For aquarium

What soil is needed for an aquarium


Soil for the aquarium: which one is better

So, it happened. The question to be or not to be with the purchase of an aquarium was decided in the direction of being, after a huge number of logical conclusions and financial calculations. And what's next? After all, one desire is clearly not enough for a piece of the sea striking with beauty to appear at home, and the fish living in it always please the eye with health and lively activity. To achieve this goal, you need to solve a bunch of small tasks, and one of them is the choice of soil for the future of the underwater kingdom. This question is one of the most important and paramount.

Why do you need primer

It is quite natural that a person standing in front of a shop or market stall may have his eyes scattered from the presented variety of underwater land. There is a variety of soil in color, in shape and in size.

In such an abundance of products it is easy to get lost, not only to a beginner, but also to a different lover. After all, the aquarium bottom is not only an important component of the decor, along with the background, lighting and decorations, it also plays one of the main roles in the biochemical life of the aquarium.

On its surface, beneficial microorganisms, bacteria, fungi, and bryozoans are actively developing and multiplying, and he actively processes the waste products of the inhabitants of the underwater kingdom.

A sort of natural filter in which various kinds of suspended matter and microparticles that pollute water are deposited. And this is all, not to mention the fact that the soil is a substrate for most underwater plants.

So, before grabbing one or another bag of soil from the store shelf, you should first decide - no matter how strange it sounds - what the aquarium is made for.

The further choice of the bottom litter depends on the answer to the question posed, because for fish it is one, and for plants it is completely different.

Types of soil

Aquarium soil is divided into three main categories:

Natural. This group includes materials of exclusively natural origin that have not undergone any additional processing, for example, gravel, sand, pebbles, quartz, crushed stone.

This soil does not contain any nutrients, and the underwater garden planted in it will begin to grow no earlier than six months after planting, when there is enough waste and sludge accumulated in it, which plants can use as food.

To speed up the growth of underwater flora, the earth must be further nourished. Underwater fertilizers in the form of tablets, capsules or granules can be purchased at any pet store. In this group, sometimes there is a variation - processed natural soil, for example, from baked clay.

Mechanical substrate. In this case, the soil obtained by chemical or mechanical processing of natural material.

Artificial. Many companies make certain nutrient mixtures for aquariums. This type of soil is best suited for the Dutch aquarium, in which the first place plants, and for shrimp.

What can not be used?

Natural is not always good

Any natural soil that releases soluble substances into the water, such as marble, shell rock or coral sand.

Calcium carbonate contained in these types of minerals, over time begins to dissolve in the soft-acidic environment of the aquarium, thereby increasing the hardness of the water. If you do not grow special fish that carry or live in hard water, this type of soil will be fatal for underwater inhabitants.

Therefore, if the origin of the acquired soil causes the slightest suspicion or doubt, a simple home test can be performed, which will show the safety level of the flooring.

Just splash a small amount of vinegar or citric acid on it. If bubbles or foam are formed on the surface, then this ground cannot be used. It is better to refuse it or, if it is a pity to throw it out, then it can be processed by washing with hydrochloric acid.

To do this, you need to soak for a couple of hours in acid, and then rinse under a strong jet of warm water. Don't forget about rubber gloves!

Glass primer - what's the catch?

Although this type of bottom flooring is chemically neutral, it is not recommended to use it in aquarism, since the glass surface is devoid of porosity, in which useful microparticles and bacteria develop, it is absolutely smooth. In addition, plant nutrients are not retained in such a soil, they are washed out, and the underwater garden dies quickly.

Layered soil

Common mistake. Very often, especially beginners, lay out the soil in layers, falling asleep a large fraction of the small. This cannot be done, since the basic quality of the bottom litter is lost - its porosity.

Any soil, whatever you choose, must breathe.

Otherwise, the water will start to stagnate, and this will lead to waterlogging, decay of organic matter (fish waste products, food remains and dead plant leaves), releasing substances harmful to the flora and fauna and, as a result, death of underwater inhabitants and the transformation of the once beautiful aquarium in a fetid swamp.

Expanded clay

It is possible, but not necessary.

First of allThis material is very small and light. Fish that began to dig in it instantly muddy the water, raising a pile of silt and dust.

SecondlyIts high porosity contributes to the absorption of organic pollution and further clogging of the underwater environment, as in the case of non-flowing soil.

Garden land

There is such a misconception that land suitable for cultivation of land crops, suitable for underwater. Not true! If you throw this land into an aquarium, then the process of decay will begin in a couple of days, and what this leads to was written above. Therefore, it is better to leave this land under your favorite petunia or on the garden with a carrot and not pull it in the akvadom.

What else?

Any other materials that are not suitable for use as an aquarium floor, for example, cat litter (such tips are sometimes found).

What you should pay attention to?

