Saturday, April 8, 2017

Some Notes on Laterite.

Laterite shouldn't effect your GH, KH or PH but it could raise the iron levels considerably if it is used wrong. The best way to use it is to put a thin layer, maybe 1/4 to 1/2 inch on the very bottom of the tank & then to cover it with 2 1/2 - 3 inches of sand or fine gravel. This traps the laterite underneath the gravel & limits how much iron it can leach into the water column, if it leaches any at all. If you use gravel over laterite you should make sure that the grain size of the gravel is under 4mm or the laterite can still leach through the large spaces in between particles. Be aware that once you have planted a tank with laterite in it, it is not a good idea to move your plants about. Moving plants in a tank containing laterite can very quickly make your tank look like you have filled it with coffee.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Best Practices: Setting up an Aquarium.

1. Width:
    Try to keep the width between 12-14 inches. This forces the fishes to swim near the glass. That way you have a closer view of them. If you have a large width, they can remain at the back side of the aquarium and you cannot have a closer look at them unless they come forward.

2. Height:
     If you are planning a low-tech planted aquarium then see to it that the water column is max 12-14 inches. This will reduce your needs for having powerful lights. You will be having 2-3 inches of gravel at the bottom and would leave around 2-3 inches of air column at the top. So the final height comes to 18-20 inches.

3. If you are going to use a tube-light with shades, You cannot place them very close to the water surface because it may not cover the whole bottom. So plan that according to you tank size.

4. If you have larger aquariums (4+ feet) then do buy an automatic feeder. It will help you a lot in the long run. DIY Automatic Feeder are economical and practical for small aquariums only.  

5. Buy a filter which creates a steady stream of water movement.

5. When you are placing the gravel/sand at the bottom, make it sloping from back to the front. So that all the solid waste comes to the front and it makes easier to clean/vacuum.