Rus Articles Journal

Whether it is easy to make a house reef?

the Sea aquarium - it is crystal transparent water of a cold bluish shade, the bright fishes of a bizzare shape who are scurrying about between the stones covered with pink and violet seaweed, thickets of the corals rocking in a step to the water movement. Well equipped and rather big sea aquarium becomes the center of an interior attracting views. However the aquarium has to not only be pleasing to the eye, but also provide comfortable conditions to its inhabitants.

Probably if the sea aquarium was not such impressive addition to an interior, not many would decide to spend the solid sum only to have an ocean piece in the room. In effect, for many people a reef aquarium - only one more pieces of furniture, and, making the decision to get it, they think more of how it will look, than how to create worthy living conditions to its inhabitants. However the beautiful aquarium is the aquarium inhabited by healthy animals who form the balanced community. And it cannot be created, without having spent previously enough time for studying of the modern guides to the device of sea aquariums, without having learned as much as possible about biology and habits of potential inhabitants, without having tried to understand ecology of a reef and the ocean.

the Main complexity of creation of sea aquariums is that the majority of ocean animals got used to exist in the environment with almost constant characteristics, and changes which fresh-water fishes also will not notice, for them - a shock. Sea fishes do not take out temperature drops, cannot live in water stagnant, poor in oxygen and demand strictly certain chemical composition of habitat. Therefore the life support system of a sea aquarium is very difficult, but without it not to manage.

First of all, necessary part of an aquarium - “live“ stones, that is stones which once were part of an ocean reef (sometimes in them it is even possible to distinguish structure of former corals). The best “live“ stones - those that acquired sea worms seaweed, sponges and are inhabited by a great number of small sea inhabitants.“ Live“ stones with partially died inhabitants demand “treatment“ - long keeping in sea flowing water. If “live“ stones are inaccessible, instead of them it is possible to use “overland“ stones provided that they are nontoxical. However in this case it is much more difficult to receive a viable reef as on sea stones bacteria and microscopic animals which are a component of a complex of a natural biological filtration of water live.

One more important component - sand. Not color stones, not gravel, namely sand - surely sea and besides “live“. More often aquarians buy dry coral sand, and “live“ it becomes already in an aquarium, but also in this case it is better to mix at least a little “live“ sand at once.

to Fans of artificial jewelry (caves, skulls, the sunk ships, the painted coral skeletons and so forth) it is necessary to remember that salty water destroys materials much more actively, than fresh therefore the risk of poisoning of system with products of destruction in this case is very big. Metals are especially dangerous: one coin dropped in a reef can ruin all its inhabitants.

Strictly necessary element of a filtration of reef system - a penootdelitelny column, or the skimmer. In it the sea water containing organic substances (mainly proteins), gets off in foam which then flows down in a special cup. All who at least once saw darkly - brown or black swill which the skimmer extorts from an aquarium like profound gratitude to this invention.


Most often to a sea aquarium it is attached refudzhium - the small auxiliary aquarium standing under the main aquarium and connected to it pipes. Water from the main aquarium flows down in refudzhium, and the powerful pump pumps over it back. The part of a refudzhium is occupied by a plantation of seaweed which catch harmful substances from water. In the same place various aquarian equipment, including the skimmer and thermostats is placed. To establish refudzhium, the aquarian has to learn to twist and stick together plastic pipes. It is necessary to do it on conscience - the broken pipe or the miscalculation in a design will lead to the fact that tens (or even hundreds) liters of sea water will pour out on a floor.

If you want to contain live corals, it is necessary to take care of lighting. To place corals in the aquarium which does not have special reef lighting, all the same that to put houseplants in a dark closet as many corals, like plants, use photosynthesis.

As practically for all marine organisms temperature drops are pernicious

, in an aquarium there has to be an effective thermostat - the heater.

For providing “ocean“ currents in an aquarium are placed by the special pumps (pomp) mixing water. Usually it is required from two to four compact pumps placed in the opposite ends of an aquarium. They create a current necessary for corals and sea fishes which carries by water between stones and sand (natural filters), bears nutrients to corals, helps fishes to be guided. Without heavy traffic of water the reef cannot live though, of course, no pumps can recreate the real ocean currents.

In addition in aquariums the columns supporting the necessary level of calcium, etc. use the mass of other devices, such as mechanical filters, ozonizers, sterilizers with ultra-violet lamps. However if to follow the rules of selection of inhabitants about which the speech will go below then the quantity of equipment in an aquarium can be reduced significantly. It is important to know that the life support system surely has to provide a biological filtration (passing of well aerated water through the porous surface inhabited by bacteria), mechanical removal of organic chemistry from water (the skimmer and mechanical filters), adequate lighting and constant temperature. To hope that the aquarium will be able to do without any component of a filtration, also senselessly, as well as to expect that the person will be able to live without liver or kidneys.