Size matters

The main rule that needs to be guided in choosing the bottom flooring is as follows: the smaller the fish, the finer the soil. And the more fragile the root system of plants, the smaller should be the particles, and for strong and healthy roots it is better to choose a coarse fraction of soil.

The nature of the fish

You should also consider the habits of selected future pets. It is logical if the fish love to dig in the land, then for such restless ones one should prefer a mixture of a large fraction, otherwise the water will be constantly clouded.

But there are exceptions, for example, fish, in which the process of digging and being in the ground is an integral part of life. And if they are deprived of this, then they will be uncomfortable. For such pets large flooring is not suitable. They will beat him like a wall.

If the habits of future pets are still unknown, or you have not decided on filling the aquarium, then in this case you should consult with the seller before choosing the soil.

The form

Also, close attention should be paid to the shape and size. The particles should be even, rounded, without chipping and potholes. Not only is planting in uneven soil more difficult, as well as plant survival in it is significantly reduced. And this is all, not to mention the fact that such a bottom can injure underwater inhabitants and cause them injury.

To size. If the material particles are less than 1 mm, then this soil can be safely attributed to the sand. From 5 mm - pebble, coarse soil.

Whatever type of soil you choose, the main thing is to follow the water permeability rule. To ensure it, it is best to choose a soil in which the particle size is about the same, and no matter how long or wide they are, 1 mm or 10 mm. The main thing is to prevent larger particles from falling asleep, otherwise the respiration of the soil is disturbed and the aquarium rot and swamp.


There are no restrictions here. Now in the shops lies on the shelves a huge amount of multi-colored soil. For aqua-designers, this is just paradise! When choosing a color, it is worth starting from the aesthetic combination of shapes and shades, as well as playing on contrasts.

Probably not the best solution for choosing a blue fish blue bottom mound, while all around planting green plants. Everything here is limited to the imagination and creativity of the aquarist. Color rules to help you.

Accommodation in the aquarium

Before pouring the acquired bottom flooring, it is worth washing it. This is done under the pressure of running water to wash away excess dust and lime. For greater certainty, you can boil.

Do not use soaps or other cleaning products for this process, since chemistry will be even more difficult to remove in the future.

The flooring can be placed on the bottom of the tank in an even layer, or it can be tilted from the far wall to the front. This type of placement will give relief to the underwater landscape. Here again, it all depends on the taste and imagination of the owner.

The optimal layer size is 5-7 mm. You can pour 10 mm, but remember that the pressure exerted by the soil on the glass will increase several times. Will it survive? In addition, a thick layer of flooring will not be well permeable, which means that there is a high risk of starting the process of stagnation and decay. You can also mix the soil of different colors, creating drawings and patterns at the bottom. There is nothing wrong with this, but over time the ground will spread, and nothing will remain of creativity.

After that, decorations are placed on the bottom - snags, pots, houses, etc. Then the aquarium is filled with water by half, and only now it is possible to plant the plants. After landing, you can add water by stepping back from the edge of 2 cm.

And even when everything is done and the aquarium is ready to receive its first tenants, do not rush. From the moment of launching the aquarium and before replanting the fish in it, it takes 2-3 weeks for the microflora of water to settle, and the plants to take root and strengthen in a new place.

Ground care

Caring for the soil is in its periodic cleaning. This is done by a special device - siphon. It is sold in pet stores. This is something like a vacuum cleaner to clean the aquarium, which is draining unnecessary residues of organic matter from the soil using a vacuum.

If the bottom flooring was chosen correctly, its permeability was preserved, then caring for it is not difficult. Cleaning is done as it is polluted, the ground itself changes completely about once every five years.

In the new aquarium, it is best to feed plants with special fertilizers. In the first year it is not necessary to clean it.

The aquarium can be completely without soil. In this case, the plants are planted on the bottom in special pots. By the way, the plants themselves can also be used as bottom litter, for example, a creeping echinodorus.

Whatever soil you prefer, the main thing is that it should be chosen wisely and precisely for the goals that were set. Follow these simple rules, and the aquarium will always delight you with beauty, and the underwater inhabitants will remain grateful.

The choice of soil for the aquarium. What soil is needed for an aquarium

The soil in the aquarium is designed to create a type of natural reservoir and biological balance of the environment. Being a substrate for rooting plants, the soil contains the necessary microorganisms that feed the roots of plants and maintain cleanliness in the aquarium. As a decorative element, the soil determines the color background and the overall composition in the aquarium, and therefore the choice of soil for the aquarium is not as simple as it seems.

Soil selection

As the soil for the aquarium can be used natural sand, pebbles, rubble or other types of soil, obtained by processing natural materials. In this case, the soil must be permeable to water and air and not emit harmful substances soluble in water. The main parameter when choosing aquarium soil is the size of its grains. Fine-grained soil lies in a dense layer at the bottom of the aquarium and impedes the circulation of water in it. Such stagnation can lead to plant rot and water pollution. The loose soil serves as a shelter for some species of fish, but also contributes to the pollution of the aquarium environment with feed particles and other waste products stuck among the grains of the soil.

