Aquarium vegetation carries not only a decorative burden, but is also an integral part of the microflora of the underwater world. However, living plants require care, and not every person has a sufficient amount of time and possesses the necessary skills. What to do in this case, not to leave the design of the aquatic environment incomplete?
For those who do not want to spend time and energy on caring for live algae, artificial plants for the aquarium will be the best way out. With their help, you can arrange a house for fish beautifully and unusual.
What are the benefits of artificial plants in the aquarium
Aquarium plants made of artificial materials have several advantages compared to natural algae. Their main advantages include:
- Unpretentiousness in leaving. Inanimate vegetation does not need special conditions of detention and additional lighting.
- Durability. Unlike living algae, artificial vegetation will serve as a part of the aquarium interior for many years, without losing an aesthetic appearance.
- Undemanding to the composition of water. Products made of artificial materials can maintain an attractive appearance for a long time both in sea and in fresh home pond.
- Easy to maintain. Fish lovers will not have to think about how to clean an aquarium with various artificial plants without damaging them. Plastic algae will not suffer, even if it is not too delicately removed from the reservoir.
- Inedibility. Placing plastic copies of real plants in a vessel, you can not be afraid that they will be eaten by its inhabitants.
In addition, the use of inanimate vegetation allows you to experiment with the aquarium, making it possible to change the interior and re-arrange the artificial pond as you wish at any time.
The disadvantages of artificial plants
Before you start decorating the aquarium with your own hands with the help of artificial plants, you need to think about their shortcomings. These include:
- The need for more powerful aeration of water. Since photosynthesis does not occur when using inanimate vegetation, and oxygen is not produced, this will have to be achieved artificially.
- The formation of stagnant zones. When natural algae with a developed root system grow in the aquatic environment, this contributes to the natural aeration of the soil. Plastic products cannot provide this, which often leads to this problem.
But many aquarists do not pay attention to the minuses, considering them insignificant, and give preference to artificial plants, attracted by their advantages and the ability to clean a home pond without fear.
The danger of artificial plants: myth or reality
There is a widespread belief that artificial plants in an aquarium pose a danger to its inhabitants through the use of toxic materials and dyes in their production.
However, it is not. Thanks to the achievements of modern science, today it is possible to produce completely harmless materials at low cost. Decorations for aquariums are made of high-quality plastic or with the use of artificial silk polyamides, which can not harm living organisms.
As for concerns about dyes that can stain water, thereby poisoning it, they are not always baseless. Unfortunately, a huge assortment of low-quality products from unscrupulous manufacturers using cheap and unsafe substances is presented on the modern market, and it is not always possible to determine this at first glance.
But this is not a reason to refuse to buy artificial plants for aquariums. There is an easy way to check the quality of the decoration before putting it in your home pond.
- plants requiring care,
- lighting requirements (very weak, weak, medium, strong, very strong).
Height: 3 - 10 cm
Width: 5 - 10+ cm
Growth Rate: Slow
Temperature: 17 - 28 ° C
CO2 supply: 3 - 5 mg / l
Asian Flame moss got its name thanks to the original form of growth. With the growth of vertical shoots, they are twisted, which creates the impression of a small dark green bonfire, 5-15 cm high.
Height: 15 - 40 cm
Width: 15 - 30 cm
Growth Rate: Medium
Temperature: 20 - 28 ° C
CO2 supply: 6 - 14 mg / l
Hygrophila pinnatifida grows in India and has original carved and very beautiful leaves. The color of the leaves can vary, depending on the conditions of detention, from dark green to orange and burgundy.
Height: 15 - 30 cm
Width: 10 - 20 cm
Growth Rate: High
Temperature: 20 - 28 ° C
CO2 supply: 6 - 14 mg / l
Ceratopteris thalictroides is one of the most popular aquarium plants with finely branched light green leaves. Distributed in most tropical regions of the Earth.
Origin: West Africa
Height: 15 - 40 cm
Width: 15 - 25 cm
Growth Rate: Slow
Temperature: 20 - 28 ° C
CO2 supply: 6 - 14 mg / l
Bolbitis heudelotii is a water fern from West Africa with very beautiful transparent dark green leaves. The leaves are quite hard and too tough for most herbivorous inhabitants of the aquarium.
Height: 2 - 10 cm
Growth Rate: Medium
Temperature: 15 - 28 ° C
CO2 supply: 3 - 5 mg / l
Taxiphyllum sp. “Spiky” from Southeast Asia is very similar to his younger brother, Christmas Moss. However, unlike the latter, it is rougher, tougher, and with larger branches.
