For aquarium

Soil for the aquarium which is better


Which soil for the aquarium is better to choose?


And let's discuss with you such an important question as the arrangement of the aquarium bottom.

Such a question arises only at the initial stage of arrangement of the aquarium world - with the purchase of an aquarium. In the future, this topic becomes irrelevant and falls. But, often, at the beginning of time, mistakes made at the very beginning make themselves felt, as a result of which everything has to be corrected.

The purpose of this article will be to draw the reader’s attention to the main accents and nuances of the selection, acquisition, preparation and placement of aquarium soil, as well as decorating the bottom of the underwater world.


Both the foundation for the house and the aquarium soil play a crucial 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. Aquarian soil is a unique biological filter, powerful and irreplaceable by nothing else.

The fact is that after the launch of the aquarium in the ground colonies of beneficial bacteria settle, which process the waste products (hereinafter - PJ) of aquatic organisms (aquatic organisms - marine and freshwater organisms constantly living in aquatic environments) into harmless substances. This process is also called the ammonia cycle - the cycle of transition of PJ into ammonia and then to its decomposition products - nitrites, nitrates.

In addition to biological filtration, the soil performs mechanical filtration. In addition, the soil is a substrate for rooting and feeding plants through the root system, the place of life of many microorganisms and some fish. The soil is even able to change the parameters of water in the right direction. That is why the choice of aquarium soil is of paramount importance! Quality, properly selected soil - is the key to a long and successful life of the aquarium!

Now imagine this situation. A novice, following stereotypes, takes a white, dyed, coarse-grained soil and puts it into the aquarium a couple of centimeters thick. Scatters seashells from above for beauty. What problems? Everyone has their own tastes and preferences. We do not in any way impose our position, but here are just some of the disadvantages of this situation:

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

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

3. Everyone knows that white color is very easily soiled. Over time, your ground will become light coffee, and if there is a surplus of algae in the aquarium, then green shades on the ground are not excluded. In addition, many drugs for the treatment of fish are synthetic dyes - methylene blue, malachite green. After applying them, the white primer is painted in the appropriate color. That is, the original aesthetic goal pursued by an aquarist is lost.

4. White colored primer is neutral in most cases, which is not the case for shells laid for beauty. They increase the hardness of the water, and this quality badly affects the life of aquarium plants and "soft-water" aquarium fish.

5. If the white soil is of natural origin, then, as a rule, it is rounded marble, and marble comes from limestone, which is perfectly soluble with organic acids, thereby increasing the rigidity of the aquarium water. Therefore, this soil can only be used for "hard water" fish.

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

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

- to collect and analyze information on hydrobionts that you plan to inhabit,

- carefully consider the design.

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

The key to a successful selection of aquarium soil and arrangement of the bottom of the aquarium is a clear view of the goals, objectives of the aquarium, as well as a common vision of the underwater kingdom.

In order to navigate, answer the following questions:

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

- Will there be live plants in your tank?

- What colors will your aquarium (lighting, background, general decor)?

- In the end, calculate the volume of aquarium soil needed for the whole of the bottom of the aquarium zastilaniya?

Answers to these questions will help you make the right choice.

Selection of ground flooring for aquarium fish

It should be understood that aquarium soil for fish and for living plants are two different things. But, since most of the aquariums are being set up specifically for fish, apart from the “Dutch aquarium”, we will start with them.

Choosing aquarium soil for fish, you must take into account their characteristics and habits. Here in this small article is a couple of examples of the relationship of Goldfish and Cichlids to aquarium soil. GROUND IN THE AQUARIUM: what kind of soil is better for an aquarium! In general, it can be said that small fish can be laid fine-grained soil, and large large or mixed. But there are exceptions !!! For example, the aforementioned goldfish, even in the period of "youth" - when they are small, they dig very much and dig at the bottom. And if they lay sand or small pebbles, the aquarium will always be muddy, not to mention the fact that fish will swallow such a soil, from which they can die. As an example, the importance of taking into account the characteristics of fish can also give an example of the characteristics of loach fish, for example, Acantoftalmus. These fish are the bottom inhabitants of the aquarium and love to dig into the ground. If you lay a coarse-grained soil in the aquarium, then the aquantophthalmos will be “hollowed about like a wall”. Of course, they will certainly not be killed, but they will not feel exactly comfortable, because you have deprived them of natural conditions and disturbed their lifestyle.

