4" dirt slope? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-25-2015, 08:20 AM Thread Starter
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4" dirt slope?

I want to try doing a nice tall slope for my 55G. 1" dirt in the front to 4" in the back. But I've read there's the problem with air bubbles harming fish if the dirt level is too high.
Anyone got experience dealing with this?
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-25-2015, 01:30 PM
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Hi tanaka.
It's more like "gas" bubbles. The bubbles likely contianing H2S, SO2, CO2, CH4 in different proportions.

If you search around here for deep sand bed (DSB) you will find discussions that gravitate around this. Not saying 4inches is deep sand bed, but scenario is alike. Search for anaerobic conditions too.

I havee seen some pictures on this forum where people have sloppy dirt hills. Not sure how they stabilize the substrate though.


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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-25-2015, 04:54 PM
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I used lava rock to form the shapes of my hills with some glued strategically to prevent collapse. I'm hoping that these will provide enough flow to prevent the anaerobic buildup. then I just capped them with about 1/2"-1" of black diamond blasting sand.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-25-2015, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Achromious View Post
I used lava rock to form the shapes of my hills with some glued strategically to prevent collapse. I'm hoping that these will provide enough flow to prevent the anaerobic buildup. then I just capped them with about 1/2"-1" of black diamond blasting sand.

Wish i thought of this before i laid down my black sand. I had a whole bag of lava rocks

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-25-2015, 05:39 PM
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I used lava rock to form the shapes of my hills with some glued strategically to prevent collapse. I'm hoping that these will provide enough flow to prevent the anaerobic buildup. then I just capped them with about 1/2"-1" of black diamond blasting sand.
Intresting idea. Any recent pictures? No land slides yet?


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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-25-2015, 06:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mariostg View Post
Intresting idea. Any recent pictures? No land slides yet?
The pictures above are pretty recent as this is a brand new tank i'm working on, havent even really got it cycling yet but if I can get everything working on it I'll put together a journal. In the 4-5 days I've had it set up though there hasnt been any shifting whatsoever.

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Wish i thought of this before i laid down my black sand. I had a whole bag of lava rocks

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I'm really happy with the results so far. I originally bought the rocks for something else which didnt end up happening so I just had them around too and figured this was worth a shot.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-26-2015, 02:41 AM
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Look good but the smaller sand particles will eventually settle to the bottom, exposing the lava rock.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-26-2015, 02:49 AM
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True but I have more sand to top up and by then the carpet will be in so it won't really matter. I don't mind if it's rooted into the lava rock.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-13-2015, 04:59 PM
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5 months later,how it's doing?

I am dirting a 60 gallon and had came up with the same solution as you before thinking to search. Then I find you'd already tried this!

I'm curious how well your slope held in place after 5 months.

I'm planning on stacking egg crate a couple layers deep, putting lava rock i'll ribbon epoxy together in a steep slope towards the back, filling in gaps with old gravel, then laying down about 1.5 - 2 inches of dirt over everything, and cap with pool filter sand of about an inch. But I worry the dirt and sand will eventually migrate downslope.

Basically, I've a 24" tall x 12" deep tank I'm trying to make both shallower and deeper by adding a major slope. Not going to buy a new tank . . .
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-29-2016, 03:24 PM
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I admit, I don't have any experience with fancy 'scaping but I do keep a sand substrate, planted tank. I thought I'd outsmart science and keep a sloped scape but the problem is it takes constant fixing since nature dictates that the substrate levels. I'm also a believer in not disturbing the substrate since it works as a biological filter.

Another point is, too deep of a sandbed can be very problematic. The fancy tanks that you see in the videos are set up for shows and those 5"+ sandbeds don't remain that way for very long. Just for the shows.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-30-2016, 01:58 PM
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Simply put, if you have concerns about the DEPTH of your sub causing problems, put something that can act as a spacer. Bricks, rocks, whatever can fill in the space you don't want your substrate to go. If you follow the above approach with lava rock, use big chunks on bottom, and slowly fill in the gaps between them with smaller and smaller pieces. Break some of the stuff up with a hammer or 2x4 if you are as detail oriented as I am. Then you won't have big holes and pockets, and the surface of lava rock is porous and resists shifting. It's not a bad filler. Just be aware that, as people above mentioned, the sub that you put on top of it all will settle down into the rock if there are gaps for it to. And the surface of your sub or cap will want to settle over time. About the only way I know of for keeping slopes is either with barricades hidden in the sub, kind of like terracing rice patties on a hill, or using a thick matt of carpeting plant to root things in place.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-08-2016, 08:43 PM
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Did anyone think of using clay or spray foam to design the shape before adding soil or substrate? I am in the process of doing a 60g shallow reef tank, basically 12" deep. I want it to create a slope from the back and the corners. I was thinking spray foam used to shape ponds and fill between rock work. I would line the tank with cling wrap or plastic. Then shape the foam. Once the rocks and substrate are put on top, it won't move. Definitely cleaner than clay or rock and it is moldable to create higher planting areas with out the soil landslides. What you guys think?
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-09-2016, 06:32 PM
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This is an older thread started by someone else. You'll have more luck getting answers to your specific questions if you start your own thread.
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