Herbal Aquarium - a natural aquarium with live plants do it yourself with a useful photo video
AQUARIUM TRAVNIK natural aquarium with live plants, what you need to do, how to achieve this?
Well, the time has come to write the final article - a report on the work done!
Six months ago, I wondered if it was possible to create a beautiful aquarium - a “herbalist” at home, on my own? Such an aquarium that you could be proud of, admire and tirelessly admire! Such that he even slightly resemble the work of maestro Takashi Amano! What is needed for this? How much is it? Is it possible to save on equipment for such an aquarium? !!!
I once came across a video interview Takashi Amanowhere is he, answering the question: “What does a natural aquarium begin with?”, answered: “With an idea”. Perhaps this answer was the starting point for me.
My initial thoughts were like that.
Everything, both beginners and already experienced aquarists, are looking at work aquascapers, admire them and think: "How beautiful, great, I also want this!" Then, after the first impression, they say: "This is unreal, difficult, very expensive, and, probably, it is difficult to maintain such an aquarium ...".
Is the top of aquarium perfection - a dense "herbalist" - only professional and people who have the money for it? Why only a few create such aquarium beauty?
Probably because they do not know how to dream! Or these dreams, like many others, drown in the abyss of everyday life.
Amano is right! Any human accomplishments begin with an idea. Ideas that are so exciting for you that you can no longer eat and sleep well! The idea lives in you, any information you perceive only in the context of how it mates with your IDEA.
So I decided to prove, first of all, to myself, that I can dream that I will succeed and that at home there will be not just a bank with fishes, but a beautiful aquarium picture.
Here's what I got. Please watch this minifilm about my "herbal" aquarium, preferably in HD and with sound. I filmed a video on a digital camera, made a video and put music on it.
I really hope you enjoyed it!
Below, I will try to focus on those aspects and nuances of creating a "herbalist", which are either not mentioned or information about them is insufficient. I will try to give step-by-step instructions to create a dense aquarium with live aquarium plants.
But first I would like to talk about the emotional side of things. Recall and tell how it was. I was afraid to tell what was wrong, where I was freaking out, and where I was happy, like a baby. I think this is important, because it is our fears that prevent us from achieving the desired result.
So, until the creation of my "herbalist", I had a certain aquarium experience. However, I did not have the slightest idea about ground cover plants, about the subtle principles of building an aquarium composition. He did not know anything about the quantitative and qualitative components of such an aquarium: lighting, water parameters, fertilizers, filtration, etc. Therefore, the first thing I started with was to read articles, related forums, watch a thematic video on YouTube channel, master classes and webinars of aquascapers.
This process took me two weeks. After him there was a complete mess in my head !!! However, the entire array of this information allowed me to decide what exactly I want. It helped, on the whole, to imagine what my “herbalist” should be and what is needed for that.
It seems to me that it is at this stage that it is very important to present the final result. Visualization is a very powerful tool. This is the transitional stage of the materialization of your idea. In order to finally decide, in my free time on the beach, under the rays of the summer sun and to the sound of the surf, I sketched my future “herbalist”. There were many, but I stopped at this option.
In this virtual stage of understanding the idea and its rough visualization is over. The material side of the issue began to emerge. Prices frightened, there was a fear of making a mistake and not taking what was needed. But it was necessary to determine and act!
You will not believe, but my visualization worked, and ... there was free money that you could safely spend on your favorite hobby.
Taking into account the huge margins on goods in pet stores, a modest assortment and the incompetence of sellers, I decided to purchase most of the necessary goods on the Internet. So the external filter, soil for plants, chemistry, diffuser, drop checker, etc. were bought.
While the order was made and went to me by long postal roads, I began to thoroughly study the issue of lighting, because without proper and proper lighting, a good herbalist will not. I stopped at a combination of LED (hereinafter - LED) spotlights and T5 fluorescent lamps. My thoughts and conclusions were: "The best lighting for the" herbalist "is a combination of metal halide lamp (hereinafter - MG) with fluorescent T5. But, MG lamps heat very much and can be installed only on the rack, respectively, the aquarium should be open "But I want the aquarium with a lid. What should I do?"
I found out that LED spotlights are no less effective than MGs, but they heat much less. It was decided to take and install them. But the question is, which ones to take? How many watts, lumens, Kelvin ... Again the frantic reading of information on the Internet began. The trouble is that the network has a lot of unverified, outdated and incomplete information. Nevertheless, I shoveled everything I could and understood what kind of searchlights I needed.