If you do not know the habits of the fish that you want to take - consult with the seller of the pet store beforehand, but rather read books or fish information on the Internet site.

The color scheme of the bottom for the fish.I think in this matter you decide. Analyzing data from the Internet, I would like to say that many recommend taking a dark ground, supposedly fish on it can be seen better. I do not know, did not check, I originally had a bed of dark blue soil. But it seems to me that the pink ground for pink fish is overkill. There must be a contrast.

The thickness of the layer of soil for fishdoes not play a special role.

Selection of bottom flooring - soil for aquarium plants As already mentioned, there is a significant difference between the soil for fish and the soil for aquarium plants. Aquarium plants use the bottom and bottom of the aquarium as a substrate for rooting and feeding. Thus, the soil for plants should perform not only decorative functions, but also the above.

As a general rule, the soil for aquarium plants should be fine-grained or medium-grained (up to 5 mm). In any case, in this matter you should start from the power of the root system of aquarium plants, which will be in your aquarium. An underdeveloped horse system requires fine-grained soil; for a strong root system, a medium or even coarse-grained fraction can be used.

The color scheme of soil for aquarium plants. It is said that for aquarium plants the ground should be dark, saying that the plants like warm ground, and the dark color of the bottom contributes to its warming. I do not know, I do not know, it seems to me that this factor is so insignificant that you should not pay attention to it. Moreover, the total heating of the aquarium for plants is enough.

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

One of the most important factors of soil for plants is its nutritional value. Most aquarium plants get nutrients from the ground. Therefore, it must be enriched by them. You can put peat, lumps of clay in the soil, as well as introduce special preparations that are sold in the pet store. You can read more about all this in this article. AQUARIUM PLANTS: let's talk about the benefits of plants for your aquarium! and Soil for aquarium plants!

Additional recommendations when choosing a soil

Choosing a primer in a pet store, pay attention to what it is made of. The best soil is a natural, natural soil, unpainted with nothing.

For example, this color primer is not very good.

Preparation of aquarium soil Before you fill the aquarium bottom with soil, you need to prepare it. If you use the soil collected "on the street" it must be washed and boiled, so that every infection does not get into the aquarium. The soil purchased at the pet store is also washed or doused with boiling water.

A big mistake for novice aquarists is to wash the aquarium soil with soap or domesticostos. This is not worth doing, as it is very difficult to wash the chemistry out of the soil, as much as redder, it will take a lot of time and effort.

After the procedures, the soil, without waiting until it dries, can be poured to the bottom of the aquarium.


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

Many novice aquarists, sometimes spread out of the soil of different colors of the drawings at the bottom of the aquarium (tracks, sun and other compositions). Such drawings are not durable - the soil is gradually mixed and as a result there is nothing left of the "sun". There is nothing bad in this, of course. However, in the end, you can get a soil of a brownish color, which can spoil the overall appearance of the aquarium.

After the distribution of the soil, I install the decor, fill the aquarium, plant the plants and feed.

Other recommendations:

- If you decide not to buy the soil in the pet store, but to make it "do it yourself", you should take into account that in such cases it is better to use gray sand or dark gravel that is taken from an environmentally friendly source (you should not take sand from the public beach) . Also for decorating the bottom, you can use volcanic gravel, crushed basalt. It is strictly forbidden to use river sand having a red or yellow color. This sand contains iron oxide, which is harmful to fish.

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

- Its "silting" depends on the size of the soil grain.

- As a plant, a ground cover plant, you can use, for example, echinodorus tender, also known as rubra. The unpretentious plant, with which the beginner will cope.

- A full change of aquarium soil or washing is carried out about once every 5 years. Depends on the number of fish and plants.

