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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,


I plan on using eggcrates to lift up some hardscape elements and hopefully save money in the process by using less substrate. However, I am unclear on how this method actually reduces the amount of substrate used. Since the eggcrate is just a matrix with square holes, I do not understand how it reduces the amount of substrate used, since there is nothing preventing the substrate from falling through the eggcrate to the bottom of the tank.



Are people covering the eggcrate with something to seal it? Something like a fine mesh or pantyhose? If this is true are there any recommendations?



Thanks,



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Hello. I'm using egg crates to lift up some of my stones. I just zipped tied them together to form mini structures to hold them up. If you want to build up higher, others have used small lava rocks in fine mesh bags underneath. Then you layer your substrate over that. You'll see how much substrate will shift once you add water, then you can add more to your liking. You can also use plexiglass glued together to form structures.
 

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I used a mesh bag filled with gravel to raise an area (not necessarily save on substrate). Wish I did not do this!! It is very difficult to plant in as well as clean and now worried that it is anaerobic so I am hesitant to remove it. I would just go for the substrate and keep it simple!
 

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I'm using gravel in mesh bags and lava rock for elevation, then layering eggcrate over the bags to create a "floor" and prevent the substrate from shifting. If you don't like the idea of using lava rocks/mesh bags, you can layer some fiberglass screening (the kind used on windows and doors to keep bugs out) within the eggcrate structure and secure it in place with a hot glue gun.

Lava rocks from the Garden/BBQ section of a home improvement store is definitely the cheapest and easiest way though. Put one layer of lava rocks down, fill nooks and crannies with cheap substrate, then repeat until you have your desired shape and height.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the feedback everyone. After reading through I will probably go a dual route. From Bottom to Top: Eggcrate on the bottom to protect the glass -> Home Depot lavarocks in a bag for height -> inert plant substrate (Eco-Complete) -> AquaSoil.

Depending on stability, I might put in an additional eggcrate above the lavarocks. Basically sandwich the lavarocks in place. At least in the back of the tank where I need more height and want to prevent compaction/settlement. However, at some point we are talking about saving $5 of substrate and it might not be worth it..unless stability is an issue.

Thanks again for the help.
 

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when looking for cheap and easy elevation of substrate, don't overlook the trash can for good stuff. I like to find multipurpose stuff for anything I can and that lets me do a couple things when I want higher. One, there are lots of really sturdy plastic things thrown out every day, so I look for those which are easy enough to cut but still thick enough to support a bit of sub on top. Not hard to find things like detergent bottles, etc and cut them. swab on some waterproof adhesive of choice like silicone and roll it in the sub, making several layers deep enough to fully hide the plastic. Leav holles at each end to let water flow through and you are likely to find some of your fish really like a new cave as their home! Certainly far cheaper and less trouble to make a natural hill than eggcrate!
And I almost always have a cart load of the stuff hauled away every recycle day. My wife has accused me of having weird priorities when shopping.
 
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