Aquariums, choosing your scenery

How to arrange your aquarium landscape

A pretty underwater landscape is the basis of every aquarium. Maybe it’s the fascinating possibility of being able to create a little world exactly as you envisage that keeps aquarium owners hooked on their hobby for a lifetime. The options are endless. The experts from your local Maxi Zoo can help you find the correct plants and offer helpful tips on caring for them.

Tips and tricks

If you are not planning the clearest of jungles, order the different plants in clearly defined groups. Leave a few spaces in between or fill them with stones or bogwood. The most impressive sort of aquarium has depth which is achievable through one of two methods. You could place the plants in height order with the smallest at the front and the biggest at the back and sides. Alternatively you can use a trick from photography and painting – in order to create depth, diagonals leading into the picture are used. In a landscape this could be a river meandering in the distance; in an aquarium you can use wood, roots or long stones. If you have small plants you can create a plant street in the background and foreground.

Further structure options can be produced through the plants themselves. Green is not just green – there are many nuances that you can use to create contrast. A bit of variety is also nice with a few red plants. It is common to just use different sorts of plants – feathered, round leaved or long leaved.

Forming a base for the aquarium

As well as horticultural arrangements, planting in groups, arrangement by height, contrast etc, consider also the basics for healthy plant growth. For the correct ground surface mix some gravel with special fertiliser and place the mixture at the lowest level of the aquarium. After this comes a layer of gravel, several centimetres thick. Aquarium gravel does its job better than sand as it provides good aeration and water recirculation. If you want optimal water recirculation you should also invest in floor heating as the rising warmth creates the perfect distribution of nutrients.

Nutrient supply

Nutrients are not just taken in by the roots and wood but also by the leaves. Most important is the supply of carbon dioxide CO2, which together with water and light, help the plants produce sugar – from which in turn oxygen is produced which the animals need to breathe. If your aquarium water has too little carbon dioxide, insert an easy-to-install CO2 mechanism. With regular feeding the waste products from the fish will serve as nutrients for the plants. In connection with a nutrient rich floor and a CO2 mechanism you will hardly ever have to fertilise the aquarium.

Lighting

You can also affect the growth of the plants with light. This is dependent on the intensity of the light, its composition and the length of time it is to be left burning. The intensity is mostly set through the existing aquarium lighting; you can decide through the type of lamp. A plant lamp and another light with a large spectrum are ideal. As for the burning time – 12 hours is a good average. Turn it off for two hours at lunch time and then you can leave it burning longer in the evening and can have time to observe the aquarium.

Call into your local store today to discuss your pet’s personal needs with our Maxi Zoo Pet Experts

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