home Aquarium Which soil is best for aquarium plants

Which soil is best for aquarium plants


The sand fractions can be different. 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, then the water circulation will be worse.

  • River. harvested from wild reservoirs and processed. River sand should be used with caution, since it contains many hazardous substances, therefore, before immersion in the tank, the soil is calcined in an oven.
  • Sea sand. despite its name, it is often used in freshwater reservoirs. Before use, the substrate is thoroughly washed and filtered to get rid of shell particles, pebbles and debris. Then the sea sand is calcined in an oven.
  • Quartz sand is an eco-friendly soil. It is considered a neutral soil, as it does not affect water parameters. The 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 aquarium soil affects fluid parameters.

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Why do you need a substrate?

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

In other words, soil is considered a natural filter in an aquarium. In addition, the soil is vital for plants that produce oxygen. To find out which soil to choose for an 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.


In aquaristics, ground basalt of a dark gray shade is used, 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 magnetised. Because of these properties, aquarists often use basalt grottoes and caves rather than soil.

What not to use?

Novice aquarists, starting their first artificial reservoir, are lost and cannot 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 rigidity of the environment. This includes marble or coral sand.

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

  • Glass soil. although this type is neutral, it is not recommended to line the bottom with it. The fact is that glass is not porous, so beneficial bacteria and organisms do not form in it. This negatively affects the liquid, and living vegetation.
  • Layered soil. fish holders make a mistake by laying out eco-soil in layers, alternating between small and large fractions. As a result, the soil cannot breathe, which leads to decay and the release of hazardous substances into the water that are harmful to fish and plants.
  • Expanded clay. this type can be used, but not worth it. Expanded clay is lightweight and dust and particles are raised as a result of the movement of the fish. 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 should never be used for aquariums. Despite the fact that the land is suitable for terrestrial flowers, it is not suitable for underwater flora.

Aquarium soil

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


Gravel is not used as substrate for aquarium plants because the gravel particles are too coarse. It consists of a mixture of rocks and has straight edges. When choosing this substrate, you should give preference to sizes from 2 to 5 mm. Although gravel is not capable of becoming fertile soil for vegetation, this type is well suited for algae.

Vibrating soil for the aquarium. how to choose the right one?


This material is often used for biotope reservoirs, extracted from wild lakes and reservoirs. Pebbles are suitable for keeping 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 becomes dirty more quickly and is more difficult to clean.

Types of fillers

Fillers are divided into three groups: mechanical, artificial, natural, each of them has its own characteristics and disadvantages.

Layered soil

The main thing when laying the mixture is to maintain water permeability. And the layered substrate does not allow the soil to breathe.


The substrate is obtained by chemical or mechanical processing of natural components. sand, gravel, pebbles. With the help of this method, the substrate acquires certain properties that have a beneficial effect on underwater inhabitants.


We do not recommend showing your originality and using materials that are absolutely not intended for this as a primer. This can destroy all underwater inhabitants.

How to calculate the amount of soil

The amount of substrate directly depends on the volume of the aquarium, its type and variety of inhabitants.

To calculate the amount of soil, use the formula:

Soil = (Aquarium length Aquarium width Aquarium height 1.5) / 1000.

The priming mixture does not require frequent maintenance and consists only in periodic cleaning. To care for the aquarium and clean the soil, you will need an aquarium siphon. a special tool that sucks out excess particles from the substrate using a vacuum. Thorough cleaning takes place if the soil is selected correctly and its water permeability is preserved. Filters for aquarium keep the top layers of soil well clean.

A complete replacement of the substrate is carried out once every 5 years. There is no need to clean the mixture in the first year. If plants are planted, then the bottom is fed with fertilizers and minerals.

Some fish are able to live without soil mixture at all, but for many fish this leads to a stressful state. Creeping plants such as echinodorus are used as a substitute.

Expanded clay

  • The lightness of the material. When digging, fish easily raise the dregs into the water, which is laid back for a long time.
  • Expanded clay easily absorbs dirt due to its high porosity. This leads to a blockage of the aquarium and the growth of pathogenic bacteria.

The form

Fractions of the substrate should be rounded, without chips, sharp edges. This is especially important if the aquarium is inhabited by bottom fish and digging in the substrate, which can easily damage their muzzle on sharp edges.

Even plants grow better in rounded particles, because their roots can easily penetrate between the particles. And also with this choice, the respiration of the substrate is preserved, there is no waterlogging, decay.