I will not fool anyone further with a description of the lengthy process of selecting lighting for the herbalist. Let me just say that after a two-week run on "electric shops", the necessary LED searchlights were found, purchased, and a week later they were installed together with the T5 lamp and coolers in the cover.
Solving the problem of lighting, I, along the way, recited information about plants that are used in aqua-skype, including ground cover. Brought everything to one list and announced a hunt for them. And then another disappointment awaited me, in my city I somehow found only hemianthus cubu. A pitiful bunch cost 200 rub! I bought it, but I understood that things would not go on like this. On one grass you can go broke. A way out was found, all the rest of the grass was bought in the online store "Arovana" (Ukraine), where prices are simply encouraging. For a little money scored a whole herbarium! They sent it out quickly, and the plants came to me almost all alive.
However, they were not enough. Therefore, in the old aquarium, the entire valisneria, crypts and echas were pulled out, and a nursery bed was created under the new lighting - a vegetable garden from various plants for a scape.
Now I can’t even believe that from such a whole hemyantus carpet of cubes has turned out (photo of herbalist)
BEFORE AFTER )))
I specifically give so much attention to plants, because many aquarists face a problem - where to get a huge amount of plants and not go bankrupt? In my opinion, buying a little, but diverse grass and growing the necessary volume by yourself is a good solution to the problem. Moreover, in the process of growing, you can understand how a plant behaves, how it feels in a given situation, under what light, with what fertilizers, how it lays down, spreads or stretches ... In general, you can get acquainted with the plant more closely eliminate undesirable situations with the transfer and adjustment of the finished aquascape.
As time passed, the bed grew ... But I did not sit in anticipation. All my attention was focused on parole (fertilizers), in particular, on the study of the composition, necessity and correctness of the use of micro and macro fertilizers, the supply of carbon dioxide. With CO2, the issue was resolved quite simply, - I used to use the "mash" in the aquarium before, - I decided to grow the scape on it. As you can see, I managed it.
Using a beer in an aquarium, I completely debunked the fears of a novice aquasuper, which implied that for a dense herbalist, it is imperative to buy an expensive CO2 bottle, a reducer, a magnetic valve, etc.
Questions with micro and macro fertilizers for plants, in principle, was also resolved quite simply. Self-made parole (so-called samoses) were rejected immediately, as a senseless occupation for alchemists. I have chosen the trademark "UDO Ermolaeva", in particular the preparations "Algitsid + CO2", "MICRO", "MACRO", "Iron", "Potassium". Additionally, I decided to apply tourmaline.
Finally, two months later, the climax came, - the garden was pulled out, the bank was washed ... pleasant minutes, hours and days of creativity began. Laying the substrate, soil, making biostarter and tourmaline, installing stones and forming hardscape. Then no less fascinating event - planting plants according to the conceived scheme.
When it was all over, joy knew no bounds! I already anticipated: "Now everything will take root, balance will arise, and it will be possible to show my work on our forum." But it was not there! Out of nowhere, flooded filament, so much so that not only that, there were no plants visible, they were dead, stunted ... and pearl and pearl thread!
Convulsively reading the information on this issue, I realized only one thing - there is no panacea! All the tips are of the same type, confused and, as they say, "finger in the sky." One thing was clear that something “wrong” and this “wrong” must be urgently eliminated.
Having collected the rest of my strength and fuse, put on a rubber swimming cap, I spent the whole month diving into my jar ... and in the breaks I sat by the aquarium with a mean male tear that drained onto the rubber cap already removed from the head ... gray hair was visible on my head))) gone ...
What I just did not do this month! He collected the thread every day mechanically, used algicide, played with the amount of lighting, udo and water changes. A crowd of saek (SAE), otsinklyus, snails was planted in the aquarium ... Needle did not recede, the plants did not grow, but stunted.
And here, at the suggestion of our moderator of the site Esta (Natalia Polskaya), it was decided to introduce "heavy artillery" - Amano's shrimp.
But, here's the bad luck, in my city to get amanok the whole problem! As a result, I nevertheless found a dozen, planted, in addition to them, introduced a detachment of shrimp sakura, crystals of red and black. And ... hallelujah !!! The evil thread shuddered and disappeared in horror during the week.
