How to clean, siphon the soil in the aquarium?
Aquarium decorates the room - and it is important to make every effort in order to maintain its aesthetic appeal at the proper level. The aquarium that emits stagnant water or mud is hardly an elegant design solution. A well-kept aquarium with abundant vegetation and energetic healthy fish can become the center of composition in an apartment or office.
To maintain order in the aquarium, the owner must perform a number of important procedures in a timely manner, including cleaning the glass of the aquarium, regularly changing part of the aquarium water, and filter processing. The most time consuming process is cleaning the soil.
How to siphon the soil in the aquarium
The first month after the launch of the aquarium, it is not necessary to clean the soil, then it will have to be washed every two to three weeks, as it gets dirty. There are several options for cleaning the soil - for aquariums with a dense population and for aquariums that are not so densely populated.
The use of a siphon allows you to remove particles of dirt, feces, food debris from the soil, as well as eliminate the unpleasant smell of hydrogen sulfide, which appears due to the "acidification" of the soil. This happens due to the fact that bacteria have settled in the soil, and the natural balance is disturbed.
How to clean the soil in an aquarium with lots of fish and plants? You can’t do without an aquarium siphon - you have to thoroughly wash the soil. Perhaps the fish will have to be deposited for the time of cleaning in another container. The funnel cylinder is stuck into the ground, while it is necessary to agitate the surface very thoroughly so that all particles of dirt are sucked in and out. After cleaning, you need to add water to the aquarium.
In an aquarium with a standard size or with a small population of fish, it is possible and not to remove, the ground is siphoned to a shallower depth. You can also not remove the pebbles - small particles will be easily sucked into the siphon, the large ones will simply settle to the bottom.
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 not known 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.
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 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.