The color options for the soil mix are striking in their variety, and this choice is entirely up to the aquarist. Fish don’t care about color, so use it to create your own aquarium design. But still, we do not recommend choosing the soil to match the color of the fish, because after all, it is the pets that should be the focus of attention in the aquarium.

Soil for aquarium with plants

If you analyze the numerous forums of aquarists, you will notice that the information about aquarium soils is absolutely not systematized. The effectiveness of soils for many seems to be some kind of mystical and not everyone understands what type of soil works and what types of aquarium soils generally exist. Much of this chaos was caused by the aquarium soil manufacturers, presenting their products as the solution to all the growth problems of aquarium plants. Therefore, in this article, all the most popular soils in the aquarium hobby will be systematized and their properties will be clearly defined.

Here you will not find information about which soil is better. This is not a rating. But at least you will figure out what you need to use specifically in your case. In general, soils can be divided into nutrient and neutral. Let’s start with neutral.

Neutral aquarium soils

Essentially, neutral soil is simply the substrate in which the aquarium plants are rooted. Plus, such soil, like any other soil, collects waste products of fish, plant remains. Without soil, all this garbage would float in the water column, leading not only to a deterioration in the transparency of the water, but also to the growth of algae. What does algae have to do with it? The fact is that organic residues will gradually decompose in the aquarium anyway. If they decompose in the soil, then the decomposition products become available to the plant roots. But if these residues decompose in the water column, then they are already available not only to the roots of aquarium plants, but also to algae. Still neutral soils have a decorative function, namely, to create a relief. The most common neutral soils in aquarism are coarse sand, basalt chips, quartz chips, river pebbles. These soils perform only the above functions and nothing more. They do not provide the plants with any nutrients. Basalt is no exception. Despite the fact that it is magnetic and consists of an iron-bearing rock, iron from basalt is not available to plants. In plant aquariums with neutral soil, the use of fertilizers is mandatory.

How much soil is needed and what is its permissible thickness in the aquarium

Novice aquarists are sometimes afraid to pour a large amount of soil into the aquarium, citing two reasons: a lot of pressure on the bottom and acidification of the soil. The first fear is completely unfounded. The bottom of the aquarium can only burst when a lot of weight presses on a certain point of the glass, but under the layer of soil the weight is evenly distributed over the entire bottom of the aquarium and there is no danger of glass breaking.

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The second fear is sourness. If a neutral soil with a fraction of 3-4 mm is used in a plant aquarium, then even a layer of 15 cm will not cause acidification in the lower layers of the soil. Plant aquariums usually use high water circulation and active plant photosynthesis saturates the water with oxygen to the maximum level. These two factors ensure the normal functioning of the soil, even with such a large thickness.

The minimum thickness of the soil layer should be 2-3 cm. This is the layer that is sufficient for firm rooting of plants. There are no special requirements for the maximum soil thickness in a plant aquarium. Typically, the thickness of the soil layer in the aquarium ranges from 3 to 7 cm.

Do I need to clean (siphon) the soil?

Much depends on the type of aquarium. In many aquariums, soil cleaning is required. Usually these are aquariums with a large number of fish and almost no plants, for example, cichlids. In the case of plant aquariums, sludge that accumulates in the soil is, on the contrary, very valuable for plant nutrition and it is undesirable to clean the soil from it. In plant aquariums, it makes sense to siphon only decorative areas of the aquarium that are decorated with white, fine-grained sand. Silt does not sink deep into dense sand and accumulates on its surface. This leads not only to a deterioration in the appearance of the white meadow, but also to a decrease in the transparency of the water.

Land nutrient soil (granular soil)

Currently, this category is dominated by granular soils. In the past, ordinary land was often used in the practice of aquarists, but over time, granular soils have replaced them, as their offerings have become very diverse and quite affordable.

What are the features of granular nutrient soils? Unlike nutrient substrates, such soils can be used as the main or even the only one. That is, in terms of the volume of such soil, it is necessary to use several times more than nutrient substrates. The question may be reasonable. will there not be a large release of nutrients into the water from such a volume of nutrient soil, uncovered with neutral? The fact is that such soils have a much lower concentration of nutrients and their washing out by water flow from the upper layers of the soil is insignificant. Below is the soil analysis of the ADA Amazonia II published on flowgrow.de

Iron (Fe) 0.91 g / kg
Potassium (K) 1.1 g / kg
Nitrogen (N) 0.0128 g / kg
Phosphorus (P) 0.087 g / kg
Manganese (Mn) 1.32 g / kg

This is the fundamental difference between nutrient substrates and granular soil soils. In terms of composition, such granular soils can be conventionally represented as a mixture of neutral soil with a nutrient substrate.
You can read more about this type of soil in a special article: Nutrient soil for an aquarium with plants: how it works

Features of the use and care of aquarium soil.