That for the sake of whom aquarians build all these technical miracles, - marine animals. And here fans of the sea are waited by one more spoon of tar. In - the first, since that moment as you will fill in water in an aquarium and you will add salt, and until when in it it is possible to put the first fish, has to pass, as a rule, several weeks. In certain cases the aquarium is empty two - three months, being pleasing to the eye only a heap of stones. And even then, when after repeated testing of water you decide to put the first fish there, it will be necessary to inhabit a reef very gradually - one small fish a week. Patience and gradualness - two magic words of sea aquarium husbandry. Biological filters will start working to the full extent only in a year when on stones and sand rather big colony of useful bacteria grows, but even then the admissible quantity of fishes will be much less, than in a fresh-water aquarium of the same size. In - the second, the conscientious fan of animals the fact that practically all fishes who are available on sale are the fishes caught on ocean reeves can unpleasantly strike (only some fishes manage to be grown up in bondage). Alas, travel from a reef to an aquarium of expensive death becomes frequent for sea fishes, and only the few avoid a sad fate.

to catch brisk fish on a coral reef where the mass of secluded places to which it can hide there are two methods - to catch it a net or a network (that is very difficult) or to paralyze poison (quickly and effectively). In the latter case “hunters“ use cyanic connections (salt of sodium or potassium) which cause reversible paralysis in fishes. This method gained distribution on Philippines in 70 - 80 - x years of the last century and after the Philippine reeves became scanty (in many respects from - for injurious methods of catching of fishes), removed to Indonesia.

Having recovered from paralysis, fish looks quite healthy. As after a while cyanides are completely removed from a fish organism, apply this method also to capture of live tropical fish to a table of gourmets. Scientists do not know yet how consumption of the poisoned fish affects an organism of people, but the fact that such method of fishing causes irreversible damage to reeves and has extremely an adverse effect on health of fishes, already at anybody does not raise doubts. The Tsianidny syndrome, well-known to experts of aquarian business, includes inexplicable death of fishes, appetite oppression, up to full refusal of food, and also death of fishes after the first feeding. Besides, by estimates of experts, 90% of the fishes caught by means of cyanides perish during transportation as the organism weakened by poison does not maintain burdens of long travel. How many “tsianidny“ fishes perish then in aquariums of fans, nobody considered.

catching is not applied by

of Tsianidnaya (or, at least, it is not applied widely and everywhere) in Hawaii, in the Caribbean and Red seas therefore it is necessary to ask from where there arrived this fish. Recommend not to buy also fish at once, and to observe her within a week (if to buy it - nothing terrible, it is possible to choose another or to leave next time pledge). If after a week fish is live, healthy and well-fad, so there is a chance that she will well get accustomed in an aquarium.

Besides that needs to be bought by

only those fishes who are healthy and active, it is very important to choose the kind of fishes differing in endurance and rather low requirements to conditions of keeping. Some fishes, are as if beautiful they were, have practically no chance of a survival in bondage or from - for the fact that demand special food, or from - for hypersensibility to quality of water. For example, sea horses in a house aquarium are obviously doomed to death if only this aquarium does not belong to the specialist in their cultivation. Skorpena and sea eels are aggressive and eat all fishes who it is less of them by the sizes. Many species of fish - butterflies eat only live corals and in a house aquarium steadily perish for hunger. On the contrary, clownfish (heroes of the animated film “Searching Mutely“) combine unpretentiousness, cheerful nature and bright coloring. The small fish the yellow surgeon very effectively looks, easily adapts to well adjusted aquarium and is irreplaceable if it is necessary to keep the expanding seaweed under control, and small fishes - cardinals can even breed in bondage. Need to be limited only to those fishes whose survival in an aquarium most possibly, of course, narrows the choice, but allows to avoid both financial losses, and moral experiences.

Occupying a sea aquarium, it is important to adhere to one of three main schemes: only fishes (without corals and invertebrates), fishes and hardy invertebrates (usually it is crabs, snails and shrimps) and a reef with variety of corals. If you chose a reef, then it is necessary to select from the very beginning animals who can live in the world and a harmony with corals. For example, the small fishes loved by aquarians - butterflies or elegant angels wish to regale on corals, and in a reef aquarium they do not fit.

in conclusion of several words about maintenance of a sea aquarium. Though often recommend to invite for this expert, actually everything is not so difficult if again - to make a priority a survival of fishes, and not just appearance of your reef. It is regularly necessary to empty a skimmer cup, to check and if necessary to change mechanical filters, to add fresh water instead of that that evaporated (salt does not evaporate therefore it does not need to be filled), if necessary to add calcium, iodine and some other substances and every two weeks (or at least once in a month) to change from 10 to 20% of water in an aquarium. The last is necessary as, despite all filters, in an aquarium nevertheless a quantity of toxins which if to allow them to collect without restrictions, can ruin all fishes in one unhappy day collects. It is necessary to check quality of water also regularly: acidity, content of ammonium, nitrites and nitrates and other parameters. At first it is done daily, then - every two weeks. Other duties practically do not differ from care of any aquarium. After experience acquisition it takes away not much time, and at sufficient enthusiasm is rather a rest, than heavy work.