The plants “bloomed”, the sun rose over my scape, the fish merrily scurried back and forth, and the shrimps chirped together about something on their favorite crumble.
I, on the other hand, performed unheard-of African dance around the aquarium !!!
Here is such a Happy End)))
Now let's talk about more mundane things and the technical side of the question. Here are my notes.
Lighting for herbalist - aquarium with plants
This issue is a priority, and without solving it, it is impossible to go further. For an aquarium with live aquarium plants, you can derive the formula:
FERTILIZER (CO2, MICRO, MACRO)
CARE (TEMPERATURE, FILTRATION, WATER SUBSTITUTE, ETC.)
Lighting is the most important element, without it the plants will not grow, the process of photosynthesis will not occur, without it, no matter what you do, no matter how hard you try, all works will go down the drain.
My notes and results of the work done, I stated in these articles: LAMPS FOR THE AQUARIUM AND ILLUMINATION OF THE AQUARIUM BY YOUR OWN HANDS.
Here I will note that the standard lighting, the one that is under the standard cover, is not enough. For an aquarium tightly filled with plants, and even more so for a “herbalist” with a ground cover, you need lighting of 1W per liter, or even more. In addition, you need to understand that Watts are not everything, quality lighting characteristics are also important, such as the spectrum of light, Kelvin. In addition, it is important to understand and study the characteristics of a particular light source: the discreteness of the light, the suites, etc. And, selecting this or that light, it is important to proceed from the height of the water column of your aquarium. The higher the pole, the more powerful the illumination should be in order for the light to penetrate the water column and reach the bottom, to the ground cover plants.
What else. On the Internet, there is a "legend of omnipotent lamps for aquarium plants." We are talking about fluorescent lamps with a special spectrum, with peaks of red and blue light. These lamps are presented as a panacea and an easy way to deal with the cultivation of aquarium plants. However, it is not!!! It is a pity that it leads many people astray, so I want to debunk this mythical legend.
In fact, aquarium plants absorb the entire visible spectrum of light — from red to violet; plants need a full spectrum, not a cut-down one. Why, then, do they make and sell lamps with a red and blue spectrum? The fact is that it is scientifically proven that plants need more red and blue spectrum, but this does not mean that they do not need another spectrum !!!
Now imagine a newcomer replaced the regular lamps with special ones and waiting, waiting, waiting ... and when his plants grow! And they do not grow ... Yes, as an evil, instead of plants, flooded algae. Disruption of the sea: the money paid, but the effect is mute! Why all? Because there is a shortage of watts, the spectrum is not full, and besides, the red and yellow spectrum is loved not only by plants, but also by algae.
Conclusion. Do not try to compensate for the lack of lighting power with special lamps. Such lamps can be used only in combination with other lamps, for example, with fluorescent lamps with the marking "full spectrum".
No matter what type of light source you choose: fluorescent lamps, LED lighting or metal halide, carefully study its quality characteristics - not only Watts, but also suites, Kelvin, spectrality, Ra, etc.
Still. Critical about information on the Internet, recheck it. For example, often in the network you can read that LED lighting is not suitable for aquarium plants. However, it is not! Look at the date of publication of articles. Technical progress does not stand still and powerful LED strips and projectors have already appeared that meet the necessary requirements. See details LED tape in the aquarium.
Try to think about lighting your aquarium, so that it mimics the actions of Mother Nature. Namely: imitated dawn, zenith and sunset sun. For good growth and well-being of plants, it is not necessary to “fry them under monotonous lighting” for about twenty hours. It is enough to give a peak of powerful lighting for 3-4 hours, and the rest of the time to keep moderate lighting.
This can be achieved by a combination of light sources. For example, Amano in his lamps ADA uses metal halide lamp in combination with fluorescent lamps. I use two 30 Watt + LL T5 24 Watt LED lights (full spectrum) in my Travnik.
And also - pay attention reflectors.
Soil and substrate for herbalist and aquarium plants
The main points of the use of soil in the aquarium, I outlined in the articles SOIL FOR AQUARIUM PLANTS, TOURMALIN IN AQUARIUM.
I would like to draw your attention to the fact that there are a lot of substrates and soils and they are all different! Be sure to look at their compositions and study the issue of application. In this case, proceed from the requirements of your plants. Good substrate, good soil - this is 50% success in growing. This is a good feeding and excellent well-being of plants in general.
