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I was putting together a very simple vivarium (exo-terra style) and after pouring a base of Hydroton, put the soil right on top of the Hydroton, without separating the two with a piece of cut screen. I stood there and stared at it for minute, aggravated with the fact that I was so absent-minded.

Is it a make or break scenario, or will it be OK to leave it that way instead of tearing down & starting over?

Thank you,

Kevin
 

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You must remove the contents of the tank and re-start, using window screening or landscaping fabric as a divider. I also recommend drilling the tank and installing a drain in order to circumvent the eventual saturation of your substrate.

Best of luck
 

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I was putting together a very simple vivarium (exo-terra style) and after pouring a base of Hydroton, put the soil right on top of the Hydroton, without separating the two with a piece of cut screen. I stood there and stared at it for minute, aggravated with the fact that I was so absent-minded.

Is it a make or break scenario, or will it be OK to leave it that way instead of tearing down & starting over?

Thank you,

Kevin
I would just take the soil out by hand, put the screen down, and put the soil back in. It doesn't matter if you have some soil in the hydroton.
 

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hmmm. while its not best to do it the way you have its not going to be a huge issue for a LONG time. it will probably take years to become a problem (where the substrate will eventually seep down and fill in all the little cracks between the LECA). by that time you'll probably have advanced to the point where your no longer satisfied with this first viv, and youll tear it down anyway.

a number of my tanks are without dividers (in fact i kind of hate using them since it makes planting a huge pain in the ass) and have been that way for years.

james
 

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i did the same thing and had to just take the soil out by hand and then put some screening down. i also would put a drain in now. thats also a lesson i learned. its well worth doing it now before the tank gets settled in and too far along.
 
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