Natural Decorations for Your Aquarium
By Michael Russell
Aquariums and fish keeping have come a long way from the preserves of the rich, when they first became fashionable, to a hobby every modern man may want to indulge in. The color an aquarium adds to a living room cannot be compared with mere furniture.
Most owners would naturally want to make the most of their aquariums by making them attractive and filling them with healthy fish. An important part of keeping that aquarium of your dream is to be creative and make use of aesthetic aquarium decorations. Apart from creating a more natural abode for your fish, aquarium decorations create a more stimulating landscape for the viewer; adding that extra color to your living room.
As with any form of decoration, there are a lot of alternatives you could choose from, when it comes to giving your aquarium that natural look. Thus, different people hold different beliefs about what should be and what shouldn’t be used in an aquarium as decoration. However, the bottom line is that personal preferences come first here. You should be free to decorate your aquarium with whatever item you think is OK, as long as it is not harmful to the fish. After all, it’s your aquarium and you should like how it looks. Now let’s take a look at some natural objects that can add that extra effect to your aquarium.
The first items we will consider here are stones and rocks. These make excellent natural decorations for your aquarium. One question that needs to be attended to here is whether you can use stones you collected yourself. Naturally, there should be nothing wrong with decorating your aquarium with your own collection of stones, however, you will have to be sure that these stones won’t affect the pH level of your aquarium and that they do not contain harmful toxins. For the pH, the best way to test a stone is by pouring some drops of a weak acid on the stone and see if it reacts. If it does, it’s probably not safe to use in your aquarium. But if you are not sure, or if you want to play safe, it is always better to get aquarium stones from your local pet shop or aquarist center, at least that will give you peace of mind. Besides the aesthetic value, your fish will appreciate the presence of stones and rocks in their water, as they can be arranged to create caves and hiding places.
Besides stones and rocks, other decorations you may find suitable for your aquarium are drift wood and mangrove. Not only can these be a very attractive decoration for your aquarium but some people believe that some fish require these materials to thrive. The only catch here is that drift wood should only be used as decoration in aquariums that have slightly acidic pH water. This is because wood has a tendency to lower pH levels of water and sometimes causes increased hardness of water. However, the beauty it brings to your aquarium is worth the extra effort in keeping the water as it should be.
What about corals and shells? These are wonderful decorations for your aquarium, but they don’t work well in fresh water and should perhaps be avoided as much as possible, as they tend to be harmful to fresh water fish. However, in marine aquariums, corals and shells constitute a great way to add some natural beauty to your aquarium and could even be very helpful to your fishes.
This is in no way exhaustive; there are still several ways and items that can be used to adorn your aquarium, you only need to be creative. However, make sure whatever you put in your aquarium is not harmful to those lovely fish.
Your Independent guide to Aquariums
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