We figured out what kind of soil there are. But there are still many frequently asked questions related to this topic.

Nutrient substrate for aquarium

Nutrient soils. it is a more complex category of aquarium soils and can be divided into two types: earth soils and nutrient substrates.

Soil for the aquarium, which one is better to choose?

Soil for the aquarium, which is better?

Let’s discuss with you such an important issue. arrangement of the aquarium bottom and selection of soil.

The question arises at the initial stage of arranging the aquarium world. But later, with the advent of time, mistakes made at the very beginning make themselves felt, as a result of which they have to be corrected.

The choice of aquarium soil

Both the foundation for the home and the aquarium substrate play a vital 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. Aquarium soil is a unique biological filter, powerful and irreplaceable by anything else.

The fact is that after starting the aquarium, colonies of beneficial bacteria settle in the ground, which process waste products (hereinafter PJ) of aquatic organisms (aquatic organisms. marine and freshwater organisms that constantly inhabit the aquatic environment) into harmless substances. I call this process the nitrogen cycle in the aquarium. the cycle of the transition of PJ into ammonia and then into the products of its decay. nitrites, nitrates.

Also, the soil. it is a substrate for rooting and plant nutrition through the root system, a habitat for many microorganisms and some fish. The soil is even capable of changing the parameters of the water in one direction or another. That is why the choice of aquarium soil is of paramount importance! High-quality, correctly selected soil is the key to a long and successful life of the aquarium.!

Now imagine this situation. The novice aquarist, following the stereotypes, takes white, painted, coarse-grained soil and puts it in an aquarium a couple of centimeters thick. Scatters seashells from above for beauty. Yes, everyone has their own tastes and preferences. We in no way impose our position, but here are just some of the disadvantages:

Top 5 Substrate for Planted Aquariums

Painted soil is not a porous material, that is, it has a minimum amount of usable area for colonies of beneficial bacteria. Consequently. minimization of biological filtration in soil and accumulation of PJ in water.

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

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 are not excluded. In addition, many fish treatments are synthetic dyes. methylene blue, malachite green. After their application, many white soils are painted in the corresponding color.

In most cases, the white, painted soil is neutral, which cannot be said about the shells laid for beauty. They increase the hardness of the water, and this quality is bad for the life of aquarium plants and soft-water aquarium fish.

If the white soil is of natural origin, then, as a rule, it is marble, and the marble comes from limestone, which dissolves perfectly with organic acids, thereby increasing the hardness of the aquarium water. Therefore, this soil can only be used for hard water fish, for example, most African cichlids.

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

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

The key to a successful choice of aquarium soil and arrangement of the aquarium bottom is a clear understanding of the goals, objectives of the aquarium.

In order to find your way around, answer your questions:

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

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

Bottom colors for fish. Analyzing the data of the Internet, I would like to say that many recommend taking dark soil, the fish are better visible on it.

As a general rule, the soil for aquarium plants should be fine-grained or medium-grained (up to 5mm). In this matter, you should start from the power of the root system of the aquarium plants that will be in the aquarium. An underdeveloped root system requires a fine-grained soil for a strong root system. you can use medium and even coarse grain. The most important thing for plants. the ground should be light and sloping.

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

The thickness of the aquarium soil for plants. It should be from 5 to 7 cm, as much as possible. Again, proceed from the size of the plant’s root system.

Laying aquarium soil

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

Many novice aquarists sometimes lay out drawings of different colors from the soil at the bottom of the aquarium (paths, the sun, other compositions). Such drawings are short-lived, the soil gradually mixes up and, as a result, nothing remains of the “sun”. There is, of course, nothing bad in this. However, as a result, you can get a soil of gray-brownish color. it can ruin the overall appearance of the aquarium.

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

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

Video about decorating an aquarium with soil and cleaning the soil

How to choose?

The best soil for plants is considered a nutritious substrate, it contains minerals and organic matter. However, it must be used in conjunction with the neutral one from which the substrate is created. Do not confuse aquarium soil with garden soil: these are completely different substrates, besides, ordinary soil provokes decay of the aquatic environment.

