Planted Tank Substrate Divider - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-17-2012, 01:41 AM Thread Starter
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Question Planted Tank Substrate Divider

Hello all,

This is not only my first thread on this forum, it's my first posting. Like many others, I've been trawling the forums looking for insights and advice about getting my first planted aquarium up and running and have been very succesful to date. However, I finally ran into a subject I can't find much info about.

I've been trying to find threads related to substrate division on this site and not been very lucky. Specifically, I'm trying to learn about the use of dividers in substrate to create "zones" of plants. I've seen multiple threads concerning dividing sand from gravel, etc., but my focus is primarily on plant runners, not the substrate itself.

For example, if I'm trying to grow both HC and dwarf hairgrass, but don't want the DHG spreading into the HC section, I was thinking if I put up plastic walls within the substrate it would prevent the DHG runners from entering the HC "zone". Any runners would have to come up, over the wall and would thus be easy prey to my always hungry snips. Again, this is just an example. I'm thinking the same theory should work for foreground, midground or background plants that propogate via runners. I'd appreciate any insights you all could offer on the matter.

Cheers
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-17-2012, 02:24 AM
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Hi! I'm new too, but have been "lurking" for awhile too. I have never thought of using dividers before, and that sounds like a great idea. I don't see why it wouldn't work. I like the idea of dividing the foreground/midground/background.
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-17-2012, 02:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neptune's Folly View Post
Hello all,

This is not only my first thread on this forum, it's my first posting. Like many others, I've been trawling the forums looking for insights and advice about getting my first planted aquarium up and running and have been very succesful to date. However, I finally ran into a subject I can't find much info about.

I've been trying to find threads related to substrate division on this site and not been very lucky. Specifically, I'm trying to learn about the use of dividers in substrate to create "zones" of plants. I've seen multiple threads concerning dividing sand from gravel, etc., but my focus is primarily on plant runners, not the substrate itself.

For example, if I'm trying to grow both HC and dwarf hairgrass, but don't want the DHG spreading into the HC section, I was thinking if I put up plastic walls within the substrate it would prevent the DHG runners from entering the HC "zone". Any runners would have to come up, over the wall and would thus be easy prey to my always hungry snips. Again, this is just an example. I'm thinking the same theory should work for foreground, midground or background plants that propogate via runners. I'd appreciate any insights you all could offer on the matter.

Cheers
Your 100% right in your thinking, the same plastic you would use to divide substrate would work equally as well on the runners just like your thinking

Btw welcome to TPT!.

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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-17-2012, 03:11 AM Thread Starter
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LaSirena, good to see a fellow lurker. Glad you liked the idea.

NWA-Planted, thanks for the welcome and the insight. Looks like my planning will now be a little more in depth than I thought, but hopefully I won't have to watch my best laid plant plans perish. Yeah alliteration.
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-20-2012, 01:23 AM
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I have been looking for similar info too. Weeks ago I came across a thread where the individual used clear plexiglass purchased at the Home Depot for the divider. In 2 weekends I'm going to install a similar divider to create a waterline type effect separating my DHG from the sand that I'll be using.

Thin Acrylic sheet should work work just fine. I haven't found the correct silicone to use but i'm sure someone has posted that info somewhere already.

http://www.homedepot.com/Building-Ma...&storeId=10051


Imaging the cardboard in the picture being shorter pieces of plastic instead.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-21-2012, 05:15 PM
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Good idea! You could probably cut that acrylic with a razor to fit. Planning on doing this myself, but for the purpose of maintaining the substrate slopes in my new 55.

Nice set up by the way VB SUP, I like the separation and extra depth it offers


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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-22-2012, 01:46 PM
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Thanks for the complement,

Lowe's will cut the plastic for you for free. $2 for the plastic and about $3 for the silicone. Well worth it if I get the look I want.

I'll add it in the nest 2 weeks I'm sure. I think a heat gun might be handy to help mold and contour the plastic so it looks more natural, less ridged.
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-31-2012, 07:28 PM
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Would any clear plastic work as a divider (like Tupperware bowl material)?? I really don't see why not but I'd hate to screw something up by missing something important


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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-31-2012, 09:49 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by VB SUP View Post
Thanks for the complement,

Lowe's will cut the plastic for you for free. $2 for the plastic and about $3 for the silicone. Well worth it if I get the look I want.

I'll add it in the nest 2 weeks I'm sure. I think a heat gun might be handy to help mold and contour the plastic so it looks more natural, less ridged.

I managed to find the acrylic sheets in Home Depot, but after looking at over a dozen tubes of silicone I wasn't able to find a single one that was appropriate for submerged use. Would you please share the brand of silicone you went with?

The closest thing I have to a heat gun is a slightly malfunctioning hair dryer and despite my best efforts, I can't get my girlfriend to fully trust me with hers. So I'm thinking of cutting 1" - 2" strips and then baking them in the oven for a little bit to allow molding. Would that work?

Ravensgate, I'm not sure the answer to your question. The prime concern would be if the plastic was treated with any chemicals that would slowly leach into your system. Hopefully someone more knowledgeable than I will respond to your query.
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 07-31-2012, 10:25 PM
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DAP makes an Aquarium Safe Silicone that should be in the stores at Home Depot. I'm about to run out to my HD in the next hour and will report back when I return if it helps


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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-01-2012, 12:35 AM
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They've got it. It's right where the other glues are (Gorilla Glue, Super Glue, etc). Had a little fishy on the front and says 'freshwater and saltwater safe' All Purpose Adhesive Sealant.


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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-01-2012, 01:56 AM
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GE windows and doors silicone I would be the better choice. Coming from a former depot employee (just quit after 9 years) the DAP brand is inferior to the GE brand. The same GE version can be used to reseal a glass tank as well. Good quality stuff.
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-01-2012, 08:32 AM
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Make sure the GE stuff is 100% silicone.. they have ones that aren't aquarium safe.
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-08-2012, 02:01 AM
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Tonight I added plexiglass strips to keep the flora from creeping into unwanted areas. With luck this will keep the roots of the DHG from spreading into the nile sand which represents a stream in my aquarium. Home Depot cut the plexiglass into 2 inch strips which I bent after heating with a hair dryer. After bending them I dipped them in ice water to harden. Using a hand drill fitted with a sanding disk I was able to created a custom fit. I was able to find aquarium safe silicone at HD near the other caulks and adhesives. If you don't already know only buy 100% silicone that doesn't have mildew inhibitors. That information is only in the fine print sometimes like it is with some GE silicone 2 for windows and doors.
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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-08-2012, 04:10 PM
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Hello I was wondering where you got your rocks?
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