- care for the aquarium bottom and the ground is in its periodic cleaning - siphon (siphons are sold in stores, you can do it yourself). Siphon is the simplest device (essentially a hose) in which a vacuum is created and due to which all the dirt from the bottom of the aquarium is sucked out along with the water. The frequency of cleaning depends on the degree of contamination of the aquarium bottom (all in different ways). The soil in the "freshly laid" aquarium can not be cleaned even for a year, and if there are aquarium plants, then in the soil, on the contrary, at first, fertilizing and fertilizer are introduced.

- Aquarium can be without soil. In this case, if you need plants they are planted in pots.

Summing up, we can say that the most correct, the best soil for the aquarium bottom will be the one that was cleverly chosen or made.
In the photo examples of the design of the aquarium bottom

Video on the design of the aquarium soil, examples of bottom design and cleaning the soil

Types of soil for aquariums

Soil for the aquarium - an indispensable foundation for aquascape and biological balance. It has not only a decorative function, but also provides the soil for plants, is a biological filter that can not be replaced with something else. In a newly launched tank, aquarium soil is a breeding ground for beneficial single-celled microorganisms. For this reason, the choice of soil for aquariums plays an important role for the harmonious functioning of all aquatic aquatic organisms.

How to choose and process the soil

The soil is improving the root system of plants, from it they absorb nutrients. In plants with a developed root system, there are large demands on the quality of the soil. Aquarium primers also support organic water characteristics, for example, aquarium soil with limestone affects the hardness indicators of the aquatic environment.

Various materials can be used as primers for aquariums. A significant role is played by which substrate is suitable for plants and fish. Decorative mounds and pumps are easily made from gravel. If you are seriously engaged in growing aquarium seedlings, first of all, you need to take care of the quality of the substrate. The size of the gravel particles should not exceed 5 mm. Do not sprinkle fine sand on the bottom of the tank, which quickly deteriorates. Make sure that the soil does not change the organic parameters of the water, it is natural, without dyes. If you need to increase the pH and hardness, lay on the bottom of the soil for aquarium with shell or marble chips.

Regardless of whether your soil is purchased or extracted from the natural environment, it must be processed. If you have purchased sand, it should be sifted through a sieve to remove small stones and other particles. Pebbles also had to be moved so that the entire substrate consisted of identical particles. If you buy quality soil, then the cleaning procedure is not necessary.

New soil should be washed under running water. It is poured into a large container, poured with water, stirred, then the water must be drained. It is necessary to rinse until the pollution is removed, it will take 10-15 minutes by the time. Apart from this method, you can put the primer in the oven for 10 minutes, and there it will heat up to the temperature that it will disinfect from parasites.

See tips on how to choose a primer for an aquarium.

What can be materials for soil

How to choose a material for the soil substrate? All materials of which the ground for the aquarium is made can be clean or with admixtures of additives. Peat can be added to the sand or gravel, which improves the nutritional properties of the soil. Peat perfectly holds elements such as anions and cations, pure gravel does not have this ability.

Sand and gravel as grounds for aquariums is a natural substrate that is also suitable for plants. The amount of fine gravel is from 2 to 5 mm, it has a low ability to retain nutrients. Good gravel secures the rhizomes of plants, put on peat. Fine sand does not contain nutrients, absorbs them poorly, breaks gas exchange. It is better to use sand with other substrates (cake, rakushnyak, clay). If a bottom filter is installed in the tank, fine sand will clog the equipment with dirt particles. It is better to use coarse river sand purchased from a reputable manufacturer. Do not choose sand saturated colors - yellow and red. This substrate contains a large amount of iron, which is harmful to fish.

Aquarium clay soil - clay contains inorganic components, such as iron silicates and iron oxides. Some types of clay may have other components - copper, manganese, zinc, aluminum. They are required for plants, but in high concentrations have toxic properties. A special property of clay is that it attracts positively charged ions of metals and salts. It also serves as an excellent fertilizer for vegetation.

Laterite is a tropical red earth consisting of iron dioxide. Laterite can be used as a bottom layer for soil. It has a good ability to absorb nutrients.

