Types of Substrates for Your Aquarium

Generally, when choosing a substrate, a beginner is advised to pick the type best suited for a specific type of aquarium. Substrates provide not just a terrain for your tank, but it will also lessen the light reflected off the surface of the aquarium that might spook the fish. It also serves as a playground, colony, and breeding ground for your pets and other microscopic lifeforms.

Tips for Choosing Substrates

Keep these in mind when choosing the substrate for your aquarium.

  • Research its reactivity with water
  • Make sure it’s easy to clean and will work with your filtration system
  • Consider how it will affect the bottom-dwellers
  • Fish-only tanks should have at least 2 inches of substrate
  • Reef and marine tanks need at least 2 inches of substrate
  • Planted tanks need two layers of substrate, with the lower level as high as the roots

Types of Aquarium Substrates

  • Common Gravel. Do not use glass pebbles and painted gravel for your aquarium, because they can injure your fish. Instead, choose common gravel that contain quartz.

  • Calcium Carbonate. Also called dolomite gravel, this is used in saltwater tanks, but it has a tendency to trap debris and uneaten food. If it is regularly cleaned, however, calcium carbonate can maintain ideal water conditions in the tank.
  • Sand. Sea sand isn’t recommended for aquariums because they could contain impurities that will harm your fish and change the water condition. It’s also difficult to clean, unless you have an effective filtration system installed. If you need to install sand, pick sandblasting sand and play sand instead.
  • Aragonite. This is a type of calcium carbonate that is ideal for raising the pH level in a reef tank. Most hobbyists mix aragonite with crushed corals and live sand to achieve the ideal water conditions in a saltwater tank.
  • Vermiculate. This substrate is made up of iron, aluminum, and magnesium, which is ideal for planted aquariums, although it has to be mixed with common gravel and laterite to keep its appearance consistent.
  • Crushed Corals. Like aragonite, crushed corals are ideal for saltwater tanks to create ideal water conditions. It is usually mixed with calcite and dolomite to make it suitable for almost all types of aquariums.

  • Laterite. This is a type of clay that contains iron oxide, ideal for planted aquariums because it can hold and release nutrients slowly over time. This is usually placed at a lower layer under another substrate.
  • Marbles. Choose large flat marbles that are easier to clean than the round small ones. This is usually recommended for aquariums made for breeding fish because the eggs can be hidden from predators in between the marbles. Another substrate, marble chippings, can also serve as alternative to coral sand.
  • Miracle Mud. This is a new type of substrate that is often used in saltwater tanks as a sump or to inoculate sand beds.
  • No Substrate. Most saltwater tanks prefer a bare bottom reef because it is easier to maintain. However, a tank with no substrate can be stressful for some fish.

18 Dec 2019

4 Reasons to Ban Your Cat in Your Bed

Playing with cats is wonderfully therapeutic. They can calm your nerves and lower blood pressure. However, this doesn’t mean you should share your bed with your cat. Although cuddling at night with your furball may sound relaxing, letting your pet sleep with you may also cause unnecessary stress.

Here are some important reasons why we strongly suggest to just keep the cat off the bed.

1. Disrupted Sleep
Cats can sleep up to 15 hours a day, but your cat’s sleep cycle is different from yours. A cat that sleeps the entire day is ready to be racing around the room until three in the morning. Other than being hyperactive, if they do sleep, they may snore or scratch you, or simply nudge you for attention while you’re sleeping, taking a toll on your ability to rest and leaving you feeling sluggish in the morning.

2. Allergies and Asthma
More than 25 percent of people around the world have some kind of allergic reaction to dogs and cats, but allergies to cats are much more common that allergies to dogs. Doctors would normally recommend not having cats inside the house if someone is allergic. However, if you love to have a pet cat, there’s a less drastic way to ease allergies and asthma attacks: by simply keeping your bedroom cat-free and using a HEPA filter to eliminate triggers while you’re asleep.

3. Exposure to Litter
Your cat’s litter box is a dirty place, and your cat’s paws may capture bits of waste and litter, which can end up on your bed. While litter mats reduce the amount of waste and litter that gets tracked throughout your house, you cannot entirely eliminate it from your bed unless you keep the cat off the bed.

4. Parasites
Sharing the bed with a cat also means sharing the bed with parasites the cat is harbouring, which of course is not a good thing. Although fleas do not live on people, they do bite and leave you itchy. Intestinal parasites that breed on cats like hookworm and roundworms can also cause illnesses to human beings.

Snuggling with your kitty is comforting, but sharing the covers isn’t ideal for everyone. If you decide to keep your pet off the sheets, make sure to stick to this new routine so your furry friend will get used to it as soon as possible. It will take some time of scratching and meowing outside your bedroom door, but when your cat realizes that this behaviour won’t be rewarded, she’ll learn to look for a new place to spend the nights in.

28 Aug 2018