One of the key components of the aquarium. In this ground, along with a decorative role, also performs the functional role — it is a substrate for plants. In addition, this element is «working» as a mechanical filter, absorbing on its surface particles contaminating water.
The ground is of three kinds:
• Natural gravel, crushed stone, gravel and sand;
• primers, obtained by chemical or mechanical treatment of natural materials;
Optimal ground cover of granule size is between 2 and 8 mm. This number depends on the purpose of decoration, the presence or absence of plants and the type of plant, fish species. A slight excess of the permitted size is ok, but it is important that the pellets if possible were the same size and rounded shape. Colours can be varied, the myth of the need to apply only the dark ground is scattered for a long time, pick a color for the overall design of the aquarium.
The most commonly used stones in the aquarium are gneiss, sandstone, limestone and granite. In general, one should always take into account how various minerals affect the stiffness / softness of the water at its acid-base balance.
• gneiss — it is hard, often striped and fine stone. Perfect for almost any aquarium;
• granite — hard stone, consisting of feldspar, quartz and mica. Neutral and also it is a universal material for the design of the aquarium.
• limestone — most often white or gray, serves to increase the hardness of the water;
• sandstone — its composition is determined by the composition of the sand, some species may increase the hardness of the water. Choose gently, not all the grains of sand and pebbles are suitable for aquariums.
Decoration of aquarium with snags is used very often, and there are several reasons: they are an excellent shelter for small fish and some species of aquatic life and even additional food, a place for spawn. Snags are also used to maintain an acidic environment in the water needed for a comfortable content of a number of families of fish and plants. How to put this decorative element in the water — it does not matter, the main thing that it solve the problem of design.
Shells, plants and corals
Design of aquarium by plants, corals and various shells must be done without excessive zeal, carefully and competently, showing a sense of proportion. But absolutely without them certain kinds of aquariums will look empty, and for the presence of certain ecosystems presence of such decor is necessary.
Grottos, caves, statues
If you are thinking about how to give the aquarium personality, you can, for example, place in it a variety of toys and specially made decorative items. Very popular are the «pirate» symbols: sunken ships, skulls, treasure chests — or Greek statues and dilapidated buildings — so-called «Atlantis.» You can buy these toys at any pet store, most importantly, pay attention to the materials from which they are made. As the caves and grottoes you can use small pots, lined with clay tubes, they are gladly accommodated by fish.