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Nautilus Dark River Kit - Complete Set


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    The Nautilus Black River Kit is inspired by the diverse and unique aquatic environments of Lake Turkana in Africa and the Pantanal wetlands in Brazil. 

    Lake Turkana is a stunning natural wonder located in the northern part of Kenya, Africa. Also known as the Jade Sea, it is the world's largest desert. The lake stretches approximately 290 km from north to south and covers an area of around 6,405 square kilometers. It is surrounded by breathtaking volcanic landscapes, which make it a truly unique and otherworldly location.

    The lake's striking jade-green color is caused by the presence of algae and other microorganisms, which thrive in alkaline water. The shoreline is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including crocodiles, hippos, and a variety of bird species. 

    Lake Turkana is a truly awe-inspiring location that offers a glimpse into the earth's ancient past and a glimpse of a unique ecosystem.

    On the other hand, the Pantanal wetlands in Brazil are one of the largest wetland ecosystems in the world, covering an area of approximately 140,000 square kilometers. The area is characterized by seasonal flooding, creating a unique aquatic environment that supports a diverse array of wildlife. The wetlands are fed by the Cuiabá and Paraguay Rivers, as well as several smaller tributaries, which provide a continuous supply of fresh water to the ecosystem. These habitats are home to an impressive array of aquatic plants and animals.

    During the rainy season, the wetlands are transformed into a vast network of interconnected channels and lakes. The aquatic plants that thrive in the shallow waters provide important cover and food sources for the fish, creating a complex and dynamic ecosystem.

    As the waters recede during the dry season, the wetlands are left with a series of interconnected pools and lagoons. The aquatic environment of the Pantanal wetlands is an incredible example of the biodiversity and complexity of natural ecosystems. It is a delicate balance of water, plants, and animals that has developed over millions of years and is still thriving today.

    The Nautilus Black River Kit captures the unique and dynamic environments of these regions and brings them to your aquarium. The black coloration of the substrate provides an excellent backdrop for showcasing the bright and vivid colors of your aquatic plants and fish.

    This kit includes a blend of dark sands, gravels, and crushed snail shells mixed with Black Venom Stones in different sizes, creating a high-contrast and striking biotope that mimics the natural environment of these regions.

    This all-in-one kit includes everything you need to create a stunning biotope in your aquarium, including Black Venom Stones, a mix of dark sands, gravels, and crushed snail shells, and Wetland Artist Dark substrate for supporting lush plant growth.

    Key Points

    - Inspired by the unique environments of Lake Turkana in Africa and the Pantanal wetlands in Brazil.

    - All-in-one kit: Riverbed, Nano boulders, Artist substrate, and Stones.

    - High-contrast and striking kit with a mix of dark sands, gravels, crushed snail shells, and Black Venom Stones.

    - Easy to manipulate and spread in your aquarium


    Kit includes: Wetland Artist Dark substrate (5 Kg bag), Nautilus Dark Riverbed (2 Kg bag), principle hardscape Black Venom Stone (7-10 kg box), and secondary hardscape Black Venom Nano rock (2 Kg bag).

    Colour: Black, Dark brown and grey.

    Material: Natural sands, gravel, plant substrate, stones, nano rocks, snail shells, and crush shells.

    Size mix: 0.1cm to 30cm

    Materials: 100% natural and non-toxic

    Water hardness: Does affect water hardness.


    1.Prepare Your Aquarium:

    • Ensure that your aquarium is placed on a flat, leveled, and stable surface.
    • Confirm that you have all the necessary components such as lighting, filtration, and heating systems ready to set up your aquarium.
    • Now, you are ready to embark on creating your new scape with our all-in-one River Kits.

    2.Plan Your Design:

    • Gain inspiration from real-life riverbeds and aquatic ecosystems by studying photographs and conducting research on the specific biotope you want to recreate. You can also find inspiration on our social media platforms.
    • Take the time to visualize and plan the design of your riverbed, considering the size and layout of your aquarium and the unique features of your chosen biotope.
    • Research the specific requirements and preferences of the aquatic species you plan to keep in your riverbed to create an optimal environment for their well-being.
    • Consider the placement of hardscape materials such as stones and wood pieces, imagining how they will interact with the substrate and aquatic plants.

    3.Spreading the Substrates:

    • Our Wetland substrate is ready to use. Distribute it in the area where you want your plants to grow, adding a thin layer of approximately 1 cm.
    • Apply a similar 1 cm layer of the Riverbed substrate mix, covering the base layer. This separation creates distinct areas for nutrient-rich soil and cosmetic substrate, catering to both plant growth and the aesthetics of the biotope.
    • This 1 cm base layer ensures a secure foundation for your hardscape while protecting the aquarium's glass from scratches.