If you plan to create a design in the spirit of an herbalist, it is better to purchase a ready-made substrate from a reputable company, enriched with nutrients. It will not reduce the hardness of the water in the tank, but it will encourage the development of more beneficial bacteria. If the growth of algae is too active, the aquarium soil can slow it down.

When it is not planned to grow a lot of greenery inside the reservoir, you can take a closer look at products with special dressings. They can be presented in tablet form, promote the growth of leaves, create a soil climate inside the tank. The composition of such dressings includes humic acids, which contribute to the absorption of nutrients by plants.

Particle shape, particle size and flooring color should be the primary factors in selection.

As for the color scheme, this criterion is rather aesthetic and practical. On a dark background, the inhabitants of the aquarium look brighter, while even the slightest contamination stands out on white or light ones. The size can be different, because you can use several types of material for styling.

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For example, it can target soil plants (Hemianthus, Eliocharis, Glossostigma), moss, or even large plants (Echinodorus, Cryptocoryne, say). The preference for soil in aquarium plants is different. Therefore, the fraction of the substrate is different, as well as its conditional solubility. Sizzling options are not suitable for vegetation. they increase the hardness of the water. In neutral soil, a weakly acidic environment is formed, thanks to which the plants feed through the roots. Sintered clay is also a good option for aquarium soil.

How to do it yourself?

Aquarium soil can be made with your own hands from the following components:

  • activated carbon (granular or birch);
  • clay and peat;
  • sorbent as an active additive;
  • chopped foliage or coconut fibers;
  • coarse sand or fine pebbles.

A mixture of the above components is laid out on the bottom of the tank, while the thickness of the laid out layer should not exceed 2-3 cm. From above, the soil is covered with a layer of coarse sand or fine grained pebbles. Experienced aquarists choose the second option from two types of material, while the size of the pebble fraction does not exceed 3 mm. In fact, you get a soil consisting of two layers.

Its lower part is nutritious, and the upper part performs a protective function, preventing organics from being washed out soon. In order for the created aquarium soil to act as a biological filter, a bacterial activator can be included in it. It will perfectly contribute to stimulating the reproduction of a colony of denitrifying bacteria.

Primary requirements

The substrate purchased for the aquarium should help create as close to natural conditions inside the tank as possible. As the basis for the rooting of plants and the habitat for fish and other inhabitants of the aquarium, it must obey a number of requirements. Otherwise, beneficial bacteria will not be able to settle in it, which decompose the remains of food and fish excrement to mineral substances. The list of mandatory requirements for aquarium soil includes several rules.

  • The surface of the substrate must be porous. Otherwise, beneficial bacteria will not be able to settle in it.
  • The fraction of the material should not exceed 3-5 mm. Large particles of fish simply cannot move.
  • The admixture of stones and foreign components is unacceptable, since the fish will not be able to get to the remnants of the food, which is why it will rot.
  • Too fine sand that cakes should not be used for aquarium plants. This leads to the formation of methane and hydrogen sulfide.
  • The substrate must be sufficiently rounded. Sharp components quickly coalesce, their corners injure the inhabitants of the reservoir.
  • The fraction of the planting material should be uniform and uniform in size. The admixture of sand is fraught with stagnation, which is unacceptable.
  • Lightweight substrate is not suitable for an aquarium. You need to choose a substrate from 3 types of filler: quartz, granite or basalt. All others are difficult to siphon, but in these plants they root and grow better.
  • The substrate, having a buffering capacity, must be inert to chemicals.
  • The soil must have the right supply of nutrients vital for vegetation.

Subtleties of use

The primer must be prepared before use. For this purpose, it can be evaporated or fried. When evaporating, it is placed in a saucepan or bucket, poured with water and boiled for about 20-30 minutes. If the substrate is fried, then it is laid out on a baking sheet and sent to the oven for 30-40 minutes at a temperature of 180-200 degrees.

The design of the bottom of the aquarium, in fact, is a kind of layer cake, a combination of the substrate and the soil itself. In this case, the styling can be very different. For example, plants do not have to be located around the entire perimeter of the tank: they can grow in one of its corners. Other parts of the aquarium may contain driftwood and other decorative items. For this reason, the nutrient substrate is placed only where it is planned to grow plants. For design purposes, professionals in aquarium design use partitions when dividing zones. The soil in the aquarium can be located not only evenly. It will look more interesting if you place it on a slide, hill, rise, for example, to the back wall of the aquarium.

