Soil

The foundation of any functioning aquarium

Aquatic plants in their natural habitat

In their natural environment – the streams, ponds and swamps of the tropics – aquatic plants rarely grow evenly, but instead tend to be scattered about in groups of varying sizes. These groups generally mark the site of so-called nutrient seepage springs. These are places where nutrient- and CO2-rich water streams slowly but steadily out of the ground. The ground in these areas is very fine-grained, dense and rich in humus. The reddish-brown coverings on the roots of the plants testify to the high iron content of the water. 

Humus bacteria play a particularly important role here: with the help of the humus substances that are produced, they convert mineral nutrients into a form that the plants are able to absorb. Thus, in the tropics, plants will only grow on bare surfaces – for example the edges of newly-constructed roads – if a humus layer, even just a millimetre thick, has formed there. In the natural habitats of popular aquarium plants such as Cryptocorynes and Echinodorus, the ground is always very rich in humus.


 

Creating a true-to-nature bed structure in an aquarium

DeponitMix Professional is ideal for creating a humus-rich mineral nutrient medium in an aquarium. Authentic nutrient seepage springs can be generated using a Dennerle Bodenfluter cable. A Bodenfluter cable is a heating cable that becomes very slightly (!) warm. It is laid in loops on the bed of the aquarium. Its gentle warmth generates a slow circulation of water around the bed. This creates the optimum conditions for humus bacteria to convert nutrients into a form that plants can absorb. And not only that, but the tropical warmth of the bed helps promote root growth. What’s more, the circulation of the water transforms the entire bed of the aquarium into a giant bio-filter.