Garden soil as soil for aquariums - garden soil contains many impurities. There is no guarantee that the land will be clean. In the land of a large number of fertilizers, parasite cysts. It is saturated with nutrients, due to which the glass tank will quickly fill with algae. The land used for pot plants has a lot of organic matter and peat, it can be mixed with gravel and sand as an additive.

Peat - needed to soften the water. It consists of a mixture of organic minerals that are in a rotten state. Peat is added to aquariums, where plants and fish need humic acids. In small concentrations, boiled peat is practically harmless.

Искусственные пластиковые гранулы - новый вид грунта, который может удовлетворить многих аквариумистов. Гранулы бывают разных оттенков, однако насыщенный цвет может слишком контрастировать на фоне подводного акваскейпа. Помните, что субстрат надо выбирать ближе к естественному цвету: серый, черный, красно-коричневый, белый. Рыбки с ярким окрасом тела прекрасно будут смотреться на таком фоне.

See how to care for quartz sand in an aquarium.

How to lay the substrate at the bottom of the aquarium

Grounds for aquariums should be laid in three layers:

  1. The bottom of the aquarium is lined with laterite or clay mixed with gravel (the thickness of the lower layer is from 3 to 5 cm). You can add clay balls to the laterite, which will provide nourishment for new, non-adapted plants. Cables for heating the bottom should be laid in a glass tank so that the glass is not injured. Do not lay the heating cable in a shallow clay or sand substrate to prevent overheating.
  2. The middle layer should be slightly thinner - 3 centimeters, the substrate - sand or gravel, which can be mixed with a small amount of boiled peat. The thickness of the middle layer is recommended to put balls of clay.
  3. The surface of the ball is lined with fine gravel mixed with sand, which prevents water turbidity. On the top layer you can put decorative stones or corals, shells (if necessary). If there are pets in the aquarium digging the ground (catfish, cichlids, snails), then the top layer should be an order of magnitude thicker (5 cm), or the soil should be planted in pots along with broadleaf plants.

How to conduct siphon bottom

On the shelves of stores sold fixture - a hose with a cylinder and a funnel at the end. The diameter of the hose should not contain the fish themselves, only garbage should pass into it. The device has the name "siphon", you can wrap it with gauze so that living creatures do not fall into it. Siphon can remove food debris, waste products of pets, they can drain the soil and remove sludge. Properly selected siphon will only remove excess, without harm to vegetation.

Prepare a plastic bucket for excrement and uneaten food with old water. The difference between the siphon and the replacement of water is that the funnel should be lowered to the bottom of the aquarium almost every day, the ground itself due to its gravity does not fall into the hose, but it takes the dirt. Water should be changed less often - once in 7 days.

Soil for the aquarium should be chosen such that it meets several requirements. The first - supported the physico-chemical processes in the water, the second - benefited the fish and plants, did not emit toxic impurities. If you want to soften the water or increase its rigidity, choose the appropriate substrate. Hydrogen soil indicators should be acidic (7.0 pH), or pH neutral (5.5). The water gets tough when there are shells and corals in the bottom substrate. Sometimes it can adversely affect the health of some pets. Properly process, clean the soil substrate, then in your tank will create a permanent biological balance.

Soil for an aquarium - types natural neutral artificial


Which soil is better for an aquarium - The first question 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, at the end of the time, mistakes made at the beginning make themselves felt, and as a result large-scale corrections begin.

The soil is not only a decorative element of the aquarium, but also an important part of the internal ecosystem. It is a substrate for rooting of aquatic plants and a habitat for beneficial nitrifying bacteria, which is especially important when using a bottom filter. In addition, some species of fish instinctively burrow into the ground in case of danger or under the influence of seasonal factors, others feed exclusively on the bottom, sifting soil particles with their mouths in search of food, and still others lay their eggs on the substrate, making small holes in it. for aquarium?

It is recommended to use for a freshwater aquarium, for example, black, gray or white large river sand, building sand, small pebbles or run-in gravel. More specifically, the size of the grains of sand should vary between 2-3 mm. Pebbles for the aquarium may be larger - 2-8 mm. Fine sand is placed on the bottom (the size of the grains of sand is 1.5-2.5), then a layer of coarse sand (size 3-4.5 mm).