Irregularities are good for creating a perspective effect, and such hills can be complemented by “paths” and “stones”. At the same time, incorrect design will lead to design mistakes. For example, one of the common mistakes is lifting soil to the front wall of a tank. As for the tools that are used for aquascaping, it can be either a special set for shaping the soil, or standard bristle brushes for painting.

You will have to constantly monitor the condition of the soil, as well as prune the plants. In order to improve the aesthetic qualities of the landscape composition, an artificial colored one can be added to the nutrient soil. It can be glass stones of different shades, made in the form of drops.

Bluish translucent balls that are harmless to fish and do not change the chemical composition of aquarium water will look beautiful in tanks with fish.


All known varieties of aquarium substrate can be divided into 3 groups: natural, mechanical and artificial. Variants of the first type consist of materials of natural origin. These are crushed stone, quartz, pebbles and gravel. Such “soil” has no nutrients, and therefore plants begin to develop in it only after they accumulate waste, which will serve as a kind of fertilizer.

Mechanical substrate is extracted during mechanical or chemical processing of natural soil. Let’s say this includes burnt clay. An artificial version of the substrate is nothing more than a created mixed soil enriched with nutrients and all microelements necessary for plant growth and development. This type of flooring is considered to be the best if the main Accent in the aquarium design is given to plants.

Each type of flooring has its own nuances. For example, natural consists of what is at the bottom of rivers and freshwater bodies. In this case, individual stones can be coated with a special resin or enamel. If sea sand is used for it, then such soil cannot be used in aquariums, since it contains many living microorganisms that, when dying, will pollute the water. Artificial fillers are often made from plastic and tempered glass. Nutrient soil enhances plant growth and contributes to a change in the hydrochemical composition of water.

It can be presented in the form of a ready-made substrate or it can be made independently.

Why do you need soil?

Few thought that the empty bottom annoys the inhabitants of the aquarium. This is not a way to mask unsightly bottoms, but a powerful biological filter, the basis for a green aquarium design. It is essential for maintaining the health of certain species of fish and living aquarium inhabitants. With its help, inside the tank, they create comfortable conditions for a certain type of ecosystem.

It is good as a means of mechanical filtration, it can change the water balance for the better, and is the key to the long life of aquarium inhabitants. Soil for aquarium plants creates a natural environment inside the tank and water. It participates in the nitrogen cycle, acting like a medium for bacterial colonization and growth. It is in it that a large number of microorganisms are colonized. It nourishes living plants, facilitating their rooting, and in addition, masks and protects laid fish eggs, so that they remain invisible to the eyes of adult aquarium inhabitants, who often eat such “food”. The power of the plant root system depends on its type.

With the correct selection of its fraction and layer thickness, the beauty of the interior design will depend.

Soil for aquarium plants: types, selection and application

Aquarium soil is a key element in the arrangement of the tank. With its help, the interior design becomes aesthetically attractive, any ecosystem depends on its choice. The material in this article will tell readers what kind of soil is for an aquarium, how to choose and use it correctly.

The PERFECT Soil For Aquarium Plants and Planted Tanks

Possible problems

Unfortunately, over time, brown patches can develop in a plant aquarium. As it grows, it captures all parts of the plants and is the cause of their death. It appears when the aquarium liquid is contaminated due to an excess of ammonia in it and disrupts the photosynthesis reaction.

Also, one of the reasons for its appearance is the excessive content of organic matter in the soil used. To eliminate the problem, it is necessary to remove the soil from the aquarium and subject it to processing by calcining or boiling. Plants in this case must be replaced with new ones.

If the water becomes cloudy after starting, this indicates that the material was not prepared before being placed in the tank. In other words, it was not washed, and therefore the particles of dust and dirt began to rise upward, which led to the cloudiness of the water.

Manufacturers often indicate on the packaging of the finished material that it does not need to be rinsed before being placed in the aquarium. However, if tactile sensations indicate the presence of dust, it is necessary to immediately solve the problem by flushing the soil under running water. If placed without preparation, a dusty “hurricane” will rise in the water. Even if in the future the dust settles to the bottom, with the movements of the fish, it will again rise up.

The soil is made by crushing stones, but far from always manufacturers themselves spend time washing it, although they say the opposite on the packaging. Someone, believing the manufacturer, when a problem is identified, tries to solve it by filtering, which takes 1-2 days. Others perform 2-3 substitutions, someone is saved by a synthetic winterizer.

