Before we begging decorating our aquarium we must consider a fundamental aspect, the total weight of the aquarium. This is something very important; we must not forget that in our aquarium, besides of the water capacity in liters, we must add to our account the weight of the sand, rocks and other decoration elements heavier than water, like the filtration system. That is why it is convenient to find out how much weight can our house’s floor take. If we live in a residential place, the ground floor is the best place to have the aquarium. In the case of buildings, if they are new, there is usually no problem given that most of the concrete structures can take a lot of weight. However, it is always convenient to consider the following precautions: try to keep the aquarium near the masterful walls (do not confuse them for the partitions) because they can take the heavier weight.  If it is possible, find out where the masterful beams are installed inside our house, and put the aquarium supports on top of them.

You have to keep in mind that not all furniture can take the full weight of an aquarium. It is recommended that the furniture has a metallic support, and in the case of wooden ones, they should have central reinforcements to avoid banding from the weight, however this last ones are not very recommended given that splashes, water falling during changes, possible leaks, could swell the wood (especially conglomerate) with the consequent danger that this could imply for our aquarium. We must also consider leaving room enough for all of the necessary accessories we have to set below the aquarium, and the back of the furniture should have holes in order to fit all of the cables and necessary tubes. Now days there are a great variety of especially designed aquarium furniture in the market. But we can always build it ourselves, keeping the necessary precautions.

Between the more used materials that will be used as base and support in a marine aquarium, there is no doubt that the best is the living rocks. This is a rock that it is extracted from nature, directly from the chorale reef or areas densely populated with coast life. This rock has to be lacking any form of life in deterioration that can be injurious or dangerous for our animals, such as mantis shrimp, hairy crab….The treatment we will use on the living rocks is the same we will use on our fish and invertebrates. The rock can be introduced at ones in order to maturate the aquarium or it can be introduced progressively until we reach the desired levels. In any case, it is recommended that we introduce it before we introduce the other habitants of the aquarium in case of possible ascents on the ammonia or nitrites rates. For those who can not afford to buy a living rock, there is always the possibility to decorate the aquarium with other alternatives, unless you have fish that live in chorale reefs, in which case you are forced to use living rocks. All decoration objects (except for the living rock) that are going to live in our aquarium must be carefully cleaned up.

Ornamental chorales are just skeletal rests of millions of polyps that constitute a part of the chorale reef. Given that the chorale is already dead by the time we buy it, we must check that there are no rests of their primitive inhabitants (or other alive beings that had installed their home in the chorale) before we put it on the aquarium. Given that to clean properly the chorale requires a lot a time, the first step in the installation process is to prepare it for the aquarium. There are two different methods to clean up the chorale:
First method: we submerge the chorale in a bleach solution for domestic use (2 cups for every 4.5 liters) where will stay for two weeks. Over the next week we will keep it in water that we will change several times until there is no sign of bleach. We will have to repeat this operation several times if the chorale has a winding surface. This method is very used, but sometimes it becomes very difficult to erase the scent of bleach once the chorale is clean. (A possible solution to this is to put the chorale under a sweet water stream for about 48 hours)
Second method: we boiled the chorale for about an hour and after that we rinsed it with a hose to eliminate all the lose particles. After leaving it soaking in water for one night, we rinsed it with a hose again and then we leave it whitening at the sun naturally during a few days before using it in the aquarium.
These cleaning instructions for chorales are also used to clean up any kind of sea snails and other decorative objects that began their life in the sea. Unfortunately the more attractive a piece is, the more fragile and expensive will be. Until we have acquired a certain experience dealing with these things, we should stick to the simpler and easier pieces to manipulate. You can also, of course, set different forms from small pieces.


Limestone is a stone often used in decoration. Usually when we buy it, it has some polluting agents of a grayish color and incrustations that make it darker than it really is, which is why we clean it up using a similar method that the one we used to clean up the chorale, with the only difference that instead of using diluted bleach, we will use it pure and leave it soaking for about two hours. This way we will clean entirely the stones that will be completely white and also eliminate any kind of germs that could harm our animals in the future.

Chorale sand:

Chorale sand is usually pre washed when we buy it; however, if we wish to keep our water perfectly transparent, we have to clean it up properly. In order to do this, we have to fill a 10 liter bucket with sand for about a quarter of its capacity. Later we will fill the other two quarters with cold water and we will mix the sand inside. We will have to repeat this operation until the water is completely clean.

Artificial decoration:

There is a great amount of these objects, in different shapes and sizes. The election if these will depend on your personal taste. What you have to consider when you buy these objects, is the quality of their material, given that some of them are made by materials that later on can become toxic (resin, paint)

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