I would also like to draw your attention to the fact that the thickness of the soil in the aquarium should be about 5-7 cm. In order for such colonies to develop well colonies of nitrifying bacteria, so that there are no oxygen-free zones (which leads to acidification of the soil), you need to select a light, porous and rounded ground. Alas, a heavy, angular ground over time compresses, which makes it difficult for water to circulate in the ground and leads to disastrous consequences.
At the same time, I note that a light, porous soil for aquarium plants (for example, Aquael Aqua Grunt and / or Aquael Aqua Floran) has a certain disadvantage - it is impossible for them to form slides, hills in an aquascape, with the addition of water the entire landscape spreads. Therefore, if you experiment with the topography of the soil, I advise you to mix light soils with heavy ones (for example, quartz chips, which you must first check for hissing).
Fertilizers for a blade of grass and aquarium with plants
Despite the fact that there is already a nutrient pad in your tank, you should also use liquid fertilizers containing micro and macro elements. In this case, it is desirable to separately have not only complex Udo, but also preparations containing individual elements. At the moment, I have a separate bottle of UDO Ermolaev iron and iodinolwhich contains potassium.
Filtering a herbalist - aquarium with plants
Studying information about the arrangement of the "herbalist", I read somewhere that in such an aquarium there should not be a strong filtration. Why, it was not specified. Thinking it over, I came to the conclusion that strong streams of water will take down the plants, and, moreover, a dense herbalist needs nitrates, but if the filtration will remove them, the plants will “starve”.
Given this, I'm 110l. Aquarium took external filter JBL CristalProfi e401 greenline - 450 l / h. And what do you think! His really missing.
Moreover, he noted that in the place where the flute is directed from the filter, the cube chemianthus and other ground cover is not growing.
It is worth noting that at night I additionally turn on a small internal filter. В основном он работает как аэратор, но немного помогает и с фильтрацией "травника". Поэтому рекомендуемый диапазон мощности фильтра 450-600л/ч для травника на 100л.
Уход за аквариумом с растениями - травником
После того, как в "травнике" установится биобаланс, уход за ним становится простым:
- Every day you need to make liquid fertilizers, to monitor the supply of CO2
- weekly you need to make an easy cleaning of the aquarium, cutting plants and replacing 1/4 -1/2 of the water.
All this is not difficult and not troublesome!
Design and decoration of grass, aquarium with plants
My vision of this issue, I described in the article AQUARIUM DESIGN, ORDER IN CHAOS.
Today I can say that, in fact, it is the design of the future “herbalist” that is the most difficult thing. Everything else you can buy. But to invent, and even make it happen in life - is difficult, the process requires mental effort, imagination, fantasy. And while you need to follow certain rules!
On this let me finish the final report on the work done. You can talk about "herbalist" and aquascape for a very long time, but on New Year’s Eve and I promised the guys on the forum to post this article this year))) I suggest discussing the unsaid in the forum thread ON STOP AMANO.
Very useful video about herbal aquarium, care and maintenance of aquarium plants
Aquadizayn - a unique aquarium in your home
Keeping aquarium fish at home is not so much a hassle and problem as a rest and passionate occupation. Watching them, it is impossible to take your eyes off, and by the will of the imagination draws all sorts of options for the design of landscapes in the aquarium. Choose an aquarium, pour water into it, run a few fish - is that all? This is too little - the aquarium should, not just like it, it should lift your spirits, brings joy, aesthetic pleasure.
An integral part of aquarism is aqua design. Making a small underwater world reveals the inner world and liberates a person. You can create mangroves, mountain valleys, rocky, marine or fairy tales. First of all, you need to understand how to properly design the aquarium. Aquarium fish, after all, are also living, with their fauna and flora, they need their habitat. The presence of fish is of great importance: if the fish already have it, then the design should be created under the existing ones, if not then taking into account the particularities, the needs of future inhabitants to compose a composition for them.
For fish who love to hide in the sand you need a design with a sandy bottom, the vegetation to be minimal. Guppies, on the contrary, prefer small thickets, snags, and other shelters so that it is convenient to swim and hide. Fishes, placed in an unacceptable environment for them, will die.
