates, and the beneficial bacteria contained in expanded clay will process waste into these safe compounds, which are fertilizer for plants.

As for artificial soil, it is better to use a material consisting of plastic or glass. It looks bright, safe for underwater residents, but it is not particularly suitable for growing plants. It will be possible to achieve their growth only with the help of special fertilizers introduced into water or under the root (clay balls).

Which soil is undesirable to use

Not all natural varieties of stones are suitable for use in an aquarium. For example, soil can be attributed to such, which can throw various substances into the water. For example, it is marble, coral sand. Also, do not use shells. Over time, they begin to release calcium carbonate, thus increasing the hardness of the water.

Of course, for some species of fish this is even necessary (for example, cichlids), but for most underwater inhabitants this parameter is not suitable, which can lead to death.

Therefore, if the aquarist has doubts about the soil that he has, then he should do a test. It is enough to drip on the stones with ordinary table vinegar or citric acid. If bubbles or foam appear on the surface, it means that this soil should not be used.

Help in choosing for a beginner aquarist

Independently choosing the soil for your aquarium is quite simple. For a beginner who does not understand this issue, it is enough to remember a few recommendations:

  1. Do not buy white stones. Yes, this idea looks tempting, but in practice it turns out that soon the soil will begin to darken. If algae appears in the aquarium, then it will turn completely green,
  2. The layer must be of sufficient thickness. If planting is planned, then 2 cm will be completely insufficient. In general, it all depends on the size of the tank. But as a rule, a thickness of 5-7 cm is suitable for most cases,
  3. For large fish, a large fraction is selected (it must be taken into account that the pet can grow), for small fish, accordingly, the small size,
  4. For beginners, the best choice is quartz, as it is neutral and practical. In addition, it looks beautiful.

By following these simple guidelines, an aquarist can avoid the problems that often discourage beginners from wanting to keep an aquarium at home.

What kind of substrate is needed for the herbalist?

Before you purchase the substrate in the store or prepare it yourself, you need to decide which plants you plan to plant in the aquarium. Each type of plant (soil cover, moss and others) has its own requirements for the substrate, but it must definitely have the following characteristics:

  1. The substrate in the aquarium should include several layers of different structure: soil for plants should be finely and medium-grained (2 - 5 mm) depending on the type of root system of the planted algae.
  2. Soil for plants in the aquarium must be loose. Friability should be understood as the ability of water and air to circulate between particles of soil. This will be possible if their volume is within 2 mm or more. Otherwise, a very fine substrate (such as sand) is rapidly compressed and aerobic processes will be impossible. As a result, decay will begin, which can destroy both plants and fish.
  3. Soil must be inert with respect to chemical elements: it should not release any substances into the water and should not participate in the “binding” of already existing elements in the water, otherwise the imbalance of nutrients cannot be avoided.
  4. The soil must necessarily have bufferingthe ability to maintain the required pH level.
  5. The substrate must contain the necessary supply of nutrients.Therefore, it is necessary to purchase a special soil, already enriched with all trace elements, or to saturate a normal substrate with fertilizers.

There are 3 types of aqua soil:

  • Natural substrate includes materials of natural origin: crushed stone, gravel, quartz, pebbles. But such a soil does not have any nutrients, so plants will begin to develop in it only after a year, when the accumulation of waste becomes a kind of fertilizer.
  • Mechanical soil obtained as a result of mechanical or chemical processing of a natural substrate (for example, calcined clay).
  • Artificial soil is a specially created nutrient mixture, rich in all necessary trace elements. Naturally, if the owner of the aquarium sets himself the goal of decorating his tank with a variety of underwater plants, then this type of flooring should be preferred.

How to choose?

  • The color of the substrate should correspond to the idea of ​​the owner of the aquarium. It will be useful to know that on a dark background, bright fish will look more profitable, and on a light background, garbage and sediment will be immediately visible.
  • Particle shape. Preference should be given to the rounded shape of the particles, since pointed ones can damage plants and fish.
  • Particle size. Soil can be of different fractions, and for the full development of the underwater plant world it is necessary to use several of its species.

For containers with living plants, it is better to use several layers of soil of different fractions, which will beneficially affect the development of plant root systems. For these purposes, pebbles, quartz and coral sand purchased in a store can be used.

How to prepare?

There are several ways to heat treat a substrate.The most common ones are digestion and frying.

  1. For digestion, the substrate must be placed in a pot or bucket, pour water and boil for 20 to 30 minutes.
  2. For roasting, soil with a layer of 5 cm is laid out on a baking sheet and placed in a preheated (+ 120С - + 180С) oven for 30 minutes.

