The substrate of your aquarium
The basis for your plants and the habitat
Breeders of ornamental fish mostly run their breeding tanks without a substrate to make the cleaning faster and easier. But an aquarium with substrate not only looks more attractive, it also functions much better because the substrate supports the filter with its own significant filtering effect. It is furthermore important for the plant roots, and quite a few fish species use it as a hiding place (flounder, loaches, catfish, rays).
These substrates are available
The different grain sizes of the substrate have different advantages and disadvantages.
How thick does the substrate need to be?
Get a calculation from the ProScape substrate calculator , how much substrate your aquarium requires.
This question cannot be answered generally since there are very different types of aquariums. Generally the substrate layer shouldn’t be thinner than 3-5 cm. For many plants the layer thickness certainly has 6-8 cm.
How does the substrate in the plant aquarium need to be layered?
Only for extremly heavily planted aquariums (aquascaping) the structure is different: With the help of JBL ProScape Volcano Mineral the landscape can be coarsely modelled. On this lava substrate you can directly place the stones or the wood. It prevents a sinking of the heavy decoration elements. Then everything can be covered with JBL ProScape PlantSoil BROWN .
Does the substrate need to be completely renewed?
Sand, gravel and natural substrates, such as JBL Manado don’t need to be replaced. The regular siphoning of the substrate with a gravel cleaner ( JBL AquaEX Set 20-45 ) is a sufficient care measure.
In our experience soil substrates lose their positive characteristics after two years latest and need to be replaced. But since aquascapers are constantly recreating their “works of art” anyway, this is not really a disadvantage.