The best soil is gravel, large grains of which should not contain calcium salts and minerals.

To consolidate the root system of plants, gravel is poured in an even layer of 5–8 cm. Yellowish or gray gravel is most often used as a background design. For decorative compositions in aquariums without plants or with unusual fish breeds, bright colored gravel is used.

What soil is needed for an aquarium

Ground for a freshwater aquarium

The most common types of soil for a freshwater aquarium are coarse river sand, pebbles and gravel. It is not recommended to use light sand, reflecting light from the walls of the aquarium, and quartz sand, the sharp edges of which can cut the fish. For the formation of the relief is often used mixed soil of sand and pebbles of different sizes. Such soil provides good aeration and creates a natural background. The soil of sand of various colors is ideal for large aquariums with goldfish, llyariusami and scalars.

Soil for marine aquarium

The background in the form of a sea bottom can be created with the help of soil from quartz or coral chips, sea pebbles and small shells. One of the most popular decorative ornaments for a marine aquarium is colored artificial soil that does not affect the composition and properties of water in an aquarium. The basis of the reef can be formed from pieces of tuff or soil of another volcanic rock. Fragments of sea shells are used as shelters for such species of aquarium fish as a clown, karang or angelfish.

In a marine aquarium, a coarse-grained substrate is responsible for the biological purification of the aquarium and the required composition of water. Shell crushed stone and coral sand increase the calcium content in the soil and have a high buffer capacity.

Understanding what kind of soil is needed for an aquarium, you can carefully select it to maintain the natural biological processes and are necessary for shelter and reproduction of many types of aquarium fish.

Soil and nutritional substrate for aquarium plants: selection, preparation, laying

Soil for aquarium plants: selection, preparation, laying

What begins any hardscape? Of course, from the base: from the selection, preparation and laying of aquarium soil.

In this article I would like to elaborate in detail about the features of the use of a particular aquarium soil, the order and specifics of laying the substrate for aquarium plants.

In principle, most of the points that will be discussed in this article are applicable to other types of aquarium, but still the emphasis will be placed on a herbalist, a Dutch, Amman aquarium.
The choice of aquarium soil for plants
I think that for many aquarists it will not be a secret that in addition to quartz and granite chips, there are special grounds for different aquariums - with plants, with shrimps, etc.
Why all? Because the substrate of the aquarium plays the most important role in his life. The future of the running aquarium depends on its properties and characteristics. Soil is not only a biofilter from NO2 NO3, it is also a certain composition, certain properties that allow you to comfortably live and develop specifically taken aquatic organisms.
Therefore, the choice of aquarium soil should be approached especially carefully and do not regret money for high-quality substrates!
At the same time, you can use ordinary, inexpensive soils ... as they say, this question is purely individual. In any case, you initially have to decide what you want to see in your aquarium — soil-growing plants (hemianthus, elioharissa, glossygosmma, etc.) or mosses, or huge burdock plants (echinodorus, cryptocoryne, etc.).
If you are not going to arrange a garden in the aquarium (1/2, 2/3 of the aquarium), if the plants you are going to plant are not very pretentious to the substrate, then you can safely choose the usual (preferably unpainted) soil corresponding to fractions.
However, not all conventional soils are suitable for aquarium plants and they need to be checked for solubility or in other words for increased stiffness.
How to do it? It's very simple, put aquarium soil in a bowl and pour 9% vinegar there. If the ground began to hiss (bubbles and a characteristic hiss went, as when opening a soda), then this soil is not suitable for (most) aquarium plants. If you have the opportunity (for example, in a pet store, the soils are sold by weight), then the above-described manipulation is best done with a purchase, dripping a little vinegar on the soil you like.
Why it is impossible to use hissing aquarium soil?
Hissing of the soil, says that it increases the rigidity - increases DH, KH and PH. Most aquarium plants love and even require "soft water", their content in "hard water", in "hard ground" is difficult.
In addition, the soil sizzling (calcera-containing, for example, marble chips) not only affects the hardness of the water ... this is not the main problem for plants. A serious problem is that most of the micro and macro elements that absorb the roots of aquarium plants are absorbed by them in the form of humic acids. In neutral soil is established weakly acidic environment, which contributes to plant nutrition, through the roots.And, here if !!! the soil gives out excess calcium, this does not happen and the plants have a problem with feeding through the root system.
You may have a question - why do they sell such “hissing” primer in stores? Why not sell neutral? The answer is very simple. First, neutral soil is more expensive, and secondly, “hissing” soil is suitable and even useful for keeping most African cichlids that prefer hard water.
Special soils for aquarium plants
The choice of special groats for aquarium plants is diverse. In fact, every major brand has its own line of substrates for aquarium plants.
All of them meet the needs of aquarium plants - they are light and porous, which contributes to the absence of oxygen-free zones and favorable growth of colonies of beneficial bacteria in the soil. They are neutral and contain the necessary macro elements for plants.
All the variety of such substrates can be divided by small strokes, brand and price tag. Below is an example of the soil that I use - a kind of combination of price and quality.