Height: 3 - 10 cm
Width: 5 - 10 cm
Growth Rate: Medium
Temperature: 20 - 28 ° C
CO2 supply: 3 - 5 mg / l
Staurogyne repens is a compact and hardy plant with bright green leaves, found in the Rio-Cristalino River in the southern Amazon. Hygrophila differs from its closest relatives in density and smaller size.
How to design an aquarium with artificial plants is simple and easy
Do you think that you cannot beautifully design an aquarium using only artificial plants? You can snub your nose contemptuously, but are plastic plants so bad or is someone unable to cook?
If you list the benefits of artificial plants, it quickly becomes clear that there is no reason to refuse to use them. Especially when it comes to design.
Why artificial plants are better than living
You can argue as much as you like about biotopes and the natural appearance, but plastic plants do not need expensive phytolamps, fertilizers or a CO2 supply system.
They do not care about the composition of the water. Plaque, algae and traces of fish activity are easily cleaned from the surface of artificial leaves and stems.
With regular cleaning, eraser plants can last up to 5 years and look new at the same time.
You can keep any fish without fear that they will destroy plastic plants, like living ones. This is your answer to aquarium vandals. And yes, they are ideal for quarantine aquariums.
Plants made of plastic will never replace living ones, but you will see how to decorate an aquarium using only artificial plants. The key to aquarium design is simple.
Do not use other artificial decorations other than artificial plants. Adding a sunken galleon will visually disrupt the decoration by plants.
Use everything that is used when decorating with living plants: stones, driftwood, sand or gravel.
The design was modeled in the Dutch style, which consists in combining plants into groups. The arrangement of plant groups, their color and texture visually complement each other. The cascade of tall plants in the background complements the cascade of low plants in the foreground.
Initial costs may be greater than the design with live plants.
Subconsciously, it seems that traditional goldfish or viviparous ones, like golden mollies, would be the best choice for artificial decoration. But, to maintain the illusion of naturalness, it is better to use a large flock of cardinals, tetras or melanotenia Boesman.
Step-by-step instructions for registration
The choice was stopped on a 240-liter aquarium with a blank black back wall and black edges. To enhance the contrast, the soil was selected in black.
Adding soil Lay black soil with a slight slope to the front of the aquarium. Ground color plays a key role in this design.
The grain size of the soil does not matter, but the thin substrate looks more aesthetically pleasing. Placement of driftwood
The selected five-kilogram snag is located according to the golden ratio rule.
Its height will allow you to attach the plants at the right height. This simulates the landing of Javanese moss on driftwood.
Add tall plants to the background. Seagrasses and Acorus of enormous size take their places at the back wall. They create a feeling of height of design, without imposing a depth of perception.
Add plants and soil
Add more than a kilogram of gravel to form the desired height on the side and back. Planting red plants on the created slides visually breaks the abundance of green foreground.
Add more red plants. This creates a multi-level system that reduces the influence of a large number of small plants. The design becomes brighter and more voluminous.
Agree, it's hard to say that the aquarium looks bad. The better the performance of artificial plants will be, the more natural this design looks.
Aquarium plants on stones and snags
Home »All about aquarium plants» Aquarium plants on stones and snags
In nature, some aquarium plants grow on snags and rocks. The main examples are Anubias, Javanese moss, Thai fern, bolbitis and others.
A typical biotope for such plants is its proximity to a waterfall or lake below it, or the area around the waterfall that is continuously irrigated with water spray.
Plants settle in cracks and hollows of stones and snags and are fixed on them with their roots (which are called krampons or rhizoids), so strong (even on very slippery surfaces) that it is almost impossible to separate them intact.
The idea of industrial cultivation of such plants was born in aquarium stores. Plants were not the main commodity, but rather were annoying misunderstandings when it was necessary to catch fish in a net or clean the aquarium. The logical solution was that plants can be grown on easily moving stones or driftwood. Such production was started at Tropica Inc ..
Aquarists have been growing plants on stones and driftwood for a long time, but it was not so easy to establish fast and efficient production.
The production process requires a lot of space, plants often grow so slowly that it takes years until they reach marketable sizes. Driftwood was required to be compact, but heavy enough to hold plants.
For economic reasons, the stones should not have been too heavy, so instead of pieces of stones, lava from Iceland was chosen.
Shops that bought such plants were delighted. If the fish was hard to catch, the seller just took the plants out of the aquarium, the rest was easy! Other benefits soon surfaced.
New fish released into the aquarium acclimatized in such an environment much faster - they took on their natural color in record time and suffered less from stress.
But before the Tropica new problems soon arose.
