To maintain aquarium necessary equilibrium, only two types of upper soil layers are possible: sand or small pebbles. Under this top layer, there may be a different substrate. Mineral fertilizers in aquarium soils are unacceptable, because they change the salt composition of the water, which adversely affects the fish. Beginners should be advised to fill the bottom of the aquarium with only purely washed sand. In an aquarium populated by fish, the space between the gerbils is quickly filled with various debris, and as a result, a soil is created in which most plants grow beautifully.
The best sand for an aquarium is considered a large river., However, experience shows that any building sand can be used for this purpose, so long as the grains of sand are not too small. River sand is much easier to wash, so it should be preferred. Washing the sand before placing it in the aquarium should be done very thoroughly with continuous stirring until the drained water becomes completely transparent. It is better to lay the soil on the bottom with a slight bias on one side: this will further facilitate the removal of dirt accumulating in the grooves.
Water for the aquarium should be soft and clean. It is quite suitable tap water, as well as river and lake.
Water should not be poured into the aquarium not on the sand, but on the substituted hands, a saucer or through a special funnel, otherwise the preparation of the soil will be blurred.
If water from the aqueduct is poured into the aquarium, then before starting planting, the water should be allowed to stand for a day, otherwise the microscopic inhabitants of the usual aquarium, introduced with the plants, can be destroyed by chlorine dissolved in water.
Good results are obtained by filling the aquarium with tap and old aquarium water enriched with salts and containing the usual microscopic inhabitants of the aquarium.
The aquarium is filled with water so that it remains 3-5 cm to the top edge.
Selection and planting of aquarium plants
The following plants can be recommended for beginner lovers: valisneria (ordinary and spiralistale), notched elodea, peristristum, lyudwigia, stump, and from floating plants, richchia. With sufficient light, these plants grow well all year round in any soil and under different temperature conditions, filling the aquarium with a mass of wonderful leaves of various shapes and shades and liberally releasing oxygen. With the specified types of plants in their various combinations all kinds of fish can get along successfully. After planting, the aquarium should be closed on top of the glass, which will prevent dust from entering it and reduce water evaporation.
It should be borne in mind that an excess of aquatic plants can lead to serious trouble. At night or in cloudy weather, plants extract the oxygen they need for respiration from the water and release carbon dioxide. This creates severe conditions for the fish and can lead them to death.
Selection of fish for the aquarium
Fish that are common in aquariums vary in shape and type of adaptation to environmental conditions. An unpretentious crucian lives in an aquarium, enduring any temperature, any food, lives a sissy. barb sumatranus, requiring great care. Fight fish and mollenisia like elevated temperature, but the first one lives perfectly in any, even the dirtiest water, containing a minimum of oxygen, while the second suffocates with the slightest lack of it.
Therefore, turning to the selection of fish for the aquarium, you must first divide them into groups that require similar conditions of detention.
Cold water aquarium fish
To cold-water aquarium species include a large group of fish that require different conditions of existence. Their unifying property is their adaptability to the life and conditions of a room unheated aquarium. The temperature in such an aquarium usually varies between 14 and 25 degrees Celsius.
Cold-water aquarium fish, content with a small amount of oxygen (orphs, fry, rudd, gambusia, orcas, etc.), can tolerate both low and relatively high temperatures, so it can be recommended to beginners.
Coldwater Aquarium Fish, requiring a lot of oxygen (minnow, minnow, perch) is difficult to maintain, they do not tolerate temperatures above 20 degrees Celsius due to its depletion of oxygen and require extensive premises or abundant blowing.
Thermal Aquarium Fish
Thermal aquarium fish do not tolerate temperatures below 18-20 degrees Celsius, but most species can exist without harm to themselves at lower temperatures (16-17 degrees).
Thermal water aquarium fish that can live in water containing negligible amounts of oxygen include fish that have air breathing devices — all kinds of labyrinth and also kallicht. They can be kept together.
The warm-water aquarium fish, content with a small amount of oxygen, include all warm-water fish, with the exception of cichlids and high-melting mollenizia. Together with them can be labyrinths, as well as cold-water ones: kallicht, malyavka, orca, gorchak, gambusia.