It is worth noting that washing the soil for planting a herbalist is a laborious process. It takes a long time and is done until the substrate is completely clean. This takes more than an hour, and the aquarium soil is washed in a colander, making sure that clear water flows out of it. The pure product is poured into the aquarium, after which the plants are planted again, water is poured and the tank is left for a couple of weeks.

You cannot immediately populate fish in it, since the so-called bacterial outbreak will occur in the aquarium for the first days. This is a natural phenomenon, which is expressed in the slight turbidity of the water. It takes place in a couple of days, and at most. in a week.

After the bacteria stop multiplying, the water balance will be restored. Before that, you should not settle the fish in a new house: they simply will not survive in it.

For information on how to choose the right soil for aquarium plants, see the next video.

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

Very often at the initial stage of arranging a “house for fish” the question arises: what kind of soil is better for an aquarium? Although later it loses its relevance and ceases to be actively discussed. However, over time, the mistakes made in the beginning make themselves felt, and as a result, large-scale corrections begin.

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

Initially, it should be noted that the black soil for the aquarium is the most important part of its equipment. Together with elements such as backgrounds, lighting and additional decorative elements, 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.

Together with this, the nutrient substrate for the aquarium works as a primitive filtering mechanism. Microscopic suspensions that pollute the water settle in it, which significantly expands its functions.

Before buying the aforementioned filler, it is worth deciding on the goals, as well as the general vision of the “underwater kingdom”. In addition, you need to navigate the key aspects of the choice.

Placing soil in the aquarium

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

The bottom layer should consist of gravel, which is fortified with laterite iron or clay. It should be 3 to 5 cm thick and include fertilizer balls. In addition, there may be a mixture of trace elements that do not contain phosphates and nitrites, which are so harmful to plants and fish.

It is advisable to make Accent in the soil mixture for iron, which is present in a chelated form. Otherwise, it will simply be unavailable for nutrition to representatives of flora and fauna. In addition, ferrous sulfate, usually used for feeding garden bushes, will not work, since it will significantly reduce the acidity of the 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 aquarium at home can quickly deteriorate. In addition, sand and clay in this case will be inappropriate. they will also heat up unevenly.

The middle layer should contain soil with peat admixtures, making up 15-25% of the total 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 there is a large amount of organic matter in the ground, then it can be supplemented with sand.

In addition, the middle layer can be filled with trace elements and clay balls. However, this requires careful preparation of peat and soil. Strictly speaking, such a rule holds for each layer.

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

It should be noted that the soil in the aquarium is usually unevenly placed. 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 covering the bottom can visually add volume and a more dramatic appearance to the aquarium.

Most novice aquarists lay out various patterns from the soil. Since they gradually move under the influence of water, these compositions are short-lived. Of course, this is not so scary, but the general appearance of the aquarium can still deteriorate.

The final procedures, which will make the 200 liter aquarium flawless, will be the installation of decor, water filling and planting of plants. This must be taken care of in advance, so as not to “slow down” the overall process of arrangement.

Groups of aquarium grounds

  • Natural soils. sand, crushed stone, gravel, pebbles. They can be used where small burrowing fish species and plants with weak root systems are kept.
  • Soils obtained by processing natural materials by mechanical or chemical methods. They meet almost all requirements and are available in a variety of colors. Despite this, their bright color interferes with the natural perception of the aquarium.
  • Artificial soil. glass or plastic balls made using 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 the substrate, fine sand with a particle size of less than 1 mm is unlikely to be useful. Everything is due to the fact that metabolic processes are disrupted in such a filler due to the rapid caking of the material. This, in turn, leads to decay of plant roots.

In addition, the biological balance that should “visit” the aquarium at home is very unstable. In this situation, even mollusks and fish that loosen the soil do not help.

Sand with a particle size of 2 to 4 mm will be an excellent and readily available substrate. Sufficient porosity affects metabolic processes that remain in their original form for a long time.

This option is fine for most plants with both strong and weak root systems. In addition, it has increased permeability to newly formed roots.

Also, the success of small pebbles can be noted, the particles of which vary from 4 to 8 mm. Its caking level is much less than that of sand, but the formation of silt is very slow. This type of soil is more suitable for large plants with a strong root system.

