topping soil in a tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-13-2012, 10:08 PM Thread Starter
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topping soil in a tank

i am going to use the miricle grow organic in my tank... but i dont know what to top it with... i want something that will hold slopes and is also slightly lighter colored... im tired of the black look anybody have any luck with a certain kind of topper?
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-13-2012, 11:14 PM
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You could mix clay with sand, it packs hard tho.. but its capable of holding a slope.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-13-2012, 11:45 PM Thread Starter
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i dont really want something that packs hard tho i want something looseish but slopeable
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-14-2012, 12:03 AM
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Slopes are really hard to maintain. Most everything slides with time.
There are a few threads where members attached rock tiers in ledge fashion to achieve it looking very nice.


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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-14-2012, 12:10 AM
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You might have to set up a couple small scale experiments.. as someone already said, slopes dont last. Especially with bottom feeders...

If you want slope, its going to have to pack to a certain degree... Terracing might be easier in the long run if you want different levels of substrate..
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-14-2012, 05:32 AM Thread Starter
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but wouldnt plants rooted in the slopes help maintain it? just trying to think this out before i do it xD
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-14-2012, 10:56 AM
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a full carpet might but it doesn't work like it does with terrestrials.
Random plants didn't work for me trying to maintain a simple grade of 2:12
Within three months instead of 1.5" along the front and 3.5" along the back wall of the tank the substrate was +- flat
Do a little searching adjusting the tags because we have some very creative people on this forum.


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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-14-2012, 08:24 PM Thread Starter
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well i planned on a riccia carpet so that might help... but flat is so plain it makes it boring to me i just need to figure it out thanks for your input guys! i just need to get the creative juices flowing
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-14-2012, 08:32 PM
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Tie Riccia to small rocks and use these as retaining walls. Then slightly slope the substrate to the next wall. Or just make a carpet of these rocks.

I have always allowed Riccia to float. It will attach to damp surfaces, but I do not think it grows real roots, not the way you are hoping.

Try something that has real roots to mesh the substrate together.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-15-2012, 03:13 AM Thread Starter
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maybe dwarf hairgrass? i just want a carpet look riccia is easy to maintain i heard but idk the retaining wall idea is cool but where do i start? any links i can look at for a good example?
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-15-2012, 05:26 AM
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Hairgrass has a very good, dense root system. Good idea to hold the substrate in place.

I do not know of any pictures, but I have used rocks to hold the substrate in place. It sifts through the rocks unless there is something between the rocks. I use expanding foam filler.

I have seen some pretty impressive aquascapes where the substrate seems to stay like magic until the plants are grown in enough to do the job. Perhaps the dry start method would help.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-15-2012, 12:20 PM
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Slopes - Go to YouTube and find "The Green Machine by James Findley"

Findley has several videos that show how he does slopes. For a slope to last it needs structural support over and above what plant roots can offer.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 02:38 AM Thread Starter
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is there a specific video i should be watching cuz there are several
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 03:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquinoobie16 View Post
is there a specific video i should be watching cuz there are several
This one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCMe-bu4-tk. He starts using his slope holders around 17:15 ish. You could use pieces of acrylic though. This is what I plan to use. I have watched this a couple of times. I found it interesting for its just a very simple setup but great finish product. Just very very time consuming. But the saying is, hard work pays off. You can half do things and expect great results.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
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what about hc? would that help at all or is that like riccia where it doesnt lay down roots
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