In the shops, it was difficult to explain to customers that such plants are not intended for sale! Tropica was initially skeptical of commercial potential, as the price of plants, due to the complex production process, was quite high. However, demand was significantly ahead of supply, even when production was increased.
There were more than enough aquarists who wanted to pay quite a lot of money in exchange for the benefits received. Now it has become possible to plant the aquarium with plants in a very short time, while they looked as if they had been growing there for years.
This, and the fact that plants can be moved around the aquarium without disturbing or damaging them, which previously led to a slowdown in growth, made them extremely popular for demonstration purposes. In addition, such plants can be used in the aquarium to mask technical devices, hoses and wires.
The cultivation of aquarium plants on an industrial scale began with the cultivation of individual specimens, and then plants in plastic pots with mineral wool fillers appeared on sale.
The production of plants grown on stones and driftwood is the third generation of aquarium plants and is a natural continuation of this process.
Rules and styles of aquarium design
Proper design of aquariums is not only a habitat for fish, but also a complete design solution that can decorate a room. In many cases, an aquarium serves as a unique way of zoning space.
In order for the aquarium design process to be carried out in accordance with all the rules, it is important to consider its size and shape, as well as pay attention to styles and elements.
You can also entrust the design of the aquarium in Moscow to the specialists of the Underwater World company.
A huge selection of aquarium design elements gives a lot of opportunities - you can use almost any material based on your own preferences.
Photos of the design of the aquarium are presented in our article, and you can use them as a source of inspiration.
However, it is important to remember that most elements are designed not only to provide an aesthetic component, but also to perform some functions. The most original examples of aquarium design are available on our website.
Why is the design of driftwood aquarium so appreciated by amateurs? There are several reasons: driftwood is the best shelter for small fish, and in many cases it can even become an additional source of nutrition or a place for throwing caviar.
The decorative role of snags is difficult to overestimate - they fit perfectly into many styles, and also serve as a "platform" for building moss.
In addition, wood is able to maintain an acidic environment, which is necessary for the residence of some families of fish and underwater plants.
One of the best options is to buy driftwood from the roots of mopani or mango tree, as well as willow, alder, maple, beech. If you decide to find a snag yourself, it is important to pay attention to some features.
It is better to refuse oak - it produces substances that can stain water, and rotten and rotten materials are also not suitable. The best solution is to choose wood that has been in the pond for a long time.
After a suitable material is found, it should be prepared:
The choice of the type of soil should be made with mandatory consideration of its effect on the acid-base balance and the softness or hardness of water.
It can be safely called a key component, since it acts as a substrate for plants, and also “filters” water, absorbing pollution particles. Of course, do not underestimate the decorative role of the soil.It is divided into three main groups:
Granules of the soil should have optimal sizes - from 0.2 to 0.8 mm, while it is worth considering the shape - it is better to give preference to round. The color of the soil can be different - it is determined by the general concept and style of the aquarium.
One of the best ways to add naturalness to the decoration, while completely unpretentious in the care and cultivation. However, there is one important condition for the normal growth of Javanese moss - carbon dioxide. With regard to lighting, it is not capricious - at a low level it takes a more elongated shape and a light color, at high - its structure becomes denser.
Beautiful design of the aquarium using the background is no less important than the correct arrangement of the elements. For lovers of the most natural style, one of the best options is to use the above-described Javanese moss, driftwood or other decorating methods. The simplest is the placement on a double-sided tape of a special film.
Volumetric background is a little more complicated, but also looks more impressive. Decorative elements are made of polystyrene foam, as well as cork or slate tiles, which create a perspective. It is important to pay attention to the composition of the funds used for fixation - only non-toxic ones will do.
To design an aquarium with plants, both living and artificial are effectively used, this is determined by the ecosystem and species of fish, as well as the experience of designing and growing plants. It is worthwhile to give preference to artificial plants in hard water, as well as in cases where herbivorous fish will inhabit the aquarium, especially with a large number of them.
When choosing plants, you need to present the composition in advance - and be sure to take into account that algae can cover part of the scenery, and because of them, fish can be seen worse. In the foreground, low algae are planted, and in the background, near the walls, tall and more lush.
If you have chosen a plant with a long, thin stem, it is best to place it in the middle of the aquarium. One of the interesting options for decorating plants is to cascade their planting.
It is also important to take into account the peculiarities of caring for one or another algae, as well as the compatibility of the species and the speed with which the plants will grow.
Corals can also be a great design option for aquariums. Their use should not be excessive - it is worth remembering that they contain calcium carbonate, which affects the hardness of the water. Fish that feel good in hard water use these decorative elements as shelters, as well as for hunting or spawning.
Before placing shells and corals, it is necessary to clean them and conduct heat treatment.
