Setting up the bottom rules

1. Setting up substrate in the aquarium

You should follow below rules when setting up the substrate: 

  • The largest and heaviest stones put directly on the bottom glass.
  • The substrate should be thickest at the rear of the aquarium (up to 12 cm) and be thinner at the front (2-3 cm).
  • If the aquarium will be located in the middle of the room - the thickest layer should be in the middle of the aquarium.
  • Substrate should be thinnest at the area where you will feed your fish. It will help to easily remove remains of the food not consumed by fish.
  • It is the best to have substrate set up similar way as it is set up in nature in the area where our fish are coming from.

2. Aquarium and decorative roots

The root are the best if for a long time remained under water (in pure natural water reservoirs) and if it drown in water. If the wood is not sinking you can cook it for about an hour in a water with salt. When this treatment does not work then there is one more think you can do - attach the root to the bottom of the aquarium by attaching it to heavy stone etc.

3. Aquarium decoration

When choosing decorative materials you have to make sure that decoration is free from calcium and metals which can have a detrimental effect on fish and plants. We have to be careful not to overdo the decorating and leave space for the fish to swim freely.

4. A diagram of the plants and decorative elements distribution in the aquarium.

To make aquarium decorating task as easy as possible you can create a diagram of the aquarium bottom and it's elements like roots, stones, plants etc. Below is an example of a plan for an aquarium with a capacity of about 160 liters

Map of the aquarium
  1. Straight Vallisneria (Vallisneria spiralis)
  2. Water Wisteria (Hygrophila difformis)
  3. Samolus Parviflorus (Samolus parviflorus)
  4. Echinodorus Horizontalis  (Echinodorus horizontalis)
  5. (breaking gracilis)
  6. Elodea (Egeria densa) 
  7. (Hygrophila stricta)
  8. Dwarf Anubias (Anubias barteri var. Nana)
  9. Cryptocoryne Wendtii (Cryptocoryne wendtii)
  10. Stargrass (Heteranthera zosterifolia)
  11. Roots, preferably taken from the bog
  12. Stones

The substrate is made of medium coarse gravel. It can also be mixed with the fertilizer.

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