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 filtration 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.

Fine sand

Ideal for all bottom-dwelling fish which like scavenging or burying themselves. Plants also root perfectly in the sand but only have a good hold with well-developed roots. With the help of plant pegs ( JBL PROSCAPE PLANTIS ) fixing of plants in the ground is much easier! Disadvantage of fine sand: You can’t create “mountains and valleys” because the sand levels off after a while. Fine sand is not suited for undergravel heating cables. The heat dissipation doesn’t really work in it.

JBL Sansibar NEVE

Substrato branco como a neve para aquários de água doce e salgada e paludários

  • Solo arenoso muito fino para todos os tipos de aquários: substrato para aquários de água doce e salgada, bem como para paludários e terrários
a partir de 18,99 €

JBL Sansibar WHITE

Substrato branco, fino para aquários de água doce e salgada

  • Estabilidade perfeita para raízes de plantas: substrato com granulado de 0,2-0,6 mm para aquários de água doce e salgada e terrários
a partir de 11,09 €

JBL Sansibar VERMELHO

Substrato vermelho, fino para aquários de água doce e salgada

  • Solo arenoso fino e não colorido: substrato para aquários de água doce e salgada e aquaterrários
a partir de 15,49 €

JBL Sansibar COR DE LARANJA

Substrato cor de laranja, fino para aquários de água doce e salgada

  • Solo arenoso fino e não colorido: substrato para aquários de água doce e salgada e aquaterrários
a partir de 15,49 €
Fine gravel

Also perfect for bottom-dwelling fish species because it has no sharp edges. Plants quickly grow healthy and strong roots. For modelling the ground we recommend stones or wood to build terraces. Not ideal for undergravel heating cables, but okay.

JBL Sansibar DARK

Substrato preto para aquários de água doce e salgada

  • Estabilidade perfeita para raízes de plantas: substrato com granulado de 0,2-0,6 mm para aquários de água doce e salgada e terrários
a partir de 11,19 €

JBL Sansibar RIVER

Substrato claro, fino com pedrinhas pretas para aquários de água doce e salgada e terrários

  • Substrato com granulado de 0,8 mm para aquários de água doce e salgada e terrários
a partir de 11,29 €

JBL Sansibar CINZENTO

Substrato cinzento, fino para aquários de água doce e salgada

  • Solo arenoso fino e não colorido: substrato para aquários de água doce e salgada e aquaterrários
a partir de 12,00 €
Medium-sized gravel

Often an inexpensive substrate, but unsuitable for bottom-dwelling fish. Due to its a bit coarser structure the waste enters slightly deeper and needs to be regularly siphoned from deeper layers with a gravel cleaner. Well suited for aquatic plants.

Coarse gravel

Unsuitable for bottom-dwelling and digging fish. Is often used with large fish to prevent them rearranging the tank all the time. Difficult to clean. For plants only suitable to a limited extent. Better insert the plants into small pots.

Natural soil

Just about the best thing there is! This natural substrate has no sharp edges and is ideal for bottom-dwelling and bottom feeding fish species, such as armored catfish. Plants grow roots very quickly and can be easily removed at a later stage without removing half of the substrate from the tank. The only disadvantage: The JBL Manado substrate is so loose that plants easily loosen themselves from the ground again during their insertion. With JBL plant pegs ( JBL PROSCAPE PLANTIS ) you can easily and reliably attach new plants to any ground.

JBL Manado DARK

Substrato natural escuro para aquários

  • Ideal para o tratamento de plantas em aquários de água doce. A sua estrutura porosa promove o crescimento das raízes. Adequado para peixes que escavam no solo
a partir de 10,95 €

JBL Manado

Substrato natural para aquários de água doce

  • Ótimo para o tratamento de plantas, graças à estrutura porosa e à função de armazenamento de nutrientes: substrato para aquários de água doce
a partir de 6,39 €
Lava substrate

Looks very natural but is totally unsuitable for bottom-feeders and digging fish! The animals hurt themselves on the sharp edges! Plants root very well inside and it is perfect for modelling the ground design. Lava substrate is often used for the design to form a solid foundation for wood and stones. Sand or gravel would sink or dug away by fish. The lava substrate becomes firmly interlocked and therefore aquascapers always use it as foundation.

JBL PROSCAPE VOLCANO MINERAL

Substrato natural vulcânico para o paisagismo aquático

  • Solo em pedra vulcânica como base estável para construções em pedra e em madeira de raízes: substrato especial para aquários de paisagismo aquático
a partir de 11,79 €
Soil

Aquarists who like heavily planted aquariums and are fans of sensitive plants have special demands on the ideal substrate: It has to consist of burnt soil and contain lots of nutrients. JBL offers two options: JBL PlantSoil is loaded with a lot of nutrients and ideal for heavily planted aquariums (aquascaping). Whereas JBL ShrimpSoil has not been loaded with additional nutrients and is perfectly suited for aquariums with invertebrates (e.g. shrimps) and plants.

JBL PROSCAPE PLANT SOIL BROWN

Substrato de água doce castanho para o paisagismo aquático

  • Substrato nutritivo completo para plantas aquáticas: substrato especial para aquários de paisagismo aquático
a partir de 17,49 €

JBL PROSCAPE SHRIMPS SOIL BROWN

Substrato castanho para aquários de camarões

  • Substrato sem nutrientes adicionais para aquários de camarões: substrato especial para aquários de paisagismo aquático
a partir de 19,99 €

How thick does the substrate need to be?

Get a calculation from the Calculador de substrato ProScape , how much substrate does your aquarium require.

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. In a heavily planted tank, the layer thickness can certainly be 6-8 cm thick.

How does the substrate in the plant aquarium need to be layered?

For most aquariums with aquatic plants we advise following the framework: First a layer of long-term substrate fertiliser ( JBL PROFLORA AquaBasis plus ) and above a natural substrate ( JBL Manado ).

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 the sinking of the heavy decoration elements. Then everything can be covered with JBL PROSCAPE PLANT SOIL 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 Kit 20-45 ) is a sufficient care measure.

In our experience soil substrates lose their positive characteristics after two years at the latest and need to be replaced. But since aquascapers are constantly recreating their “works of art” anyway, this is not really a disadvantage.