Using substrate for depth

Discussion in 'Substrates' started by ulster exile, 2 Dec 2007.

  1. ulster exile

    ulster exile Member

    Messages:
    350
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    So I know in theory how I separate substrate should I decide to use two different types of substrate in a set up, but how do people use substrate to create different levels or mounds? When I try, my gravel and sand mounds or levels quickly disintegrates so that the original effect isn't all that obvious.

    Also, just how deep can you go? I've been looking at some of the set up guides on the CAU website and they have some really deep (tall) mounds of substrate. They do seem to use different layers of substrate and at times, rocks to hold them in place, but when i look at them my head says "gravity will drag that down", yet it doesn't seem to!

    Is there a secret I'm missing?

    Edited for grammar!
     
  2. Garuf

    Garuf Member

    Messages:
    4,959
    Location:
    Leeds.
    seem's that way doesn't it?
    I think its simply down to the substrate used and the strength of the plants roots that hold them in the slopes.
    I could be wrong though.
     
  3. ulster exile

    ulster exile Member

    Messages:
    350
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    I hadn't considered that at all - tbh in one tank I'm struggling to get plants to root properly because I'd used eggcrate to help support some rocks. I had thought that I'd added enough substrate to compensate but it keeps sliding off the flipping eggcrate, despite the rocks I have placed around it!!!

    How much disturbance do you reckon they have in their tanks in terms of filter flow and fish? In respect of the latter at least I know I have a bit of trouble having a bioload which is quite bottom-feeder heavy.

    Are bottom-feeders and substrate used for effect mutually exclusive do you think?
     
  4. Matt Holbrook-Bull

    Matt Holbrook-Bull Founder

    Messages:
    963
    Location:
    Dorset, UK
    one thing you can do, is use pieces of plastic, such as what youd cut out of an icecream tub, to seperate the different teirs.

    this will hold each level up without risk of it falling down to the next level :)

    tip: if you leave it L-shaped, the weight of the substrate will stop it floating to the surface
     
  5. fishgeek

    fishgeek Member

    Messages:
    117
    Location:
    west sussex
    i was sure i replied

    terracing, and you can glue the substrate t the terracing material so that it blends more easily
    andrew
     
  6. ulster exile

    ulster exile Member

    Messages:
    350
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    Wow, I can believe that I didn't reply to your comments - sorry :oops:

    Fishgeek - have you tried this method yourself and do you have any pics?

    Frolicsome_flora - is this something you'd use between different substrates and does it matter if you're using the same substrate? Presume by the L shape, you mean to leave a small vertical section to hold back the substrate from tubling down and a long horizontal strip for the substrate to lay on. Are there any guidelines on how many of these I can use or how much space I need between layers? Again, have you anywhere I can look for visual tips on how to do this practically, or is it a case of just experimenting?

    Thanks again!
     
  7. CAU were probably using aquasoil, which IME can stay sloped. If you take my tank as an example, the front substrate was <1cm of sand, sloping up to 10cm aquasoil over a space of 27cm (front to back). I didn't have any problems with the substrate slipping.

    Tom
     
  8. Garuf

    Garuf Member

    Messages:
    4,959
    Location:
    Leeds.
    CAU explain it on their site, they simply stuff stockings or tights or what ever girls call them with substrate and then cover it with aquasoil.
    Simple!
     
  9. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    Ive seen people fill nylon stockings with gravel and piling substrate on top of these to help stabilise the whole thing.

    Sam
     
  10. ulster exile

    ulster exile Member

    Messages:
    350
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    Guess I'll have to get out my old fishnet stockings then (ba-boom-cha!)

    Wouldn't the stockings help hold the 'crud' (for want of a better word) in the substrate?
     
  11. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

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    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    Yeh, but any substrate will do that :)
     
  12. ulster exile

    ulster exile Member

    Messages:
    350
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    There's me and my poor phrasing again - with most other substrates you can sort that yourself by handy use of a gravel vac, but surely the tights will prevent you from using a gravel vac in the way it is meant to me used. So the crud will probably get into the gravel, but how does it get out?

    Sorry if I'm missing something obvious here :oops:
     
  13. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    Oh right I see,

    Well in most heavily planted tanks you cant get to the gravel to vac it anyway, I dont in either of my planted tank. Its not really a big issue and the crud provides nutrient to the plants :)

    Sam
     
  14. ulster exile

    ulster exile Member

    Messages:
    350
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    Lol, good point! I think I just have a fear of a large amount of substrate in one place :lol: and I remember to amount of muck that was brought up when I stripped my tank last time.

    Cheers Sam.
     
  15. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    Yeh it can get messy in thr substrate but its not really something to worry about.

    Glad to be able to help :)
     

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