“How many at you already died fishes? - one lady thinking of purchase of a sea aquarium asked me. - My acquaintance buys all the time new fishes, at it already so much they died! But same it is normal for a sea aquarium?“ Yes, fishes, of course, perish. My first fish died as I too hurried with settling of a new aquarium, then two more fishes jumped out on a floor because I, contrary to councils, did not close an aquarium rather reliably, and one more fish died, having refused food (it is not excluded that it had a tsianidny syndrome). But the death of fishes is always consequences of our mistakes, our neglect to details, it is always a symptom that something is made not so, something is missed. And though many think that losses of fishes in a sea aquarium are inevitable and pardonable, it is actually possible to do without the victims or almost without the victims. Everything that for this purpose it is necessary - to make a survival of fishes the main priority in the course of the equipment and settling of the aquarium. And actually it is not such a complex challenge.

of the Detail for inquisitive


in a sea aquarium

In a sea aquarium, unlike fresh-water, the typical combination of the mechanical filter and absorbent carbon plays a supporting role. Water purification function is carried out here first of all by the system of a biological filtration added with a penootdelitelny column - the skimmer.

Proteinaceous matter gets to an aquarium or in the form of a forage (not changed proteins), or already in the digested look together with fish excrement. Certainly, the death of any inhabitant of an aquarium leads to emergence of the decaying protein too.

of the Squirrel at first decay on amino acids, and then those break up with release of NH3 ammonia which is extremely toxic for all marine animals. There is a group aerobic (loving oxygen) bacteria which will transform ammonia to nitrites, however nitrites are also toxic. The part of nitrites gradually turns into a gaseous oxide of nitrogen, and the others get for lunch to other bacteria which oxidize nitrites in nitrates. Nitrates are toxic only in high concentration. And, at last, the anaerobic bacteria (to them oxygen is not necessary) living in depth of sand or under stones, decompose nitrates to gaseous nitrogen.

have not enough

In just established aquarium of bacteria. To stimulate development of bacteria, either add ammonia to water, or throw pieces of fish. In process of development of the first group of bacteria concentration of ammonia in water begins to decrease, but concentration of nitrites increases. Then concentration of nitrates begins to grow. And only in 4 - 6 weeks at last balance at which both ammonia and nitrite quickly are removed from water is established, and nitrates gradually collapse, without collecting to dangerous limits. Only after that an aquarium it is possible to occupy.

different ways of creation aerobic - anaerobic plantations of bacteria Exist. The general idea consists in providing to bacteria as it is possible a big surface which part will have contact with air. Dry - wet biological filters were at one time popular. Now simpler so-called Berlin system and its modifications gained popularity. According to the Berlin system all biological filtration is carried out on a surface of “live“ stones. That such system was effective, stones there have to be about 30 - 40% of volume of an aquarium. Also penootdelitelny column (a flotator, or the skimmer) is necessary.

the Skimmer uses ability of many organic compounds (not only proteins) to gather for sidestse water - air undressed that it leads to formation of foam. In the elementary option it represents the plastic cylinder shipped in water in which air from the compressor moves. In process of beating foam rises up and flows down in a special cup. There are different modifications of penootdelitelny columns differing in the sizes, power of a pressure of water and ways of mixing of air and water in a column.

the Author of article uses the modified Berlin system. The main aquarium (360 liters) and the auxiliary tank enter it (refudzhium). In the main aquarium the filter role besides “live“ stones (their about 30%) carries out deep (6 - 8 cm) a sand layer for anaerobe bacterias. In a refudzhiuma the part of water passes through a plantation of fast-growing seaweed which absorb nitrates and phosphorus (seaweed should be thinned out often), and part - through the mechanical coal filter, the skimmer and synthetic fiber on which aerobes grow. The aquarium exists three years and supports the yellow surgeon, two clowns, the Bengalese cardinal, six shrimps, a great number of crayfish - hermits and several types of soft corals (sea polyps). This sea community is small, however very much is pleasing to the eye, especially in cloudy and cold weather.