Most often, natural soil has an alkaline reactionthat will affect the pH and hardness of the water. Therefore, it is advisable to treat it with inorganic acids: hydrochloric, phosphoric, acetic, the concentration of which should not be lower than 25%.

The oxidation technology is as follows: first a test is carried out (a little 9% of vinegar is poured on a handful of soil, if hissing is heard and bubbles are emitted, then alkali is present in the soil), then the whole soil is placed in a metal container, filled with acid and left for 20 minutes. To complete this procedure, it is necessary to wash the soil with running water 2 to 3 times.

How to put?

First, the bottom of the tank must be crushed with peat or dry fertilizers, you can use a soil substrate (nutrient substrate, falling asleep with a centimeter layer on the bottom of the aquarium). The main purpose of these components is plant growth nutrition.

If it is planned that large stones or heavy decorative structures will be the components of the design of the glass container, then at the bottom, at the place of contact, a piece of sheet foam should be placed, the area of ​​which should be equal to the area of ​​the element used. The next step is filling the soil with different fractions, and only then - filling the tank with water.

How to calculate the amount of soil?

The amount of soil needed depends on the volume and type of aquarium.

Calculate the required volume using the formula: m (kg) = a * b * c * 1.5 / 1000

  • m - soil mass,
  • a and b - the length and width of the tank,
  • in - soil height.

The last indicator depends on the estimated number of plants: if there are few of them, then 2 cm, a lot - at least 5 cm.

Layer thickness

The height of the soil layer near the back wall should be higher. Most often - 6 - 10 cm, depending on the volume of the aquarium.

At the front wall, the thickness of the soil layer should not exceed 3 cm, otherwise the aesthetic appearance of the container as a whole will be spoiled from below by a black coating (the result of the activity of bacteria).

For the normal development of plants planted in an aquarium, the substrate should consist of 3 tiers:

  1. The first - coarse-grained soil (up to 10 mm) with a thickness of at least 3 cm provides soil ventilation, circulation of water and oxygen.
  2. The height of the second layer is usually 4 cm, and the particle diameter can reach 2 - 3 mm, which will provide access to nutrients to the roots of plants.
  3. The third layer with a thickness of 1 cm should consist of fine soil (up to 1 mm), if it is planned to plant ground cover plants.

The height of the layers can vary depending on the wishes and needs of the owner of the aquarium. As an option, a two-tier soil layer, the lower part of which (2 - 3 cm) represents coarse-grained soil (6 - 10 mm), the upper part (6 cm) consists of particles 2 - 5 mm in diameter.

Plant growth in an aquarium is inconceivable without nutrients, and if natural materials were chosen as the soil, then the introduction of nutrient additives can not do. Organic fertilizers act as additives (vitamins, coal), trace elements (magnesium, iron, nickel, cobalt), which are available in the form of tablets, capsules, granules. They can be purchased at any specialized store.

Care consists in periodic cleaning with a siphon. Siphon is a device that can be purchased at the store. Its action is based on creating a vacuum inside the apparatus, which sucks all unnecessary residues from the flooring. The frequency of cleaning depends on the degree of soil contamination.

An aquarium that has just been equipped can be left unattended for a year. All this period it is necessary to systematically feed the plants with the necessary fertilizers.

The best manufacturers of substrates for the plant world and fish

Which is better to choose? Top 3 manufacturers:

    ADA Power Sand Special M Nutrition (made in Japan) is considered the best option.

Among its advantages are the provision of all nutrients to plants and microorganisms, the creation of conditions for air circulation, the stimulation of plant growth. There is one drawback: the relative high cost. So, in Moscow the cost of 6 kg of the mixture is 5600 rubles, and in St. Petersburg - 5800 rubles. DeponitMix (Dennerle) (production Germany) perfectly stimulates the growth and development of flora in the aquarium, improves the activity of beneficial bacteria.

The disadvantage is the fact that the substrate is used only in a mixture with neutral types of soil. The price in Moscow is for the packaging of 2.7 kg 1300 rubles, in St. Petersburg - 1090 rubles. Aqua Basis plus & Pro Flora (JBL) Premix (Germany) promotes the rapid growth of plants and the development of their root systems, contains all the necessary nutrients, does not require mixing with other soils.

The possibility of acidification of the soil is the only drawback of this mixture. The cost of packaging (2.5 kg) in Moscow is 550 rubles, in St. Petersburg - 630 rubles.

When choosing the soil, the last word always remains with the owner of the aquarium. Given his desires and intentions, having weighed his material capabilities, guided by common sense, armed with the knowledge he has gained, he can safely go to the pet store.