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High Scapes

Discussion in 'Substrate' started by treadstone144, Oct 29, 2016.

  1. treadstone144

    treadstone144 New Member

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    Hi guys

    I am wondering how really high scapes like the one in the picture are being done.

    [​IMG]

    Here you have normal Soil in the front and much steeper rising soil levels further back.

    Now when it comes to sustaining this over time what exactly happens at the bottom of the soil in the back of the tank where there is no virtually water flow?

    When for whatever reason things start to rot down there the whole scape needs to be redone. Or is this not something you would normally expect to happen?

    Thank you!

    Jochen


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  2. treadstone144

    treadstone144 New Member

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    Follow on question: I do not want to put in expensive soil down where no root will ever be. what can I put down at the back bottom of the tank? can I just use stones?


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  3. Zeus

    Zeus Active Aquascaper

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    Again no expert her either. But read lots and a lot of folk do use the ADA aquasoil. I plan to use it. The more the better. Reason its not soil its a clay baked particles enriched with nutrients which releases them to the planets. Also it takes excess nutrients ( If you use fertilsers OFC) from the water coloum and stores them till the planets need them. Even the deepest parts off the substrate have flow. Plus plants take water up with roots from deep substrate levels which draws water to the deep layers with the excess nutrients. So if you budget allows it stick in as much as you can. (I plan to (y)). The more you have it will Balance everything easier nutrient wise giving you more room for error and not messing up your tank.

    The ADA aquasoil my seem expensive but its no par with the rest and lots do say its the best.

    But dont take my word on it. Others will correct me if anything I've put above is incorrect.

    as for the soil rolling down J Findely has some great vids of setting up tanks on Utube where he shows you lots off tips and tricks includeing how he stops it rolling down _ well worth a watch IMO

    Hope it helps

    Zeus
     
  4. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    treadstone

    Welcome to ASW will you add your location in your Profile please.
    Before we start the Substrate the main factor is it will depend on your planting and if going Hi or Low Tech.

    ADA is an excellent Substrate and naturally you pay for quality. The cheapest is Low Tech and the old standard 1-3mm natural river gravel.

    It can be built up using thick Polystyrene Foam pieces, this not only reduces the cost it also reduces the weight .

    Once you decide which way you intend to go and naturally the costing also you experience everything can be worked out from that.

    Keith:cat::cat:


     
  5. treadstone144

    treadstone144 New Member

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    Hi there Zeus,

    thank you very much for your answer. I am at the start of things as well but as a journalist I'm trying to read and explorer anything that I could find. Proper due diligence I suppose just helps to prevent chaos if the system will be live and running later on :) I really love your other post about your tank planning which I already read in detail. Helped me learn a lot already!

    Regarding soil and mountain building in my tank it is just that I have a 200x60x50 cm tank with 600 l so filling it up with Ada Aquasoil (+Powersand +additives) is just crazy money. I see the need for soil, which I would like to use, but not more than necessary.

    Best
    Jochen


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  6. treadstone144

    treadstone144 New Member

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    Hi there Keith,

    I am planning to have a HiTec Tank, Size 200x60x50 cm -->70 lm/l LED lighting (GHL Mitras 6100) -->CO2 + EI fertilization planned. I have just ordered loads of red moor wood and want to use Lava stones which are coming from Eifel mountains here in Germany and are really cheap (€0,70 per kg in contrast to €5/kg for original stones at the local AQ shops). I like Lava as I can form and manipulate it and it's also cheap (weight is a concern as the whole tank must not be heavier than a ton).

    Just to make sure: With Polystyrene Foam you mean something like this?

    https://www.modulor.de/styrofoam-hellblau-unbeschnitten-oxid.html

    Is this material heavier than water? I just wonder if not then it could just lift up and destroy the whole scape?

    As an alternative to Polystyrene I thought about using lava gravel, which is just evenly as inexpensive as Polystyrene. I just wonder what a mountain of lava gravel would do over time
    at the bottom of my tank. Is this just an addition to the whole biological filter media or can it under certain circumstances become a source of toxic gases?

    I like Polystyrene in this regard as it is almost fully inert.

    Thank you so much for your thoughts on this.

    Best
    Jochen



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  7. Zeus

    Zeus Active Aquascaper

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    Thanks I glad you found my crazy plan/ideas helpful

    I started the journal for me to have reference to when folks give greath ideas or as what normally happens when I go off on a tangent with crazy ideas and someone just corrects me. Its all there in one place for referance for me mainly, but if other can learn from it too fantastic(y)

    Your jumping in at the deep end like me "crazy" so doing the right "due diligence" is only going to increase our chances of maybe getting it right. But to learn along the way and have fun.

    I'm going for just ADA AS no powersand etc (was going to get it) but with due diligence reading, asking questions, backing that up with the science behind the products I can see no real need for the Powersand but thats just my opinion.

    Another GREAT source of info is the Podcasts well worth a listen to all off them. I wish I would of started off with them, lots of info, easy listening J.Art and Shawn have done a great job off them very professional IMO

    If your after an inert filler for under the aquasoil - go for the non biodegradable cat litter as its basically aquasoil without the enriched nutrients. ( High CEC) then it will over time suck up the excess nutrients from the water coloum and be basically a lower grade aquasoil

    If I was going down the high or low tech route based on what I have read I would go for aquasoil - but that is based on reading alone Zero experiance (n)

    Hope thats of some help

    Zeus
     
  8. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Jochen

    I have not seen it like that before. The type I can get free is from the green grocer 20mm thick boxes some of there fruit and vegetables are packed in them for refrigeration. The LFS often get their fish packed in them when being transported.
    With the coloured foam I do not know if the coloured dye used would be safe in an aquarium.
    It would not lift once all the substrate and rocks are on it. Some Aquascapers use it when they have large stones to spread the weight and keep the rock/s off the glass bottom.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  9. treadstone144

    treadstone144 New Member

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    I've just ordered lots of black java stones and loads of red moor wood. excitement ;) will keep you posted but Keith I guess I will go for the lava rock which is available in cheap relative small sizes in 20 kilo bags which could be a nice substrate to fill the bottom of the tank.

    Jochen


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  10. treadstone144

    treadstone144 New Member

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    Zeus those Podcasts are awesome - thanks for sharing them. really appreciate it!


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  11. Zeus

    Zeus Active Aquascaper

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    Dont thank me, just passing on things that help me, glad you found them enlightening. Thank J.Art and Shawn(aka "ShadowMac") there normally posting in here all the time, just busy in real life (RL) or working on next podcast me thinks :D
     
  12. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Jochen

    Just make sure you wash all the hardscape thoroughly to remove all the dirt and dust plus any passengers other wise it will take a long time for your tank to come clean.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  13. treadstone144

    treadstone144 New Member

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    Thank you Keith - I will do so. I also think I will need to water the wood to make it sink. But first some glueing and manipulating it :)


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  14. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Treadstone

    Weigh the wood down and change the water regularly especially if it releases a lot of tannins.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  15. treadstone144

    treadstone144 New Member

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    Keith

    I want to go for Dry start and will use loads of red moor wood so I think I must water it first before doing the finished hardscape. Otherwise it would destroy the layout. I will not be able to fix every single wood part I fear.

    J


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  16. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    treadstone

    All I can say do the best you can. When you have finished all the soaking hose it all clean to remove any loose bits and pieces off the DW.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     

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