Thermal Aquarium Fish, requiring abundant air supply (mollieniziya high-fledged, as well as cichlids), require extensive premises and dense planting.
Representatives of the lower classes of plants and animals in the aquarium
In any, even in the cleanest aquarium, besides fish and plants, numerous representatives of lower plants and animals settle.
AT aquarium Various bacteria settle in to help decompose food residues, waste products of fish, dead plant parts. Sometimes, when a large amount of organic residues accumulate (for example, with abundant feeding with a cutworm), they multiply in huge numbers. At the same time, the water becomes very cloudy, the amount of oxygen dissolved in it becomes insufficient, the fish begin to choke, float on the surface, capturing air. The mass development of putrefactive bacteria is accompanied by a change in the reaction of water, which inhibits the growth of fish. In order to get rid of bacteria, you must first remove the excess organic matter. It is not necessary to change the water completely. After removal of decaying residues, the reproduction of bacteria stops, and the infusorians that are always in the aquarium quickly purify the water.
To prevent aquariums from clogging up with decay products, it is helpful to have snails eating the remains of food.
Sometimes, especially in summer, with good lighting and high temperature, the water turns green. The blooming of water is caused by microscopic algae, which often develop in large quantities in an aquarium. The most common euglena is green. Sometimes there are also microscopic algae, causing a whitish-green opacification. In contrast to bacteria, microscopic algae develop only in the presence of strong illumination, and their reproduction is accompanied by abundant release of oxygen.
A proven way to combat flowering, bacterial cloud is launching daphnids or tadpoles into an aquarium. Feeding on various microorganisms, these animals (if there are enough of them in the aquarium) make the water crystal clear for 24 hours. Of course, the launch of daphnia in sufficient quantities is possible only in vessels that are not crowded with fish, because with a lack of oxygen, these crustaceans die, increasing water spoilage. Of the infusorians inhabiting the aquarium, shoes and suwoy play an important role in maintaining a stable regime.
Shoes (the most common) are found in all, without exception, properly equipped aquariums. Eating bacteria, they purify water. Being divorced in sufficient quantities, the shoes are an excellent food for fry and short-lipped fish.
Together with the plants (most often with the topnjuk), a shepherd is brought into the aquarium. Suwayki most often settle on plants with thin leaves and stems. on the topniak, fontinalis, peristolistnik, cabombe.
Big trouble can bring the appearance of hydra lover. Getting into the aquarium with plants taken from natural reservoirs, and also (less often) with live food, the hydra can multiply rapidly. Its long tentacles are dotted with a mass of nettle and stinging cells, with the help of which the hydra kills its prey: small fry, cyclops, daphnids, ciliates. Harmful hydra and for large fish: its tentacles irritate the integument of fish.
A reliable way to destroy the hydra is to plant monthly fry in the aquarium with gourami. Hydra (being hungry) is eaten by all other labyrinths, as well as large swordtails and cichlids.
Sometimes use another hydr destruction method: the walls of the aquarium are darkened on all sides, except for one, to which glass is applied from the inside. After two or three days, all the hydras will move to this glass and can be removed with it.
After the aquarium is planted with plants and populated with fish, it is necessary to maintain a steady regime in it.
Water topped up with evaporation (at least once a week) must be clean. In cold-water aquariums, the water should not be warmed up when pouring. For warm-water aquariums, it is best to use water 1-2 degrees warmer than aquarium water.
Partial water changes are made when the oxygen regime is disturbed (if the fish suffocate), while cleaning the bottom and the panes. It should be replaced as rarely as possible. A complete change of water is an extreme measure and should be carried out in exceptional cases: in case of illness and death of fish, the appearance of parasitic microorganisms. After a complete change of water biological balance must be established again.
Cleaning of glasses from algae growing on them and bacterial mucus should be done as often as possible.
Plant care for a properly equipped aquarium consists in cutting off the darkened leaves and removing the excess plants when they grow abundantly, cleansing the stems and leaves from the dirt deposited on them. Plant transplant that disrupts the root system should be as rare as possible.
