In order to provide a natural habitat for the fishes and other creatures in your aquarium it is not only important to think about water chemistry, lighting etc., you also need to think about the structure of the substrates the animals live on, above or even within. Whether fresh water or salty water it all depends where the animals are coming from. Smooth gravel or even pebble stones for animals from fast moving creeks, coral gravel or coral sand for animals from reef and shore areas, stones AND aragonite (form of lime) for African fishes from the rift area. The grain size is a major point for the animals that either take their food from the bottom (than it should be fine sand) or search for food between the niches (than it need to be coarse).
Again you need to have a plan of what biotope you want to reproduce before you know what substrates you will need.
A couple of criteria for aquarium decoration
If you bring artificial deco into your aquarium make sure it will not release harmful substances into the water. If it is suited for fresh water it may still do harm to a marine environment. Wood for example will rot very fast in salt water where it has a long standing in fresh water. Some plastic materials will release softener substances which work like a fertilizer for marine algae. Stones that work in slightly acid environments may not be good in alkaline water and vice versa. If you are not completely sure about these aspects do not hesitate to reach out for help!
Frags, Stones, Corals: To glue it all together
There are different sorts of glue for
- fixing corals to stones
- fixing and shaping of riff ceramics and/or life stones
- forming complete structures with embedded stones and ceramics
and some more variations. If you are unclear to what you need to “fix” your problem give us a call!