Aquael Aqua Grunt and / or Aquael Aqua Floran
- specialized substrate for aquarium plants with a large number of minerals. It contains many necessary and useful elements (iron, magnesium, aluminum and silicon), which enrich the water in the aquarium with useful minerals and trace elements. Aquael Aqua Grunt promotes fast and lush plant growth in an aquarium. Aqua aqua soil consists of light porous granules, does not contain nitrogen compounds and phosphates. The porous structure of the soil prevents the appearance of an anaerobic zone in the deeper parts of the soil and is an ideal substrate for the development of beneficial bacteria to facilitate the rooting of newly planted plants. The substrate remains active for many years and does not require an additive. It is recommended to lay a layer of washed gravel under a layer of 1.5-2 cm under 3 cm. One package with a capacity of 3 liters is enough to fill a standard 60 cm long aquarium.
- ensure the circulation of water in the substrate;
- prevent the appearance of anaerobic zones;
- ideal substrates for beneficial bacteria;
- facilitate rooting of plants;
- active for many years and do not require supplementation;
- completely harmless to fish;
- do not cause a change in water color or transparency;
- do not contain nitrogen compounds and phosphates;
- do not require washing before use;
- contains minerals;
- promotes rooting;
Packaging 3 liters per 60 cm length of the aquarium.
Good proven soil))), Polish! For garden pochvokvki can be used without the main soil.

Substrates, nutritious soil for aquarium plants

No less important substrate for plants are nutrient soils. Their variety is also very large.
Substrates for aquarium plants should be distinguished from Aquael Grunt soils, as these are not granules, but nutrient substrates consisting mainly of: clay and peat, as well as other components. Substrates can be applied both with ordinary soil and with Aquael Aqua Soil type substrates.
Nutritious substrate for aquarium plants - this is the storage of nutrients in the soil. It fits under the bottom of the ground, makes it possible to achieve effective growth of aquatic plants with relatively small financial investments. When choosing a substrate, it is worth paying attention to the composition of nutrients that will come with it to the aquarium. With some manufacturers you can get a set of trace elements and iron, while others feed with nitrates, phosphates and other useful substances.
Nutrient grounds - provide nutrition of aquatic plants through the roots and support their growth, also stabilizes the aquatic environment, normalizes the water parameters. Aquarium plants are able to absorb nutrients, both through the leaves and through the root system. Many species of plants in an aquarium in their natural habitat in dry weather live for months as marsh and at this time they develop an extensive root system in the ground through which they receive water and nutrients. Usually, such aquatic plants are strong absorbers of nutrients and require good soil in aquarium for good growth. And therefore, the consumption of nutrients only through the leaves is not enough for them. Liquid fertilizers can be used in an aquarium only as an addition to nutrition, but in no way replace a rich nutrient soil. Therefore, it is very important to choose the right nutrient soils and substrates for your aquarium!
It should be noted that in spite of the usefulness of such substrates, they should not be used in an aquarium, where there will be two - three spreads. Such substrates need good herbalists. In addition, nutrient soils require stronger filtration, otherwise the water may turn sour.
Below is a description of the substrate that I use.
JBL AquaBasis plus - This is a ready-made mixture of nutrients for aquarium plants. Used when launching new aquariums. Provides asthenia with all nutrients for healthy and fast growth. D & B Aqua Basis contains iron, trace elements and minerals that all aquatic plants need. Favorable fast, healthy and strong development of the root system of plants. The clay in the mixture acts as a storage pantry for nutrients, which binds nutrients when they are oversupplied and releases in case of shortages. Provides long-term and complete nutrition of aquarium plants. Does not contain phosphates and nitrates, causing the growth of unwanted algae. Validity 3 years!
Application: Contents 5 kg. a package is enough for an aquarium of 100-200 liters. It is laid on the bottom of the aquarium with a uniform layer about 2 cm high. A layer of the main soil about 4 cm high with a fraction of 2-3 mm is laid on top. Do not use coarse gravel!
Video about JBL AquaBasis plus

