5 Substrate Tips for Freshwater Aquariums

Many things about the freshwater aquariums make it attractive for the human eye. To name one of them is the aquarium substrate. Generally, substrate is anything that is left at the bottom of a container or a vessel. In this case, the substrate is sand or gravel. Most of the people prefer it with sand or gravel than a bland base. It adds a kind of a color to the aquarium. But it is important to note that freshwater aquarium substrate is not the same as saltwater aquarium substrate.

Many of us neglect it’s importance when we are setting up a new aquarium. It is a factor that needs special importance. Here are five tips about some problems and their consequences.

1. The first and the foremost thing that you need to do is washing your substrate, if possible, with hot water. Sterilization of the tank is also of great importance, so make sure about it too. For a healthier environment, you need to allow useful bacteria grow in it. This will keep your fish and other organisms healthy for a long while.

2. To keep things close to reality, make sure that that the substrate is higher at the back of the tank as compared to the front. Another vital part of your aquarium are the plants. You should keep some plants to make the environment close the natural one. Another thing to do would be not to level off the substrate. The rises and falls make it look more real.

3. The main component of the substrate is limestone. It causes the pH of the water to increase and hence the water becomes hard. When the water becomes alkaline, it becomes unfit for the survival of soft water fish. And if you do have such fish they’ll start dying. A simple test to check if the water is alkaline is by adding a little vinegar to the water. If you see bubbles then it means that the water needs to be changed. This test is helpful because vinegar being a mild acid reacts with the alkali present in water and produce bubbles of gas.

4. Sub-gravel filter can be used in the freshwater aquariums if the depth is around 6 to 7 cm. When sand is used as a substrate, extra care is required because clogging is a very common issue with it.

5. Also fill the aquarium slowly when you’re refilling it. This will not erode the substrate. All these tips will help you build a healthy and clean aquarium and keep you away from lots of problems.

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