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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-28-2020, 05:54 AM Thread Starter
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Dirt?

When building up a mountain.. I see lots of scapers using dirt? How does that work without it getting cloudy in the tank? I have seen with potting dirt all the big things are sifted out, but do you RINSE the dirt like the sand or do you just pour it onto your "mountain" and then try to cap it with.. Sand?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-28-2020, 06:15 AM
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Soil itself should be no more than 2” thick, if you want higher you should do bulk of buildup with inert lava rock, powersand or use lighting egg crate and then put couple layers of fiberglass window on top of those to keep organic soil at the top. You can put thin layer of soil around edges so you don’t see the buildup material.

Here you can see how he’s using drainage gates to build height.

https://www.advancedplantedtank.com/...and_paths.html
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-28-2020, 07:50 AM Thread Starter
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Ok ty I think I see what you are saying, I don't have anything like fiberglass windows..I think I read somewhere that corrugated plastic is ok to use in the tank.. So maybe since of that so the substrate doesn't fall threw!!! Thanks for taking the time to answer! Very helpful!
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-28-2020, 11:18 AM
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This is what you want. Dirt cheap, just cheapest stuff they have, no UV coatings etc. it’s just fiberglass mesh with a pvc coating Dozens of uses for it in aquarium, moss walls, roll it up to make input strainers, coarse 1st layers in filters. Corrugated plastic is for divider walls. You need something that breaths like this fiberglass mesh to underlay soil.

They usually have white lighting egg crate grid pretty cheap also.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Phifer-3...3947/100390885
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-28-2020, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgalens80 View Post
When building up a mountain.. I see lots of scapers using dirt? How does that work without it getting cloudy in the tank? I have seen with potting dirt all the big things are sifted out, but do you RINSE the dirt like the sand or do you just pour it onto your "mountain" and then try to cap it with.. Sand?
I'm not sure I have seen anyone with a large elevation using dirt on the elevation itself... Can you link to someone doing it?

Its super hard to do dirt on an elevation because the darn stuff is so fine it will seep through any crack it can find and sink down to the lowest point it can get to, this might be all over the top layer of your substrate off the mountain as it were.

Anyway I played around with it once as purely a test case and decided it was way more trouble then it was worth. If doing an elevation that is planted you should either 1) use epiphytes plants like anubias, bolbitis, java fern etc. that way they don't need substrate and you can plant right onto the rocks/wood.

Or 2) you should do the terraced planting areas just like DaveKS is suggesting but use aquasoil of some type instead of dirt. The only real advantage dirt has over aquasoil is cost. You might spend 15 dollars or so on a bag of dirt whereas a bag of aquasoil that is 1/10th the size of the dirt bag will cost 20-50 dollars. But... unless you are planning to pour aquasoil everywhere you probably only need 1 bag of the stuff to plant into a terraced mountain. So you can spend the 20 dollars and do it right as it were.


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