Figurines, caves, ships, etc.
The rich variety of various elements of aquarium decoration allows you to embody any ideas and emphasize the chosen style - from "sunken" ships and pirate symbols like a treasure chest to statues and entire cities.
And if such elements are sold ready-made, then small pots or parts thereof, as well as clay pipes, can serve as a cave or grotto.
As with any other item, it is important to take into account the types of materials from which the figurines are made.
Rules for aquarium design: what to look for?
Making an aquarium with your own hands should be subject to several requirements:
- design selection suitable for the general concept of the room,
- compliance with the needs of the inhabitants,
Briefly summarizing the issue of security, we can say the following: it is necessary to avoid sharp edges of stones, excessive content of lime and mineral impurities, as well as pay attention to the disinfection of elements - snags, stones, etc.
The design ideas for aquariums are manifold, but there are several favorite styles, each of which is characterized by its own distinctive features and advantages.
Japanese style aquarium
The basis of this style is not so much an imitation of naturalness and nature as a composition that has a calming effect on the observer.
A lot of it is borrowed from the rock garden, the culture of Japan, bonsai, while minimalism is the main feature.
Sometimes the aquarium is completely made out solely by one element - stones of different sizes and always in an odd amount.
The design of a saltwater aquarium is one of the most popular styles. It involves filling with sea water and settling with different inhabitants - not only fish, but also other invertebrates. If you use contrasting animals in color, as well as various forms of plants, the marine aquarium can look very impressive.
Subspecies of the marine aquarium:
- the tank where the saltwater fish are located, and the decorative elements are made of artificial materials,
- reef aquariums, characterized by the presence of soft corals, other animals, algae.
The design of an aquarium pseudo-sea is no less popular recently.
This option involves the use of fresh water and the inhabitants who can comfortably live in it, as well as the imitation of the sea landscape with shells, light soil, corals.
Blue backlighting is designed to enhance the effect, while creating such a style is much easier both in terms of finances and in terms of expended forces.
Natural - biotope style
This style means that the owner of the aquarium brings the interior as close as possible to the natural environment. At the same time, biotope involves the most detailed recreation of a certain reservoir, and a collection one - the choice of flora, fauna and design, taking into account the habitat of a particular species of fish.
Of course, here more often the goal is scientific observation of the behavior of the inhabitants. The geographical principle allows us to demonstrate the diversity of the ecosystem of a particular region. All of these styles require a sufficiently deep knowledge and are relatively more expensive to complete.
The pseudo-natural style is ideal for a more modest budget - there is no pretentiousness in it, and unpretentious inhabitants are used as inhabitants. Registration is carried out using ordinary soil, performing filtering tasks. As lighting, scattered solar is used.
What else to look for when designing?
Custom-made aquariums make it possible to choose any shape and size suitable for the interior of the room. Each form of the aquarium has its own characteristics of the content, and hence the decoration.
The small size and round shape can make installation of equipment and the decoration process more difficult, therefore the design of round aquariums, as a rule, is thought through to the smallest detail. It is also important to pay attention to the inhabitants - the modest size and specific form can limit the choice.
The best solution would be the placement of guppies, catfish, laliuses, neon, micro-analysis, and it is also possible to populate a round aquarium with snails and other animals in case there is a cover glass. It is important to avoid overpopulation.
The soil layer should be about 5 cm, and a compressor and a filter are also a prerequisite for decoration. To save space, as well as in cases of reluctance to install a mechanical internal filter, some aquarists resort to using false water - this is a great alternative to the usual soil.
If your choice fell on a corner aquarium, then you should carefully approach the issue of choosing furniture - more often it is located on a special stand. The design of the corner aquarium should be in harmony with the color of the cabinet and other furniture in the room.
One of the design options is a transparent front wall and the presence of background images in the side parts.
A corner aquarium with a pedestal is an important interior item, so in many cases it is better to get expert advice or order it according to individual measurements.
The size of the aquarium determines a lot in design.
So, the lucky owners of a 200-liter aquarium can boast of almost any style - its impressive size allows you to place a large number of details and decor elements, and they will not look crowded.
Contrary to stereotypes, minimalist styles look no less beneficial in the design of a large aquarium - a rock garden, for example, implies the availability of sufficient space.
Owners should give preference to slow-growing plants, if they decided on the "live" design of a small aquarium. It is important to trim them in a timely manner to prevent overgrowth.
Aquarium design can include original and interesting elements, such as a waterfall. To simulate it, you can draw a strip of light color on the stone with a darker sponge, and a more difficult option involves the use of sand.
It is blown by the compressor, which allows you to simulate the movement of the flow of water.
