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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Main questions in bold.
So I want to try a sloped nano tank using those plastic egg crates to help make the slope and hold down some driftwood I want on the "hill", and have several root based plants covering the substrate.
I've seen a few people on here use these [example1] [example2](note: not my photos/tanks)
I was curious about aeration of substrate (would be soil capped with gravel) using these egg crates? I've read that aeration is very important or you can have build up of gasses in the substrate that will rise up and kill fish, I'd think the small plastic square spaces would greatly reduce/completely remove aeration? Also curious how/if the crates would interfere with root growth/spreading of grass type aquarium plants?
How high can you safely make a "hill"/slope in a tank? I've read 2-2.5 inches is the highest you should go with a substrate to avoid aeration issues? Should it be base gravel, then 1 inch soil, then another inch of gravel over top for the high areas? Or all soil bottom with cap of 1 inch of gravel on the high part of the slope? Again question of aeration issues..?

Thank you in advance to anyone that can point me at some helpful advice/give personal experience/explain the general concept of these sloped scapes and how to do them safely.
 

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Following along as I have had similar concerns. Eggcrate will interfere with water flow and substrate aeration, but is it significant? I've read where som people just "poke" the substrate to off-gas, but would rather avoid any additional work if possible.

Another way to create hills would be to use foam (Great Stuff), mix in some gravel to keep it weighted down and then cover with substrate of your choice. This avoids the whole anaerobic (spelling) gas issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Following along as I have had similar concerns. Eggcrate will interfere with water flow and substrate aeration, but is it significant? I've read where som people just "poke" the substrate to off-gas, but would rather avoid any additional work if possible.

Another way to create hills would be to use foam (Great Stuff), mix in some gravel to keep it weighted down and then cover with substrate of your choice. This avoids the whole anaerobic (spelling) gas issue.
Thank you for the idea, I was considering using slate to build up the hill and make a thin retaining wall (would be covered by gravel) to keep the hill from eroding, but I'll look into foam too.
 

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Some folk's use a section of panthyhose filled with sand or gravel to help hold /create slopes and then cover these bundles with more sand,gravel.
Trumpet snail's can help sift through substrate to prevent hydrogen sulphide from building if one is worried about such thing's.
Plant's are capable of transporting oxygen to their root's ,plus sand would have to be on the order of four or five iches deep before I became worried about anaerobic problem becoming dangerous for critter's/fishes.
Some say hydrogen sulphide is rendered harmless once it escapes and makes contact with oxygen in the water.I tend to side with this view, for I have had sand tank's much deeper without any issues to fishes.
Nobody I know,or you know , fresh,or salt water ,could ever definitively point to hydrogen sulphide as cause for fish death's.
I fish small farm pond's,lakes, during the year with sand,mud bottom's, where nobody pokes or sift's the sand/mud yet fishes thrive .
 

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I also think the concern for H2S is a bit out of proportion for the likelihood of it actually occurring in significant amounts.

For the most part, I believe that biologically produced H2S needs an a sulfur source for metabolism, as well as organic compounds to feed off of. Most of these deep-substrate tanks seem to be built with inert materials in the deep sections, so there is nothing there (initially) to break down and produce H2S.

Eventually, like anything else, living stuff will get down into that area and die, but it would take quite a while to produce enough for any significant H2S production. Also, by that time, plants will have sent roots all over the tank, and should be actively breaking down H2S or preventing it's production.
 
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