Making Your Aquarium Look Real

I endeavor to design aquariums that reflect nature. One basic approach I employ is to combine fish, invertebrates, and other materials that come from the same geographic regions, although I sometimes combine elements from different areas of the world that share similar biotopes. Incorporating elements from the same geographic region or biotope type is the first step in making the artificial aquarium habitat look like a genuine coral reef. Arranging invertebrates and/or nonliving elements with care completes the illusion.

Freshwater aquariums vary quite a bit in terms of temperature, pH, water hardness, and so forth, while coral reef aquariums all require the same water chemistry and temperature. Except for its capacity, however, one freshwater filtration system is pretty much like another. This is hardly the case with saltwater systems, though all designs share the goal of creating a satisfactory substitute for the coral reef environment.

Many modern saltwater aquariums are much more than mere displays of fishes. They are true miniature reefs, usually abbreviated "minireef." To be sure, a minireef offers more challenges than an aquarium featuring only fishes. You have more kinds of critters and their respective needs to cope with. Water quality maintenance often involves more tests and more adjustments. On the other hand, some aspects of a minireef work in the aquarist's favor. The more diverse biological community that develops in the minireef actually helps to maintain stable water conditions by natural means. To a great extent, a mature minireef takes care of itself. In the case of the fish-only aquarium, the filtration system and the aquarist carry the primary responsibility for water quality maintenance. For this reason, the emphasis is on the minireef in the model designs I suggest.

The success of all the types of minireef designs described later results from facilitating the natural chemical, physical, and biological cycles that develop in the aquarium. These processes are mediated by microorganisms and tiny invertebrates, in the same way that soil bacteria and earthworms create suitable conditions for the plants in a garden. The organisms fulfill their important functions in the artificial ecosystem with the same efficiency they exhibit in the sea. In minireef aquariums, the largely unseen organisms forming the base of the ecosystem actually create water conditions suitable for themselves and other reef dwellers. The minireef may display a stunning collection of fish and invertebrates, but the invisible microscopic life actually plays the lead role.

The COMPLETE guide to Aquariums

The COMPLETE guide to Aquariums

The word aquarium originates from the ancient Latin language, aqua meaning water and the suffix rium meaning place or building. Aquariums are beautiful and look good anywhere! Home aquariums are becoming more and more popular, it is a hobby that many people are flocking too and fish shops are on the rise. Fish are generally easy to keep although do they need quite a bit of attention. Puppies and kittens were the typical pet but now fish are becoming more and more frequent in house holds. In recent years fish shops have noticed a great increase in the rise of people wanting to purchase aquariums and fish, the boom has been great for local shops as the fish industry hasnt been such a great industry before now.

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