Substrate Support (~12") - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-13-2013, 04:32 AM Thread Starter
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Substrate Support (~12")

I want to build up a REALLY dramatic cliff/valley. So I need to bank up my substrate to about 12" off the bottom. Obviously it's a bad idea to have that deep of a substrate on its own.

What do you guys recommend to use to "pre-build" a deep base before layering with substrate?

I've read somewhere of cutting egg crates to various sizes than stacking them. But then what? Do I put a fine mesh over it? Wouldn't the water trapped under the mesh get really stale? would that even matter?

Thanks guys!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-13-2013, 11:25 AM
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Egg crate, not egg crates. The stuff you put in a fluorescent light fixture.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-14-2013, 01:57 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ElBoltonero View Post
Egg crate, not egg crates. The stuff you put in a fluorescent light fixture.

Yes this is what I was talking about, how do I use them to build height?
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-14-2013, 02:53 AM
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Wrap them with weed barrier/landscape fabric. Just make sure it doesn't have any pesticides in it.
I'm sure there are other methods, but that's what I've used in terrariums and it worked well.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-14-2013, 02:57 AM
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Fill pantyhose with Hydroton. Real light and very porous for bacteria colonies.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-14-2013, 03:16 AM
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Not sure if this is the look that you are going for, but you could use the same concept but with different rocks. Hope this helps.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-14-2013, 08:51 PM
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If it's a fairly small ledge, you could just use layers of egg crate and shape them so it resembles a topographic map. However, this would get real expensive real quick for any decent sized slopes.

You can also build boxes out of them, and either glue them together or hold them together with zip ties. Some people use pieces of pvc pipe as columns, and a piece of eggcrate as a shelf.

I'd probably just go with lava rock, or stuffing a bunch of gravel in nylons or something.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-14-2013, 10:31 PM
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I would completely drop the idea of banking substrate and go with rocks. Rocks can be covered with plants just as well as substrate can and definitely make a great cliff.

I would be careful with rocks too! Mr. Amano had to change his plans during the making of this particular scape.

If I wanted to make a cliff in a smaller tank I would go with something like this. Flat rocks would be easier than the cobbles I use and I probably could make a less deep structure to save planting room behind the cliff.
Aquascape No. 3 - ADA 90P - Moss Canyon - Final Photo on 1st page

Then I might fill the back with tubes of lava rock or even loose rock and fill in with the main substrate around that if my plan included deep substrate at the rear that is.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-15-2013, 09:38 PM
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If you look at my tank you'll see my 3d background. you could do something like that to give you your cliff face, with out having to have a deep substrate.
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