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Old 11-15-2019, 08:24 PM
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Default False bottom still just damp

I’ve been set up for about five weeks now but I don’t see any build up of water in the drainage layer/false bottom. Egg crate false bottom topped with 2-3 inches of LECA then a sheet of polyester weed control fabric capped with 1-4” of jungle mix soil.

I know it’s early days and probably shouldn’t be concerned yet but I had been expecting at least some accumulation of water at the bottom by now. I’m misting 10 seconds twice daily in a 55g aquarium tank.
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Old 11-15-2019, 09:11 PM
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Default Re: False bottom still just damp

If plants are doing well, enclosure is holding humidity, and your soil isn't soaked or bone dry then I'd say all is well.

If any of the above instances aren't the case..then adjust accordingly

I mist by hand twice a day, don't have water accumulate, and have healthy tanks.
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Old 11-17-2019, 09:39 PM
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It all depends on how much water you are having to add via misting, etc. in order to keep humidity up and the frogs and plants happy and healthy! I have only drained my drainage layer once since the tank has been set up because I only give a light misting once a day to keep humidity at almost 100% constantly.
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Old 11-18-2019, 04:38 PM
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Default Re: False bottom still just damp

Any chance the substrate is new? It could be that the misting is just charging up the substrate in terms of saturation and once saturated, you will start getting accumulation in the bottom of the tank. Also, 10 seconds twice daily is not a huge amount of misting. That's probably half what I do on my system but some of that is because it takes a few seconds for my system to charge and start actually misting.

Mark
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Old 11-18-2019, 06:29 PM
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Default Re: False bottom still just damp

Yes, its all new. Id rather err on the side of caution than risk over-saturating the soil.
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Old 11-18-2019, 07:37 PM
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Default Re: False bottom still just damp

Yeah, I would just wait it out for a while. It is good to get some accumulation in the bottom eventually, but there is no rush and a 55 can have a whole lot of substrate to wet :-)

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Old 11-21-2019, 11:36 PM
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Default Re: False bottom still just damp

An alternative would be to go get a big jug of water, and slowly pour it all over that substrate (keep the jug moving, back to front and side to side). The goal would be to wet the whole lens of substrate to "field capacity" (look it up if you don't know it).

You may need 2 jugs for that large a soil volume. Just keep slowly moving the jugs, slowly pouring the water. Let some water run through the substrate, into the drainage layer. You will probably hear it if you listen closely. Once you get the drainage layer about 1/3 full, stop pouring.

Remember - the point of a drainage layer is that it makes it fairly impossible to over-saturate the soil. Anything the soil cannot retain just drains away. Now if you submerge the entire the drainage layer and make mud soup out of your substrate, you've screwed up. Stinky is on the way. Don't do that!

Keep your 10 secs 2x/day routine and observe the drainage layer for a couple weeks. If the water level goes down fast, I would up the duration, frequency, or both of your misting bouts. Probably would start with duration - take it to 15 secs. Repeat the monitoring and adjusting. Ideally you will get to a fairly steady state, wherein during dry spells the drainage layer might dry down some or even all the way, and in humid spells maybe it accumulates a little bit, but all in all it doesn't do much. Better a little too dry than a little too wet, but...you are so far from too wet, you might be pretty close to too dry.

Half my penny-worth, anyway...
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