Large pebbles and gravel decorate a small aquarium rather than a large one. In any case, the amount of such soil should be significant in order to somehow differ from the general background. In addition, pebbles and gravel are not used as an independent substrate.

It should be noted that all of the aforementioned natural soils are related by a common origin. these are small particles of granite. Their widespread distribution justifies their availability for aquarium enthusiasts. over, the color parameters of such soils are from light gray to red shades.

Expanded clay is considered the most common among artificial substrates. It has excellent porosity and low weight, which makes it indispensable for fish lovers and flower growers. During plant transplantation, this type of soil practically does not injure root systems.

Together with the above advantages, the inner part of expanded clay is an anaerobic flora. anoxic microorganisms. They purify the water of numerous organic compounds that appear in the aquarium over time.

To determine how much soil you need in an aquarium, you should take into account its individual parameters. Among them, the size of the “house for fish” is noted, as well as the filling with living and inanimate components.

Aquarium soil care

After the main points regarding the quantity and quality of the bottom soil have been resolved, you should move on to the question of how to siphon the soil in the aquarium. Simply put, how to remove accumulated mud sediment from its bottom.

Of course, there are special devices called aquarium siphons, which are analogous to ordinary hoses. They are elongated flasks and flexible tubes with a length of 1.6 to 2 m and a diameter of up to 2 cm.These components are connected through special holes, representing a hose with increased dimensions.

After the installation of the aforementioned cleaning structure, it plunges into the aquarium and begins its activity. Due to the periodic intake of air, the water from the aquarium begins to pour out, and the most polluted areas of the soil become clean. Some aquarists may use conventional medical syringes when looking for an answer to the question of how to clean the soil in an aquarium.

While the siphon is moving from place to place, its outer end can be clamped, thereby preventing unnecessary loss of water. Modern variants of cleaning devices are already equipped with taps for adjusting the pressure, so they make it easier to “clean” the aquarium.

When cleaning, lower the end of the hose from which the dirt comes out below the water level of the aquarium itself. This must be done so that the dirt is not poured back.

In addition to the aforementioned siphon option, there are other cleaning designs. Most often these are electric pumps equipped with special fabric bags that filter water. However, here it must be borne in mind that stones for the aquarium can get there, so it is recommended to use them as carefully as possible.

The preference of a siphon over a conventional hose is also confirmed by the presence of processes of “soil boiling” during cleaning. Although, on the other hand, dirt is much lighter than soil filler, and it should come out unhindered.

What is the best substrate for an aquarium? Aquariums large and small: design

What is the best substrate for an aquarium? How much do you need? How to siphon and clean the soil in an aquarium? The answers to all these questions, which are important for the full-fledged existence of the “inhabitants” of the aquarium, will be considered in this article. Let’s build the right aquarium with our own hands, taking into account all the nuances of the nutrient soil and its laying.

Types of bottom and glass decoration

  • Driftwood from different types of wood (alder, mango, mopani).
  • Multicolored stones.
  • Sea corals and shells.
  • Pebbles, black quartz, coral sand.
  • Plastic and live plants.
  • Aquarium backgrounds in the form of a film on glass.
  • Various items (castles, sunken ships, arches, volcanoes, statues).

Main characteristics of aquarium soil

Both a small aquarium and its large analogue must be “decorated” with different colors. Usually the owners choose the jewelry themselves. But, despite this, many experts are inclined to choose a dark soil that allows you to see the contents of the aquarium well.

If we talk about the estimated thickness of the layer, then it depends on the parameters of the aquarium, as well as on the number of living and inanimate objects. Therefore, the approach to solving the question of which soil is better for the aquarium to choose is strictly individual.

It should be borne in mind that for aquarium plants and fish, the soil will make a significant difference. As mentioned above, representatives of the flora use it as a substrate for rooting and subsequent nutrition. Considering this, it should be not only a decorative component, but also a life-supporting one.

If you believe the general rules for arranging aquariums, then the soil should be fine or medium-grained, taking into account the power of the root systems. For underdeveloped plants, you can use sand, and for highly developed plants, a coarse-grained fraction.

Note! If you choose which soil is best for the aquarium, then during its purchase you need to study the material from which it is made and the color scheme. The best option for an aquarium would be a natural, unpainted coating.

It is also advisable to find out the chemical composition and origin of the soil before purchasing it. The presence of limestone will provoke the release of carbonate, which will significantly increase the hardness of the water. Its presence is evidenced by the release of gas bubbles.