Registration of an aquarium with water plants
To create a masterpiece of aquarium design, you need a creative approach. In addition, knowledge is needed in the care of aquatic plants, so that the thickets are not easy, but a work of art. Fast-growing plants require frequent thinning, trimming. Anything can be immersed in an aquarium. Coconut shell, all sorts of clay, porcelain figurines. Sunken galleons, treasures, snags, stones, a kind of soil.
The choice of design of a small underwater world should be based on the existing design of the room where it is installed, because it is a habitat and a decorative element.
At the moment there are 2 main and popular schools for the design of aquariums: "Natural Aquarium" and "Dutch style in the aquarium." But one should not confuse natural with pseudo-natural - this is a form of approach to the aquarium content, but not design.
It is not for nothing that they call it an underwater garden: in this style, color variations of plants are used, generalization in size, texture, to create a depth effect. Architectural forms such as stones, koryag are present in very limited quantities. What matters here is only aquarium plants, their beauty, texture, color.
This design style is based on copying the most striking natural landscapes, both underwater and terrestrial. Aquascape may look like a miniature ridge with grassy slopes. Small architectural forms in this style are of great importance. The design uses 3 concepts: convex, concave, triangular.
The convex shape - otherwise called the "island", here the plants go down from the center to the edges, forming an island in the center of the aquarium.
The concave shape - involves reducing the size of stones, plants to the center of the edges of the aquarium, to a specific target focus.
The triangular shape is called the golden section of the design. The focal point is shifted 2/3 to either side of the aquarium.
It should be noted that for many aquarists, a homely reservoir stuffed with plastic plants is absolutely worthless. A completely different look emerges - it's like plastic products on the kitchen table. Try to create a miracle from living vegetation and living organisms. First you need to learn that the whole composition, the entire design should not only look beautiful, but also look natural.
Elements for aquarium design is best to choose a natural origin. The river landscape can be recreated by laying out round pebbles, a small snag, on which aquatic plants can be wound. Impassable jungles can be made from several of these kagag, large stones of various shapes can imitate rocks. Combining stones of various shapes and sizes in one composition, you can get a wonderful cave or a mysterious cave. In order to beautifully lay out the stones, you need to constantly experiment, create shelters for fish who love to hide and lay eggs in stones, decorate appliances that are in the aquarium, and strengthen the walls of the terraces.
There are many options, but it is best to experiment not in the aquarium itself, so as not to break the glass walls, but on the table. To do this, you need to lay out a sheet of paper, note the approximate plan and practice on it in the construction of various options. Basalt, granite stones, porphyry, gneiss are most suitable for these purposes. For hard water, limestone, sandstone, dolomite will be a good option. First, the stones need to be well cleaned. But first carefully examine the material for the content of foreign particles - metals, resins, paint.
Aqua design with plants
Alternatively, you can create aqua design with the help of aquarium vegetation. In the center of the aquarium there will be a very nice looking pod; at the edges, place ribbon-like algae: krinum, hygrophil, urut, fern, elodea. In the background it is better to arrange the highest: Cinema, Ambulia, Vallisneria. It is undesirable to use plants floating on the surface - although they look beautiful, but when they grow, they shade the bottom ones greatly. Fine bottom hfcntybzvb of various shades can be laid out magnificent carpets, decorate the terraces.
Aqua design using snags
The original look is created with the help of kryag. For this purpose, a dead tree with no signs of vital juices is required. It is better if these are the roots of trees that have lain for several years in the moor: alder, willow, ash, beech, maple. Immediately rejected samples with signs of rot, mildew. Snags are cleaned of dirt, peeled off the existing bark or its remnants, boiled with salt for about an hour and treated with a solution of potassium permanganate.
After the snag is placed in running water for a week or in any container, but more often changing the water, which should only be cold. Thanks to careful processing, wood is disinfected, its structure becomes denser and heavier. If necessary, fix the snag, so as not to pop up, you can stone. A large and branched snag will look great.
As an option, you can purchase fine soil or sand in a special store. If you take colored sand, then the bottom of the aquarium can be lined up beautifully, creating patterns around plants, stones, and snags.
When the creation of a unique design in an aquarium has a decisive mood, then you cannot do without a special background. Decorative film, glued to the back panel - perfect. A variety of drawings will simplify the task of choice. The most experienced aquarists create the drawing themselves, continuing the design of the aquarium with a peculiar panorama.