If the plants do not grow or the leaves rot and fall off, the illumination should be increased. Sometimes in old aquariums, water plants wither away roots. In this case, it is necessary to resort to a complete change of water and thorough washing of the sand.
The clogging of the surface of the water, as well as the appearance of a film on it, is observed in aquariums that are poorly closed from above. To remove it, you should carefully put a sheet of paper on the surface of the aquarium and then lift it along with the dust particles or film attached to it. The surface of the water can also be cleaned by trapping dust or film in a jar or net.
The most common cause of disruption of biological equilibrium in a warm-water aquarium is an abrupt change in temperature or light. This leads to a change in the vital activity of fish and plants, as well as a change in the relationship between microscopic inhabitants, to a change in their species composition.
For filling aquarium water is used funnel with a reflective plate at the bottom. To drain the water and clean it from dirt and garbage, you can recommend a rubber siphon tube (better harder) with a tip made from a piece of glass or aluminum tube with a length equal to the height of the aquarium. Large items from the bottom of the aquarium can be reached with long tweezers, the dirt is removed with a dredger. It is better to have a thermometer floating. To do this, you can stick a weight to the bottom of the thermometer for a bathtub, removed from the wooden rim. To remove plaque and dirt from aquarium glasses, it is most convenient to use a razor blade attached to a stick or special brushes.
For planting in the ground should have two sticks with a fork at the end. Pressing one of them the roots of the plant to the bottom of the aquarium, the second stick, you can fill them with sand. Spoiled leaves are conveniently cut off with scissors with two long sticks attached to the handles.
The fishing net for fishing should have a wire frame of at least 60X90 mm in size for small tropical fish and at least 100×150 mm for large fish (goldfish, scalar). The handle is better than wood, so that the net does not sink. Fabric. tulle (as a last resort, gauze) should be tailored so that the depth of the bag is approximately equal to the width of the frame.
Almost all aquarium fish (with the exception of goldfish, catfish and some others) prefer to take the bloodworm on the surface of the water: the bloodhound falling to the bottom quickly digs into the sand and how the food becomes inaccessible. Therefore, we should recommend floating feeders. moths. The millator can be made of cork, a piece of pine bark, in the extreme. of a piece of lime plank in the form of a trough or saucer with small holes in the bottom.
For feeding with dry food, frames floating on the surface of the water are used that prevent the feed from spreading over the water surface.
Feeding aquarium fish
Live food for newly hatched fry of fledged fish are ciliates, cultivated in the form of a pure culture or together with the smallest crustaceans caught in living ponds in the form of live “dust”. To the naked eye, they seem just small moving dots, but with a slight increase with a good magnifying glass, you can see that these are living beings. Newborn fry see them well.
If such food is given uniformly, so that it stays in the aquarium continuously, then the fry of all fledgling fish quickly and soon reach sizes that allow them to consume larger food. small cyclops or daphnias.
Replacing live "dust" or artificial culture of ciliates in growing fry and fledgling fish in extreme cases can be an egg yolk. A small piece of the yolk of a hard-boiled egg is pounded in a spoonful of water taken from the aquarium. In this form, the yolk should be given after 2-3 hours to a few drips to the places of accumulation of fry.
The best live food for a few grown-up infusoria or lively “dust” fry and fledgling fish or only swept out viviparous fishes are the lower crustaceans. cyclops and daphnids.
Cyclops are good for feeding all fish of a relatively small size, but for larger ones in the summer, the best live food is daphnids.
The best daphnia for fish feed is red. Appears in almost all dirty stagnant waters in spring, at first very fine in the form of dust, and with the onset of hot days it becomes increasingly larger and in such quantities that it can be seen how it keeps along the coast with whole clouds of rusty color.
Only large fish can be fed with a large live daphnia. An excellent live food for all, without exception, fish, not only adults, but also for the young fry of many calf-fishes and all viviparous, is the red musk-dergun larva, the bloodworm.
A large bloodworm as thick as a match is suitable only for feeding large fish (veiltails, telescopes, large viviparous and all predators). For other fish you should take small shrike. It is important that the crank was fresh, lively. This can be seen if a handful of bloodworms move a finger, a fresh bloodworm begins to move vigorously. Stale bloodworm merges and has a dark color. Such a bloodworm is risky, it can cause disease, and sometimes death of fish.