Additives and feedings for aquarium plants

There are also separate additives and dressings for plants that fit into the ground. Their compositions are different.
In my opinion, the best supplements are thermal-containing feedings. As an additional feeding in my herbalist, I used clean, crushed tourmaline, which I bought as a stone and ground it into powder. Read more here!
Laying aquarium soil for plants
So, as you understand, the substrate for aquarium plants is a layer cake, which plays an important role in the life of plants.
Once again, the underlining that the use of special substrates for aquarium plants is needed only in "dense herbalists".
Sometimes, an aquarium design with live aquarium plants is planned so that the plants are in a certain part of the aquarium, for example, in the corner. The rest of the aquarium is free and other decorations are placed on it - stones, snags, etc. In this case, nutrient substrates should be placed only in the part of the aquarium where the plants will be. At the same time for the delimitation of the zone, you can use ordinary cardboard partitions. How, for example, does it Takashi Amano at the Moscow seminar.
Below, I will give the scheme by which I laid the soil in
your "dense" herbalist

1. At the bottom of the aquarium, two capsules of a dry biostrater were scattered to speed up the adjustment of the biobalance and the development of a colony of beneficial bacteria in the soil. And also, two tablespoons (without a hill) of tourmaline powder are evenly scattered.
2. JBL Aqua Basis plus is laid in a layer of 2 cm.
3. Part of the AquaEl Aqua Grunt package. Scattered for easy mixing with JBL Aqua Basis plus and creating a smooth mass heterogeneity.
4. The basic, usual soil is laid (a crumb of 2-3 ml.).
5. The remaining parts of the AquaEl Aqua Grunt package. It was scattered to the very top, since predominantly the herbalist consists of the cube chemionus and the elioharis, which, it is extremely dreary to plant, due to its small size. To lighter soil, these plants are easier to take root.
6. And at the end another spoon was spilled, another tourmaline. And also, while thinking about the cube, the powder from the Tetra PlantaStart tablet, which contains hormones for quicker and better rooting of plants, is scattered.

Here is such a solid layer turned out!

The above scheme is naturally not a dogma, but serves as only one example of laying aquarium soil for plants.
The use of soil in the aquascape

and tools for working with aquarium soil

Any design of the aquarium begins with the ground. It is very important to imagine in advance how the soil will look in your aquarium, how it will be distributed over the entire area of ​​the aquarium: exactly, hills, slides, with a rise to the back wall of the aquarium, etc.
The layering of the substrate for aquarium plants often does not allow all to alter or produce global manipulation. Well, you will not separate the substrate from the main ground, if you do not like something!? Alas, it will not bring anything good. At least there will be a suspension in the water, and as a maximum, the substrate will all pop up. It is necessary to have a plan of laying the ground in advance!
Using a non-standard (uneven) landscape gives the aquarium a volume and perspective. The elementary raising of the soil to the back wall of the aquarium already gives volume, what can we say about the hills with stones and the Amman tracks ... they look gorgeous!

Conversely, illiterate soil distribution leads to fatal errors! For example, raising the ground to the front wall of the aquarium spoils everything and looks ugly.

In aquascape, there are special paddles, rulers and brushes for working with the ground.
They cost a little, and I don’t want to buy them for one, two times. Therefore, it is possible and even necessary to use an ordinary brush for painting walls and, for example, a rubber spatula for rubbing the joints between tiles. It is worth a penny.

I wish you success in creating your aquarium masterpiece!

Questions that are most often asked about the soil in the aquarium

Gravel, sand and special or brand soils - now there are many different types of aquarium soils. We tried to collect the most common questions in one article and give answers to them. Although most of the soils were already washed before being sold, they still contain a lot of dirt and various debris. Washing the soil can be dirty, tedious, and in the winter and unpleasant work. The easiest and most effective way to wash the soil is to place a part of it under the running water.

For example, I do this: a liter of soil in a 10-liter bucket, the bucket itself in the bathroom, under the faucet. I open the maximum pressure and forget about the grut for some time, regularly coming up and stirring it (use a thick glove, it is unknown what could be in it!) While mixing, you will see that the upper layers are almost clean, and in the lower ones there is still a lot of garbage. The time of such washing depends on the volume and the purity of the soil.

How to wash the soil before putting it in the aquarium?

But for some soils, this method may not be suitable if they are very composed of a very small fraction and float away. Then you can simply fill the bucket to the edge, allow time for the heavy particles to sink to the bottom, and drain the water with the light dirt particles.

Note, you cannot wash lateritic primers. Laterite is a soil that forms in the tropics, at high temperature and humidity. It contains a large amount of iron and gives good food for plants in the first year of aquarium life.

How much should you buy soil for the aquarium?

The question is more complicated than it may seem at first glance. The soil is sold by weight or by volume, but for the aquarist, the soil layer in the aquarium is important, and it is difficult to calculate it by weight. For sand, the layer is usually 2.5-3 cm, and for gravel it is more than about 5-7 cm.

The weight of a liter of dry soil ranges from 2 kg for sand, to 1 kg for clay dry soils. In order to calculate how much you need, just count the volume you need and multiply by the weight of the soil you need.

