Suggestions for Aggressive slopes - The Planted Tank Forum

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post #1 of 37 (permalink) Old 04-11-2009, 08:31 AM Thread Starter
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Suggestions for Aggressive slopes

In my next tank i would like to create dramatic slopes since i will be working with a large footprint (48x18x24). I am curios to know if anyone has as experience creating such as aquascape or has any links to where this has been done. I am working on a few ideas that i will explain if there is any interest in this thread.


Thanks much.
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post #2 of 37 (permalink) Old 04-11-2009, 12:17 PM
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Do tell... perhaps we can direct you better with more detail.

FYI, almost all substrates will settle over time. If you really want a large slope, you need to anchor the slope with "something" to keep it in shape, such as rocks (exposed or not exposed).

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post #3 of 37 (permalink) Old 04-11-2009, 01:39 PM
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Hey - I'd be interested as well. I'm upgrading to a tank with the same dimensions...90 gallons right? I'm chewing on ideas for slopes as well. Let's hear your idea!
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post #4 of 37 (permalink) Old 04-11-2009, 03:10 PM
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I believe that some substrates are better at holding slopes than others. I read in a thread that ADA aquasoil holds slopes very well, but I have no experience with that substrate myself.

Like gmccreedy said, best bet is to support the slope with rockwork. Any plexiglass or other barriers will lead to a "tiered" effect, unless you reslope it when needed. I would also be wary of anaerobic pockets in very deep slopes.
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post #5 of 37 (permalink) Old 04-12-2009, 04:42 AM
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Slopes will never hold if too steep.
Will always settle into an equilibrium.

Think of building terraces with rocks and wood instead and then
blending each level into a slope using plants, wood and rocks.
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post #6 of 37 (permalink) Old 04-12-2009, 06:37 AM
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Check out Terraces by Peter Champus here.

Also I have been told that to prevent gas build up under high slope to have plants with deep roots.

To build the terraces you could use metal flashing and cover with gravel.

Last edited by Hilde; 04-12-2009 at 06:38 AM. Reason: adding
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post #7 of 37 (permalink) Old 04-13-2009, 04:22 AM Thread Starter
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Anerobic pockets, huge piles of filler material, and empty open spaces are all things im trying to avoid. Aquasoil does hold a slope very well. Ive been able to create some decent slopes by pouring into the tank slowly while misting with a water bottle. Over time however the water does win and everything settles. Ive have thought to attempt to grow the plants emmersed on the slopes then fill with water once a nice root structure is in place to hold the dirt. This method floated around for awhile using HC but i rarely read any positive outcomes.

Ive also though to create a sort of molded shell using stainless steel screen like that you see flame moss growing on. The idea is basically to have two layers about 1.5 inches apart to sandwich in some substrate. Thing is is that stuff is expensive and hard to shape without a mold.

Last idea is a hybrid of both. Create the hills while dry then lay on some semi rigid net like material (i know of no such product) over the slopes. Ive seen this method used to prevent erosion on a large scale but dont know how well its would work small scale in the tank. Something custom may be in order like netting dipped in an epoxy so it hardens up.

Well, all in all just brainstorming at the moment. If anyone sees any pitfalls or ways to make what ive come up with better let me know. In the end ill try something, im going to have to see it not work to believe it.

Thanks.
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post #8 of 37 (permalink) Old 04-15-2009, 03:52 PM
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I have designed a few reinforced soil slopes for bridge abutments and always thought it would be cool to do one in an aquarium. Here is one idea I drew up awhile ago. You could do something similar without the tier. I was thinking of planting with HC or micro swords.



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post #9 of 37 (permalink) Old 04-15-2009, 04:00 PM
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Im gonna suggest something rather radical but while looking at some ancient city wall constructions ( I study archaeology ) I thought it might be an idea to use pebbles of 2cm radius at the bottom then layering those with smaller pebbles as you go higher and finally covering them with moss or aquasoil.

Now you dont want the soil to slide off so you could try making a grid of some sort or by terracing.