Since the bloodworm has the ability to quickly burrow into the sand, it is best to give it to a special floating bloodworm, through the holes in the bottom of which the bloodworm creeps gradually and the fish grab it, preventing it from digging into the sand. Some fish pull him out of the coater as soon as he begins to crawl out. This method is also good because only a live bloodworm will pass through the holes, and the dead will remain in the bloodworm and can be easily removed.
Small fish and fry can be fed with different bloodworms. Putting a little bloodworm on a small piece of glass, holding it slightly obliquely, so that the blood runs off, you need to quickly cut the bloodworm with scissors before it turns into a bloody gruel. To make it easier for the fish to find the chopped bloodworm and eat it without residue, it should be thrown into the aquarium in a ball.
For storage, the bloodworm should be put in 1 cm layer in a dry thick linen cloth folded in half, which should be wrapped in a cloth made of sackcloth moistened in cold water and well wrung. In this way you can save the bloodworm for 7-10 days, of course, only in a cool place. In winter, you can use the moths completely frozen, but you should not give it immediately, but preheat it or simply pour it with hot water.
If in the summertime it is possible to get a large amount of bloodworms, it can be dried. Dried bloodworm is a good food, but only if the bloodworm is dried fresh and not in the sun (part of the bloodworm can deteriorate during long-term drying), and in a brass stove so that the drying takes place quickly, but so that the bloodworm does not burn. Store in tightly closed boxes.
For large fish, dried moth should be pre-scalded with boiling water before giving food and given to an aquarium in this form, small fish can be fed like a dry daphnia, after rubbing the moth with your fingers.
Small earthworms are good food for all large fish. They can be given whole, but it is better to scissor into small pieces and then give the amount that fish can eat at one time.
In the summertime, earthworms can be harvested in damp places, stored in a box with garden soil, occasionally moistening it, in a cool place. In this way, you can save worms all winter in any quantity.
Among some lovers common type of live food, bred in the form of room culture. These are small-mesh worms, yellowish-white in color, up to 1.5 cm in size, which are bred in boxes with moist black soil at room temperature. Feed them with pieces of white bread soaked in milk, soured porridge, mashed potatoes, which are buried in the ground.
A small pinch of these oligochaetes, finding themselves in favorable conditions, multiply so quickly that in 3-4 weeks you can start taking them for food. To do this, dig up the place where the dressing was laid, and there will be whole tubers of worms, which can be taken either with tweezers or simply with your fingers and give them to the fish. All fish eat them willingly.
To separate enkhitrey from the ground, you can pour them with water. the worms quickly crawl to the surface, from where they can be easily collected. Like a bloodworm, the enkhitrei burrow into the ground, so they should be given in accordance with the number of fish. This food is interesting because it reproduces equally well all year round, is easily preserved and divorced.
Nutritionally, the live and dried foods described above can be compared only to raw meat without fatty layers, which, if there is no live feed, it is good to feed almost all adult fish, for which it is scraped with a knife and in this form is given to fish. Fresh meat can in extreme cases be replaced with dried meat, it is passed through a meat grinder and kept in a hot oven until it is completely dry. Before giving the fish, you should scald the portion of dry meat with boiling water. Small fish can be fed with the same dry meat, previously crushed in a mortar, and given as dry daphnia.
In the absence of other food, almost all fish (except for predators) can be fed with food made from manna, millet, buckwheat groats; Such food is well eaten by all types of carp fish, as well as labyrinth, but should be resorted to only as a last resort. Steep porridge is cooked from the cereal, then it should be washed in cold water until all the mucus is separated, then filtered through a sieve and stored in a cold place. Buckwheat should be raw, not toasted. Buckwheat food. because it is larger, it should be given only to large fish, for example, veil tails; manna and millet groats can feed live beetles and other small fish.
With all kinds of inanimate feed (egg yolk, dry daphnia, sliced, dried and frozen bloodworm, raw and dried meat, cereal, etc.) you need to be very careful: the remnants of feed quickly decompose and spoil the water. This feed should be given in such quantity that it is quickly disassembled and eaten without residue.