I added bright gravel to the aquarium and my pH has grown, why?

Many bright soils are made of white dolomite. This natural mineral is rich in calcium and magnesium, and its colorless species are sold for use in saltwater aquariums and aquariums with African cichlids in order to increase water hardness.

If you have hard water in the aquarium, or you keep fish that do not pay special attention to the water parameters, then you have nothing to worry about. But for fish that need soft water, this kind of soil will be a real disaster.

Malawian Aquarium

How to siphon soil in an aquarium?

The easiest way is to regularly siphon the soil. How is the part? With every water change, ideally. Now there are various fashionable siphon options - whole aquarium vacuum cleaners. But in order to properly clean the soil in your tank, you need the simplest siphon, consisting of a hose and pipe. In a good way, you can make it yourself out of scrap materials. But it is easier to buy, since it costs quite a bit, and in use it is simple and reliable.

How to use the siphon for the soil?

Siphon is designed to remove dirt and soil during partial water changes in your tank. That is, you are not easy to drain the water, and at the same time clean the soil. In the work of the siphon for the soil, the force of gravity is used - a stream of water is created, which carries away light particles with it, and the heavy elements of the soil remain in the aquarium.

Thus, with a partial water change, you clean most of the soil, drain the old water and add fresh, settled.

To create a stream of water, you can use the easiest and most common way - suck water with your mouth. Some siphons have a special device that pumps water.


What is the optimum soil diameter?

The space between the soil particles depends directly on the size of the particles themselves. The larger the size, the more the soil will be ventilated and the less chance it will sour. For example, gravel can pass into itself a much larger amount of water, and, accordingly, oxygen with nutrients than the same sand. If I had been offered a choice, I would stop on gravel or basalt with a fraction of 3-5 mm. If you like sand - do not worry, just try to take coarse-grained, for example, small river and can be compressed to the state of concrete.

Also note that some fish like to rummage or even dig in the ground, and they need sand or very fine gravel. For example, akantoftalmus, corridors, tarakatum, various loaches.

How to change the soil without restarting the aquarium?

The easiest way to remove old soil is to use the same siphon. But you will need a larger size of both the hose and the siphon pipe than the standard one, so that you can create a powerful stream of water that will carry not only dirt, but also heavy particles.

Then you can gently add a new soil, and pour fresh water instead of the one that you leaked. The disadvantage of the method is that sometimes you need to drain too much water in the siphon process to remove all the soil. In this case, you can do it in several passes. Or choose the soil using a plastic container, but the dirt will be much more. Or even easier, use a net made of thick fabric.

Coral sand in an aquarium - is it safe?

No, unless you want to increase the rigidity and acidity in your tank. It contains a large amount of lime, and you can use coral sand in case you keep fish who like hard water, for example, African cichlids.

It can also be used if you have very soft water in the region and you need to increase the hardness for the normal maintenance of aquarium fish.
What is the thickness of the ground to put in the aquarium?
For sand 2.5-3 cm is enough in most cases, for gravel about 5-7 cm. But much still depends on the plants that you intend to keep in the aquarium.

I added a specialized substrate in the ground. Can I siphon it as usual?

In case you use a specialized substrate, then the siphon can significantly drain it. The first time, at least, before significant silting, it is better to refuse to use a siphon. If you make a substrate, then plant a lot of plants. And if you plant a lot of plants, then siphon, in general, is not necessary. And if it so happened that you need to siphon, then only the uppermost layer of the soil siphons (and with the substrate it should be at least 3-4 cm).

Well, it would be necessary to clarify that the substrate cannot be used with strongly digging living creatures, such as cichlids or crustaceans - they will get to the bottom of it - there will be an emergency situation in the aquarium.

What is such a neutral ground? How to check it?

Neutral is a soil that does not contain significant amounts of mineral substances and does not give them into the water. Mel, marble chips and other types are far from neutral. Check is very simple - you can drip vinegar on the ground, if there is no foam, then the ground is neutral. Naturally, it is better to use classic soils - sand, gravel, basalt, since in addition to changing the parameters of water, unpopular soils can contain a lot of dangerous things.

Is it possible to use soils with different fractions?

It is possible, but note that if you use sand and gravel together, for example, then in time, larger particles will be at the top. But it looks sometimes very beautiful.

Soil for aquarium

Why and why?

primer for aquarium

Soil is one of the most important components of the entire aquarium biosystem. The nutrient base optimally selected in size and color for the aquarium not only improves its appearance, but also makes it possible to shade and even enhance the color intensity of its inhabitants. In addition, it is the soil that is the substrate for many tropical plants.Here the roots are strengthened, and reproduction and nutrition take place.