    4.Place the Hardscape Materials:

    • Arrange the hardscape materials, such as stones and wood pieces, in a way that mimics the natural formations found in your chosen biotope.
    • Feel free to experiment with different hardscape arrangements to achieve your desired aesthetic and create a unique and captivating display.
    • Keep in mind the visual balance and focal points in your design, ensuring the creation of hiding spots and sheltered areas for your aquatic pets.
    • Finally, add the Nano Rocks around the larger stones to enhance the naturalistic scape.

    5.Add the Remaining Substrates:

    • Once the hardscape is complete, add the remaining Wetland substrate on top of the base layer in the planted area. Aim for a depth of at least 3 cm to provide sufficient space for plant growth. Vary the thickness of the substrate in different areas according to desired aesthetics and plant types.
    • Finally, add the Riverbed substrate on top of the base layer. The arbitrary distribution of the bag content creates a natural riverbed impression with random densities and content mix, resulting in an easy, fun, and impressive way to create a true slice of nature.
    • Maintain the lowest thickness by the front glass, aiming for less than 1 cm to achieve the best aesthetics.

    6. Add Aquatic Plants:

    • Before planting, moisten the soil to help the substrate settle and create a stable base for your aquatic plants.
    • Carefully plant the aquatic plants in the substrate, considering their specific growth requirements and compatibility with the chosen biotope.
    • Arrange the plants in a way that enhances the natural look and complements the overall design of your riverbed.

    7.Fine-Tune the Design:

    • Step back and assess the overall design of your riverbed, making any necessary adjustments to achieve the desired look and functionality.
    • Consider adding additional decorations such as roots to further enhance the natural aesthetic.

    8.Fill the Aquarium:

    • Slowly fill the aquarium with water, pouring it gently onto a hard surface to avoid disturbing the substrate and plants.
    • Monitor the water level to ensure it is appropriate for the chosen biotope and aquatic pets.
    • During the initial setup period, the aquarium water may turn cloudy, which is normal. Don't worry, though. Simply turn on the filter, and the cloudiness should disappear within a few hours.

    Monitor and Maintain:

    • Regularly monitor the water parameters, including temperature, pH, and ammonia levels, to ensure a healthy environment for your aquatic pets.
    • Perform routine maintenance tasks, such as regular water changes, to maintain water quality and remove any accumulated debris.
    • Trim and prune your aquatic plants as needed to promote their growth and maintain the desired aesthetic.
    • Keep an eye on the health and behavior of your aquatic pets, making adjustments as necessary to create an optimal environment for their well-being.

    By following these usage instructions and properly maintaining your River Kit aquarium, you can enjoy a stunning and natural-looking aquatic display that replicates the beauty of real riverbeds and biotopes. Let your creativity flow and immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature right in your own home.

    Shipping info

    All our products are in stock, ready to ship (unless otherwise stated). Order before 4pm for same day dispatch (Mon-Fri). Prices start at £4.99 for a Tracked 48 Service (up to 5kgs) and £8.99 for Express Delivery via DPD.

    Our Delivery Promise To You

    If you choose Express Delivery, we will replace any plants that are damaged due to delays. Express Delivery is a fast, trackable, and reliable option with a one hour delivery window. It also ensures that the plants will arrive in the same condition as when they left our facility. If you choose a different postage option, such as Tracked 24 or Tracked 48, you will not be covered for any damages due to delays and will assume the risk yourself if the plants do not arrive in good condition. Express Delivery includes an insurance policy, which may cost more but provides added peace of mind.

    Nautilus Dark River Kit - Complete Set - Aqua Essentials
    Nautilus Dark River Kit - Complete Set - Aqua Essentials
    Nautilus Dark River Kit - Complete Set - Aqua Essentials
    Nautilus Dark River Kit - Complete Set - Aqua Essentials
    Nautilus Dark River Kit - Complete Set


    • All In Stock

      Everything you see on the site is in stock, ready to ship. No special orders, no waiting around.

    • Fast Dispatch

      Fast shipping. If you order before 4pm Mon-Fri, we'll ship the same day. Whoooosh.

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      You'll find our checkout smooth and silky for a comfortable shopping experiece. Welcome to First Class :)

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    We're environmentally friendly

    • 1. Sustainable Packaging

    • 2. Fast Delivery

    • 3. Guarantee

    Your plants will be wrapped with recyclable Honey Comb wrap - sounds cool because it is :). It interlocks which means we don't need to use tape either, reducing our impact on the environment.

    Not only is delivery fast with DPD Express but it's also green as they offset all the carbon their vehicles produce. Guilt free delivery which we're very proud of...

    We guarantee you'll be happy with your order. But if you're not, please contact us so we can resolve. We are 100% here to help and will always do our best to resolve any issues - that's a promise.

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