Before those who only decided to start an aquarium, many questions inevitably arise. One of the most important when arranging a small piece of the aquatic ecosystem in a house or apartment: what is the best soil to choose for an aquarium? After all, the soil provides not only aesthetic beauty, but also plays an important role in the formation and maintenance of the necessary conditions for the life of small fishes and marine microorganisms.

Types of soil for aquariums

The best soil for an aquarium can be selected, starting from your own capabilities, aesthetic views, as well as what types of fish you plan to breed. In general, all varieties of soil by origin are divided into three groups: from natural material, soils obtained by chemical or mechanical processing of natural material, and those that are completely composed of artificial elements. The easiest and most accessible way to get natural types of soil, as they can be collected independently. These can be pebbles, small gravel, fragments of rocks, shells, which are not difficult to find on the bank of the river or in ravines and quarries. A major role in the use of such a soil is its thorough cleansing. It is recommended to first hold the natural soil in an acid solution (for example, table vinegar) for 30 minutes, and then rinse under running water. Some aquarium owners also use soil boiling. The choice of natural soil depends on your ability to collect and purchase, but it is worth noting that deciding which soil for an aquarium is better for plants, you should pay attention to soils consisting of gravel of volcanic origin, which release a large amount of mineral substances into the water. growth and strengthening of the root system. With other soils it will be necessary to use special baits at first.

Chemically processed and synthetic primers created from synthetic compounds can be easily purchased at the pet store. They benefit from the natural soil with its various colors and the fact that such a soil will not release harmful substances into the water, however, the useful properties of this soil are zero, so all the additional minerals needed to create an aquarium ecosystem will have to be added .

In addition to the origin, the soils also differ in size. If the soil particles do not exceed 1 mm in diameter, then there is sand in front of you. Such a soil looks uniform and very aesthetically pleasing, but at the bottom it lies in a dense layer, which can lead to the formation of oxygen-free areas and potentially harmful gases for fish. Soil more than 5 mm in diameter is called pebbles. Such a ground passes water well, as well as food particles, as well as fish waste, which leads to rapid deterioration of water. The most optimal soil particle size for most aquariums is 5-7 mm. It is pebbles of this size that allow water to circulate freely and, at the same time, lay down tight enough so that the overwhelming amount of food and fish waste is deposited on the surface of the soil layer.

The use of soil in the aquarium

It is also worth paying attention to the appearance of the soil, its color. Now you can buy soils of almost any color, which allows you to create unusual design solutions for aquariums. However, it is worth noting that too light, white, gray and beige, Soils adversely affect the color of fish: over time, they fade. Too dark colors can create a strong and not very aesthetic contrast with the aquarium setting.

The optimum thickness of the soil layer for an aquarium is 5-7 cm. A layer of greater thickness will create strong pressure on the glass walls and bottom, and the thinner layer will not be tight enough. The soil can be laid in a dense even layer, but if you wish, you can create an interesting bottom relief using larger stones, snags and special clay decorations for the aquarium, so-called terraces. If you plan to breed fish that feed from the bottom, then it is worthwhile to arrange the soil at a slightly angled angle: a thicker layer at the back wall, a thinner one at the front.

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 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. You need to have a plan for 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!

Nutritious soil for aquarian plants

In some cases it is not at all necessary that the aquarium soil be nutritious. Sometimes in an aquascape it plays the role of a decorating material to create an appropriate landscape. But if in the tank there are live soil plants, then it is impossible to do without top dressing.

Neutral nutrient primer

Many aquarium ornamental plants take nutrients directly from the aquatic environment. To a greater degree, floating vegetation has this quality, and the soil in such an aquarium can be neutral, that is, not containing any nutrients. Indeed, why do we need additional feeding, if there is no aquatic flora with a root system?

Examples of a neutral soil substrate can be coarse washed sand, river or treated sea pebbles, clean granite, quartz or basalt chips.

By the way, as for basalt, there is a lot of iron in its composition, but it is practically not released into the water and, therefore, is not available for the root system.

