Why do I need a substrate?

There are various types of substrate available and just like in nature a good substrate should be a blend of several types of sand or gravel, rather than one single type.

The primary reason for adding a substrate to your tank is to give it a look all of its own while also giving you the options to grow live plants.

Whether your tastes lend to the fun and lively Swell Black Stellar Stone Gravel, or the exotic Swell Fiji Coarse Sand, the great thing about substrates is that it allows you to effect the look and feel of your tank and make it all your own.

With so many varieties available, you can easily match them to your own décor, or even go one step beyond, to recreate your fish’s natural habitat.

An additional benefit of using substrates is that they can be used to house good bacteria, to the benefit of your overall aquarium.

However if you should decide to keep live plants within your aquarium, a strong nutrient base such as the JBL Aqua Basis Plus contains the full range of vital nutrients, as well as iron and trace elements that are required by aquarium plants for strong and healthy growth.

An important point to consider is to pick inert substrates, if you happen to keep soft water fish. Or alternatively add calcium-rich substrates, if you happen to keep alkalophiles, such as Malawi cichlids.

When adding your substrate to the tank be sure to include a good two to three inches or more of material and adjust the landscape to your own liking. This is where your tank can really come into its own by combining different grain sizes, as well as matching pebbles and rocks.

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Georgina is a member of the Swell UK marketing team and has been keeping tropical fish for a number of years now. Her favourite fish being the stunning, male Siamese Fighting Fish. She is also looking to expand her existing collection to include keeping saltwater fish as well. Her other pets include Bengal cat, Walter, and Labrador and Rottweiler cross, Presley.

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