"hills" in substrate?
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Old 01-04-2011, 11:54 PM   #1
Navigarden
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"hills" in substrate?


I am wondering how to create a "hill" like effect with the substrate in my new tank. My old tank I just mounded the gravel petty well but that flatted itself out over time. I'm trying to avoid that in my new tank. Here are my questions:

-I don't want to use rock to support the substrate as this is only a nano tank, so what other methods are available? I have heard that eggcrate is used; is this the soft cardboard or styrofoam kind? Are there issues with "dead" water when you use this method?

Are there any other ways I can accomplish this?
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Old 01-05-2011, 01:03 AM   #2
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the eggcrate used is plastic louver, such as this -->
http://www.goodmart.com/products/lou...tm?source=gsGM

any obstruction can cause "dead" space in an aquarium, but good filtration can always overcome that. the vortex flow created by lily pipes has been the best way for me to have a current throughout the tank.but for hills,
I know some people do put rocks under the substrate (even in nanos, they just use smaller rocks) or most commonly, the hills are built around the rocks in the hardscape.otherwise hills without support, as you know, just level off over time
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Old 01-05-2011, 01:11 AM   #3
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Wanna split the cost and buy a case, only like 90 bucks each!!!!! Jk
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Old 01-05-2011, 02:37 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by james7139 View Post
Wanna split the cost and buy a case, only like 90 bucks each!!!!! Jk
Just go to Lowes, Home Depot, or your local craft store. It's like $5 per sheet.
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Old 01-05-2011, 04:08 AM   #5
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wow that is much more clear! Thank you for the help. Would I need to overlay the crate with some sort of mesh?
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Old 01-05-2011, 06:16 AM   #6
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no, the substrate will fill in the gaps just fine by itself.good luck!
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Old 01-10-2011, 04:34 PM   #7
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For a nano I would get the cross stitch material from fabric store or Wal-Mart (some still have it). Put a lot of pebble under it. Hardware stores have bag of pebbles for $3.
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Old 02-02-2011, 01:21 PM   #8
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the substrate will not fill the gaps if you have a rock there, try putting a low amount of substrate on like, the left. then put a rock or two to make a barrier, then fill the other side. trust me it kinda works and i know what you are talking about. hills only last for a certain amount of time (phooey) but oh well.
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Old 02-02-2011, 05:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kibblemania1414 View Post
the substrate will not fill the gaps if you have a rock there
If you use very small rocks dirt and water will get between. This is what I do with potted plants.
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Old 02-02-2011, 05:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by offpath View Post
Just go to Lowes, Home Depot, or your local craft store. It's like $5 per sheet.
I think you're getting this confused with plastic canvas from the craft store. Egg crate is closer to $14 a sheet at Lowes.

Last edited by ckarr; 02-02-2011 at 08:15 PM..
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Old 02-03-2011, 06:27 PM   #11
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Jumping in, as well, with a question: How exactly will the egg crate help you build up a hill? Mound up a hill, then embed the crate into the surface to stabilize? Stack crates cut to size like contour lines on a map and then add the gravel?

And, if the egg crate is embedded into the gravel, what would prevent the white plastic from becoming exposed if the gravel flatten outs?

As for finding the egg crate panels, Navigarden, look in the lighting section at Lowes and Home Depot. They are used as "light diffusion" panels for recessed flurorescent lighting fixtures and are plastic 2 x 4 foot panels, normally silver or white colored.
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Old 02-03-2011, 06:56 PM   #12
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The way I've seen eggcrate used is as a base (many times with an UGF or RUGF filter setup underneath), topped with something finer to prevent the substrate from falling through, like the plastic cross-stitch mesh or landscape fabric. Then a retaining wall of some sort in front (usually rocks or stacked driftwood) to keep the substrate from all just falling off, too.

If you can get thick enough carpeting plant growth before you add fish, this can help prevent "erosion."

I think that the vast majority of those competition pics we see and drool over are not tank setups that would last very long, however- many are broken down after they "peak" for the competition photo shoot.
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Old 02-05-2011, 02:39 AM   #13
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I can't speak for any of the terracing methods mentioned here, but I can say that however you end up using the egg crate material, you can spray paint it with Krylon Fusion in a color that will blend with your substrate. Dark brown, or black, maybe. That way, if a bit gets exposed, it will not stand out like a sore thumb.

Fusion is fish-safe, but be sure to give it at LEAST a week to dry.
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Old 02-06-2011, 06:29 PM   #14
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if you are planning on using a carpeting plant along with your hill I find that growing it emersed works well you create the hill/slop you like and spray it with water then plant. I did this with HC and once the roots take you will not lose your hill effect. This method works great with aquasoil I'm not sure if it will work with gravel though.
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