Hope this helps

[/SIGPIC]Want to go nano , but don´t know where to start
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post #10 of 37 (permalink) Old 04-15-2009, 04:09 PM
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why do you want to AVOID "large piles of filler material"? It will cut your costs by a lot, not to mention it works.
terrace the ground and hide the "terraces" with plants. I never see my substrate with all the plants in there anyway.

If you're looking to plant a carpet over the whole slope it would obviously present a whole new challenge, but in that case, if you're going to be using water column ferts... don't use soil on the slope. Make a form for the hills out of a mesh material (like the moss screens you were talking about) and make a sandwich that goes something like this:

Top mesh layer
plants
rockwool (or other absorptive material that will hold nutrients)
Bottom mesh later

The plants can grow fine into the rockwool and the water column ferts will provide all they need. The rockwool will even absorb some of the nutrients the plants don't use and become a bit of a fertilizer in and of itself if something proves lacking at any point.

Granted, I've never tried this myself, and haven't seen it tried, but hey... I'm an idea man lol I never claimed to actually KNOW what I was talking about. :-)
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post #11 of 37 (permalink) Old 04-15-2009, 06:23 PM
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Would the dutch stype slopes work? I am trying to create a flow of UG. I am still looking for ways to do a slope with a tunnel for the Discus and other fish to swim through.

http://www.aquabotanic.com/dutchsecrets.htm

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post #12 of 37 (permalink) Old 04-15-2009, 09:42 PM
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Mike @ADG is doing something wild using platic pieces to stabilize the slope. wish I could show a pic but he is entering it in the contest. needless to say, the tank is a 75 gallon and the Amazonia is 5" from the top back corner.
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post #13 of 37 (permalink) Old 04-16-2009, 05:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimmyYahoo View Post
Last idea is a hybrid of both. Create the hills while dry then lay on some semi rigid net like material.
I have seen some do that in an aquarium using egg crates, which is actually the screen material that goes under flouresant lights.

I was wonder if laying the netting over the dirt will cause the soil to be compacted and cause anerobic conditions. Has anybody done this?
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post #14 of 37 (permalink) Old 04-16-2009, 05:28 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saint27 View Post
I have designed a few reinforced soil slopes for bridge abutments and always thought it would be cool to do one in an aquarium. Here is one idea I drew up awhile ago. You could do something similar without the tier. I was thinking of planting with HC or micro swords.



Interesting. I foresee the gravel settling and eventually having a terraced effect that looks similar to a tiered rice patty. That would not look bad but its not what i am am going for. A smoother slope is the plan.
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post #15 of 37 (permalink) Old 04-16-2009, 05:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jargonchipmunk View Post
why do you want to AVOID "large piles of filler material"? It will cut your costs by a lot, not to mention it works.
terrace the ground and hide the "terraces" with plants. I never see my substrate with all the plants in there anyway.

If you're looking to plant a carpet over the whole slope it would obviously present a whole new challenge, but in that case, if you're going to be using water column ferts... don't use soil on the slope. Make a form for the hills out of a mesh material (like the moss screens you were talking about) and make a sandwich that goes something like this:

Top mesh layer
plants
rockwool (or other absorptive material that will hold nutrients)
Bottom mesh later

The plants can grow fine into the rockwool and the water column ferts will provide all they need. The rockwool will even absorb some of the nutrients the plants don't use and become a bit of a fertilizer in and of itself if something proves lacking at any point.

Granted, I've never tried this myself, and haven't seen it tried, but hey... I'm an idea man lol I never claimed to actually KNOW what I was talking about. :-)
You may have something here. Rockwool might indeed work and no chance of that loosing its slope since it could be one fibrous piece, or several stitched together then tied to a mesh structure. Simlar to how they make floats - form the shape with chicken wire (not suggesting to use this) then put the rockwool over it.

However, ive never seen plans that spread by runners grown in rockwool - its always stem plants. Anyone have any input on this?
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