For certain types of fish, black soil is a habitat. Mastocembel and macrognatus spend time, burrowing in the "ground", with only inquisitive sharp faces sticking out. Such curious Barbarians are so accustomed to raking the bottom, that they get sick and even die without soil. In addition, for almost all aquarium pets, the lack of soil is stress. In the "bare" aquarium, the inhabitants become nervous, clogged in shelters and lose their color.

The soil for the aquarium is also important in view of the fact that for many genera and species of fish in the old manner remains a reliable substrate for spawning. Putting eggs to the ground and building nests in it is a favorite occupation for them. Black or white primer - the basis of the filter layer; This is the most important part of the biosystem. Microorganisms that produce biological water purification and processing chemical compounds (harmful to inhabitants) settle on it. Thus, the soil for the aquarium maintains eco-balance even in a closed volume.

Which soil is better for an aquarium?

The choice of the most suitable soil is not as easy to make as it seems: it depends on many factors. The first substrate (marble chips, building sand) is extremely forbidden for use! There are cases when rare tropical fish died because of the owner's amateurish approach to the choice of soil for the aquarium.

Sharp and large pieces of the substrate are dangerous for causing fatal injuries to your colorful pets, so it is recommended to use selected treated black primer, specially designed for aquariums.

Choice of soil for the aquarium: how much to hang in grams?

You ask the quite reasonable question "how much soil is needed in an aquarium"? If it is evenly distributed along the bottom, the layer should be at least 3 cm, and preferably more - up to 12 cm. Experienced aquarists recommend making platforms free from soil in the form of small “terraces” in the feeding zones of your pets. This is necessary in order to avoid the burying of live food in the "land".

It is advisable to do a little more at the back of your “aqua” layer with decreasing towards the front wall without sharp drops. Why is white soil less preferred? This is unnatural for the tenants of the aquarium! In most cases, in nature, the fish live in places with dark ground, so they experience a frank discomform = t when the owner chooses a white ground.

Recommendations on the choice of soil

natural soil

Which soil is better to use as a substrate for the aquarium? There is no single answer to such a delicate question. The fish are demanding on the hydrochemical composition of the water, and the soil has a strong influence on it. The neutral option is small gravel or crushed stone with a size of 4-5 mm. In no case do not use the crushed stone of red shades - it has a high iron content, which negatively affects fish and plant growth.

There are fish (some species of viviparous or cichlian African lakes of Malawi and Tanganyika) that require water with an increased level of hardness. In the aquarium with them it is better to add small pieces of marble or marble chips. It is not recommended to use as a soil very fine sand, because the soil is a substrate for microorganisms designed to maintain bio-equilibrium in a closed system. For this, a constant circulation of oxygen and water must be carried out, which is extremely difficult in fine sand.

Often in the aquarium with sand, rotting of organic matter occurs, which eventually accumulate at the bottom. The result is the release of hydrogen sulfide, which is deadly for fish and plants. That is why the choice of soil for the aquarium should be given special attention. Do not use very large pebbles or gravel, as the smallest inhabitants of your aquarium may die due to the fact that innocuous creatures can get stuck there, as if in shelters, but they will not be able to get out. For territorial fish and those that are nocturnal, you want to create shelters, the most suitable to them in size from large stones or pots.

Soil for aquarium

Aquarists, both beginners and professionals, always pay attention to the ground. 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?

Soil for the aquarium has two main functions:

  1. Serves as the basis for rooting algae.
  2. Performs a decorative function.

Do you need soil in the aquarium, is it a necessary condition for the successful existence of fish?

If the aquarium does not imply any decoration or algae, then the ground is not necessary. In industrial conditions, when breeding fish, the soil is not used, but in domestic conditions it performs mainly a decorative function.

Is it possible to create a soil for the aquarium with your own hands?

Can. For a “homemade” soil, you will need to take clay, soak it in water to a state of slurry, mix the solution with gravel. The resulting mixture serves as the basis, the first layer on which the nutrient soil is laid.

Nutritious soil prepares from peat and gravel. Balls of clay and charcoal are added to the mixture, which will absorb the products of the decomposition process and prevent water staining.

The third layer is decorative. Usually use gravel. It hides the nutrient layer and serves as an additional protective layer that prevents staining of water.

Laying the soil in the aquarium also occurs in layers: first, the first layer is placed, at some distance from the walls of the aquarium, on top of the second. The decorative layer fits the last, they also fill the gaps between the first two layers and the walls of the aquarium - in this case, the entire layered "cake" of the soil will not be visible to prying eyes.

Homemade soil is not as balanced as purchased, so launching the first fish into an aquarium with this soil is only in the third or fourth week, after the colored water is replaced, and the rapid growth of plants caused by the ingress of large amounts of nutrients into the water stops.

How to prepare the purchase of soil for the aquarium?

Purchased primer must be washed until the water becomes clear. It is also advised to boil the soil for additional cleaning in order to kill all sorts of bacteria. But boiling is not suitable for every type of soil, so its need for a particular soil is better to consult with the seller.

