In nature aquarium, a substrate is the most essential element. It provides an area for aquatic plants to spread their roots. Unlike in the past, thriving aquarium are commonplace thanks to technological advancements such as lighting systems and CO2 systems.
A substrate system is an environment where roots of plans coexist with microorganisms in a mutually beneficial relationship. This system is an important substrate in which aquatic plants grow roots. The substrate system consists of nutrients, soil, and microorganism. A good example is ADA substrate system.
The nutrients are essential to the plant’s roots and promote microorganism development. Microorganisms decompose organic substance into minerals. The plants use the minerals as nutrients. Solid features such as gravity and hummus provide a suitable environment for the growth of aquatic plants’ roots.
A substrate is an important requirement in long term maintenance of aquarium balance. The plants absorb nutrients from the soil and the fish breath oxygen produced by plants during photosynthesis. The substrates also get their fertility from fish excretion.
Building a substrate system
Before building a substrate system, there are several things you should know. You can enhance aquatic plants growth using powder substrate type. This type is added on top of normal soil. It is also advisable to keep the substrate warm. If the aquatic plants are not growing well due to low temperature it is prudent that you install a heater in the substrate system.
During the initial stage, water tends to get discolored and cloudy quite more often at this stage. You should therefore change it quite regularly.
It is imperative that you add nutrients additive to your substrate system. After keeping the substrate for a long time, nutrients get become depleted. Additives such as Multi Bottom replenish the nutrients in the system.
It is worth noting that you should only acquire products for sustaining the living organisms from reputable stores. More important you should learn how to keep fish in aquarium.
Basically, a substrate is a layer or substance where a process occurs. In an aquarium, the substrate system includes materials used to make an aquascape base layer. In the recent past, establish manufacturer have released in the market products that enhance plants growth. The two main types of substrates are
- Complete substrate- This substrate is added into an aquarium. It comes ready for planting
- Compound substrate – It requires capping
Uses of Substrate
What are the uses of substrates?
- Substrates store and supply vital nutrients and minerals
- They harbor beneficial bacteria
- They provide support to roots
- They are a natural decorative layer
Examples of Substrate materials in the market include:
- Powers sand
- ADA Aqua Soil
- Colored Sand
- Aqua Gravel
The beneficial bacteria break down excess food, plants and fish waste into useful nitrates for the plants. With an excellent substrate system, the process takes place at an optimum rate. The system also minimizes compaction in the aquarium bed as well as reducing movement of nutrient-rich water. Ultimately, it prevents a build-up of hydrogen Sulphide pockets which are hazardous to both plants and fish. Suitable substrates should draw nutrients from the water column and thus helping to rejuvenate the substrate layer. This also gives substrate longer life.
There are various types of complete substrates. One of the most common is ADA Aqua Soil. You simply pour this substrate in the tank and plant. Ammonia spike present for the first 2-3 weeks feed bacteria.
Compound substrates such as Tropical have produced fantastic results. There is a slight difference between the use of complete substrate and compound substrate. In a compound substrate, a thick layer of substrates is added on top of the aquarium base. The layer may be much denser at the back of the aquarium. Lime free gravel is the place on top to prevent the substrate from cloudness the aquarium water column. A shallow column of gravel can be used at the tank from for aesthetic purpose.
Substrate system set up
In an aquarium substrate system, substrates layer thicker at the back of the tank. Decorative sand is used at the front to enhance visual appeal. It also increases the surface area of the aquarium base creating more planting area.
Several substrate additives are added to the substrate layer to help the aquarium in different ways.
While gravel is a substrate, it is not recommendable to use it solely in a planted tank. Using various sizes of gravel creates a natural effect.
A high-quality substrate requires minimal maintenance. You only need to vacuum once in a week to remove additional detritus and also rake the sand to ensure it stays clean and fresh.
Liquid Fertilizers and Supplements
For efficient fertilization of nutrient elements which your plants require at each stage of their growth.
For healthy growth of aquatic plants, a balanced supply of trace elements such as Iron, Boron or Molybdenum is necessary in the water. Furthermore, Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium which are often called the three major (or macro) nutrients for plants, are also often found lacking in the aquarium.
ADA adopted the STEP fertilization system which corresponds to each stage of growth, or growth Step of your aquatic plants. The Green Brighty STEP Series, enables efficient supplement of nutrient elements to meet the requirements of all your aquatic plants which change in time. A full line of specially formulated supplements were developed also to target specific issues such as color loss, stress after trimming, and algae resistance.
Reliability and Performance achieved through the relentless pursuit of perfection.
CO2 is indispensable for plants to photosynthesize and grow. Through close observation and research on plants and their growth within the aquarium, ADA CO2 Diffusers and distribution parts, have achieved the ultimate in performance and sophisticated design.
Beautiful and unobtrusive glass is the ideal material to preserve the natural beauty of the aquascape, and offers many years of flawless performance. The ADA glass diffuser and bubble counter line offers a size option to fit any aquarium and layout need.
ADA Substrate System
ADA Substrate System has been developed after thorough research on natural environments. The substrate is a key factor for the growth of aquatic plants, and especially important for their long term maintenance.
The ADA Substrate System is designed to create active earth as in Nature, rich with nutrients and active bacteria. The concept is to prepare the best environment for bacteria to flourish, thereby leading to the development of the optimum substrate for planted aquariums and for a balanced ecosystem to form within it.
ADA Lighting System
The heart of the ADA Lighting System is the unique, true 8000 Kelvin lamp. Standard wattage fluorescents, Power Compact, and the flagship HQI halogen all feature the most ideal color temperature of 8000 K developed after extensive research of the nature of the underwater light field in several of the world’s most prominent regions for aquatic plants.
ADA Lighting System fixtures are extremely high-quality, and feature external ballasts on all suspended fixtures, which ensures lower fixture weight and more flexible suspension options. The sleek architectural design is both attractive and highly effective in the dissipation of heat. The ADA basic concept is a high-technology lighting system that meets the demands of aquatic plants.