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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I really need some ideas with my 190g tank aquascape. I picked up about 400 lbs of zebra stone today. I plan on using insulating foam sheets internal to the "mountain" and attempt to adhere the stones to the foam and have a few inches of substrate in between the stone and on top of the foam. This will reduce the quantity of substrate needed and the total weight as I'm a little concerned with all the rock weight.

I'm planning on HC on the mountain and maybe some dwarf hairgrass at the base of the mountain.

Here's my first scape of the rocks. Please give me some rearranging ideas please! I know it's kind of hard to see with the poor contrast between the rocks, hope you all can visualize it better with the high angle shot.

Any issues with using the pink foam?



 

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First you have a lot of ambision/w this hill on the left. Second where are you going to put the plant cause I only see room for one maybe two in there...LOL...
No seriously cut a piece of that foam board or just white paper but the actual size of the bottom of the tank. This will make seeing the rocks "in the tank" easier. Put the rocks on the board.
We might better help that way.
 

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You need to start with a vision, not just an idea. What do you want it to look like exactly? This is where a pencil and paper pad come in very handy. You should spend at least a couple of hours planning it out on sheets of paper. Very very few people do the necessary thinking, and instead jump right into putting it together with disastrous/hideous results. I also recommend looking at hundreds of photos and paintings of mountains over a period of a couple of weeks minimum so you really know what a mountain looks like.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
First you have a lot of ambision/w this hill on the left. Second where are you going to put the plant cause I only see room for one maybe two in there...LOL...
No seriously cut a piece of that foam board or just white paper but the actual size of the bottom of the tank. This will make seeing the rocks "in the tank" easier. Put the rocks on the board.
We might better help that way.
Thanks for getting this going Raymond. The pink foam board under the rocks is the footprint of the tank. It is about four inches short front to back so the 2"x6" board is used to represent the actual footprint. I had to shorten it so I can fit it in the tank and get past the overflow.

The HC will go in between all the rocks and on a few flat open areas on the mountain. I see what you're saying though. I may need to cut back on some of the rock to have more flat area to the right side and front of the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You need to start with a vision, not just an idea. What do you want it to look like exactly? This is where a pencil and paper pad come in very handy. You should spend at least a couple of hours planning it out on sheets of paper. Very very few people do the necessary thinking, and instead jump right into putting it together with disastrous/hideous results. I also recommend looking at hundreds of photos and paintings of mountains over a period of a couple of weeks minimum so you really know what a mountain looks like.
Thanks for the recommendation. Especially about the taking time as I usually rush into things, haha. I've been looking at a lot of pictures online and added a few that are close to what I'm going for. Now I'm just trying to apply that to my materials. I really like the "valley" in the bottom two examples but not sure if I can pull that off with my tank size (5'x27"x27") and the size of the rocks I have.



 

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Some call it egg crate(how they got this I haven't a clue) but it is defuser for flourescent light fixtures. You can cut this in pieces starting larger and going down in size, not necessarily square but like one of those Orietal terrace gardens in layers
going down the side ofa hill. Tie wrap the whole stack together and cover/w dirt.
Keeps the dirt fom sliding on you but the plant roots get easy access to what is under them. More info like this on You Tube in Aquascaping under "how to make a hill".
You can make mineralized top soil and it won't cost as much as "store bought" does.
http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/...-mineralized-soil-substrate-aaron-talbot.html
Then you can just use black diamond blasting sand as a cap(not less than 2") from
Tractor Supply for $8 per 40lb bag. Or pool filter sand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I've thought about doing it all with eggcrate but didn't think all that substrate buried under the mountain would be good. Do you think the foam boards is a bad idea? Has it been done before? I've searched a lot and cannot find it used like I plan to.

I've moved a few of the stone, the top right I think has been improved by removing the large spike.

 

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People regularly use the white styrafoam for fake rock backgrounds as much as 4-5"
in some cases and even ones which wrap around at the ends. So I see no reason why you can't use it on the bottom. I still think you need to visit You Tube on this as it would seem to need something to support the dirt from just sliding down the slopes.
I have watched a couple of "how to's" using lava rock as the "filler" for a hill and that obviously is not smooth when several golf ball sized pieces are stacked in a pile to
keep from using so much expensive Amazonia for example though I remember you were using it to cut weight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So, you can see how I've spent my Sunday... haha. Think I have some pink foam in my ears...

Here's a few shots of the build. Any thoughts on rearranging before I silicone all the foam together?

The only area I have concerns with the substrate sliding is on the far left next to the large stone and I'm not sure how I'm going to deal with it yet.





 

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I'm not so sure that the foam won't want to float up on you especially in the back left with so many pieces and not that much weight on top of it. I would also use the largest rock you have up front towards the back. Here's a video of The Green Machine that shows them building up height and substrate in a tank that might be helpful.

 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the though about it floating up. I'll take some weight/buoyancy measurements and figure out where I stand. I can always remove a lot of the foam on the lower layers and either let the water fill or add gravel. I was going to silicone it down but if it's overall buoyant, the silicone would most likely fail and be disastrous. There's about 300 lbs of rock and will have about 200-300 lbs or sand/eco complete.

The video is good and may have gone that route if I had seen it prior to me going in this direction. Hopefully I'm not making a big mistake.
 
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