How to Weigh Down Aquarium Decorations
Aquarium decorations come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Many times, the fish owners purchase decorations which are too big for their aquariums. This can lead to poor water circulation and stunted growth in your aquarium. That is why it is important to choose the right sized decoration. You will also need to ensure that the decorations do not float away and break apart, leaving your fish with nothing to play with.
In this article, we will get to know the importance of weighing down your aquarium decorations as well as a step-by-step process of how to do so.
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Why Do Aquarium Decorations Need to be Anchored?
A lot of people might find it strange that you need to weigh down your aquarium decorations. It may seem like unnecessary fuss with something as important as decorating your fish tank, but the fact is that most water toys do not float. When they come in contact with any type of movement inside a tank, they easily tug and break apart; leaving your fish without enough stimulation or fun in their environment. This kind of activity will lower their overall health and affect their growth.
There are a few reasons why you need to place your decorations below the water line in order for them to stay attached to the aquarium glass and still work well. One reason is water movement. The reason decorative items need anchorage is because without it, they will smash into pieces when bumped out of view; most especially if you have some that float away or break apart due to poor stability while remaining alone in an aquarium.
Another reason is the inconsistency of water level. If a decorative item drops to the bottom of your tank, but you are using automatic water levels (smart water), it can cause these decorations to become unevenly submerged or underwater when they shouldn’t be while still harmlessly swerving around in the middle of your fish tank; possibly leading them into severe discomfort from boredom and lackluster health due to poor circulation throughout their environment.
How to Weigh Down Aquarium Decorations
Step 1: Prepare a Substrate Layer
Before you can attach something to the aquarium glass, you must first prepare a sub-layer of substrate in your tank. This is because no matter how stable and unaffected the decorations are by bumping around alone, they will never stay intact if instability affects their position; especially when being constantly dragged underneath water from agitation between automatic water level movements. In addition, the decorative item’s sub-layer will act as a “cushion” to protect the decoration from potential damage caused by rough or jagged edges. The more you can protect your decorations, the less they will be damaged and the longer they will last.
Prepare a sub-layer of substrate media by adding plastic pebbles at the bottom or on top different colors depending on the decorative item attachment method. Use a thick and steady layer in order to avoid warping; then, use tabs (a small protruding flat piece) for smaller items that cannot be secured with glue which can affect capillary action by de forming the object above it.
Step 2: Anchor Aquarium Decorations in Layer Openings
Now that you have prepared a sub-layer of substrate in your tank, it is time to attach decorations to it. You have many options for what kind of decoration you can place on the sub-layer and its weight capacity depends on your needs, habitat type in your tank, whether or not some decorations are heavier than others, if you have a collection of large or small items as well as several types of decors around the same aquarium; all considering various design factors that vary greatly from each other depending upon how complex their shape will be.
To minimize objections from the glass and when not in use, small objects like colorful stones can be placed at one of these various openings: just on the perimeter. Submersing them as a full layer will cause an uneven visual experience that is hard to beat; however, staying outside of all gaps does leave them vulnerable to water sloshing up against their surface which may lead some decoration items floating upwards until being backdropped by other decorations embedded in the walls.
Step 3: Utilize Weights for Stronger Support
Once you have placed a lot of items at various opening, it’s time to go heavier on support. You can use weights if your small containers are less than 1-2 lbs. capacity, or large ones if they’re 5 lbs. or more like the Aquarium Pebbles Instant Support System 16 oz. Weighted Floating Stones L16 which are heavy enough so that some weight (14 lbs.) is added when placed in water.
In addition, if you’re going to place larger objects like wood, rocks, and driftwood on the sub-layer of your substrate, it’s better to use large weights rather than relying on gravity alone. If the weight is placed in water, then it will act as a prop that can support items more effectively.
Some fish are very heavy due to their size or they have an unusually high metabolism which can cause them to be heavy themselves; this means that the species you have chosen may cause its body to shift when it is placed in water, so test how well items will support before placing anything on them.
Step 4: Take Advantage of Driftwoods and Rocks
In addition to utilizing weights, driftwood and rocks are also better choices for supporting items even more because of their density which means that they can support a greater load. Tie your weighed down aquarium decorations to available driftwoods and rocks on the substrate layer to provide additional support.
Step 5: Use Plastic Mesh for Even More Support
Last but not least, you should utilize plastic mesh more. It’s sometimes easier to use one single piece of flat reinforced plastic instead of laying it on because if the weight is placed into water then there won’t be any movement in structure from body shifting once put in place.
To do this, attach a clasp on one side and make sure that your strength is enough to pull it tight before securing around a decoration with a string or tie-on method.
While it is still possible to lay empty plastic mesh on this layer, the results are not as solid as accomplished by using weighted materials on your aquarium decorations so personal preference is a deciding factor when applying any weight.