Effect of soil on biological balance

A different matter is "herbalist" (so called capacity with a large number of plants). Here it is impossible to do without nutrient-rich soil; it is needed to strengthen the root system. But not only.

The condition of the soil has a fairly significant effect on the biological balance in an aquarium, for it is no secret that the animals and aquarium plants are closely interrelated, in one closed ecological system.

As long as there is an aquarium hobby, as many discussions continue on the proper feeding of soil. We have to deal with the assertions that the enrichment of the aquarium bottom substrate is not much different from creating nutrient soil on land (in the greenhouse or greenhouse, for example). So, after that, the "craftsmen" appear, who receive nutrient soil by means of mechanical mixing of the earth with coal, peat, clay and even manure.

You can imagine what a blow this mixture inflicts on the well-being of ornamental fish!

These materials can be used in small quantities as additives only in a specific planting site.

  • In addition, peat, for example, is used to soften and acidify water, if fish need a medium with such parameters.
  • Marble chips, on the contrary, add rigidity to the aquarium water and add alkalinity.

Types of soil

But the listed examples are only small additions to the soil. And what is a solid nutrient aquarium soil?

It can be of two types:

  • saturated with essential micro and macro elements of the earth;
  • nourishing substrate.

Both types of soil can be purchased in the trading network, but a huge number of aquarists make up their own, taking into account the specific needs of fish and plants.

Nutritional soil do it yourself

Recipes for its preparation quite a lot. Some homemade mixes are suitable for a particular type of home aquatic system, others claim to be universal. Consider one option for self-preparation of a two-layer soil saturated with the necessary substances for the development of aquarium flora.

It can be prepared using the following ingredients:

  • coal (activated in granules or natural birch);
  • clay;
  • special sorbent as an active additive;
  • peat;
  • finely chopped fallen leaves or coconut fiber;
  • coarse sand or small pebbles.

Coal, being an absorbent, it is necessary to neutralize the decomposition products of organic matter, to clean the soil from harmful elements.

When using it, the following should be considered: coal tends to "discharge" accumulated harmful substances back into the environment.

That's why experts strongly recommend that in 8-10 months completely change the soil where this component is used.

Clay. In different areas, it can have a completely different composition. In the most common red clay there is a lot of iron. Far not all plants and fish are suitable for too many of this element. Forest and lake clay contain a lot of humus. In an aquarium, a similar component can affect the unauthorized rapid growth of algae.

To avoid this unpleasant moment can be subject to the use of gray clay.

In terms of its composition, it is able to satisfy the demands of almost all the representatives of flora that are common in aquaristics.

Sorbent. As a sorbent, binding all the components and affecting the growth of grass, often use the composition of "Vermiculite" in the granules. This layered mineral retains nutrients in the soil, preventing them from dissolving too quickly in water.

Peat is a supplier of beneficial organics that plants absorb through their roots. Some aquarists use river silt for this, but it is believed that in large doses it contributes to the acidification of the soil.

Natural forest peat can also cause this phenomenon, therefore it is recommended to use high-quality granulated (or pelletized) pressed peat.

Organics. Some recipes indicate the possibility of using finely chopped fallen leaves as an organic additive. But in this case you need to take into account some points:

  • oak and linden foliage secrete many tannins into the aquatic environment;
  • maple leaves decompose too slowly;
  • in aspen leaves, on the contrary, the decomposition rate is very high.
The cutting of coconut fiber has proven itself in the best way.

Such a substance slowly and continuously releases organic matter, and also has an average rate of decomposition.

Ground laying

A mixture of these components is placed on the bottom of the aquarium, the layer thickness can be from 2 to 3 centimeters. The top layer is a small pebble or coarse sand. Many experienced aquarists prefer precisely small pebbles with the size of each separate particle of 2-3 mm.

The result is a two-layer soil, the lower part of which is nutritious, and the upper layer protects the organics from rapid leaching.

So that the soil obtained also fulfills the role of a biofilter, many specialists add a bacterial activator to it (to stimulate the development of a colony of denitrifying bacteria).

