@Zoomie: my background uses up barely any space (roughly 0.5"). On the right side it gets a bit thicker upwards of 1.5" I use a FALSE WALL technique (just like a false-bottom) and I build an egg-crate outline to which I apply the clay. If you push the clay into it hard enough it goes into all the squares and holds the structure extremely well. It ends up being just a tiny bit thicker than the eggcrate basically. The only problem is that after time, sometimes little bits of the square show but a quick rub of the finger tends to fix that
I also squeeze "green tree (shag) moss" all over the place. I'm not entirely sure what this stuff is, but I got it from Josh's Frogs here: Green Tree (Shag) Moss (1 gallon) - Live Moss | Josh's Frogs
It looks really good imo, I use it in place of sphagnum moss anywhere that is "visible"
@johnny: I don't quite follow....why do you say that I should take out soil? I have a 2.5" FB, 1 ball layer of hydroton, and 1.5" of soil. I have rooted plants in there...I dont plan on having a bare bottom / just leaf litter. I'm also housing only a pair of O.pumilio, the space is certainly sufficient for them. Given how new you are, your tone was a bit...
@DendroRachel: TBH it was a random pump I had in my "giant box of random vivarium supplies". Given my awful experience with the "combo" filter+pumps I just went with a plain old submersible pump (the one I had was a "mini" so its only 1.5" tall and works in my shallow water). Just in case, I put a small "wall" of foam around it as well, but this turned out unnecessary as my gravel wall/fb+screen prevent any particles from travelling through (i have no clue how it works so well, but the water in my false bottom is SPOTLESS....even though my pond area has a tiny brown tinge because of a little clay that dripped in!)
What I can tell you is this: *DO NOT* use this pump: Zoo Med Turtle Clean 318 Submersible Filter
I have used 2 different pumps on 2 different tanks and both clog up IMMENSELY quickly (within 2 weeks) to the point that water completely stops flowing (but the pump KEEPS RUNNING). Needless to say, both of mine burned out relatively quickly.