Attention! Nutrient soil is not washed, but immediately placed in the aquarium!

How much soil do you need in an aquarium?

The amount of soil can be calculated using the formula below:

m (kg) = a * b * h * 1.5 / 1000

a, b is the length and width of the aquarium in cm, h is the height of the soil layer in cm, m is the mass of the soil.

The general rule is this: if the plants in the aquarium are in insignificant quantities, the soil layer should not exceed 2 cm. If you plan to arrange a real "seabed" in the aquarium, then the soil layer should be at least 5 cm.

Too thick a layer of soil can lead to acidification of water, therefore, to accurately determine the height of the soil should use the formula.

How to clean the soil in the aquarium?

The first month of the soil should not be cleaned. After the first month, when the fish have time to settle down, the soil is cleaned once a month: food remains and waste are removed. Determining exactly when to clean the soil is easy enough: you need to turn it around with your hand and smell the bubbles rising from the bottom. If the smell is sour, then it's time to clean the soil. It is very convenient to use siphon for cleaning. The process of cleaning with the help of a siphon is quite simple and is combined with a partial replacement of water in the aquarium, while you do not need to plant fish.

The funnel cylinder is siphoned into a certain piece of soil. It is necessary to stir up the ground to the very foundation, while it rises and then slowly settles. At this time, you need to siphon pull the particles out of the water. Heavy soil (pebbles) quickly sinks to the bottom, does not have time to siphon down, and dirt particles go through the tube into the drain. Cleaning the soil ends when the water in the tip becomes clean. Thus, each section of the soil is processed.

How much soil do you need in an aquarium?

Alexander Tarasov

by experience, it is better not more than three cm ... it is difficult to plant the plants with pebbles ... you need to cover them in addition ... and a big plus is easy to get dirt with the help of a hose and a funnel with a strainer ...
advice to take better soil ... not so bright ... it will distract from the fish ... and it is dyed ... and how this paint affects the fish is unknown ... better coarse sand (4 mm in diameter or granite is also a fraction of 3-5 mm ... too bright background ... fish almost invisible ... dark blue uniform or black fabric ... you can cut the stone


3-5cm Plants in pots and disguise. Soil-build. screenings

I like animals

Soil aquarium is needed - it is a priori. Often there are "sterile" jars without soil, but this is something we are all clever with and we know that without a soil the biosystem in the aquarium will not function.
For beginners who often ask "how much soil is needed," I write here the simplest formula. The height of the soil layer should be 3-5 cm. The specific thickness of the layer depends on the size of the aquarium itself (the layer should look organic and proportionate) and on the number of plants (the larger, the thicker it is usually recommended to fill the layer so that the plants feel comfortable and reliable) . However, I have never once mentioned that there was a soil layer of more than 7 cm or less than 2 cm in aquariums.
It is quite difficult and unnecessary to calculate the weight of the soil in kg, since different substrates have different densities and weights. The volume is more indicative and applicable value.
And the volume is considered elementary: the product of the length, width and height of the soil layer is divided by 1000.
length * width * height / 1000 = volume of soil, l.
By the way, yes. Volume is counted in liters. And when measuring the width and length of the bottom, you need to measure the internal parameters, because when using the "external" length and width, the volume is considered to be incorrect. And the thicker the glass aquarium, the greater the error.
From my own experience, I note that it is useful to leave a couple of liters or kg of "pro-reserve": part of the soil is washed out when washing, when changing, when weeding plants, etc., and after a while the soil will have to be poured.
That's how simple it is. Good luck!


Soil is one of the most important components in a plant aquarium. On the one hand, the roots of plants grow in it, on the other hand, plants receive nutrients from it. Here it should be noted that some plants receive them from water (for example, K, Ca, Mg must be present in water). Especially important is the presence of nutrients in the soil for plants with a developed root system - for example, cryptocoryne. If you grow elodeyu - the soil you do not really need.
On the other hand, the soil can play the role of a buffer for changing the chemical parameters of water - for example, in an aquarium with African cichlids from Lake Malawi, soil usually incorporates a lot of limestone - to maintain high water hardness.
A large amount of materials is used as a primer. Here will be considered some of them and made recommendations on the preparation of soil for the aquarium. These recommendations are not the only correct ones - there are many paths leading to success and many aquarists follow their own rules.
The main thing when choosing a soil is the question - for what aquarium are you going to use it; For an aquarium with fish where plastic or unpretentious plants grow, such as anubias. soil selection is not very important because it serves mainly decorative purposes. Plain gravel is suitable for these purposes.
If you seriously decide to start growing aquarium plants and show off a Dutch aquarium (or Amano’s laurels keep you awake), then, along with lighting and installation with carbon dioxide, you will have to think about the ground.