Commercial nutrient primers and substrates: an overview

Such branded products for aquarism used to be produced in the form of earth, to which various substances were added. Soils balanced in this way were simply poured on the bottom of the "can".

At present, granulated bottom substrates have become most popular, many of which are produced by many companies: German Dennerle, JBL, Tetra, Polish Aquael and many others.

Aqua soil. An example of a soil is Aqua Soil - Africana, Amazonia, Malaya. This mixture helps to reduce the pH and hardness of the aquarium water. Designed exclusively for freshwater aquariums.

Experts do not advise using this soil when keeping fish digging for soil.

Soil mix Dennerle DeponitMix Professional consists of selected natural peat, high quality natural clay, soil with nutrient minerals and iron, quartz sand and granules to ensure biological filtration and removal of nitrite from water. It helps to strengthen the root system of vegetation and healthy foliage. The absence of a mixture of phosphates and nitrates eliminates the formation of green algae.

JBL AquaBasis plus - Received a large distribution, it consists of:

  • natural peat, performing the role of humus;
  • selected clay in the form of granules;
  • mineral supplements that also contain large amounts of iron;
  • porous granules for the formation of colonies of denitrifying bacteria.

The mixture is laid out evenly along the bottom of the aquarium (layer thickness 2-3 cm), and carefully treated gravel of fine fraction is poured on top. In this case, a commercial mixture, whose service life is 3 years, plays the role of the substrate.

Plant Complete Substrate Concentrate from the company Tetra is a ready-to-use primer. In its composition there are: a mixture of different varieties of natural sand, mineral substances, humic acids, which have ion-exchange, sorption and biologically active properties, as well as peat.

The soil is poured at the bottom of a new aquarium with a layer thickness of 2 cm. In places where it is planned to plant water plants, the layer can be made a little thicker. It is allowed to use both finished product and mixing with fine-grained run-in gravel. This concentrate prevents the appearance of algae, strengthens the roots, contributes to the normal development of stems and leaves.

The range of nutritious soil mixtures is very wide, and for the right choice, you should carefully familiarize yourself with their composition, as well as carefully read the instructions for use.

Nutrient soils are designed to ensure the good development of aquarium plants, but this is not their only function. Modern commercial ready-made mixtures significantly improve the quality of water. And this is the most important factor in the good health of ornamental fish.

Video tip on how to make a nutritional substrate for aquarium plants:

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.

Which soil is better to use for the aquarium?

Alexey Vlasov

Soil for the aquarium, which is poured into the aquarium, you need to choose very carefully. Many aquatic plants grow in aquarium soil, the fish in it are very fond of hiding, playing, and many species of fish lay their eggs in the aquarium soil.
For a freshwater aquarium, it is recommended to use dark coarse-grained river or building sand, fine gravel or pebbles as a soil for an aquarium. It is not recommended to use very fine sand - in such sand water will stagnate, and aeration of the aquarium soil is necessary for microorganisms living in the sand. These microorganisms are peculiar natural filters, decomposing various harmful compounds.
It is not recommended to take light sand or quartz sand with sharp edges, which may cause injury to the fish, as a primer for filling the aquarium. And the light sand reflecting the set, causes discomfort in the fish. Also, be careful when using yellow and red sand. This sand looks very original and spectacular, but contains in its composition a large amount of iron, which can be in excess harmful to the fish. Not suitable as a primer for an aquarium or marine quartz sand.
It is best to use sand and pebbles of different sizes to form the relief in an aquarium: put a layer of large pebbles on the bottom of the aquarium, then a layer of sand, and a larger pebble on top. Such a soil structure will provide good aeration.
Many aquarists also use artificial soil for an aquarium, which has significant advantages over natural soil: artificial soil looks more decorative than real and more hygienic. However, aquatic plants to grow in such a soil will be very problematic, it will be necessary to use additional fertilizing compounds, and such soil will not be involved in maintaining biological balance in an aquarium. However, these shortcomings pay off by the fact that the artificial soil is very beautiful, has many bright color shades. Remarkably look several layers of multi-colored soil or the soil obtained by mixing sand of different colors.