Help with 20L rescape - crypt hill
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Old 07-31-2013, 04:35 AM   #1
Shale87
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Help with 20L rescape - crypt hill


I'm moving soon and have decided to use the opportunity to rescape my tank. I've been bitten by the crypt bug and would like to do a sort of "crypt hill" type scape with crypts surrounding a piece (or pieces...) of driftwood and continuing down the hill.

I'll address the design later; first, I have questions about creating the hill. I'd like to do a dirted tank with MGOCPM (not enough room in an apartment to do MTS), and I know more depth means more pockets of air which leads to bad gases and stuff. Also the slope might not hold over time. I do have a lot of red clay I'm planning to add to the dirt so the slope would hold. I will also be dry starting the tank. Do you think I'd still have problems with anaerobic bacteria?

Last edited by Shale87; 08-08-2013 at 07:55 PM.. Reason: Help
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Old 08-02-2013, 02:50 PM   #2
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No one?
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Old 08-08-2013, 07:03 PM   #3
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Everyone made the move safely! My fish are chilling in their 10G "holding tank," and my plants are split between a bucket and a 2G with soil.

Since no one had any advice, I decided to play it safe and use Great Stuff insulating foam to make the hill.

I have a really nice piece of mopani wood, but I'm afraid it might look too large with crypts around it (or maybe my crypts just haven't grown enough?).

Anyway, I took some pictures of it in different positions, so tell me what you think!


Position A


Position B


Position C


Position D


Position E

I also have some manzanita branches that I'm going to arrange and take some pictures of later.
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Old 08-08-2013, 08:26 PM   #4
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There are many methods of creating slopes; you can use substrate supports (plastic pieces that hold back the soil like a dam), use rocks/wood or if your slope is more gradual, grow plants that root fast and hold the slope. Rocks/wood can also be glued together with a hot glue gun. For steep slopes, granulated substrates tend to roll downhill over time; so getting a carpet over the slope quickly is important.

I think any of the wood positions could work depending on where you place the plants. A single piece right in the center might look awkward though? Everything looks very central. Maybe you can find more pieces or alternate with rocks/stones. Are you doing only crypts ?
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Old 08-09-2013, 09:28 PM   #5
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Personally I like position c. I like when fish can swim through the hard scape. Make it more interactive. I don't know what color ur substrate is but perhaps u could carve out little cups or damns throughout the great stuff and paint it the same color as ur substrate. Where the great stuff is exposed perhaps larger rocks could be glued and hide where the sand won't stay. Or paint the great stuff the color of rocks u like to go with substrate. If u were to carve out cups it would give u a good spot to plant your crypts and with some planning keep those crypts exactly where u want them. I know drylock can be used to paint and using cement coloring to get the colors u want. Or some krylon fusion paint.
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Old 08-09-2013, 10:10 PM   #6
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I like E. It has the most movement, and draws the eye upward. C is cool, but once my mind registered it as looking like a dinosaur I couldn't unsee that.

And +1 on offcenter. Then again, maybe you will want to go with manzanita. I haven't seen any scapes that mix manzanita and mopani that I like, but I am sure it is possible.
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Old 08-11-2013, 12:20 AM   #7
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I vote C or D
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Old 08-11-2013, 01:04 AM   #8
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DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDd
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Old 08-12-2013, 03:13 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VJM View Post
I like E. It has the most movement, and draws the eye upward. C is cool, but once my mind registered it as looking like a dinosaur I couldn't unsee that.
Haha, the first thing I saw was a squatting dinosaur also. I prefer the look of E as well.
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Old 08-12-2013, 03:34 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepguy View Post
Personally I like position c. I like when fish can swim through the hard scape. Make it more interactive. I don't know what color ur substrate is but perhaps u could carve out little cups or damns throughout the great stuff and paint it the same color as ur substrate. Where the great stuff is exposed perhaps larger rocks could be glued and hide where the sand won't stay. Or paint the great stuff the color of rocks u like to go with substrate. If u were to carve out cups it would give u a good spot to plant your crypts and with some planning keep those crypts exactly where u want them. I know drylock can be used to paint and using cement coloring to get the colors u want. Or some krylon fusion paint.

I have read that the great stuff products degrade over time in water and actually need to be sealed to prevent that from happening. drylok will work.

If you use the black pond great stuff this is not an issue

I don't think the foam will adhere to glass for very long. I would try to pry it loose, carve it if you want. seal it. re-position it. attach with silicone.

None of this is from experience, just my own research so you may be fine. don't know.

C-squatting dinosaur
D-stegosaurus
E-lounging humanoid with 1/2 arms?
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Old 08-12-2013, 09:21 PM   #11
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I also prefer D or E and can't stop seeing C as a dinosaur now! Haha

I had meant for the hill to be more off-centered, but I'm definitely going to carve it to be more left-aligned. Great Stuff does not adhere to glass very well without silicon, but I was hoping all the soil on top of it would be enough to hold it down. What do y'all think?

@dprais1: I definitely didn't think about the GS breaking down, but I think you're right. What kind of drylok do I need? Drylok waterproofer paint, hydraulic cement? I've never worked with drylok before, so i'd appreciate any tips anyone can give me!

@jeepguy: I like the idea of "cups" for planting crypts! I'll definitely have to think about some way to use that.

I'm still having internet problems, so no manzanita pictures yet.
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Old 08-12-2013, 09:51 PM   #12
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I just used drylock waterproof paint and tinted with concrete tint. about $26.00 for drylock and 5.00 for tint. It will last you forever. Use a watered down coat for the first one then a couple coats after that.

I'd be surprised if the amount of gravel you actually pile on top would hold it down. you could test with a similarly sized piece of styrofoam and see how much you need to hold it down?
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Old 08-12-2013, 11:05 PM   #13
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Quote:
I had meant for the hill to be more off-centered, but I'm definitely going to carve it to be more left-aligned. Great Stuff does not adhere to glass very well without silicon, but I was hoping all the soil on top of it would be enough to hold it down. What do y'all think?
I also like the look of D and E. If your worried about it moving, and didn't want it to be permanent (siliconing to the glass), you could silicon it to a small piece of slate that way it won't float or move easily, but won't be stuck in one spot forever. Just a thought... I like where this is going though.
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Old 09-07-2013, 07:24 PM   #14
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Ok, I threw in my 2 pieces of manzanita with fissidens growing on them. I'm not sure I like how far the long one extends off the hill...

Slightly above


Close up


FTS


What do you think? Should I try the Mopani again?

Oh and I did end up sealing the great stuff with drylok and glued it to the glass with 100% silicone. I was also able to order some MTS from BamaPlants! I already had tons of fluorite, so I used that to cap it.
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Last edited by Shale87; 09-07-2013 at 07:26 PM.. Reason: Sp
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Old 09-09-2013, 12:21 AM   #15
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You seem to be very focused on your plants. Just don't forget to keep an eye on your ammonia and nitrite levels!
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