To create a voluminous background, polystyrene will fit - it easily takes the desired shape, so you can use it to depict rocks, stones and much more, even without serious skills.
You can smooth the surface of the material by resorting to firing - the ornament will melt, which will help it to take more smooth forms. After the finished element is treated with cement, sprinkled with sand and tinted with a collector.
Fix it better using sealant.
The choice and proper design of a turnkey aquarium is a difficult, but fascinating task. In order to get help with registration, you can turn to professionals. The company "Underwater World" is engaged in the manufacture of aquariums to order, and also offers a full range of services - from maintenance and cleaning of the aquarium to the consultation of the aquarium specialist.
The benefits of artificial plants for the aquarium
You can argue as much as you like about biotopes, about the natural appearance, but they don’t need specialized lighting, fertilizers, nutrient substrates or a CO2 supply system.
This makes them ideal for quarantine aquariums.
Artificial plants do not care about the composition of the water in your tank. They are easy and simple to clean from all kinds of plaque, algae and traces of the vital activity of aquarium fish. You can easily make this plastic look brand new.
Aquariums with artificial decorations in the form of plants can stand for 5 years or more, and with regular maintenance they always look like new.
You can keep fish, snails, shrimp without fear that they will eat them. There are many types of aquarium fish that love to eat or simply destroy real plants. Artificial plants are your answer to these vandals in this case.
Plants made of plastic will never be synonymous with living, but below we will see how you can, using plastic plants, decorate the aquarium.
The key to creating a design from artificial plants is very simple. Do not use any plastic other than them. It’s worth adding a sunken galleon, as your design will be visually destroyed.
Use all that you would use with living plants: stones, driftwood, sand or gravel.
The aquarium was modeled in the Dutch style, which has become a popular trend and consists in combining plants into groups. The location of the group of plants, their colors and texture visually complement each other. A cascade of tall plants in the background, low ones in the foreground.
Initial costs for such an aquarium with artificial plants may be greater than for living plants, but you may no longer have to spend money on decorations at all.
How to check the quality of artificial vegetation
Check the quality of the dye covering the artificial plant, you can use the "White". Proceed as follows:
- Pour the bleach solution into a suitable container.
- Place the decoration in the liquid.
- Leave on for 10-15 minutes.
If during this time nothing happens with the plastic product, it does not dissolve and does not lose its original brightness by coloring the solution, then it can be safely placed in the aquarium, without forgetting to wash it beforehand with safe cleaners.
How to create a combined design
Many fish lovers prefer the combined method of decorating a pond, using both plastic and living vegetation in the interior design.
In this case, it is recommended to observe equal proportions of natural elements and imitations so that the scenery retains an aesthetic appearance.
Some fear that such a combination would look unnatural, however, this is not so. In specialized stores, you can purchase so authentic copies of underwater greenery that it will be difficult to distinguish them from real ones.
Having shown imagination, a creative approach and having devoted some time to interior design, you can turn a fish house into a real masterpiece. When using imitations of algae, the underwater world will please the eye for many years and will not require special efforts from the owner to maintain it in a decent form. And if you wish, you can update the interior at any time by making a “permutation” and changing the original composition.
Also watch a video on how to clean artificial plants.
What are they made of?
Another erroneous opinion arises when a person hears about artificiality - danger. It is believed that catchy and brightly colored trinkets can be poisonous and can poison the poor inhabitants of the aquarium. But still do not worry about it.
Manufacturers have long learned how to produce harmless plastic at a relatively cheap price, so corals made of this material are absolutely harmless.
Algae is made from artificial silk polyamide. It is worth staying here. When choosing between these materials, it is still recommended to give preference to polyamide. Silk, in contrast to it, is less durable, and such decorations are approximately the same.
Combination with natural
When choosing plants, it is not necessary to refer only to living or only to not real plants. Various artificial ornaments go well with natural types of algae. Combining them, you can create a unique design of your aquarium.
Some recommend arranging the decorations in such a way that natural and artificial objects in the tank are in a ratio of 50/50, this will preserve the aesthetic appearance, as well as reduce the amount of troubles associated with living plants.
Some believe that such a mixture will look ugly, however, now they have learned to make such reliable copies that even experienced aquarists in water can not distinguish where what type of algae is located.
Especially when a composition is composed of several living and "not quite" plants.
Fishes, however, relate to such a neighborhood quite calmly, herbivores will not touch plastic, and small species will quite adapt to a new shelter.
Artificial plants are a great replacement for aquarium algae, in some cases they are simply necessary. After all, even for the most fastidious fish from their empty and transparent tank, I want to make a small, beautiful and cozy house.