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best substrate for keeping a slope

Discussion in 'General Aquascaping and Planted Tank Discussions' started by hooha, Jun 3, 2008.

  1. hooha

    hooha New Member

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    I've been using Soilmaster Select for my aquascapes lately. Although it works well, invariably the slope I placed initially is gone after a couple of months. Is there any substrate in peoples' experiences that holds a slope really well?
     
  2. Roy Deki

    Roy Deki New Member

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    Check out this article Peter explains how he created the steep slopes. This may not work for you but thought you should have a look.

    I have had experience with new Aqua soil and it seems to hold slopes well. The addition of Amano shrimp will only add to the frustration of keeping a slope. Excess current also slowly flattens slopes.
     
  3. akmal

    akmal New Member

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  4. John N.

    John N. Administrator Staff Member

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    I haven't had much luck keeping a long term slope with Eco Complete or Aquasoil alone. Each substrate needed to be supported by rocks (hidden underneath the surface or visible) or else it would slowly fall flat. Aquasoil did hold the slope longer then Eco Complete though.

    -John N.
     
  5. Roy Deki

    Roy Deki New Member

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    Whoops sorry I forgot to post the link...Thank you akmal!!
     
  6. dougz

    dougz New Member

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    Wouldn't the roots from the plants help stabilize it?

    I guess it would take a while for the roots to get that entrenched, though..
     
  7. John N.

    John N. Administrator Staff Member

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    Ya, that's what I was thinking too. Some plants work well for erosion control. Larger root feeding plants like Crypts and Swords come to mind and do well for two reasons. 1) Large Root system; and 2) Rarely get moved.

    Other aquatic plants often do not meet those standards, and get uprooted or replanted which chips away at the slope.

    I think retaining walls like the one pictured below and seen in Renaud's After the Rain would help keep the substrate from sliding to a degree.

    [​IMG]

    -John N.
     
  8. dougz

    dougz New Member

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    Interesting..

    Where do you get those?

    I think I'm just going to have the stems in the backgound, and hopefully they will help with the slope, and the midground will be all hardscape with all the plants attached to the rocks, wood..
     
  9. plantbrain

    plantbrain Aspiring Aquascaper

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    ADA AS holds the slope the best and for good simple reasons: it's clay, as such, you can pad it down a little and like molding clay, it stays in that shape.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  10. Jazzlvr123

    Jazzlvr123 New Member

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    As works great, especially the powder form
     
  11. Garhan

    Garhan New Member

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    Has anyone attempted to mix coconut fiber into the base strata to reinforce it like rebar in concrete. I am considering this for a deep slope display.If it is laid in both vertically and horizontally, it should hold or bind the base strata, plus the addition of the plant roots once there established. The roots would assist the foundation some. Just a thought.
     
  12. iam_koi

    iam_koi New Member

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    a good thought garhan, i assume that you are in the engineering field. :) will try to do this on my next projects....this might be feasible.
     
  13. Jdinh04

    Jdinh04 New Member

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    I would say ADA Aquasoil would be the best substrate for maintaining a slope effect for a long period of time. Given that its basically clay/soil combined, it will be more compact which sustains the slope effect, where as the other types of susbtrate do not compact the way that ADA Aquasoil does.
     
  14. plantbrain

    plantbrain Aspiring Aquascaper

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    In addition to, and along the same lines as coconut fiber(which will rot at some point), you can build swales/small terraces into the slope to buffer the erosion.

    [​IMG]

    Driftwood, rock, slats, all of which can be mossed/covered in epiphytes may be used.

    Given that over time, one needs to uproot and redo things, removing excess organic materials, and refluffing the sediment, you may also redo do the slope every few months as well.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  15. Garhan

    Garhan New Member

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    iam koi, thank but no I am not an engineer, just an oilfield consultant that likes to play and experiment with cross over think from differnt fields of experience and practical know how and strong observation.

    I also thought of strips of boiled burlap from a conversation with a very old fellow many years ago. Just not sure at this time how long it would take to decay. But I would think the likely hood of the decay time would not be a short period of time. Especially in a submersed and compacted enviorment were a substrate would be packed down and/or impergnated into the woven burlap or coconut fiber. I am sure it would decay eventually, just how fast is the question. Would it last a year or several months or even longer? How would it contribute to the substrate as it decays or would it be harmful? Would peat not also have a similar effect as it decays, just a thought. Only one way to find out. I would think an experimental tank of 10-15 gallons would be suffcient for a test run. 40 plus years ago an older european fellow in my community mentioned the burlap scenerio to me, it was expressed as a very common place of thought in the old german tanks, in his mind anyways. Mind you he also said small amounts of steel wool (raw) was good for iron, if I recall correctly. But dont forget they usually setup tanks at that time as very long term projects, usually being a few years.

    I also like Toms point of terracing the slopes. That makes huge sense as well. Terracing is certainly an ancient methodology by agricultural standards for prevention(more like limiting/controlling) of erosion (especially on steep embankments) and has been adopted by many agricultural communities through out the new and old worlds. Vinyards on many famous rivers throughout the world such as the Mosel, Rhine, etc.. use this method to get the plants a solid base on steep slopes with maximum exposure to the sun for the full length of the plant as well. While assisting in erosion control factors and collapse issues at the same time. Thats the structural part of the terracing effect. It is still a basic principle used today in many enviornments of agriculture, road construction, etc....y not aquaria.
     

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