So after a very long hiatus I have decided to continue with this build. I was busy and after a while of not working on it every day I forgot it in the basement
I have decided to change the plan slightly. my fear was that the coco coir would detach if submerged so i think what i'll do is separate the water and land portions with a strip of black acrylic. the back section of the tank will be a false bottom and the front a small water area (much less than original 20g). I think this will help with cleaning and make everything simpler.
in my original plan i thought the black acrylic would look bad in the water, which is why i made the foam, but i think if i put and edge over the top of the strip and get creative with the substrate, rocks and wood, it will look good.
the background will still be GS and coco coir and i think i may add a small waterfall if i can figure it out.
are there any potential dowsides/benefits to using filter sponge instead of screen to cover the egg crate in the false bottom? water would still be able to pass through it and i have a lot of it on hand.