Tips on 'scaping with both sand & "gravel"?
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Old 10-20-2012, 08:10 PM   #1
alkatraz
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Tips on 'scaping with both sand & "gravel"?


Looking for tips on how to prevent the different substrates from mixing.

Should I use a divider?

Should I lay the sand first or the gravel first?

Any tips for cleaning that will prevent ugly mixing?

I'll be using Amazonia primarily but I'd like to do a foreground of light sand or maybe a sandy river or what have you.

Thank you!



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Old 10-20-2012, 08:17 PM   #2
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I just finished doing a sand path in eco complete , I put the eco in first , shaped my hills and used flat rocks to make a base for the sand , I lined the path with river rocks then poured the sand in. so far its been about 2 weeks , its holding up well. I used a garden hose with the mist setting to fill the tank after.
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Old 10-20-2012, 08:38 PM   #3
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Just so you guys know over time the smaller graines no mater what it is will settle to the botom. I have had this happen in my 55 and it has been going for 5+years. I know have perty much 1 mixed substraight no differentaion any more. It had florite black, eco complete, Black sand an tahitian moon sand black.

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Old 10-20-2012, 09:48 PM   #4
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i've seen a vid of a scaper in the uk using different substrate and creating high mounds by inserting strips of plastic to divide/help the substrate from flattening out over time.
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Old 10-21-2012, 01:50 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curt_914 View Post
Just so you guys know over time the smaller graines no mater what it is will settle to the botom. I have had this happen in my 55 and it has been going for 5+years. I know have perty much 1 mixed substraight no differentaion any more. It had florite black, eco complete, Black sand an tahitian moon sand black.

Curt
I have found this to be true also. I have 2 tanks I did in black sand and florite mixed. Looked great! After about a year it just looks like florite. I'm also interested in learning any trick that may avoid this.

I would put sand from floor to top where you want your sand river design. Maybe fill with the amazonia then scoop out the path till bare glass shows and fill with sand. Some sand may mix under horizontal and need topping off later, but would be better than being stacked on top.
That's what I would try, but I haven't tried, so just a suggestion. I have no physical experience with such a design.
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Old 10-21-2012, 04:41 AM   #6
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I use the black expanding foam that is made for ponds, and 'mortar' together some rocks. This makes a divider that looks more natural than the plastic strips, and works just perfectly because the foam sticks just fine to glass and to rocks.

Any 'sort of' divider like a row of rocks with no 'mortar' is going to allow the substrates to mix. I just took down a tank like that. Pool filter sand and Soil Master Select. Totally mixed because the row of rock were just that, nothing between the rocks.
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Old 10-21-2012, 06:50 AM   #7
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Quote:
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I use the black expanding foam that is made for ponds, and 'mortar' together some rocks. This makes a divider that looks more natural than the plastic strips, and works just perfectly because the foam sticks just fine to glass and to rocks.
Genius!



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Old 10-21-2012, 07:07 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alkatraz View Post
Looking for tips on how to prevent the different substrates from mixing.

Should I use a divider?

Should I lay the sand first or the gravel first?
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddrfreak_tung View Post
i've seen a vid of a scaper in the uk using different substrate and creating high mounds by inserting strips of plastic to divide/help the substrate from flattening out over time.

Check the vid. Scroll to about 19:30 in. There's also some before that where's he's making the hill... seems like a good idea. I also just came up with and idea of utilizing organic cheesecloth to separate layers (MTS/Sand cap) I'm not sure I'm the first one to think of it. I'm sure the sand will mix after a while... but I'm hoping my HC's root system will prevent that (and by that time.. it'll be so thick it won't matter) Good luck!
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Old 10-21-2012, 12:39 PM   #9
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If it mixes too much , I think I will vac the sand out and replace with a small white gravel that wont mix so easily
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Old 10-21-2012, 12:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manik View Post
Check the vid. Scroll to about 19:30 in. There's also some before that where's he's making the hill... seems like a good idea. I also just came up with and idea of utilizing organic cheesecloth to separate layers (MTS/Sand cap) I'm not sure I'm the first one to think of it. I'm sure the sand will mix after a while... but I'm hoping my HC's root system will prevent that (and by that time.. it'll be so thick it won't matter) Good luck!
Must have missed it but.... What vid?


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Old 10-21-2012, 02:40 PM   #11
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It also depends what bottom dwellers you have. Loaches and some cory will mix the substrates in no time.
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Old 10-21-2012, 05:24 PM   #12
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Quote:
Must have missed it but.... What vid?
Nope you didn't miss it. I did... oOps

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCMe-bu4-tk&feature=plcp

There yar
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Old 10-21-2012, 06:38 PM   #13
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This works for presentation purpose very well. I did the same as in the video - looks very nice for a week or two. Then plants replanting begins and things start to mix up. I also introduced botia kubotai loaches and substrate was all over the sand in less than 2 days

Now, that sponge idea might be a better solution. Will try it later on.

Quote:
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Nope you didn't miss it. I did... oOps

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCMe-bu4-tk&feature=plcp

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Old 11-11-2012, 12:59 PM   #14
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Old 11-13-2012, 05:27 AM   #15
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what about making hills with MTS(soil)?
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