Aquarists, both beginners and professionals, always pay attention to the soil. Beginners have a lot of questions. Let's try to answer the most common ones.
A few questions about the soil for the aquarium
What are the functions of the soil?
Ground for the aquarium performs two main functions:
- It serves as the basis for rooting algae.
- Performs a decorative function.
Is the soil in the aquarium necessary, is it a necessary condition for the successful existence of fish?
If the aquarium does not involve any decorations or algae, then the soil is not necessary. In industrial conditions, when breeding fish, the soil is not used, but in domestic conditions it performs mainly a decorative function.
Can I create a primer for the aquarium with my own hands?
Can. For "homemade" soil, you need to take clay, soak it in water to a state of fluid, mix the solution with gravel. The resulting mixture serves as the basis, the first layer on which the nutrient soil is laid.
The nutrient soil is prepared from peat and gravel. The mixture is added balls of clay and charcoal, which will absorb the products of the decomposition process and prevents the staining of water.
The third layer is decorative. Gravel is usually used. It hides the nutrient layer and serves as an additional protective layer, preventing the staining of water.
Stacking the soil in the aquarium also occurs "layer by layer": first the first layer is laid, at some distance from the walls of the aquarium, on top of the second one. The decorative layer is laid last, it is also filled with gaps between the first two layers and the walls of the aquarium - in this case the entire layered "pie" of the soil will not be visible to the outside eye.
Homemade soil is not as balanced as purchased soil, so it is only in the third or fourth week after the first water is substituted for the first fish in the aquarium with such a soil, and the rapid growth of plants caused by the ingestion of large quantities of nutrients into the water will stop.
How to prepare a purchase primer for the aquarium?
Purchased soil must be washed until the water becomes clear. It is also advised to boil the soil for additional purification to kill all kinds of bacteria. But boiling is not suitable for every kind of soil, so it is better to consult a seller about its need for a particular soil.
Attention! The nutrient soil is not washed, but immediately put into the aquarium!
How much soil do you need in the aquarium?
Calculate the amount of soil you can by the formula below:
m (kg) = a * b * h * 1.5 / 1000
a, b - length and width of the aquarium in cm, h - height of the soil layer in cm, m - mass of the soil.
The general rule is this: if the plants in the aquarium are in small quantities, then the soil layer should not exceed 2 cm.
If it is planned to arrange the present "seabed" in the aquarium, then the soil layer should be at least 5 cm.
A too thick layer of soil can lead to water sodding, so to accurately determine the height of the soil, use the formula.
How to clean the ground in an aquarium?
The first month the soil should not be cleaned. After the first month, when the fish manage to settle down, the soil is cleaned once a month: the remains of food, waste are removed. Determine when it is necessary to clean the ground, it is easy enough: you need to raise it with your hand and sniff at the bubbles rising from the bottom. If the smell is sour, then the soil should be cleaned. It is very convenient to use a siphon for cleaning. The process of cleaning with a siphon is simple enough and is combined with a partial replacement of water in the aquarium, there is no need to plant any fish.
The funnel cylinder on the siphon sticks into a certain area of the ground. It is necessary to rake the ground to the very bottom, while it rises and then slowly settles. At this time, it is necessary to draw the particles out of the water with a siphon. Heavy ground (pebbles) quickly sinks to the bottom, it does not have time to tighten the siphon, and the dirt particles leave through the tube into the drain. Cleaning the ground is completed when the water in the tip becomes clean. Thus, each section of the soil is treated.