Archive for the ‘Aquarium Substrates’ Category
If you are a freshwater fish aquarist, planning a wedding or just want much more information on aquarium gravel and substrates look no farther. Fish Tank Rocks come in several distinct sizes but generally two unique styles: organic gravel and painted colored gravel. The most well-known colors are red, blue and green despite the fact that some manufactures make purple, orange as well as other exotic colors.
OK, I’ve got a bag of aquarium gravel, what should I do with it? Before using it in an aquarium, you really should rinse the gravel thoroughly in clean water to remove debris and dust. Just in case you were wondering, most painted gravels are made with non-toxic paint, so it is not harmful to your fish. Some gravel even glows in the dark, which can act as a night light in a child’s bedroom if they are afraid of the dark. Approximately one pound per gallon of rock is suggested in a freshwater aquarium. For instance, a 55 gallon fish tank would need about 55 lbs of Aquarium Gravel. Finally, you can add the gravel to the aquarium and begin filling it with water.
Do fish care about the color on the gravel? Most fish do not care about the color of the aquarium substrate. It’s mostly personal preference. Though, brighter colors may possibly help enhance the coloration in many fish, whereas they tend to camouflage or darken up in organic colored aquarium gravel. As a side note, some Cichlid gravels are created with a special size and color in mind to promote spawning and maintain pH. Does gravel size matter? Yes! Smaller sized aquarium gravel is much better for anchoring plants and decorations and also contains much more surface area for bacteria to grow on. But larger gravel is easier to clean.
Now you’re telling me I need to clean the gravel, why have any gravel at all? The aquarium rocks contain bacteria that help break down fish waste like ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. Without this beneficial bacteria, your fish would most likely die. To thoroughly clean your aquarium you must buy an aquarium siphon, also known as a Gravel Vacuum. This tool removes fish waste and debris without removing the substrate or bacteria. Be sure to save money by shopping on the internet for aquarium gravel, a gravel vacuum as well as other aquarium decor.
Aquarium sand is a good substrate, especially if you have species of fish that require sand in order to live and mate. Aquarium sand is perfect for fish that naturally live in the ocean, in brackish environments, in freshwater ponds and lakes. Common types of sand used in tanks include blasting sand, play sand, aragonite sand, and Black Beauty.
Advantages of aquarium sand
Aquarium sand is better if you have species of fish that come from naturally sandy habitats. Fish that like to burrow and feed on algae in the sand will thrive well in this substrate. Aquarium sand is also the best option if you have other invertebrates other than fish that like to hide in aquarium sand. Sand sifters and shell dwellers are the typical kinds of fish that like hide under sandy substrates. Sand also aids in the growth of colonies of beneficial bacteria because it has more surface area compared to other types of substrates.
Risks of using aquarium sand
Aquarium sand is not the best type of substrate for all tanks. Aquarium sand can be tightly packed, and therefore makes it easy for dead pockets without any water to form. When this happens, the pockets become oxygen depleted and no beneficial bacteria can grow. However, you can reduce the risk of pockets of sand forming by laying out about an inch of sand in the tank. Another trick would be to churn your sand regularly. This also prevents the formation of toxic gases. Some types of sand will not work for some tanks. For example, aragonite sand will not work as a freshwater aquarium substrate because of its calcium carbonate content.
Vacuuming aquarium sand may also clog up the vacuum tubing with drawn-up sand. You can also destroy the walls of your glass aquarium if you accidentally scrubbed the walls with a scrubber that has some sand on it. You have to be very careful with sand because it can easily leave scratches on the glass walls of your aquarium.