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Aquaristics - invite nature to your home

Communing with nature is one of those things that have a positive effect on humans. And no wonder, after all, we are also part of it. From the dawn of time, we have nature at our fingertips, and our life is closely related to it.

Aquaristics - invite nature to your home

A piece of nature at home

On the one hand, nature is dangerous, on the other hand, it can delight and soothe the nerves of modern man, who in a constant rush, surrounded by technology and ubiquitous concrete, slowly forgets what it is like to walk in the forest or lie by the river winding among meadows. Until recently, we were able to reach even the most exotic corners of the Earth without major obstacles, but due to the pandemic, this possibility was limited. The natural world has moved away from us even further. During the successive waves of the raging pandemic, we are increasingly turning the four sides of the world into four walls of our homes. Meanwhile, we do not have to give up communing with nature. You can invite her home. Enough... set up an aquarium!

Everything necessary for an aquarium can be found in a good aquarium shop, e.g. //bumblebee.com.pl. However, before we reach into the portfolio, it is worth getting at least basic knowledge on this subject. In this article, you will learn how to take the first steps when setting up an aquarium and perhaps aquarium will become your life passion.

Where and what to put the aquarium on?

The first thing you should think about is a place for your aquarium. Depending on its size, and therefore its weight, you should choose an appropriately durable piece of furniture. Standard chests of drawers, tables or desks may not be enough. Even if they bear the weight of the tank for a certain period, they may be deformed over time under the influence of water. As a result, the aquarium may crack or become unsealed, flood your own apartment, and maybe even your neighbors! For this reason, it is worth investing in an aquarium cabinet or a rack. This type of furniture is adapted to accommodate various types of aquarium equipment, it is also distinguished by aesthetics, important for our apartment.

Aquaristics - invite nature to your home

When choosing a location, it is best to avoid pedestrian places. Heavy traffic and noise will stress the animals, and there is a risk of inadvertent damage to the aquarium. The hall or the kitchen counter will not be the best choice! The tank should stand where there are no sudden changes in temperature. It is also not recommended to place it directly next to the window. In this case, it is not only about temperature fluctuations, but also because of direct sunlight which can cause algae problems. Due to the water evaporating from the aquarium, it should also not be placed near a computer or TV set.

Open or covered aquarium?

The cover will be useful if we have children or pets, e.g. cats or birds flying in the apartment. It will be indispensable if we want to breed fish species that tend to jump above the surface of the water or breathe the atmospheric air (e.g. fighter, gourami). The cover reduces the evaporation of water from the aquarium. There are many supporters of open tanks, for whom the argument is a more attractive appearance and easier access. An intermediate solution may be the use of a cover pane.

What liter capacity?

The larger the aquarium, the higher the cost of its purchase and operation. As the capacity increases, you will need a more efficient filter as well as more powerful lighting and a heater. The size is closely related to the choice of species of fish and plants that we plan to purchase. A tank suitable for a fighter does not fit a scalar. Too little liter capacity will be a pain for the animal. Maintaining the biological balance is easier in a larger tank. Aquariums several dozen liters can therefore cause beginners more problems than one hundred or two hundred liters. In the case of larger reservoirs, water changes may be more problematic.

Water in the aquarium

Some aquarists use tap water, others demineralized from a reverse osmosis (RO) filter. The use of RO water with a mineralizer allows, above all, to control its parameters and easily adapt them to the needs of specific species. Regardless of the type of water, tests will be useful, as they allow us to adjust the conditions to the needs of our pupils and help determine the causes of various problems, such as fish or plant diseases.

Filtering

It's fair to say that the filter is a key piece of aquarium equipment. First of all, pay attention to its efficiency and media filtration area that can be used for a given model. Ideally, you should choose a device that enables effective mechanical, biological, and, in some situations, chemical filtration.

Mechanical filtration is one that makes the water in the aquarium visually clean, free of particles and suspensions floating in it. For this purpose, various types of sponges, nonwovens and filter wool are used.

Thanks to biological filtration, nitrogen compounds harmful to aquarium animals are neutralized. For this purpose, media are used to settle millions of nitrifying bacteria. The modern aquarium shop offers a wide selection of this type of filter media.

Chemical filtration, in turn, allows to reduce the content of undesirable compounds in the water by using absorbents such as activated carbon and zeolite.

The filter should be able to filter the entire capacity of the aquarium from 3 to even 10 times an hour. You should pay attention to the possibility of using different filter media and how much of them can be accommodated by a given model.

The important information is that the filter should be turned on 24 hours a day!

Lighting

The most popular type of lighting used in modern aquariums are LEDs. They not only give great opportunities in terms of efficiency and obtain a light spectrum suitable for proper plant growth, but are also characterized by low power consumption. You should choose lighting with a length adequate to the size of the tank and power (efficiency) appropriate to its capacity and the species of plants you intend to grow. Undemanding plants will be satisfied with 20-30 lumens per liter of water, on average those requiring 30-50 lm / l, while species with high requirements may need even more than 50 lm / l.

Arrangement

Before starting the tank, it is also worth considering its arrangement. How you arrange your aquarium is of course primarily up to you. For the sake of the animals and for the sake of pleasing the eye of the reservoir, it is worth arranging it in accordance with the general characteristics of a given biotope. It must be admitted that freshwater aquariums are very rich in this respect! The point is that the conditions in the aquarium should be similar to those that can be observed in the part of the world where the animals and plants come from. Many aquarists follow the example of. in the biotope of South America, Asia or African lakes such as Malawi and Tanganyika. Thanks to this, we gain a greater probability that the animals and plants in our tank will be healthier and happier. For example, scalars and neon lights prefer a different water hardness and pH than the Central American live baitfish. Although, of course, most species show a certain range of tolerance, providing them with conditions similar to natural ones will reduce the risk of disease and have a positive impact on their viability. To sum up - the point is not to combine species that feel well in extremely different conditions, both in terms of arrangement and water parameters.

At this point, it is also necessary to mention the selection of arrangement elements. Many novice aquarists wonder whether to choose natural or artificial ornaments. Although artificial decorations have many opponents, the most important thing for your aquarium is that they do not emit harmful substances into the water and that they are free from sharp edges that could injure themselves, e.g. fish. What speaks in favor of real roots and stones is the fact that they usually look more aesthetically pleasing and are simply part of the natural landscape. It is worth remembering, however, that wood can color the water or slightly lower its pH. Some types of rock, on the other hand, increase the hardness of the water.

Subsoil

Another important element of the aquarium decor is the substrate. In terms of colors or the size of the fraction, the choice is huge and depends largely on the taste of the aquarist. However, the choice of a given type of substrate may have an impact on other elements of the underwater ecosystem. In this approach, they can be divided into active (changing water parameters) and neutral (sterile). Active media contain nutrients that affect plant growth, while neutral media, such as gravel or quartz sand, require the use of fertilizer balls or capsules to stimulate plant growth. Supplementation with liquid fertilizers may also be necessary.

What is the most important thing in aquarium hobby?

When answering this question, probably most experienced enthusiasts will say that the most important aspect of aquarium hobby is

patience. Both the growth of plants and the elimination of various types of problems, such as uncontrolled algae growth, require time, consistency and, above all, patience. Aquariums create a substitute for the underwater ecosystem, which will function slightly differently in each case. For this reason, there are no ideal universal solutions that can be used in all aquariums. First of all, remember that each parameter that we change, e.g. the power of lighting, the type of fertilizer supplied and the temperature will affect what happens in the tank. Usually, the effects of these changes are not visible immediately, but only after several or several dozen days. Even if things don't go your way at first, don't get discouraged!

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