Decoration (stones, roots)
Here’s how to create beautiful decorations in your aquarium
As soon as you know what fish you would like to keep you need to find out which decoration meets all the demands of the fish. Some fish species need stones, other ones rather roots and for a lot of fish this doesn’t matter as long as they have hiding places.
NEVER start the setup with the substrate but ALWAYS with the stones and/or the wood. Otherwise the substrate could sink, causing the construction to collapse.
For heavy stones or constructions we advise you to use a dampening underlay under them which distributes the weight on the glass ( JBL AquaPad ). It’s no problem to cut the underlay to an appropriate size.
Ensure your decoration has a natural design and configuration. DON’T place large roots or stones in the middle of your aquarium but in an asymmetrical position to the left or right. This has a more beautiful effect.
The JBL themed aquariums give you some decorative ideas and show you what kind or stones or wood can be used.
What you can use and what you should avoid:
NEVER use metals for aquarium equipment or decoration, only gold or platinum is theoretically possible, as they do not release toxic heavy metal ions into the aquarium water! Caution is advised with stones you’ve collected: If the stones glitter metallically, they can contain metal inclusions that are toxic. Stones containing lime do not belong in aquariums either, with the exception of Malawi-Tanganyika Lake aquariums, where they fit in well. In all other aquariums, they release lime into the water, thus increasing the water hardness and possibly the pH value. Be sure to rinse all new stones vigorously under running water.
Here’s how to check whether stones contain lime:
When lime comes into contact with acid, it starts to foam. You can therefore check unknown stones with a little acid (or safer JBL pH-Minus). Put a few drops of pH-Minus on the stone and observe whether it starts foaming. If it does not foam, the stone does not contain lime.
Which wood can be used in the aquarium?
Wood basically rots or moulds in water. Therefore, most wooden roots that we find in Central Europe when we go for a walk are not suitable for aquariums. There are, however, types of wood that do not rot in damp conditions and these include, for instance, mangrove tree roots or bog-wood roots. These suitable types of wood are available in pet shops.
The other property of wood is its buoyancy in water. Test the purchased wooden root briefly in a bucket (clean, without cleaning agent residue) or a tub to see if it floats up or sinks. If it floats up, you will need to anchor the wood in the position you want it to be in the aquarium later. To do this, you can glue the wood to a stone (JBL ProHaru) or tie it down with fishing line, for example. Water new roots in a bucket for a few days and change the water daily. It will usually be very brown in colour at the beginning.
If your children want decorative elements like figures, shipwrecks or similar items in your aquarium, please ensure that they are made of non-toxic materials and water resistant colours. The fish won’t care whether they hide between wood or a Jurassic Park skeleton!
You can find suitable products here: Decoration .
Wood and stones for the aquarium. Things to bear in mind.
Can you put in stones and wood you have collected? What types of stones are there and which are suitable for your aquarium? How can you check stones to see if they contain lime?