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Old 10-09-2019, 12:35 AM
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Default Substrate in drainage layer

I really screwed up my viv, when trying to drain the water from the drainage layer of clay balls, a lot of substrate got in there. I dug little hole in the corner to insert the siphon, as I had done once before, but this time discovered the landscape fabric I stupidly used as a barrier had deteriorated and it came apart. Anyway the drainage layer is now filled with mud in one corner. This is pretty bad yes? I think I need to redo . I dont know how I mucked it up so bad. I dont want the plants to drown so I guess I should do this soon? One of the earth stars is starting to flower will it be ok if I move it? I could try in another spot in the tank to drain the water, but what if I make it worse, and I cant get that mud out of the clay balls in the other corner now.
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Old 10-09-2019, 02:44 AM
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Default Re: Substrate in drainage layer

If the fallen substrate isn't actively wicking water up to the plants' substrate, it might not be too big a deal.

If the fabric is actively decomposing, though, now might be the time for a redo, before that breakdown gets worse.

Curious: what kind of substrate turns to 'mud' when it gets below the barrier?
I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self-contain'd.

- Whitman
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Old 10-09-2019, 10:00 AM
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Default Re: Substrate in drainage layer

it was zoo-med "repti-soil"
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Old 10-10-2019, 01:36 PM
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Default Re: Substrate in drainage layer

Yeah, this is why I put either a drainage bulkhead or a stove pipe of PVC where I can reach down in with a piece of tubing. I also put a bead of silicone all the way around my fiberglass divider so that the substrate can't down into the drainage layer. Sorry you are having an issue but a re-do would allow you to make sure that it doesn't happen again. Also, I don't know a whole lot about reptisoil, but I am not sure it's the right substrate (all by itself) for a dart frog viv. Maybe it could be used if it was mixed with some other components. If it is getting "muddy" when it gets down into the drainage layer, it might also do that when it gets wet when it's above the fiberglass screen.

Hope you find a way to fix it to your liking,

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Old 10-10-2019, 07:46 PM
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Default Re: Substrate in drainage layer

My advice - redo. Yeah, sure, that would be a pain in the ass. Go ahead and let it hurt. You won't forget it as fast, if it hurts some. The sooner you get it done, the sooner you're living in an improved reality. Don't put it off.

On the redo, do it better than you did the first time. I.e., don't re-create the same system for removing water. You've already gotten good advice on that, I don't need to repeat it.

Good luck!
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