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Aquascaping & Decor


December 13, 2018 | By Tom Sarac

Changing the colour of the gravel can make a huge difference to the look of your aquarium. Couple that with a background colour or scene, and you can achieve some pretty dramatic effects without a great deal of effort or cost.


An important filter in its own right, gravel provides a massive surface area where billions of good bacteria live, and it consumes the harmful toxins in wastes which settle at the bottom of the tank.


Adding an instant atmosphere to your tank, and helping conceal any unsightly wires, cables and tubes, backgrounds come in a wide variety of styles and designs, from washable plastic to realistic 3D rock or bark effects.


Make sure the tank itself is clean and dry, and wash any gravel, rocks, wood or other items in running water. Don’t ever use household cleaners to wash the tank or its contents, and ALWAYS switch off electrical equipment before putting your hands in the water.


1- Place a few rocks at the bottom of the tank and distribute evenly, being careful not to knock the glass.

2- Add the gravel so that it slopes from the front and up to the back, to give an illusion of depth and to help collect debris at the front of the aquarium.

3- Read the instructions for each electrical item before positioning it inside the tank. Don’t plug anything in yet.

4- Place a small bowl on top of the gravel while filling with water to prevent it from washing away. Fill to half-full with water to add any plants. To learn more, consult our article, Planting Your Aquarium.

5- When your aquarium is fully planted, remove your hands from the water and dry thoroughly before plugging in and switching on the equipment.

6- Once your aquarium is set up, test the equipment to make sure it’s working, make the necessary water temperature and filter flow adjustments, and introduce biological enhancer and water conditioner.


Tom Sarac and Eric Nadon from Fluval offer useful tips on how to create an aesthetically-pleasing freshwater aquarium.


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