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Old 11-01-2019, 09:06 PM
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How do y'all keep substrate from getting through a false bottom? I have my false bottom (egg crate) wrapped with fiberglass window screen but some of the substrate can get through. I am using 1:1:1:2 - coco fiber: pine bark: sand: sphagnum.

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Old 11-01-2019, 09:19 PM
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Default Re: Substrate barrier

I think some substrate will get through regardless, if you are using window screen, and it's no big deal. You could use weed blocker, but that sometimes has trouble letting water pass through. I usually put a bead of silicone all the way around my window screen and this keeps the substrate from going around the screen layer, which seems to be a bigger problem than going through the holes. A little bit of the smallest stuff getting through the holes in the screen, though, is probably not much of a problem.

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Old 11-01-2019, 09:38 PM
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Thanks Mark, wasn't sure if some making it past would be an issue. I've thought about putting silicone around the edges. However, I want to have this vivarium easy as possible to break down if I want so I have been thinking of ways to prevent substrate from falling down around the edges of the false bottom. If I cant think of a good solution ill just silicone the edges.

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Old 11-01-2019, 10:28 PM
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Default Re: Substrate barrier

Silicone is the most sure-fire way to prevent the substrate from getting down to your drainage layer, but I understand where you are coming from. The bead also makes things a bit uglier (at least when I do it) but that isn't much of an issue for me because I usually just paint the outside of the tank up to where the substrate level is with black craft paint. I just make sure to leave some part unpainted so I can monitor the height of the water in the drainage layer. Finally, I don't ever worry about silicone and permanence in a tank. Silicone comes off just fine for me using fresh razor blades. Razor blades work well enough that the silicone is completely invisible on even the front glass when I am done (where I am looking hardest for it) and it is gone enough that I can put a fresh layer of silicone on without any problem. So, anybody who is worried about a big cleanup job in the future when they use silicone shouldn't worry about it, in my opinion and experience.

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Old 11-01-2019, 10:34 PM
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I think I'll go with silicone based on your experiences with it and your recommendation. Great idea with the paint. I have some black contact paper I might try in the same manner you suggest. Thanks Mark
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Old 11-01-2019, 10:57 PM
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Default Re: Substrate barrier

No worries. Contact paper would probably work just fine, especially in the short run. I tend to get my tanks wet on the outside pretty regularly, so just make sure it is at least resistant to water.

Mark
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Old 11-01-2019, 11:45 PM
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Default Re: Substrate barrier

Weed Block.

I've used it 20+ years. Works great.

s
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Old 11-02-2019, 12:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Encyclia View Post
No worries. Contact paper would probably work just fine, especially in the short run. I tend to get my tanks wet on the outside pretty regularly, so just make sure it is at least resistant to water.

Mark
Had not thought of that, good point. Thanks again for the advice and sharing your experience.
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Old 11-02-2019, 05:18 PM
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Default Re: Substrate barrier

Scott,
I have had trouble with water just pooling up above the weed block before, rather than soaking in. Is that something that goes away after a while or does it matter which kind you get?

Mark
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Old 11-02-2019, 07:27 PM
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Default Re: Substrate barrier

I've not had any issues with GBT's "substrate barrier" which looks to me just like weed block fabric from box stores.
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