Taking proper care of aquariums and fish tanks is not an easy thing. However, it is all worth the effort. Making your lovely fish happy and healthy will make a huge difference in your life. If you want to start on the right foot, you should pick the best substrate for planted tanks.
- What is substrate?
Substrate is a main component of all fish tanks. It is the material that you put on the bottom of the tank. This material is able to alter the chemistry and atmosphere of the tank. The impact of the substrate will also reach the wellness of the fish and other inhabitants of the tank. Substrate comes in various types, shapes and colors. Each type has basic effects on the aquarium’s environment. Also, the color will directly affect the overall appearance of the tank. Buying the right substrate is a basic step in customizing your new tank. It is not a good step to put the inhabitants before putting the substrate on the tank bottom.
- Importance of substrate for fish tanks
Substrate plays a critical role in the all types of tanks. It can make the fish feel comfortable and happy. It prevents the glass bottom from annoying the fish. It also makes the tank look and feel a lot natural compared to bare glass. The material of substrate encourages growth and spread of good bacteria and beneficial microbes for the tank inhabitants. Choosing the right type of substrate depends on many factors. For instance, the type of tank inhabitants can decide the type of substrate. There is suitable substrate for fish only tanks and suitable substrate for reef aquariums.
- Basic facts about tank substrate
If you are a new tank owner, there are many important facts you should know about substrate. High-quality substrate is essential for the functionality of your tank. It is responsible for the natural filtration process. The substrate is able to capture organic waste. This waste can become nutritional for the tank plants. Substrate can be made of natural or artificial materials. For example, your chosen substrate can be made of sand, gravel or dirt. Each natural material has its own qualities and features. If you choose an artificial material for your tank, it is probably going to be artificial gravel. This material imitates the qualities of gravel. This material might come in many colors and looks. You can find dark blue or pink artificial gravel. Soft substrate is important for the health and wellness of the tank inhabitants. Using sharp materials can hurt the fish.
- Top benefits of high-quality substrate
There are numerous benefits that come with using high-quality substrate. When you use reliable substrate you can expect the following benefits:
- Increasing bacterial growth
Substrate has the ability to make the beneficial bacteria multiply and set up more colonies. Beneficial bacteria are necessary for the well-being of fish and plants and other organisms of the tank.
- Enhancing water quality
Water quality is important for the health of inhabitants. Enhancing water quality will typically make life better for your fish. High-quality substrate will produce specific particles that can purify it. Also, substrate is able to positively affect the chemistry and ph balance of the tank water. Some types of substrate can increase the levels of calcium carbonate. This element can affect water ph levels.
- Adding to the natural balance of the tank
Substrate is able to block reflection caused by glass. This way the tank will look more natural in the eyes of the fish. It also allows bottom-dwellers to get nutrients from the bottom of the tank.
- Protection for reproduction process
The substrate will make the bottom of the tank in a darker appearance. This will add more protection for the eggs. If the bottom is not covered with substrate, the eggs will be completely visible for everyone inside the tank. This means that other fish can easily find and eat the eggs.
- Improving the tank appearance
Focusing on the aesthetic side of the aquarium is also an important aspect. Substrate can have various looks and colors. Such variety can lead to adding a touch of beauty and personalization on your tank. You will choose the color that appeals to you. Also, you will pick a substrate material that will make the tank look more attractive.
- Things to keep in mind when buying substrate
If you are on the verge of purchasing substrate, there are essential things to keep in mind:
- It is all about the tank type
The type or theme of your tank can determine the type of substrate. You need to determine the exact type of the tank, as substrate types do not function equally on all tanks. For example, ground dirt or gravel is more suitable for heavily planted tanks. If you want a Malawi cichlid theme, you should consider sand or rock substrate.
- Penetrable substrate is better for planted tanks
If you want the best substrate for planted tanks, you should know that loose substrate is an ideal option. Loose gravel or substrate is easily penetrable. This way the plant roots will settle easily and effortlessly. It will also allow the plants to absorb necessary nutrients from the substrate.
- Size always matters
Size of substrate particles is a major matter. You should know that these particles come in various sizes. For example, the size can vary between tiny sand and big rocks. The type of fish or tank inhabitants can actually help you decide the right size of substrate particles. Tiny particles can hard to clean perfectly which can threat the environmental balance in your tank. Also, big rocks can store food remains. If you do not clean the tank well and remove the remains, they can pollute the water. Sometimes, small substrate might not be ideal for some fish to build nests. That is why you need to investigate the needs of your chosen fish and inhabitants. Otherwise, your tank will not be healthy or functional for the living organisms.